Leonardo and the University of Compton


‘Leonardo’, means ‘Brave Lion. It’s always good when you are linked with a player that has a name like that…instead of Craig Neckback or Ben Armlock. Nothing wrong with the names Ben or Craig before people start sending me surreptitious weird hate mail…again. No, it’s good to have names like that because it means something good might arrive. I mean I’ve just read about Ben Marshall signing part time for a club. Remember Ben Marshall? That was just a couple of years ago mate. Let me please wax a few thoughts. 

Leonardo Campana has Spanish pedigree and a sporting pedigree too. No shuffling around playing football in the dirt roads of Ecuador…well probably not a lot. His great-grandfather, Gabriel, won six Ecuadorian league winners’ medals in the 1920s, his Father is former Tennis star Pablo Campana and Grandfather Isidro Romero Carbo was the President of Barcelona Sporting Club for many years. Romero was instrumental in getting the Ecuadorian club their own stadium the Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha. There is pedigree like I say and may I say a metaphysical  ‘DNA’ profile that runs through Campana that has names like Pele and Chuchuca connected to it. You know I’m big on metaphysical things, threads and connections to things. So there is one that glides around this name for sure. A stoical thread for sure, you can see that in the way the lad plays. One that has ideas of his own that he would like to see flourish under the correct tutelage, because this is about development, this is about learning. 

Leonardo Campana has been connected to our team and I am very interested in him as for some reason when I heard his name mentioned I had a weird feeling in my belly…like something had clicked into place that wasn’t wind or indigestion. Let’s have a look at him shall we, see what’s going on. 

Well he fits the Fosun-Wolves profile for sure. Young, ready to erupt onto the world stage, ready to make his mark on the game. The place to do it for sure is here at Wolves. Regardless of the fact he is a Mendes client…I mean Uncle Jorge would definitely point him in the direction of Wolves. Where else would he get an introduction to European football that is as nurturing as Compton? Not many places for sure. Compton is rapidly becoming a University of football not a training ground. Here is where young players learn to be Professionals for sure. The nurture environment is second to none in English Football. This is what attracts, this is what draws these types of players in. 

Now the Flakeys will be going mad of course that we are connected with him. He’s too young, he hasn’t scored many goals. There is also that part of our fanbase who are just waiting for the wheels to fall off any transfer activity so they can vent their angst and their wobbly chins will be going ten to the dozen as they wax crumbly flakey lyrics to anybody that listens to them. Forget those doughnuts. They are an anachronism of the past.

Campana is a clinical compact little player even though he is a lofty lad. He reminds me very much of how Jimmy plays. A bit of a lurker in the box at times, others he is Killmanesque in that he can move the ball around quite nimbly under pressure. Especially in the box. But where I see him fitting into the Nuno style of play is that he is an unlocker. He’s got a bloody accurate foot on him, at least from the videos I’ve watched of him. He’s also a nippy player, good acceleration with and without the ball, he moves well for a big lad. We play excellent Counter attacking football. That’s why we tend to have a defence full of midfielders. These players are used to pinging the ball accurately at either our wide men (if they are in position) or to our three front players with pace and ability who split the defence into pieces as soon as they erupt into that final third. I like to forget about the obvious goal scoring abilities of Campana here because I’m thinking his pace and his ability to hold onto the ball at pace will be an addition for us. He seems like an ‘unlocker’ too, quite nifty in the box, physical at times, brave too. Doesn’t mind getting his nut on the ball if its the only thing he can control it with. I’ve watched him get kicked in the head a few times. He needs that ball and he is vocal about getting it too. He can direct play, move players around him and press into spaces pulling defenders around. Very much in the mold of Jimmy for sure. 

Now I can fill pages on why this lad will fit into the footballing side of things. He is well regarded, mature…but where he will fit into the Nuno idea is his motivation and his drive. Forget about the other stuff for a minute. You can twaddle around on YouTube all day looking at his goals and assists and I’ve done that myself. But there is a Zeitgeist with this one, something off the radar. I mean let me throw this into the mix a second. Where I have learned most about young Leonardo is by watching his Father talk about his son. So I delve into the nether regions of South American and Ecuador sports reports and Newspapers. I search for quotes and statements about Leonardo that come from his Father. Now I start to understand a little more about Leonardos drive. There is a hunger there and that hunger consumes him. It’s a hunger to score and to be successful, it’s motivation from the highest and most knowledgeable source. His family. 

Could we see Leonardo at Manchester City or United? At Tottenham? Arsenal? No. Simply because these clubs will not nurture and teach, they will only ravage. Leonardos motivation will see him and Nuno, the staff, everybody at Wolves connected with training start to develop Leonardo into something much different to what he is now. This may well be Traore levels of nurturing to be honest, and we have seen what that can do. We watch the results of it every week nearly. We see it in Neto, a fringe player at Lazio, now practically a first team player, and so young. Already we have seen how Neto has developed under Nunos tutelage. He has roared forwards. Neto is also motivated, also driven. Campana will thrive here and will add value to his playing ability…imagine him learning from Moutinho, Neves and Jota what things he will learn. Imagine him sitting down with Nuno and his staff learning new things too. 

I know one thing for sure. If Leonardo signs for us then he will become a much better player, he will develop and he will learn new things. I said earlier that Compton has become a University of Football now not a training ground. That’s something that Morgan and Jez never really had the imagination to see. There seems to be some kind of pseudo scientific approach to learning at Compton now. I can see the subtle changes in the personality of players that come to us, they seem happy and content but also somehow grateful that they have ended up here by some strange quirk of Mendean fate perhaps. But that’s a by product of being at Compton now. Nobody is happier and more content than learning a new skill that will make them more successful and prosperous. It’s just that the new skill they learn at Compton is how to play football better and start seeing it not as a game where you impinge your own idea of how it should be played but by operating within a greater whole or system that encourages your own personal growth through the success of the team.

I hope he likes what he sees there and he ends up signing for us. He must be a hard working motivated young man to even be connected with us and Nuno will work wonders on him. Here’s hoping.

