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.