Well it happened didn’t it? How do we feel? Numb? Upset? Happy? Loads of emotions I bet. I don’t think I remember a Manager of Wolves having such love. Kenny Jacket maybe. Not as much love as Nuno for sure. So Nuno is off to other pastures. I was quite Stoical about it you know. Of course there are times when new forms and ideas have to be presented. Wolves were in some sort of a football rut. We just aren’t firing on all cylinders. We could tell last season that things weren’t quite moving the way they should. What the reasons are…well they are beyond me. What do I know? Yes, everything was dead cool. The way I deal with this type of pain is to laugh it off, pretend that nothing is wrong, laugh about it even. Nuno eh? Who gives a fuck about Nuno, Wolves are what is important. Then of course all that pent up grief at this news will get triggered at some point. So when Conor Coady was talking about Nuno yesterday for the cameras…well that was it. A twitch started in my cheek and everything went out of focus and I blubbed good and hard. Cried and cried myself into a massive snotty mess. But why? It was partly Nuno going. I loved him and still do. I would have thrown myself under a Bus if he had asked…well I wouldn’t but you know what I mean. For a bloke as private and as hidden as him…well how did he get in our hearts? We never knew him. Coady was upset and I love Conor, I wanted to put an arm around him and protect him out there in front of those cameras. I know why Conor was emotional, he understood Nuno. He is a Nuno man and I am a Nuno man. Now we have to try and work out the territory of the Post Nuno Wolves. What was Nuno?
We shared something for sure. His emotive energy went into the Fosun project which rapidly became his project too. The project being the success of our club. As much as it seemed abstract that we were in the grip of victories against opponent after opponent there was still amazement at it, a lack of belief that we were at last among the bigguns. Plus we were taking the piss out of them. We had a Nuno…nobody else had a Nuno, but we did. We trusted him, loved him. What is this madness? His departure? Why? We still don’t really know and that void is deep and filled with all manner of rubbish. We pick through it on Social media trying to find a reason, a method to this madness. This is Nunos team, how will they react? What will be the zeitgeist in the new season?
Nuno was a Stoic. That branch of Philosophy attractive to those that are damaged by the world. Nuno was this Stoical personality. There was no leeway in his method. It was his way or no way. A story I heard early on was his rant on the fields at Compton when he asked that a few trees be chopped down to let more light onto the pitch or something. You can’t Nuno, they are protected trees. “I can get get 20 Gypsies to cut the trees down!” he ranted. I laughed at the time but now that rant seems like a precursor I missed. That was where the adaptability of the idea floundered. There was no adapting, no tactility, no flexibility in Nunos idea. Everything was black or white. That Stoical mindset also permeated team selection. It wasn’t loyalty to players I don’t think but pure Nuno. The trouble is, you need players who will stand tall and work to whatever conditions or philosophy the Coach wants and to be honest I don’t think that was there….but who knows really? It’s a mystery and a conundrum as much as Nuno is.
Now there has to be some sort of rebuilding of mindsets. Especially among Wolves fans. The next Coach will be an Idealist not a Stoic. A polar opposite of what Nuno was. Now I suspect the new Coach will bring personality into the role and expect the same within his squad. I expect that attack will be the new byword for future Wolves ideas. But as much as I can wind up the words to make us look to the future I keep looking back to the past. Nostalgia is a comfort blanket for us when the present seems to painful. We regress into the days that have gone and we make our own soundtrack to those days and they seem loud and happy even if some of the days under Nuno were dark. Wembley, Southampton and later on the Burnley match. The soundtrack we listen to though is Torino, Manchester City, Spurs away, Cardiff etc. I have stories about Nuno even if I never met him myself. The way he made me feel and rejoice, cry and wail in pain. What a fucking experience he was. A totem if ever there was one for us. An outsider who came into the fold and was welcomed. An enigma, a riddle.