Nunos Revenge


Normal service has resumed. Wolves still run out for the first half in their Spiderman or Minion pyjamas, sleep still in their eyes, clutching their fave stuffed toy…apart from Jonny Otto who always goes to bed with his favourite garotte. How Nuno would have been proud of this match. It’s always great when this team snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. It’s always good to do Southampton too…I don’t like Southampton. There is a weird vibe there like all clubs on the South Coast really. I remember at Saint Marys back in the day someone throwing a golf ball they had hammered nails into. Who does that? Who locks themselves in their Dads shed and makes projectiles to throw at a football match? All that time and effort…I threw it back of course it was a work of art, all the nails perfectly spaced and sharpened. Weird. It came back again a minute later…

Last season our away game there was a vision of post Wembley stress disorder. Many were still dealing with the Watford hangover, the disappointment, the angst, the pain of it. We had a team who were the best we had seen, who were humbled by ‘Wutfud’ neckist over running of our midfield at the ‘Home of football’. There were some hang dog faces among the support for sure. ‘Nuno had a dream’ we sang loudly…the Southampton fuckwits giggled. There was banter, a few threats of violence from Wolves fans over confused Stewards heads. 

But it’s a year later (or summat) and we return. We return with a big wodge of defeats and a draw. But this is what makes this team so mesmerising, so brilliant and beautiful, so absolutely fucking insane. We never go to a match now thinking that this is going to be a slide into some crazy batshit moaning, some shitty sprayed bedsheet madness, or clacking around sparking a few passive aggressive paragraphs on Social Media. Mo mate. We are starting to get over that weird feeling we had all those years ago watching a team in meltdown thinking all the bad things, enveloping ourselves in negativity. I mean some do that still but ya know….we don’t talk to those people any more do we? 

Mr Jimenez. What an I say about you that hasn’t been said before? What a prize you are to us. There is something in him that makes me proud and content he is our man. A brace of goals for him yesterday. What a re-entry into scoring again after a few dysfunctional games when nothing seemed to fall right for him. 2-0 down at half time as Wolves defence made a few holes for Southampton to run into. Jimmy isn’t stopping again. He’s pulling Gollums around with him like they are Puppies following their Mom for a bit of nipple. I think they are a bit scared of him. I like Adama having all these Southampton players as friends. They keep rubbing against him, touching him making sure he’s still there and he’s not pissed of at the speed of sound into their box. One barges into him and is sent crashing off into the ether as Adamas Super Henchness pops him like a zit. 

I think there was one change? Ruddy out and Rui in. Adama was bunged into the left side of Jimmy and Neto on the right and to be honest it looked as crazy as fuck to start with. Holes in Southamptons ideas everywhere and I sat back to watch some gliding extreme football. But it never goes to plan does it? Boom Southampton get a right smacker of a goal. In Tesco One Stop later that night Gaz Mastic (remember him?) is looking at whoopsie stuff. 

‘Our defence is fucking shit, we need defenders not midfielders’

Ah Gaz me little bald headed flaky freak. I do love him. His opinion is as good as everybody elses and he pushes in the queue for the till to continue his madness. But what is a great defence? A great defence is when we play every game without letting a goal in. When every attack is nullified before it gets into the final third. When every attack by the opposition is met by a wall of Gold and Black. In our dreams mate. Perhaps there is some improvement to make but I don’t know what that is I’m afraid. I am still quite content with our defensive line up. Is it world class? Well that’s a debate I’m still trying to get my head around as I’m happy with it. I think having players slot into defensive positions they aren’t used to playing in has reaped some hairy moments for sure but when I watch Donk or Coady put pin point balls to players thirty yards away to start attacks, well, the blood races, I get excited. I like the idea of mobile artisanal defending. Watching Ashley Young crying or John Stones slabbing around makes me very happy indeed thank you. Fair enough, score a few goals at us early doors. But we are coming at you constantly, without rest. Nuno twists and turns Traore back to the right again, Neto goes left. The ball is played like a twisting helix through midfield and out to Adama or Neto with Jimmy as a fulcrum for that movement which is delicate and refined, always. At one point Adama has six red stripey players surrounding him like it’s a weird bukkake party and he skips through all of them. 

I think the reason we look a bit confused at the start of games is that the players are struggling to possibly comprehend the direction and instruction they have been given by Nuno and his staff. I bet there are loads of them. Don’t forget that these players we have are just human after all. They are being given instruction that goes far beyond physicality and athletic ability. They are also being driven to use their brains too. That takes as much training as legging around Compton chasing balls. Now they  have to chase balls and think about why they are chasing it, how and when.

So balls are bunged into our box with that strange alacrity Southampton have. But don’t forget that they are here to win too. It’s not cheeky of them to wax these kinds of shapes into our box, or to find some of the holes we tend to make. Don’t forget that they want to win too. They have an idea, even if it is a strange deformed one. We ourselves are constantly braced and ready to attack, always. It’s the Wolves way. We always have one foot stuck in the turf to break off at speed and attack. That’s the whole Wolves idea now. That’s why Southampton score. Another, header. Fuck off. Shane Long of all people. I don’t like him, never have. He’s one of ‘them’ regardless of his stripes. I mean he may have pissed off sharpish when things got tough down the Gorethorns but if you play for them you always carry the mark of Cain. Always cursed. 

They were both kind of soft goals really but nothing to get upset about by any stretch. These Southampton Gollums are a good team even if they are as ugly as sin. We got a bit ‘wingy’ for sure. I noticed the Liverpool team did the same thing. We tend to get exposed down the sides a bit. But I can deal with that. It’s a competition of ideas, of surging into tactical gaps. With Southampton following that dogmatic heads down wing play allowed the Holy Trinity of Traore/Jimenez/Neto to start to slowly dominate the game. It started to narrow as the game went on as the Southampton wing play started to get damp and wrinkly and players started to clump together in lumpen clots. At one point I notice three Southampton players within five yards of each other. One remonstrates with another. There are harsh words whispered, you can tell they are getting frazzled and confused. At this point the whole fulcrum thing is starting to get warmed up. Now strangely enough I think it does actually take our Holy Trinity a little while to sort out the lay of the land when attacking. I think they are very clever in the way they do it too. They obviously watch what’s going on in front of them with the opposition defence. They watch and they wait. Then they pounce when they have all the necessary information they need to expose, to move and to attack. 

