Disappointing. That word kept floating around my head last night. It was silly more than disappointing. Confusing as well but unsurprising. I can keep busting out words like this all the way through this post. To be honest that’s the way Wolves get in your head. I’m searching around for answers and the only way I can answer myself is by wandering around an empty house moaning at the dogs and saying ‘Disappointed’ at them while they fart and look at me with a disgusted look like I did it. Fart…not lose a football game 4-0. Fabio, it’s not always like this you know. Sometimes we play football so beautiful it has made grown men cry and made our ground shake with a madness that you will not have seen before. I am sorry that display was poor, please accept our collective apologies.
Now it takes some sort of weird turning of the heavenly algorithms to make David Moyes undo Nuno in the old idea stakes trust me. But that’s exactly what he did. West Ham negated nearly everything we threw at them (which wasn’t a lot). Traore was neutralised, Boly sucked into a pit of darkness, Moutinho for once ineffective, Ruben Neves a bystander. Semedo looked shell shocked. Saiss reminding me of the Stears (God bless his name). You know who the names are, you watched the game same as me. Bloody hell. What was going on? We miss Jonny for sure but extrapolating the character and play of Jonny onto Vinagre is a moot thing. I feel a bit sorry for Vinagre to be honest. It is his season to shine and despite this open stage he is playing with a cast of barely communicating players. You can’t make a silk purse out of a Sows ears so they say. I am not being overly critical of Vinagre yet, lets wait and see what he does when the whole team is locking together in unison before we make those statements.
Probably thousands of variables to be honest. I’ve used the A and B games analogy before and I’ll do it again just for the record. You can’t play ‘A’ games all the time. Sometimes you play ‘B’ games where you still look good and win. Some games are C games where you scrounge a draw and a point. Often you have D games where everything goes wrong and the philosophies and ideas are flung out of the equation and you go onto autopilot which means you have a tentative grasp of what the Coach wants you to do but fuck knows how and it ends up in some robotic shit show of your players just mincing around on the pitch while West Ham throw the shapes at you that remind you of….well you really.
West Ham are on the ascent of a run of form. You could tell that when you watch the game they played against Arsenal last week. West Ham lost but it was very close for me. West Ham were just catching hold of that idea and of course we would play them next…and suffer. Those goals from Bowen really sliced us apart and even at ten minutes in it looked as if we didn’t really have any kind of answer to it so it was a case of settle in and pull something over your head while you watched. It was ‘a bad day at work’ for sure. But looking at West Ham players you see a lot of D game potential and history. Many of them have been pilloried about their performances before this match. I read a lot of football writing, I have seen this. But all of a sudden they were playing A grade football against a Wolves team who for the most part are on a slippery slope of D game potentiality. We are in a desert of form where the message is confused under the pressure of opponents drive and intent.
That’s OK too really. We are lacking any sort of pre season. You know that Nuno loves a pre season. It’s where he defines what he wants and how he wants to see it done. He beats the metal into some sort of shape, the shape he wants to play. The squad is still malleable and ductile of course. There are relationships to be forged with the new players and between the squad members. These relationships are part of the whole zeitgeist when putting a squad out. I don’t really think this loss of form can be reduced and some blame attributed to one player or a bunch of them really. You know me well enough, I don’t cuss individual players, it’s silly and unproductive. If we have a bad result then it’s a lack of maybe effort on the one hand and some metaphysical zeitgeist that can rear it’s ugly head at any time despite the quality of each player on the pitch. They are professional sportsmen, they will not be affected by the lack of form from one of their team mates, they will be clever enough to let their own ‘shine’ dissipate as they cover their team mate, so the game becomes a disjointed team effort at everyone tries to cover everybody else (or doesn’t as the case may be. We are confused and the players are probably confused. I don’t hold to a Prescriptivist outlook where my judgements on the team efforts are commands that we change this or it’s imperative that we do that. Indeed if we go down some sort of reductionist route then we tend to single out players rather than expanding our minds to take in all the other variables that could have affected us last night.
Poor Semedo must have wondered what the fuck was going on. I feel a bit sorry for him. Fabio too who is getting some heat off Social media from the Gonks and Flakies. Bust out any Wolves player now and somehow, somewhere they are to blame and that’s the meat and potatoes of chatting about the game we love but it’s not serious and it’s not important. Sometimes it’s a positive thing getting tonked in a game at some point. When I lost a race I was the first person to moan at everything that wasn’t connected with me personally as a reason for poor performance, until I grew up a bit and saw that really it was just me in a comfort zone of my own brilliance…which didn’t last long. Getting fucked up by West Ham is a gentle reminder to our team that despite all the cash flung around on shiny new players from these clubs from the top tiers of European football…you still have to be a team. Are we one yet? Nah not at the minute. But Nuno is beating that anvil like a man possessed. I think we needed to get battered to be honest. Now it will be one of the things, one of the fires that will perhaps galvanise the team into a sort of togetheryness, a group identity of sorts that they haven’t quite grasped since the end of last season. This stuff takes time and patience…for us it’s easy, all we have to do is point fingers and moan. For Nuno and the Coaching staff it’s mostly empirical and statistical. They have done everything on paper to provide Wolverhampton Wanderers with a squad of enormous potential…but a squad is not a team. I think this result and probably a few more will reflect the changing evolution of the squad as I said before. There will be some false starts of course. Ideas are perfectly broadcast by key players coming together in a run of form and those relationships are integral to team performance but you can lead a horse to water but making it drink is another thing entirely.
Yes, I think it’s the start of a very weird season to come when things are absolutely not going to go to plan. I think (as well) that the fact that everything isn’t going to plan will kind of forge a mentality that so far we have been lacking. We need to be insane sometimes on the pitch and drive forwards together with that backs to the wall us versus them attitude we had early on in the evolution of this squad. But we’ve been there before for sure, been there so many times last nights result was ruminated on, moaned at and then stored away for later like every shit game we have watched. I hope the squad reflect on it which I know they will and utilise the wise words from the Coaching staff on the reasons it went a little wrong and why we had a D level game against an A grade West Ham. All it lacked was a bit of oomph, a bit of speed in delivery, a little accuracy. Poor old Neto…he reminded me of that game way back in 1989 I think when Paul Cook was constantly shouting for the ball in acres of space and nobody passed it to him for 45 minutes. Anxious yes, mistakes yes, spread throughout the team. Make your dysfunction stronger than theirs. Yeah we did that. Bollocks to it. We can have some revenge in the next match against West Ham for sure. Is there a Holistic view from me this week? Yeah, same as last week. Our team are missing us. As daft as it sounds when we talk about ideas and multi million pound players, we may not have lost that game if we had a few thousand fans in that God awful place West Ham play their football. In the meantime wait for that ‘click’ in the team. It will come. Patience.
One thought on “West Ham United V Wolves”
Spot on Mikey.
I’ve just about calmed down now since Sunday’s horror show.
Thanks for putting it into context and I particularly like your defence of young Ruben Vinaigre and agree that patience is the operative word with him, because he’s got bags of potential and if anyone can help him realise it, it will be Nuno and his backroom team of coaches.
Keep the faith everyone!
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