I’m typing this on my phone while I wait for the all clear to dive in and Jetwash some portaloos. Horrible outside isn’t it? Like a Plastic bag has just blown into your face. Grey and a bit suffocating. There is work banter here. It’s a company that makes generators. Because it’s the arse end of Cannock there is a Villa vibe here and that’s why I’m sat in the van. I’m not engaging in anything to do with football today, especially not with those freaks. I’ve just seen a Villa calendar in their office. Ugh.
I don’t want to talk about football because for a Wolves fan at least this topic of conversation is not a pleasurable experience. Not because of last nights battering against Manchester City….I mean I can’t even cuss Gaurdioloa or whatever his name is. I can’t wax sweet lyrics about how shit Manchester is, I can’t raise any points to describe what I watched last night…and I will be honest, I haven’t seen a Wolves team that dejected and bereft of ideas for a fair old time. Gutted isn’t the word. But why? We have just lost a match against one of the best teams in Europe, perhaps the World. Normally I suppose (although there’s nothing normal about supporting Wolves) we would just shrug our shoulders, smash something up and carry on with the week until we play again then it’s back to the start and we can watch what the team has in store for us after putting all the wrongs from the last match into rights for this one. Does this happen any more? No, not really. Instead we watch players with their hands on their hips huffing and puffing not getting back to defend, lend a hand, throw a shape or two. We see players that have lost any real idea of what they are supposed to be doing. There was no great idea here, no brilliant plan to upset a team who’s ascent to the top of the Premier League has been solid, workmanlike. That’s Manchester City. A team that can basically come out for a kick around against our team of expensive unknowns and hardly break breath. At one point last night two Man City players actually had a conversation in midfield while we passed it around, recycling a ball in endless circles before losing possession again.
Nuno and the staff have obviously got the nous to understand the whiteboard intricacy of modern day football, the stats, the biometrics, the analysis of play. I bet there was a file of crap on Manchester City, graphs, stats, little dots representing this player and that player. It’s all empirical and slick. But it doesn’t mean anything at all when the team have forgotten who the fuck they are. They have forgotten what it’s like to have any fight, any passion. This is a bit mental for me to deal with and for others. What’s the state of the fanbase? Flakies are battling the Generation Z boys on Social Media. There’s a Nuno out groove albeit a bit thick and messy at the moment. Good luck with that, There’s also the predictable targeting of players including young Owen whose photo you see up there at the top I hope. Traore is getting some neck as is Coady. Always has to be a target. Always has to be a single player singled out for some angst, always has to be some poor bastard cornered in the bogs so you can give him a quick shoeing, make your own life seem a bit better. I can’t single out anyone for a negative review. It’s all been a bit shit to be honest.
But the plan or the idea is always there, and it can be a good plan but if it’s enacted by players who have forgotten who they are yet alone how to play football then the plan just becomes another load of A4 printed shite to bung in the bin at Compton. Because football isn’t only about plans, ideas, strategies. It’s also about having an identity and the team, Fosun, Nuno, they have that. It was here ready made for them when they rolled into Town. Wolves, there aren’t many sides with a history as rich as ours, a legacy also. Wrap that up with a half insane passionate fanbase like ours and a brand that could be sold around the world and it’s all win-win isn’t it? No. Who are you Wolves? What has happened to you? I suspect a few things. One of them is that our owners don’t talk to us. We never hear anything from Fosun apart from short clipped statements from the media team. What are the plans for ‘our’ club? What are your thoughts? Could we have Jeff talking a bit? So we could debate what he said and add our own input? What are the plans going forwards? What are we doing? This is a time when we could could do with some passionate even dispassionate response from Wolves. Anything please, but no more shiny fucking videos please, just meat and veg chats. Something solid to get our teeth into.