So Nuno twists the idea again. Was it the whole plan? He must have seen something I didn’t as Jonny moves a bit more forwards. I think Neto drops back into midfield. He’s deep for sure, a lot deeper than he was. So now he’s behind Jimmy and Adama. So Adama has space…ok albeit with three or four Southampton Gollums that close to him they were like a new coat. Adama of course doesn’t give a shit. He’s like a bottle of pop that unknown to the Southampton players has been shaken up a few minutes for a laugh. Tweak the cap open and you are covered with foaming pop. Thats Adama. So while the Gollums are still wiping sugary Adama juice out of their eyes he’s fucking off mate. Space and a gap, time to cross and who’s there? Neto. Unmarked. Control the balls with a bounce off your tits and toe poke the fucking thing home. Bosha. I don’t even move until the Great Satan of VAR says it’s ok to laugh. I do too a few seconds later. I’m so happy for Neto. How many disallowed goals is it this season for him? Twenty? Thirty? Fair play Neto lad, I’m made up for you dude. You deserve that. 

Now Jonny a bit more ‘fronty’ is picking runs out. He’s in the box and gets crushed between two Gollum necks. He tumbles over in the box. He gives the Ref a round of verbals as to the foul. Ref doesn’t give it but shitty VAR does and it’s a penalty. Jimmy steps up and the penalty is forensically converted with a beautiful text book poke into the corner. Well eh? 2-2 mate. All honours even. But ya know Wolves by now. It never stops, it’s relelntless. Nuno wanted this badly. He hurt after last seasons defeat and you could tell. It hurt him and he wanted some revenge and he got it too. Jimmy collects from Traore who has that much space and time he could have put the kettle on. He cuts it back to Jimmy who was that unmarked he must have felt like the only player on the pitch. He too has time to pick a shot, lick a shot. Boom mate. 3-2 to us. I laugh like a lunatic. I wish I had gone now but hey ho. But what a statement win that was. Neto is still learning. Traore is still learning. The pitch is a classroom for Nuno ideas and we have apt and willing pupils. 

Great win, first for 11 years or something. It’s a season for making a few records this is you know. Even it the darkest moments so far in this season I can tell there is some momentum building up like a spark that begins to smoulder a little before a breeze gives it some oxygen and it stars to flame. We are smouldering for sure and sometimes a little flame or two erupts. But with a few additions in the next few weeks this team is going to explode into some madness trust me. But don’t forget there will be some matches where it all looks like it’s gone to cack but we learn, we are still learning and we are learning good. We’ve got the return of Gilesey from Shrewsbury to look forward to. Bad times for Ruben Vinagre and his hammy. I send big love to him. Gilesey will do good. What an opportunity. I hope he smashes it. 





Fosun Versus The Lizards


Things are happening at our club and most of us don’t really understand it. We have a passing knowledge of what and how is happening but it kind of gets lost in the general hum of life, work, the house, the kids etc.

I’ve just finished reading the Deloitte Football Money League report on Wolves. It’s interesting and healthy. One is quite content to sit back at this point and loosen ones belt content in the knowledge that Fosun-Wolves have attained some red blood all muscles pumping health in the old money arena. Now I’m going to digress for a minute…

When I left University I went and worked for a pair of hard nosed Accountancy Investigators Mr Banks and Mr Meese. These pair of nutters were very OK to work for but if you saw them (and knew who they were) walking into your company offices and you were on the fiddle, then you were shagged mate. They were very good. My role was a simple one. I was used to working in a Science environment, I was an Observer, I used huge datasets in my dissertation and afterwards in my Post Graduate work. I knew statistics, patterns, clues, I knew Excel spreadsheets better than anybody because I had a good relationship with the bloke who helped write the program, I used to race street luge with him. I looked between the numbers, saw patterns, errant variables that couldn’t be explained. I found weird things in those sheets. Weird things usually meant fraud. Then I would set the attack dogs (Banks and Meese) loose on the areas and people of concern.

I look into the gaps. I looked and read all of the Deloitte report last night. I read about every club in there to be honest. I saw weird things. Not with Wolves. Other clubs. Formerly big English clubs. Some of them are dying. The big ones who’s names we will not mention. Between the gaps in their seemingly happy and fat finances is another tale. That tale is woe. Your humble starving scribe sees a decline happening…now I intimated this in my books Viva Nuno and Viva Nuno 2 about how the typical framework of ideas that were prevalent in the Genesis of the Premier League aren’t any use in todays financial ecology. I used the example of Nuno and Fosun, ideas, some philosophical points. Things are moving fast in the world of football. New markets are opening up, old ones deteriorating, there is a Zeitgeist, a surface zeitgeist or a public face of these big clubs which assures us that all is good and healthy. But there is also something I call an ‘Untergeist’ and that’s the gaps in reports, it’s also a holistic view of a club which takes in the style of football, transfers (to an extent), the audiences, and how it ‘feels’ when I do look at the whole subject. 

These big clubs are dying because they lack a plan, a philosophy. They are filled with bean counters and the unimaginative ranks of suits vying for position and power with the club they are representing often forgotten…only cash money is important and at these levels finances are an abstract and often extremely fluid entity. You can’t build a house on sand. You need something stronger. Something that initially transcends finance which will then afterwards provide those financial rewards later on. 

Fosun-Wolves are growling deep in their throats while their eyes dart here and there at the manoeuvrings  of the system in which they find themselves. The FA, the broadcast and print Media, the mafia like greed of the top six system too. Yes, Fosun Wolves are growling quietly at the moment happy to sit back and watch the decline of the top six while awaiting their chance in the shadows of Match of the Day punditry where we don’t get mentioned much. We defeat a top six club and it’s all about how badly our opposition played, the excuses are trotted out verbatim nearly by a smirking Lineker or an abject idiotic aside from a Sky Sports pundit. 

