Yes. That familiar feeling. Deep down in your belly, it rumbles and makes you feel a bit sick. Trepidation that everything is about to go tits up at the Wolves again. Something we ‘Wolves fans’ us ‘Legacy partners’ know very well. Of course the new customers at Wolves world won’t have experienced this pain. You will see them wondering around outside the Molineux, milling about around the FanZone where they wonder what the fuck they are supposed to do now. They paid their money, bought the crap shirts, spent their money in the club shop, followed Miami Dave and Dazzling Dave on the socials and on YouTube. But they don’t really know what to do.
We do of course. Me and you, the blokes and women that have been here for what seems an eternity. Going through that crap, well, you can wax lyrics about it to each other. Us real Wolves fans have a support network you see, where we can vent our angst at each other, discuss stuff, the team, the policy, the way forwards. These discussions wont take place in Fanzones and Youtube accounts. They will be made over watery lager in Mcghees, the Duke of York, the Old Still or on the socials later where we know who to listen to and who to mute.
I’m standing and watching the Toney and Marcal show. Marcal is acting like a tight fitting tshirt to Toney. In the first instance Marcal is pulling Toney around and it’s funny, it’s just what we want. A bit of animal. It’s good. The Ref blows his whistle and comes over to have a word. I see Toney talking to the Referee. I can lip read a bit as I’m a bit deaf.
“Ref watch him….he’s all over me….just watch him….Ref, watch him’ and of course as the ball comes back into the box all the Ref is doing is watching Marcal, the Refs hand is holding a whistle ready to blow. It was a penalty before the ball came back in. The Ref just waited and Marcal again started to pull, twist, tread on feet, to wrestle Toney away from getting a head on it. The Ref see’s enough and he blows. Penalty.
The Officiating was awful again of course. The quality of Officials has deteriorated massively over the past few years. Again we see this on our pitch, in our ground and we again are on the revieving end of it. I hope Brentford go down. It will be a brilliant thing for me. The Premier League has enough problems without this kind of crap. Endless falling on the ground in the middle of a Wolves attack. I mean endless. Brentford players were flopping around like Spiceheads in the town. Gargling and writhing in pain, then seconds later leaping around like Salmon. It was horrible to watch. It was horrible to see a few of their players wink and laugh at the crowd in the South Bank. They knew what they were doing and they did it brilliantly. But it’s not football my friends.
Seeing as we are customers and the team we supported are now a brand, I guess that makes us consumers now. I suppose as well we can now critique the product free from any kind of allegiance that we had before. There is a big split now in how we perceive the brand. On the one hand we can operate under the fallacy that we are something to do with the club on a metaphysical level. That somehow FosunWolves and us have similar goals and hopes. On the other is the dawning realisation that really we have nothing at all to do with the product at all and Wolves are really becoming some sort of abstract entity. It looks shiny for sure. We have absolutely brilliant football players who if I was managing a football team I would snap up without a seconds thought. When we play ball we play with a flair that I haven’t seen for years down there. But we don’t really play as a team much now. Instead we have eleven individuals who are basically playing their own game and sometimes elements of their game will overlap with a few of their team mates and everything seems good and wholesome. But this happens rarely now and the darkness in our hearts, which is always there is coming out, getting stronger, biting away at the few tendrils of hope that we had when Bruno came.
This Senior management team are shit. Jeff has dropped a massive bollock taking them on. Now when we look at aspects of the day to day running of the club we see that things are going tits up at an accelerating pace. Ticket cock ups, Merch cock ups, Communication cock ups, trainer shoes, Jeff Shi’s high pitched mumbling and sticking metaphorical plasters over open wounds. Shut up. Buy stuff. Look at our Cruise ship partners when many of our fanbase can’t afford a week in Barmouth. Look at our range of merch which looks like it’s been designed by a 13 year old with an Apple Mac and a brief written on a take away menu. Tickets not arriving, phone calls not being answered, merch turning up weeks late, tickets not working at the turnstiles. The team slowly soaking up the darkness that permeates the corridors of Molineux.
The transfer window was a mess like pretty much the previous seven or so I read on the socials. Nothing was changed, everything stayed the same. The shape of the team was static and unmoved by the few players we collected. Things seemed like the ghost of Nuno still wailed down the corridors at Trumpton….sorry Compton. What Wolves needed desperately was a world class Coach who could work with extremely limited resources, who could galvanise the squad by pure management skill. I don’t think Bruno Lage is that man to be honest, not yet any way. Perhaps if given resources and cash he might just keep us up this season but things are going to be very tight. I don’t have the loyalty to the brand or the staff at Molineux any more to be honest. The team, always. 100% support through thick and thin but I’m also a realist now. Gone is the ascendant and positive metaphysics of my slathering love and words on backing the abstract ministrations of the Board and senior management. They talk beautiful words on how the team is preparing and even have some about how the future will look but I don’t believe any of that any more. I want to see concrete things in front of my eyes. Victories in football games for a start. I can even deal with defeats as well, it’s a sport and we will lose games, but what I can’t deal with is capitulations and stupidity like we saw yesterday. It was fucking awful. One match where we looked kind of like a team, we scrounge a win at Watford, we don’t look great but it’s a win. Then the next match we capitulate to a team full of shithouses, a team that has a defence that’s Championship quality. A Gonk team.
It’s magic tile time now where we move players in and out of the system. Put him there and he can go over there, play so and so in that position, get rid of him, replace with that one then move him over there. But it’s just jerking off over Pornhub again. It’s really nothing to do with us any more. Fosun consolidate the idea of what the product will look like and we are just supposed to suck it up. Bruno is the fall guy who has to work with this dispirited bunch, we are the people that watch and shake our heads plodding disconsolately back up to Town dodging the subway Crackheads and bad Bob Dylans. Funny that the guitarist in the subway was wailing ‘The Times They Are a-changing’ when me and Little Andy walked through on the way to the game.
How will things change? In the next few months Fosun are going to start having to pay big fees for these players they have brought in. This is big investment money and to be honest I think they have spent in the wrong places. I think they have been bamboozled by the team that Jeff has created and I think (suspect) that Jeff has lost the plot. Fosun Godfathers will be looking closely at what is happening at Wolves and they wont be pleased. But it’s ok producing a product and a brand to sell but who wants a shoddy product like this? ‘Legacy fans’ like us, who Jeff and Co hate with a passion will turn up regardless. We are Wolverhampton Wanderers fans. It’s what we do, turn up, watch the team, wax some lyrics and wait until the next match. We are a captive audience but also a very clever one. We have seen it all over the years. We know this darkness intimately. Others not so much. At the end of the match boos. Some of it was at Brentford and was deserved but I say this, some of it was directed at Jeff and the Board and the toxic Molineux has started to grow and poke it’s head through the cracks.
Our job of course is to close ranks again. We have done this much over the years. Nothing we say or do will affect any day to day running of the club. Nothing we wax about will be held in any regard by the team, the staff or the management team. Jeff doesn’t care what we think as long as our money keeps trickling into the club. The only thing that matters to us is how the team play their football and how we show our support. At this moment I still think Bruno can just about turn it around and keep us competitive. We have quality players who have forgotten that football is really about the team and how they bounce of each other and communicate. I am sure they will come good, I am sure that Bruno will have an epiphany of sorts as he tries to galvanise this dispirited bunch of players. Who will hold their nerve longer? Fosun or us? When will the consumers at Molineux decide the product isn’t fit for purpose any more and voice that disquiet? Will Bruno still be here at Christmas? Will Jeff? Will Miami Dave?