Steve Bruce. The man with the inside out face, Newcastle United. Where the propaganda of their whole idea is much bigger than the evidence. In Penrith years ago I threw a vocal Geordie incensed that I dared to question the veracity of the whole idea of Newcastle. He couldn’t process this. All Geordies are beautiful happy people…but it’s never like that, it’s always unwholesome. As I grabbed him around the throat and threw him down some stairs. There were screams, shouting, a few punches thrown, threats, Michael stop it and I’m in full Wolverhampton mode. Everybody gets whacked…
How many draws have we had against Old Batter Bits head? A lot I think. Bruce has kind of got a handle on everything Nuno has in plan form for him. I think Bruce knows us better than we know him. I suspect. As much as we can throw all the names and shite against him, he knows us better than we know him. But there is Nunoism there definitely. Shape is still strong, players still getting used to the newness. Are they late in clicking? Yes, they probably are a little behind a few teams in terms of holistic togetherness but man, we are getting there. Ruben adjusting his leap for our leveller was a sight to behold, again. How lucky are we to have him. Five unbeaten games in the Premier League now. A massive effort in this season of Septicness.
Lascelle that dodgy twisty little sod puts the Horsepunchers one up. Our efforts on keeping tabs on him were below par. He had a free run at that one definitely and we are dozy again, is it time to play football Dad? Still in bed with the duvet wrapped around their heads. Or maybe our Ideas are greater than our football? Maybe the ideas are that great our poor team can’t quite grasp what’s going on in the initial start to the game. There is a cautious feeling about Wolves this season I haven’t really seen too many times since we started to flex our football muscles by popping up to the heady heights of the Premier League. Perhaps we struggle to remember the shapes Nuno and his team want from the team. In a sense we overthink and overplan things? Perhaps we worry too much about what the opposition bring to the game rather than impressing our own minds on the match. Who knows?
How cool was Saiss again? Never a headline grabber but boy does that man throw himself around a bit. Saved us a point he did. Saiss shapes in front of goal are insane. He’s not even supposed to be there but maybe somewhere else but there he is. Saiss, love him to bits thank you. Cast your eyes back a month or so ago when we seemed to have lost all the momentum we had from last season. Heads were low and hanging. Nuno under pressure for the first time? Yes, of course. But that’s his job, to handle that sort of shit and try and come to some kind of consensus with his team about how to patch the idea up, bandage it, throw it back out there to see how it fares. It’s not massively exciting to see your team under the cosh at moments like during this game. You tend to think dark thoughts because we have this modus operandi us Wolverhampton folk to enter into any kind of sporting altercation all guns blazing. To start punching people first and then asking questions later. We go all in. Our team tend not to lately. Again how much of that is neutralising a team that are wounded to some degree by rattling around the nether regions of the Premier League. In danger of the drop no less. Nervously gnawing their own leg they are of course going to be a team that are a bit adrenalised. A little bit ‘woah’. Of course every team has that little bit of interior mind angst when they play us don’t they? They get a bit lairy and focused while our little band of Portuguese Men of War tend to be a bit confused by it. Of course again, if we were there shouting them on they would quickly get the feeling that anger, perhaps some sort of controlled rage was what we needed in that first half. Some rage yes, a little bit of a fight back. Some neckness maybe, risks, insanity? The silly twat up the road was waxing about it when I took the dogs out this morning. Why don’t Neves and Moutinho get in the box more? We need attacking midfielders (even if Nuno doesn’t play like that). Remember the massive holes Big Alf used to leave in midfield when he fancied a few minutes up that end?