Fosun Wolves are quiet. But I see you waiting. I see your propaganda too. It’s very quiet. A shallow growling like I said before. They wait…but they inform a few people that there is a waiting list for season tickets. 12,000 people on it now? It’s presented as an aside, a mere bauble of information that they have given to the Lizards in the press. But the message is of course for someone else….Wolverhampton City Council. 

The new stadium is ready to be built. I suppose it has been designed by now. Probably 45k or so for some of these bodies on the waiting list to squeeze in and watch Wolves. Revenue, Hotels maybe, a Casino the advent of the Molineux Entertainment Quarter…the changes to infrastructure around the ground making Molineux worth a day out for those with cash to spare. Cash that will find it’s way into building an unstoppable football team on the world stage as well as introducing Wolverhampton as a City to people that otherwise wouldn’t have a clue we are here. Investment my friends, not only from Fosun but other companies internationally. It’s us as a City the edge of an amazing set of prospects for the future. I can see it…me Mr 8p Noodles, the knobhead that blogs about Wolves a bit…but I don’t think Wolverhampton City Council can. 

This is where I start looking between the words and numbers again. Why haven’t the Council embraced the idea of investment and growth? Where are the artists renderings of the ideas Fosun and indeed the council have? What a great PR event that would be, a partnership between a democratically elected local government and a Multinational company. What benefits we as a people would reap. Jobs, money, new stuff to do…other companies as I mentioned would be at these events watching a dynamic and creative local government working in partnership, getting stuff done. How they would love that shizz. I guess they would be flocking to throw money at Wolverhampton. I guess the whole Fosun idea would drag in other dynamic ideas and before we know it we would have a City to be even prouder of and great to live in. But what’s happening at the great brown Pyramid of the civic centre? Not a lot mate…in fact very little. 

When the ‘immovable object’ let’s say lack of imagination and ineffectiveness of local government meet the Fosun Wolves machine ‘unstoppable force’  then we (I think) find ourselves at this current point in time when the clock is ticking. There are plans and there are timetables, there are frameworks to be agreed, there are people to get onboard, people to talk to who have tight timetables of their own. Nothing has been agreed in any sense as to when Fosun will get the green light to start expanding the whole Wolves idea. This is wrong and this intransigence has to be nipped in the bud straight away. Who is dragging their feet here? It won’t be Fosun-Wolves for sure, not a chance. Everything we have seen from them so far has been dynamic and solid in thought and action. But there’s something happening at the council for sure but what?

Are they unsure of their own powerbase? Are they too vying for position at the trough? Do they actually understand what is happening or is about to happen at Wolves? I’m inclined to believe that they don’t quite understand what is happening. They are confused, and when people get confused they tend to hide away just in case someone collars a hold of them and demands answers to questions. I bet Fosun have already become acquainted with that particular aspect of the Council…I mean if they can’t even cut the verges regularly how can you expect them to convene and make relationships at a meeting with a set of hardcore Executives and Professionals from one of the biggest Companies in the world? I think the Council are well out of their depth to be honest and I also think some questions should be asked as to the current relationship between Fosun and Wolverhampton Council. Is it working? If not, why not? Who are the intransigent personalities involved? What are their names? What positions do they hold? Are they fit for purpose? Because, don’t forget…if you are a Wolves fan and you live in Wolverhampton these questions are bloody important to us…in fact they are vitally important and probably one of the most important events that will ever happen to the people of Wolverhampton since the council decided in the 1960’s to turn the City Centre into the dystopic Bauhausian nightmare it currently is. Add to that the Cultural vandalism of  the area around Molineux by Moxey and Morgan and well….I’m concerned for us all.

I think it’s time to start asking questions of our Councillors and Local MP’s to be honest. A few emails and maybe a few phone calls to let them know we are interested to find out what’s going on. After all it’s our Council tax that pays for these people to sit in the Civic and wax whatever lyrics they wish to each other over bad buffets and worse coffee before they climb back into their Mercs, Discos and BMWs to piss off back to their lovely cottages and houses in South Staffs or Shropshire. Yes, questions.

What’s happening with the ground redevelopment?

Is there an intransigent atmosphere or a policy of exclusion against Fosun?

Who is the person in charge of negotiating with Fosun over redevelopment?

Why is nothing moving in regards to redevelopment?

Just a few things I would like to be answered thanks very much. If they aren’t answered in any acceptable form then why not? Is there an Anti-Fosun element within Wolverhampton Council? If there is, how do we remove it? I think a great way to get answers is like I said previously, get in touch with your local Councillor for answers. Start jabbing away at them. If we get no joy there then we will wait until the next local council elections and I will post information as to how helpful those Councillors were and we can react by switching a vote here and there.

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They Punch Horses Don’t They?


Yes. Fuck VAR. It’s a virus isn’t it? Some extreme illness that has affected our football. I say ‘affected’ a throw away comment. It has ‘infected’ which is probably a better way of describing it. It has squirmed it’s tentacles into our sport and is slowly leeching and draining the sport of everything that makes it interesting. But there are other factors that make a day out at Molineux a depressing experience. Steve fucking Bruceball. Horsepunchers. I watch them pregame filing down the road singing and pissed as farts. Poor bastards. There’s an example of propaganda affecting shallow minds. The song was dirge like and sonambulent, I felt like nodding off and grabbing a blanket off the Staffy and homeless bloke in the subway and going to sleep.

Now I’ve chilled out a bit since Saturday because simply speaking this post would just be about the shape of Steve Bruces head. It’s like a carrier bag full of tent peg mallets…like a thumb pot made by a two year old kid. Hang on…it’s coming back. The rage. Then I see that Villa have been fully arseholed by Manchester City. My laugh sounded deep and gurgly. My weekend much brighter. Steve Bruce eh? Fucking hell. Old Cabbage head fucked Villa up well and good, I hope he does the same to the Horsepunchers so his decline will be as rapid as Villas. No love for Steve Bruce. We will never forget him and Wyness. 

