There is a darkness in West Birmingham Albion. It’s not been put there by us or anyone else. It has been put there by themselves. The darkness is in their souls for sure. There is no joy in West Birmingham. Yesterday the rain swirled around the Hawthorns. Those swirling black sheets of cold rain were a shroud wrapped tightly around the body of WBA. Tight shrouds, loose Coaching from Allardyce. A man we should not trust. His team are defunct but the twitching of that particular corpse will still have things to say today. It will still claw for the 9mm in the belt even as the life ebbs from their fingers. Big Sams thick head is bobbling away at something. You bent git. A lot of Wolves fans like you, I don’t know why. I know what you are though Allardyce. You only really manage one side. Allardyce United. You don’t have any love for Albion. I don’t think you have love for anything. You are turning into a Lizard.
Our Little Sunny Delights from warm Europe were suffering. You could tell. But through the injury wracked Wolves squad Nuno has picked some able bodies. Young Mr Owen, Young Mr Vitinha, Young Mr Ayit….and bloody hell, fresh from Instagram is Morgan Gibbs White. Young men…and what a canvas to show Nuno what they are made of, what they are about. The fucking Hawthorns. What inspiration can you grab there? Against an Albion side that forge their football in the red hot kebab breath of Allardyce. I mean they are fully neck this Albion side. Subtle bits of quality but their descent back into the Championship is well deserved. They lack everything but Big Sams insanity. The fact that I’m looking at ‘their’ ground on the screen is weirdly annoying. I criticise everything. The seats, the pitch, the staff, all of it, picking up things to hate and despise just because it’s ‘them’.
But casting a mind back to this week it’s been fucking tough. This was a game that us Wolves fans would have been champing at the bit to attend. The kind of game where old heads would be looking for tickets. Where tempers fray on trams and punches are thrown, words exchanged, pubs are wrecked. The Albion for fucks sake. That angst was powerful. People have short tempers because this game was everything to us. You see we have to work with these bastards. I know that a lot of you newer football fans wont quite get the feeling. I mean you have some sense of the hate but it’s purely that, just a sense. Inside, we seethe with stories about the past. The punch ups on the Factory floors, the scrapping on the scaffolding on a building site. When bants become pure violence. Pure insanity. I intimated that Nuno and the team would lose much love if things would have gone bad. We wanted a response, a fight, a proper derby. Was it that? Kind of. We scored a goal at least. Fabios Holy Shin taking a leaf out of Rob Hindemarch’s golden leg. Totally shithoused lucky goal. But we take it. Fabio, the Golden child oozes quality. His hair stuck to his head, the wind blowing those chunks of locks whipping into his eyes. Still he moved and ran, he jinked and smoothly oozed his way around the Albion half. Yes young Fabio what a delight you were. You go into a sort of football ecstasy when you play. You look like you are on another planet. You scored against the Shit. The Holy Shin! When the ball went in the laptop went up, the dogs ran off, I’m nearly sobbing because I’m an emotional prick. The hair. The Golden Holy Shin!
We should have been there. How many points are we worth to our team. We would have been climbing the walls in that godforsaken place for sure. Smash it up. Screaming madness. All the stress of the previous week unleashed in a few short hours. Climbing. The. Fucking. Walls. Lose and I would have fucking hated them after last week. I would have thrown in the towel with them. Not Wolves, the players. They would have been unclean to my mind. They only have to give us one thing. A victory. Albion are lively and they see that there are gaps in our defence and our ideas. Gaps or injury eaten holes? Players shoehorned into positions. Nuno has nearly killed them this season. Nuno driving this small squad into performances that seemed lack lustre and poor. But to a squad half destroyed they were all Pyric victories in a sense. It wasn’t the fault of Nuno and his back room team that our squad has suffered so many weird defeats and seemed so dysfunctional. It was the fault of the idea. We cannot battle through a campaign with a wafer thin squad. You can not have a longevity of intent, a consistent campaign when the departure of another long term injured player departs the field. Nuno works everyone to death, he expects effort and strength to be as his own is. Insurmountable, stoic, unstoppable, if you chopped Nunos legs off during a match he would be running around on the stumps, demanding fight, action, shape, strength. These Golden children we have brought to our Town…how they throw themselves around for Nuno, they of course break down under the whip of Nuno perhaps. Maybe even the fact we have such a condensed group of players allows no quick insertion of quality to change a game. The idea becomes greater than the need to evolve and change during a game. The idea can not be changed. Stoic Nuno. Perhaps we will see a settling down of his madness. He will see that as well as organising for the next game, the next battle and maybe instead of making our ideas stronger and greater than the oppositions we could perhaps have instead of one great idea and shape…we could have lots of strong ideas and we can pick from that palette of ideas during a game to smother threat, to treat the game like a Chess game maybe.