Whatever Nuno and his team have done with the squad it is more balanced for sure, not totally balanced yet but there are signs and movements that kind of tell me that everything is good and above board. Nothing to get really worried about at all. There is an impetus here and the shoots of what Nuno wants are starting to slowly reveal themselves. Maybe that intent was Neves finally making a foray up their end. Neves has really had a role to play for the past few seasons. Better suited to sit in from of our back three and split up attacks when they come in. A part of his game which is really under the radar. We expect him to be dangerous and hang around just off the opposition box waiting for a spilled cross or an attempted clearence. It’s rare for sure. The idea is he stays very deep. Get’s forward when the time is ripe. Until then do what you do best and split up attacks, give our defence some depth. Now with the clamour for a decent CB becoming louder perhaps that will give Ruben the ability to get forwards more. Perhaps the whole groove could do with Jonny getting slowly back to full fitness and Semedo continuing to flourish. Two vitally important parts of the whole idea. They can provide when fully fit, a width to their play that will allow Traore and Neto to become tighter inside. Notice most of our goal chances and goals have come from that moment when our Jonnys and Semedos start to pull the play wider and start to grab their defenders and draw them wide. Giving room to Adama and Pedro, leaving them small areas where they can erupt into an attack or bamboozle them with a fast incisive attack, a chance. Nearly every Wolves chance last night came when that play got a lot wider. Newcastle couldn’t keep up the momentum required to pin Semedo and Jonny back. It takes much energy. In the second half the Horsepunchers let their foot off the gas and the pressure was on. Jonny sits back and has a breather then a Horsepuncher moved up, pushed him further and further inside. Pressure. They try it with Semedo and he’s wise, every pass to him increases width and they both move upfield hugging the touchline, drawing the Newcastle defence into wider indefensible positions. We are sitting back and tiring teams out by making them put pressure on Jonny and Semedo. That pressure cannot be kept up. It takes quality players to put against our wingbacks. You can’t keep that pressure up indefinitely you have to either eventually replace that knackered player with a fresher one with the same quality or keep a tired player on and watch Semedo and Jonny slowly push back and widen the field of play. Maybe. I dunno.
I’m of a mind that poor Willian doesn’t quite grasp what’s going on sometimes. He was a lonely figure. A good seven out of tenner. A good sort. Keeping Jimmys side of the bed warm until Jimmy decides to get back in. I think he knows it too. Everything is too fast and frenetic at times. He seems stuck in some sort of ketamine daze at the absolute madness of Premier League football. I mean nobody gave him the ball much but perhaps he wasn’t in the right place? His movement wasn’t Jimmy-like? It’s a shame but the Premier League isn’t for everyone and it was nice to see Nuno give him some luxurious extra minutes on field when to be fair I would have put Fabio on, give him some minutes as he’s going to be the future of our squad surely? Perhaps Nuno is waiting for Jimmy to get back. Him as a Nine, Fabio a Ten, Jimmy oozing experience for the young blood to lap up and in this idea I get a bit dizzy. How do Jimmy and Fabio get that groove going? Minutes. I want to see Fabio thrown into the fire of experience. The minutes are precious, I want him to see everything that happens in a Premier League match. I want him to suffer the tribulations of negativity and to develop a hard skin, harder shins and a titanium ego then I want to unleash him into the care of Jimmy to learn and to develop. They are the future here.
In all it is a shame we are not up there. I could even deal with the Newcastle experience if we could just have a little glance at some proper football, watch the team, have a shout and a scream. I miss it more than I let on. Steve Bruce will go back to staring at Chip shop menus, Geordies will carry on thinking they are lovely beautiful people, we will carry on being Wolverhampton. But there is a difference in the two of us. We are building something insane in that team. Something that is going to shut many people up next season. I see it, it’s there, I can smell it in the air wafting down the canal from Broad street all the way down to Wednesfield. It’s not ‘being positive’ and it’s not me happy clapping although there is some meat in those accusations. There is a feeling inside that we have weathered a storm somewhat and are just about to see some bright blue sky poking through the shroud grey skies that seem to sit there fat arse above us for weeks at a time. I feel good. James Brown time soon and even though I don’t bet I’m putting two quid on Wolves beating Manchester City next week.