Steve Bruce wearily pulls his team of malcontents onto the team bus from the dreary wastes of the North East. They have a plan you know. The plan was hatched over stale beer soaked tables, probably the remains of Bruces fry up, there would be the stub of a fag end rudely poked into the remains of an egg yoke as Bruce and his team plot. We know you Steve Bruce. You have rattled around West Midland clubs like a rash that wont go away. We know you and we know your football too. It is redolent of it’s environment of course. Drab, lifeless, false history, minor accomplishment. Yes we know this football. We have seen it much while we dragged ourselves from the insipid cloying griefs of the Championship promotion season. The same tactics dragged out for a shameless display of football as darkness. It is Lance Armstrong filling himself with performance enhancing drugs to win Tour De France titles, it’s Neckism at it’s finest. Using every dark art a team can dredge up to force a draw or nick a win. 

“You’re women are slags and you’re footballs shite’

At the final whistle the Newcastle ‘Jodys’ at the bottom of the New Stand erupt in paroxysms of arm waving, air punching joy and their scrambled point at the Golden Palace. A point my friends. The dishonours are shared really. I walked out more disgusted with that display of joy than anything I saw on the pitch. Wolves of course picked and scratched at Newcastle for a few periods. Trying to find some way through a defence that ached with necky and arsey tantrums. Everything we threw at them was rebuffed and it’s not a lesson in how to defend attacks that we saw. It was death throes of a side that has no belief. Like a drowning man that clutches at you and drags you under too as the breath leaves his smog choked lungs. We were fucked by it again like we always get fucked up by teams like this. Teams that only have survival in mind, that one goal. 

Newcastles goal was scored by some dude who looked like a Cats scratching post. His eyebrows were like two strips of insulation tape. He was that pale he looked see-through. How his little knobbly knees danced up and down when he scored. His adams apple bobbed up and down like a Plumbers arse. Fantastic. We were asleep again. I could have run down the steps and over the advertising hoardings to negate that attack. Fasta’ferkin-asleep mate. All the Club Shop Flakeys by me were apoplectic with rage. “Yeow can ferget the top six neeeeooowww” they exclaim in showers of spit and crap pie. “It ay ferkkkkin gud enuff” etc etc. Even Bob in front of me was that bored of it he started talking about getting Andy Grays autograph when Gray played for Villa…then started talking about George Best ffs. I was staring at Almirons eyebrows again. I couldn’t take my eyes of them. Fucking hell. They looked like aeroplane skidmarks. I can’t keep my eyes off him all game as he kept jumping up and down in some kind of insane extra from that movie ‘Freaks’. Amazing. We gave him the goal of course as we fettled and fucked about for a while before the idea that we were playing a competitive match suddenly dawned on us. What should be the focus for these early periods? Clean sheets from the defence and attack the bastards from the whistle, straight away, turn the knob straight up to 11 and do what we do best, split the bastards apart with forensic defence splitting passes from our Wizards of the midfield. 

Miguel Almiron Clapping Close Up

Miguels Eyebrows 

As much as you try to whack off that gnarly big padlock with a lump hammer…well you are going to be there a while for sure clanging at the bloody thing and all you make is a few dents in it. Shape, that mantra we all wax lyrical about was prevalent of course. Get the ball wide and cross in. Newcastle were quite happy to let Wolves do that and just made sure their necks were always around to see the threat off. Not that many of the crosses were finding their mark. Neto is still a work in progress. Traore too I think. There wasn’t much of that dinky opposition confusing passing in the final third we have seen over the last few months. Brilliant time to introduce something different from the bench I thought. Anything really, something, some player that would terrorise these fucking imbeciles from Newcastle. But it looked thin that bench tucked into the armpit of the Billy Wright stand. What key stood out to insert into that nifty padlock to see the clasp spring free? None, as far as I could tell. I’ve watched teams like Liverpool and Manchester City…even Tottenham and Chelsea make a substitution and on trots some feral footballing nutter that runs like the ball is velcroid to his foot, who dinks and slides around, has a pop at goal, scares the living daylights out of our defence. Quality players who would have started in our team. But there was no one there. All great footballers of course. Benny Ashley Seal, Ashley Seal, Benny Ashley Seal. Vinagre, MaxxKill, Gibbo I forget who else. All fantastic players but the wrong tools for the job of course. Maybe I would have lashed on Benny for a chance, parked him up front and just kept whacking the ball at him for ten or fifteen minutes see if his physicality would undo Newcastle. But the poor sod has only had one start so far, do we want to send him into a depression by sending him out there in the drizzle to fart and bluster at no hope balls? I don’t know. It would have been a gamble I suppose and I am not Nuno. 

Donks equaliser is lovely. That precise even VAR hides it’s horrible face. Donk for me is a star for slotting into defence after Boly got pranged. Plus he chucks the odd goal in too. His presence makes me feel warm and I celebrate a little too loudly and longer than I should for some reason. 

I do think there is a languid and low key ambience to the way we start games. Maybe that chilled out groove at Compton tends to leak out into the first twenty minutes of our game when more often than not the opposition bang in a goal or two until we suddenly start to realise it’s not Compton it’s a game, a contest. Then of course we shift gears and gobble up a few goals ourselves. Maybe we will win the game or more often we will draw at least. If the Wolves were Musicians (which I’ve allegorised a few times) then this season would be the ‘difficult’ third album. The Championship was fresh and new and we were amazed by it. The second album was pretty much the first but with raw elements of the first album. This is the third album and we are finding out that many of the grooves we used in the previous two masterpieces are starting to look a bit jaded and stale. Maybe we are trying a few things out that aren’t quite exploding yet. But despite our season still being totally beyond our expectations we still hanker and yearn for that madness of dynamic and creative brilliance we have seen in the previous two seasons. We know these bastards on top of the pile are there for the taking. VAR has kicked us in the balls a few times, Bolys injury will be looked at closely in the season end. But really, we need bodies. Mad bodies. Crazy fucked up players who are a bit lunatic, a bit rah maybe. 