I will miss you Nuno. I think all of us will…the next few months are going to be crazy as fuck for us as Nuno gathers himself for maybe another crack at Management. We are still on the frontline and it’s Wolves and Wolverhampton that are the most important thing here. Now without Nuno here there is no interface between Fosun and us, just a big gap. We eye each other warily of course not quite sure who to trust or why. I think and suspect that this will be the bigger issue unearthed by Nuno going. There are still wary voices whispering about the solidity of Fosuns intent regarding Wolves. That matter is for others to ascertain of course not for me. My activism shuddered under the onslaught of our ‘One Pack’ mentality which is of course not inclusive of everybody. One Pack but thirty thousand Lone Wolfs each one with their own agenda. Perhaps the chaos of the last few months provoked it but I have my doubts. What do I see in the future? I suspect Fosun will bring in an attacking coach, a young one, an idealist like I said and a personality. Someone with a mind that isn’t afraid to cast caution to the wind and let some chaos into his team selection. I can see a Coach who isn’t afraid to blood young players and encourage them to be on the offensive throughout a game. I see more time for Morgan Gibbs White and Otasowie and throw any yungz name in there. Because the onus will be on entertainment and on the brand. What is a Wolf? Wolves attack, always. There is a chance now to build that style of football and branding on the foundations that Nuno has given us. Instead of Stoical team selection and tactics, that unmovable Nunoist mindset we shall have adaptability again, freedom, that space for players to determine their own stories entwined with the football played and the club they represent.
Evolution I suppose. Yesterday we had a fan removed from the stadium for allegedly making monkey gestures at Rio Ferdinand. How fucking stupid are you? Ferdinand offered to educate said fan on his actions. A pretty good response to be fair but one which doesn’t really answer any questions about why it happened in the first place. I know people are a bit thick…I know people are fucking nasty, but why do this on the day we say goodbye to our much loved Coach? Why do this in front of TV cameras and the world watching? Haven’t we learned anything from the past few years? Booing players taking the knee? Why? I would happily put a knee down. Not for BLM or any kind of political point scoring but because I watched a bloke killed in my town by a Cop kneeling on his neck. I’ve been choked unconscious by a Cop kneeling on my neck as have one of my mates. I kneel for everyone that either gets a knee or a baton across the head. I kneel for everyone that struggles at some point in their lives and I kneel in solidarity with them wherever they are in the world. Don’t let Molineux become a toxic place please. If you disagree with an issue then that’s your right to not partake in any physical response to it but don’t disrespect others who wish to show solidarity with it.
We need to do some serious thinking about some of the issues that have gone on within the club over the past few months and start to have a good look at ourselves if we are to move forward in any meaningful way. Evolve and fucking grow up in many respects. But I am hopeful. We are a good hearted City in the broader sense. Inclusive and welcoming…this is an errant variable in what we are as a fanbase.
Nuno…dude. Fair thee well Boss. We will always see how you are doing even if you will be far away from us. Whatever team you choose to lead next will be our second team I’m sure (if it isn’t a UK team of course). You will always have my support. You have mad me cry and laugh, and I have met some of the best people as we followed you around England. I will miss you terribly and I never wanted you to go. Everything I have written and waxed about has been about you. You inspired me every day to become better as a person because as you gave Wolverhampton some pride back it also rubbed off on us, the great unwashed. It is us who will miss you the most of course. It was us that didn’t criticise or denigrate results and the team. We always hoped that at some point things would start to gel and become good again but Fosun had other ideas and of course that is their right. Whether or not it was the correct decision we will see but it was not ours to make. But personally I give you my love and total respect always and I will hope that one day you will return and we can finally say hello to each other.
Now we have to look forwards again and try to reforge a relationship with a new Coach and probably a new team. There will be many players we love moving off to new pastures. There will be a scorched earth policy I’m sure. It is how the Chinese do things. There will be more tears and more angst, more threats, more disparaging internet bollocks. Southbank Resistance will also be changing. There will be more articles and more art, podcasts, creative stuff. As Fosun and Wolves change we have to keep up with it, we must be more tactile as a fanbase, we must be more creative as creating things is the only weapon we have against a great monolithic and abstract entity like Fosun. Nuno started the learning experience now we have to carry on where he has left us. Are you ready for this shit?
I got a bit drunk last night. I don’t drink as a rule but had a few single malts to get to sleep. I was drunk and emotional and I stood in the garden while the dogs had a slash drunkenly having a moment where I felt sorry for myself, then angry…so I started to sing Nuno had a dream, choking on the words nearly, pissed, sobbing then in the distance someone joined in. Someone in their garden, standing in the rain like me. Mad times. Made me happier.