The team certainly showed something, some fight, some effort. Semedo is growing into a brilliant player and his darting movements upfield were a joy at times. I would like to see more accurate crosses, maybe more darting runs into the angle of the box. But his growth is upwards and possibly even exponential. We haven’t met him yet. We haven’t met any of the players. They don’t know us, how can they fight for a cause they know nothing about? How can they see our insanity during such games. What fuel do they use if they don’t have us?Morgan Gibbs White is on. Now of course here is a lad that understands. He is right in there. A few runs, he nibbles away at the Albion midfield. There is physicality in him. He knows about the derby thing of course so a few Albions are reminded by him. He has done well. We have been unkind to him perhaps purely because we don’t understand him. Things have changed in the world, now it’s all about social media footprints and clicks. We don’t understand that. I remember my Grandad calling George Best a ‘long haired poof’ yes, I remember that. But Gibbs White may be our Saviour in that Midfield. Give MGW some space and he might just fill it. That studdy play, that intelligence, the rough and tumble. He’s not scared. I wish to see more of Morgan in the next few years.
Vitinha is lush. Fat runs, darting and moving. The ball is greasy, the ball skitters and runs on the slick grey grass of the West Birmingham pitch. But Vitinha is there. Is he a revelation? Not really, we kind of expect these Golden Children to explode and make the position their own. Neves, Jota, Costa. But to see it on this hellish night in the slums of Birmingham was a kind of revelation in a sense. How the fuck the team managed to pull any inspiration from this environment I don’t know. But I see Vitinha and I see Ki-Jana Hoever, Corbeanu, Cundle and Marques on the bench and I am seeing the depth of this squad slowly but surely being put into place. I see that Nuno wants that little bit of leg room when it come to tactical switching. Depth mate. Young players. Gently being eased into this madness. Gently does it. Young Mr Otasowie moving into spaces was beautiful to see as well. Good solid performance if not pretty at times but you can see the team slowly coming into shape, you can see a little bit of light. Next season is going to be intense and crazy…West Birmingham Albion will descend into the Championship redundant again despite their confused garglings about turning us over. You can win every game against us but the one thing you will never have. Hope.
It’s been insane this past few weeks. Even I at times doubted Nuno even if I could kind of hide my own pain at the results and the play it came out a few times. I doubted but I never stopped believing he could pull something together from this decimated squad. All we see in FanLand is a barely discernible tip of a bloody big ice berg of shit that goes on at Wolves. We don’t know anything really. Who knows what trials Nuno has in forging a football team out of the walking wounded at Compton. I am still a Nuno man and I will always be a Nuno man. I see the struggles, I see the pain. But when I nail my colours to a mast I don’t take them off at the sight of a storm. I cling on and I go down with the ship or weather it and greet a new dawn.
This new dawn will come next season I think. I see something in this team now. I see that they have had a few battles, a few bad days. Poor Boly still suffering from Covid, I send big Love to him. Neto, I haven’t forgotten you, Jonny, all the wounded. But things do look a lot better now after the Burnley game. Hope restored, maybe we even look forwards to the season to come. It’s going to be back up to full speed this Nuno crazy train….maybe we wont play West Birmingham for a few years now. I don’t mind that. I hate these games, they are more than football. What does the draw mean? It means we can go to work and hold our head up a bit, not grab the Albionite around the throat and duff him with whatever tool you have in your hand. Nothing explodes and no one gets sacked. A draw. My eyes are on August now. Raul and Fabio. Neto and Vitinha. Otasowie and Gibbs White. Semedo and Ayit…young men and old clubs eh.