But hey! The chances were there. How many goal bound balls did their keeper clear? Two Three? Let’s say it was a day to forget. Of course we will have ‘C’ grade games and against a team that started time wasting on the 50th minute and a Referee as effective as a one sheet wipe after a Dixie Chicken shit well what else did we expect?. The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’ famous Wolves fan Bill Shakespeare once wrote. Well that was their goal for sure. But the other goal was again to inflect a lack of idea onto the game from the off really. They did that by rolling around on the turf after every innocuous challenge. They did it by constantly haranguing the Referee about every decision he made. Some of them were surreal and that’s being polite about it. 

Traore was sublime again. Acceleration and intent oozed out of him and he left his markers for dead every time. Has there ever been a player that has made our pulses race like he does? I don’t know. Bully maybe. What is scary is that there is more to come from him for sure, he is still a project in my eyes. Maybe the new addition (s) to the squad will be put in place to complement his play? Perhaps the shift in team intent will be to build a side around Traore. Another front player who will be fast and hard enough to follow Adama into the final third with enough strategic nous and physicality to split those necky deep lying defences that have discouraged us so much in the past? We miss Jota for sure down that left. As much as Neto tries he still lacks the physical presence for me, that will come in the next year or so. I expect Neto to grow into the role the more he plays and to be honest I’m picking at him a little because to be honest none of the team singly put much of a foot wrong but it was just the ‘whole’ concept that lacked any kind of luck. We should have won 3-1 you know this.

Ah well. Every slick pair of new pants will have a skid mark in it at some point. That’s what this game was, a skid mark. It will be forgotten in time and lessons hard learned. What do I see in the next few weeks? Nuno will be gunning for Southampton. The United game will be a throw away occasion I suspect. Do as well as you can but don’t be too upset at the result. If we get a win good. We lose? No biggy. Nuno will want to do Southampton after that drubbing they gave us after the Wembley defeat to Watford. It’s a chance for some madness to re-galvanise the team, get some blood flowing. Get some revenge for sure. Already I am seeing a name that was mentioned to me a month ago who is expected to join us. He’s a different key, something entirely different to what we have at the moment. Someone to mallet that fucking padlock off.

Have We Had Five Minutes?


I’m having a slightly bent and crushed roll up in the smoke hole at the back of the Southbank. It’s the halfway point of the Wolves-Manchester United FA cup match. I’ve got my back to the wall as the crush of nicotine madness is close and sweaty. There’s an old man in front of me who has obviously had too much liquid cheer today. He’s swaying slightly and he keeps shutting his eyes as if he’s going to sleep. His cigarette he clutches with a calloused and battered hand. He sways, I think he’s going to fall over at some point. I watch the drone flying above the New stand. I look back at him. There’s a dude standing with his back to him wearing a Canada Goose coat. It’s lovely. Expensive aren’t they? He must have had it for Xmas or something. There’s a lot of new coats on show. CP Company, new Stoneys. Canada Goose bloke laughs at something his mates have said and steps back a bit. Right into the old blokes cigarette which burns a neat hole in the Goose coat. The old man doesn’t even notice he’s merked a £600 coat. The young bloke doesn’t notice either. But he will get home and notice it. Get enraged. Then it’s a £600 work coat. To be worn while slapping a bit of muck between bricks on top of some scaffolding. Some burned feathery fluff is poking out of the hole now. The old chap has wandered off somewhere.

“You’re not famous any more”

I haven’t seen a soul today that I know. All the usual suspects have ducked this FA Cup thing. I wouldn’t have been here but my mate Brett brought me a ticket for Xmas. Bless his heart. The magic of the FA cup is very dead now of course. It was meaningful when the FA Cup Champions BS (Before Sky) would get at least a new Wembley suit and a voucher for 20% off at SeaWorld Hull. Now I suppose most of the players in the top league at least think it’s another League game and don’t quite understand any of this shit. But we have the fire shooty things and a light show. The filthy massive Southbank flag has gone overhead. It’s got that much hair product smeared all over it by now that it’s getting a bit stiff. Probably got a few nits in there too. Bit of Led Zep on the tannoy, I love that. The techno bollocks they normally play makes me feel like crying. It’s not a rave ya know. Nobody wants to dance. But Jimmy Page doing the solo on Stairway to Heaven is cool. Half the doughnuts around me don’t know what day it is yet alone what’s on the Billy Wright Stereogram.

We looked knackered and United looked shit. There ya go, a seven word review of the game. There’s no glossing over the facts any more. Liverpool/Watford/Man City, the dramas, the bullshit and the physical aspects of playing so many games has knocked a bit of stuffing out of our team. They still had the shape of course…the one me and Horace watched during that night game at Sheffield Wednesday what seems like years ago now. We still had temerity to have the occasional pop too. We scored. It was disallowed. VAR again. But now instead of hostility and venom, all I have for VAR is a resigned vacuous look when it got ruled out. 

Shape and temerity for sure but you could tell there was a lack of zest in Wolves, at least in the new bloods littering the field. Neto, Vinagre, MaxKill, etc. John Ruddy made a cameo too. The game would have been a good one for Nuno in many ways. He would be watching how these yungz actually respond to a match like this. Did they do well? I don’t really know to be honest. The shape we played tends to hide many ‘faults’ in individual players. It’s such a team ethic here now that if you look at the whole display then I suppose we did OK in many respects. We are playing a dying idea  in Manchester United and really should have put them to the sword. But motivation was in short supply. That’s what will be interesting to Nuno. Who dug deeper? Who caused a madness? United are lost now. Kenny Miller started the slide into vapid and airy committee blatherings over plans and momentum of the United team and I would have expected Neto and company to wax some shapes in front of the Southbank for a good battering of Manchester. But no. One of their players has Jimi Hendrix hair. He was quite nifty too, I liked him. I asked the strange dude next to me who he was but I didn’t catch the name…something weird any way. 