I know it’s a transitional season and we should mentally write it off but even within a virus laden season such as this we would expect our team to go out and have a go at Manchester City. Close people down, have a nibble at them, take the piss a bit. We have great players and most of them can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the City team. Know that they are no better than us in many respects because we’ve beaten them before. With style and fight. We lack that fight now. I’ve watched this apathy creeping into the side over the last few months. Reflected in that inability to gather themselves to get the ball back. These are Wolves with fat full bellies now rolling around in the sun, digesting, sleepy. They have forgotten what it’s like to fight and battle. Winning is a positive but I could deal with a loss like that if we fought. But it wasn’t that at all. It was a capitulation. Manchester City tickled our bellies and we rolled over like fat puppies.
If we were there it would have been much different but that’s not an excuse. These are highly paid players who have just forgotten the way of the Wolf. They have forgotten how to enjoy their football and they have forgotten that snotty kid inside of them that kicked a dusty football around in their yard and dreamed about playing top flight football. Not hungery, not inspired, not really engaged. They could have hit City hard if that modus operandii was flowing in their heads. Instead, I think they had probably lost this game before they even started it. That apathy grows fast and it is very contagious…what are the fixes?
I’m not sure. How do you motivate players on thick long contracts? How do you get them consolidated with a mission statement that energises them to actually play football like they used to? Have certain players got an inkling that they may be off? Nuno isn’t a Coach to suffer fools gladly. You don’t play by the Nuno way then you are gone. Not good enough? Goodbye. There isn’t any special love flowing around Compton. I don’t think there’s some sort of cosy atmosphere where they get comfortable and puppy fat. Who are you Wolves? We, the fans, those dickheads in the stands know how to battle. We do it every day. Paying bills, dealing with the Virus, dealing with the kids, putting food on the table, keeping things flowing and alive and it’s constant and to tell you the truth our victories are little things like the car passing the MOT or tooferwan offers in Tesco. Are you not inspired by your jobs that you do? Neither are we, but every day we get up and forge into the day with a smile and the hope that today will be the day. Battling, fighting, always and if we get tired we have mates that will rally around to support and help. But the whole Wolves idea is one that’s been a bit battered lately and has made us feel a bit weird again because we’ve been here before and we know that sometimes feelings like this tend to reflect a wider malaise and promise great football hardships to come and to be honest I think Wolves fans have been smacked around enough this season to deal with it. Who are Wolves? I think the club have forgot, I think the players have forgotten too. We haven’t got much of a choice as we are Wolves and always will be, we live and die here. This is all we have really.
My advice (as dysfunctional as it is) is this. Wolves….please remember that football is supposed to be fun. It’s a game. Take on board the tactics and the empirical crap all you want. It’s handy, it’s the modern way. It can give you an edge if you are on par with your opponent. If they are as good as you. It can be that sliver of daylight between you and can sometimes define a win and three points. But something more important is a deeper more metaphysical aspect of playing and that is that this is a battle, it’s combat that has been toned down so much that it rarely breaks into 22 man fist fights. But it’s still combat, it’s still war and you have to start swinging those fists around (metaphorically) you have to get a bit of madness, a bit of anger in there. Two dimensional thinking football will not win most games. Games are won by an episode of individual madness, a ball played unexpectedly to player A then to player B who isn’t supposed to be there according to the crib sheet but he is and wow, ball in the net. Goal. Brilliant. Go again. Forget about us for a while, forget about the History of the club, forget about Fosun even forget about Nuno. This is all about you as an individual player. Remember the kick arounds you had as a kid. Remember why you love football and let that love flow out on the pitch. Analyse the football with your brain but play with your fucking hearts. You have let us down in our derbies so far this year. I haven’t written about either of them because the Police would probably get involved and I don’t want steroid pumped Feds at my door poking their beards around. But sort Villa out for me this week please. Give us something at least.
Owen Otasowie. I am sorry you had to join this game and be involved in it. My advice to you is to forget it at once. This was not a normal night by any means and I don’t want your mind to be infected by the outbreak of bad football you were thrown into last night. We have watched and discussed you at length and are mightily pleased at what we have seen. You will have a good future here I think (and hope) so let me throw you some love.
Well Wolves. The staff have been told not to go to the toilets for half an hour so we can get in there and blow some of the shit and crud away. It’s raining a bit. I’ve got half a Kit Kat to eat later. Try and play some bloody football next week eh?