It wasn’t until Moutinho, Jonny, Adama and Jimmy came on that things started to get heated and sweaty. All three of them flying into the United half like men possessed even if Jimmy looked a bit shagged. But how can you extrapolate on lost chances when these poor bastards in Gold and Black have been dragged across the country playing matches within hours of playing the last one? How can you come up with meaningful conclusions when it looked like our team needed a lie down in the sensory room for some shut eye and laser light displays on the ceiling. 

The Southbank was full of fucking plastics again. Didn’t know the words to the songs. Looking at you disgusted when you abuse the local Manchester United fans in the bottom of the New Stand. It wasn’t all plastics though. There was a lot of ‘back in the day’ nutcases there who couldn’t normally get a ticket. So it was a weird as fuck night to be honest. I don’t care about the FA cup either. I just wanted to see us batter the Yaniteds for a giggle. I wanted to see us expound the beauty of our play onto their poor heads. I wanted Ashley Young to bury his head in the turf like an Ostrich. I wanted Olly Bummer Solidskars to get that condemned man look groove going where he looks likes he’s lost his wallet and somebody finds it…but it’s not his. There’s a woman a few rows in front of me covering up her kids ears as the sweary songs come out. She has an expensive hair do and looks a bit snotty. She looks uncomfortable. Her kids loving it. He flicks the V’s at the United fans at one point and she grabs his arm hard and gives him a bollocking. He looks like he wants to throw coins, he must be nine or ten. Little sod hahahahahaha.

I’m hoping this week has given my team a chance to consolidate again after this period of madness. I hope they can again start to understand what they are here to do and what Nuno wants. I knew some of them would be going. Wave to Patrick Cutrone everybody. I found out from the BBC News website he was going. I always read BBC News because it’s hilarious and makes me laugh that people would swallow their shit. Their ‘sports’ hack writes that Florence is a much more beautiful place than Wolverhampton and Cutrone would much rather walk through the Uffizi gallery than Wolverhampton canals. I just thought ‘what a twat’ then laughed. That’s what the BBC is now to me, just a comedy website. Their football analysis is beyond poor, their news is made up, their stories as interesting as a chip shop menu…ok not as interesting. But the Patrick deal is tied up with so many hooks and traps it’s stupid. Fosun have wired the guy into that many endnotes and contractual bindings I laughed again. It will do him some good going to Fiorentina…we can grab him back when we want to, get some sell on money too. Win-Win situation. He’s a driven motherfucker our Pat, who likes Pizza and Pasta but he wasn’t very magic was he? Couple of touches here and there that shone, but overall I think he wasn’t quite up to speed with what Nuno and his team require from a player. Most of that aggravation I think came from the fact Cutrone never looked like he quite fitted into the dynamic and the narrative that Nuno espouses from his squad. Yet any way. I’m not quite rubbing him out of my notes. 

This transfer window is going to be interesting for sure. I haven’t leaked any names I’ve been told because it’s silly getting involved and I don’t need clicks and I’m not selling anything. All I’m going to say is that the names I’ve got here in front of me are off the radar characters, highly motivated and hard workers who for one reason or another are finding it very hard to move established stars out of their current team for them to play. Politically hard in the one case and that took some weird hours trying to work out what the fuck they were going on about on a ‘foreign’ message board for team fans. Nuno will have the last word on any transfers of course. He will look at these players and talk to them before decisions are made. I am of the mind Kevin Thelwell has been quite forensic in selecting possible players for Nuno to look at. I will be honest and say that Thelwell has been very possibly one of the most important cogs in the great machine of Wolves after the past few years of our success. I might even go as far to say we are bloody lucky to have him, but that’s a story (or argument) for the pub. Thelwell holds the cards up, Nuno picks them, then Nuno holds them in his hand flicking them about like a Gin Rummy hand until he has something he is happy with. Of course some of the hand will be chucked on the pile and another card picked up. We say goodbye to Jesus and Patrick, another card gets picked up off the pile. But like in a game of Gin Rummy you want cards that will be versatile and handy. The players Nuno will bring in will have that in Spades (geddit). None of the players will have that one string violin groove going on but will have many strings. So a defensive midfielder will also play defence quite well. Maybe that attacking midfielder can operate as a striker or maybe has a feeling for defence too. But overall they have to have the capacity to learn and listen. I think Patrick Cutrone is too raw yet, too stoical to accept that he can learn some new things at Wolves under Nuno. Typical striker really. One eye always on the prize. On the end goal. Great when things are working out and you get those golden chances but not too good when Nuno wants you to drop back a bit, pick the ball up deep and attack the final third when all he wants to do is drop off a shoulder and cannon towards goal. Ah I dunno, what do I know? I know theres not a fucking cat in hells chance I’m travelling up to Old Trafford to watch the replay. Fifty odd squid a ticket? Piss off. They should scrap replays. Go to penalties instead. But I see you Thelwell, I like the cut of your jib.

I’m looking forward to new additions, new shapes. As I walk back down the Canal down the rear of The Boat in Wednesfield I am laughing at all the shit the Southbank gave Ashley Young and that moment Young looked up at the magnificence of our Stand with a face like he had discovered a parking ticket on his car. Fucking hilarious. I laughed and scared a Swan. Nuno eh? Love him.

Twenty Twenty Vision


You can turn inwards I suppose, when you sit back, or find yourself just staring into space thinking about the result at Anfield. The first impression is to attack. Because you yourself feel in danger for some unknown reason, your adrenaline starts up, you sweat a little, pull your fingers in and form fists. Shout at the TV. Moan at the dog. Drink another numbing pint of crap beer.

What objectives to we have now? What ideas can fight against this madness? Again our team coalesced into one amorphous single minded hive mind. Despite change, despite relatively new faces coming into the team. Pedro Neto is growing. He is becoming something frightening and exciting. I only want to look at him with one eye. It’s too much for two. Here of course the only real language I should use to describe him is in Italian. The prose would be full of hand actions and definite ends to the words, soft at times, comical, in that way Italians can be humorous. Like Netos football. His goal of course will stand for me. The result for me, will be a draw, always. In record books some abstract thing, some shit web page the result will show 1-1. But it will never have the power and the art of this Wolves team behind it. The official result will be abstract and lost.

I did predict that the ‘big table’ will be hard to sit at and they would not like it. It was apparent to me even arguing out Ashton Gate with a Bristol City fan after our 2-1 win there. Ryan Bennet day, fucking hell. Benno you beauty.

At Barnsley that same season they had half the ball boys in the stand to slow the game. It was a disgrace, I could have cried. But we played and we fought hard. We worked hard as always. Now of course the Vultures circle, their yellow eyes are twitching in the brightness of Nunos sun. They watch and they wait.

Now a Watford defeat. I was annoyed at Coady waxing about how the team didn’t work hard enough. Mate, seriously? After everything this team has done for us this season you can have an off day trust me. Mate, put your feet up on the touchline if you want. I watch Nuno in the Post match Presser after both the Liverpool and Watford games. His eyes are darting everywhere, he’s pumped up and ready. It’s that flight or fight reaction of someone who feels the world is stacked against him and his team. Of course, you would feel that pressure at this point in the season. It’s halfway though the season and we have played nearly enough games as we did last year and with the added bonus of opposition players having a free reign on trying to kick some members of our team into the stands. 

It’s only the halfway point and already there’s enough material to write another two books about this season (although there wont be any more book waxings). Halfway. January transfer window coming up too. I know who we are looking at as well and where the discussions are in terms of completion. Like a stupid bastard I’m retaining some loyalty to the Fosun entity and Wolves by keeping my mouth shut just in case anything I say fucks up the whole negotiation. This is where I wish I had an all singing all dancing interactive website where I could drop shit like this onto the net and benefit financially though clicks or whatever. But that ain’t happening either. 

This is certainly an ‘icky’ part of the campaign and I’ve iterated in the past that the issue will not be with ‘leggy’ players but certainly mentally we may be a bit frazzled certainly after the drama of the Man City and Liverpool games. Mental drama for sure. It takes a toll on you, you lot know that from your own lives. Imagine it.

Nuno instills an ethic in the team and he demands hard work, harder work, improvement and constant pushing forwards. It’s exactly the right way to go about forming a team and pushing for honours, accolades maybe too. But there does come a time when you get a bit shell shocked and dazed by it all. Confused even. I watched the Watford game and it was a frazzled insane display of madball from Watford (again). Now Pearson the Watford Coach, newly installed, smashing into his team with that Sub Warnockian insanity is starting to get results. He needs them, the whole team needs it too. Ben Foster puts on a half decent display purely from the ragging we give him on social media. I bet he loved it. How windy was the stadium? Not very methinks. 

I’m super chilled about the whole thing. Three points from three games, two of those games against top six teams and one against a wounded animal down at the bottom of the division. Yes, I will take that. Now it’s time for the transfer circus to kick into gear. I’ve knocked all my Social Media accounts on the head because I don’t want to read the madness that will appear on there over the next month. It does my head in to be honest. Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a one man positivity battle all by myself, other times I think ‘what the fuck am I on about?’. Doing football blogs is a scary and lonely thing more often than not and I’ve had this same conversation with other blog writers and they agree. The blog will stay of course because I love writing about Wolves, it’s not hard. We are something different, something new, challenging and fresh. I’ve said before that Nuno and the team making writing very easy and that’s the truth. 

We will add players in January. Not big names but players that are required. Players that are versatile and motivated. People that will fit straight into the set up wanting to learn and develop, players that will push us further on to glory in Europe and the League. I will continue to write as long as I have an internet connection. But for once I haven’t got a clue about what will happen in the next few years with this team. Fighting for promotion in the Championship it was all hands on deck and I felt (with others) that maybe a little thing like us supporters might have had a hand or two in how we progressed and fought in that season. Now of course I’m not so sure we have anything to do with it at all any more and I keep getting that feeling and it’s not nice. But, sometimes being a fan is like work in a lot of ways. You sacrifice your time and energy, money, emotions and you fling them at something that in the bigger scheme of things means absolutely nothing to you on a personal level i.e. it aint going to pay your electricity bill Wolves winning a game, it just makes you a bit happier to face the following days.

I stood in a pub in town a few weeks ago with some people I ‘knew’ off Social Media and to be honest I just stood there like a prat as they slagged off Wolverhampton for a good twenty minutes. They come from all over you see. The team is something separate from the Town for them. Wolverhampton is just a place where they have to visit to watch the Wolves. They dip in watch the match then they are gone. For a moment I thought about sticking the nut on one particular moaner. I was unhappy. Isn’t the team part of the Town? Can you slag the town off but support the team? Not in my book. I love Wolverhampton and have always seen the two entities close and tangled in each other. But these freaks from ‘Out of town’ reminded me of those pair of twats going to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United and Wolves last season. They were from the Town, but supported United, I couldn’t get my head around that, and I’ve never been able to I’m afraid. Ah well, fuck it, do what you want. Support who you want I suppose. But there is a gulf of difference between ‘loving’ your team and ‘supporting’ it.

Without Social Media this blog will slowly die now and only be read by hardcore fans and that’s cool. Probably by next season it will only be read by the couple of blokes I wrote for originally before I was convinced to put it on the net. By then I suppose nobody will really recognise anything written in it and it will become at the most some academically interesting footnote to the whole Nuno Wolves thing. 

But I just want to say this. Nuno, dude, everything is OK man. You don’t have to push yourself so hard. You are not responsible for explaining decisions made by Officials, you are not really responsible for results either. You can’t cover all of the bases no matter how much you try. There are always other variables, there is always a little bit of life to kick you in the balls when you are not looking. The dream of course is still on track, still moving and grooving along oiled by the tentacles of our Chinese OverLords. But I’m not concerned about results and how we play, I’m concerned about you and how you are doing. I want you to be emotionally resilient to the madness that unfolds at our club. You aren’t a dog chained to a runaway cart. You can get tangled in this bullshit very easily. Untangle yourself Nuno, look at the larger picture.