The media has been awash with Wolves’ recent history this week. The returning Mick McCarthy, Dave Edwards popped in, Paul Lambert piped up and George Saville was announced as the second best player in the Championship this season. It only needed Dean Saunders to announce his purchase of a Redrow home and Eggert Jonsson to stand in Wolverhampton City Centre doing the Icelandic Thunderclap and all of us Wolves fans would have been running for cover, fearing a Crusade from the Ghosts of Wolves Past.
It’s all been a bit odd, a bit bare on Nuno’s Wolves this week though. Perhaps this is where all those insignificants thought they could seize their opportunity for some publicity. To try and bring us fans back down to Earth, remind us of our ‘rightful place’, wallowing in the mediocrity that the aforementioned characters brought with them. McCarthy is arguably the one exception to that group but even he couldn’t quite evade the Championship and its vice-like grip. The quiet surrounding Molineux may be quite apt though, as a flurry of fixtures over the next week or so suggests a storm is brewing.
Can you think of a more suitable combination than Mick McCarthy and Ipswich Town? Ipswich, that of 16 consecutive years in the second-flight, a team that was even here when it used to be called Division One. Here Mick can be all of his favourite things: ‘belligerent’, ‘stubborn’, ‘an old b*****d’. He can even stick his two fingers up at the fans and get away with it, safe in the knowledge that he is safe, due to his knowledge of this godforsaken league.
The game kicked off and there was something quite nostalgic about seeing McCarthy and Terry Connor being on the sideline. I spotted that TC hadn’t brought his trusty clipboard with him though. The game took the course many would have expected – Wolves in possession and Ipswich running around furiously to stop us playing our game. They certainly didn’t take the Sunderland approach to the game but the gist was always to spoil. The problem with that is that chasing a football for 90 minutes can become quite tiresome.
We weren’t at our best. They were obdurate opponents who made life difficult. But our quality was always eventually going to come through. Ivan Cavaleiro is a mercurial talent. But he maintains that one trait you cannot instil in any footballer – the ability to win football matches. He’s an X Factor player, a gameturner, a man who can flip a game on its head with a first touch and a curled finish, nestling into the bottom corner of the net.
It wasn’t a good game of football. Ipswich seemed so engrossed in the idea of stopping us play, they forgot they were 1-0 down and almost didn’t lay any kind of siege on our goal at all. Our conveyor belt of clean sheets keeps rolling on though. Call us Daz because our sheets come out whiter than white. We are now a relentless winning machine, the kind of which brings out an odd kind of support. An expectant support that almost needs beckoning to the party. Out of necessity I sit in the Billy Wright and when the chorus went round the ground from each stand we stayed true to form and prompted hush all around. For the first time in years we have a team deserving of raucous, fervent support and here we are standing on ceremony, celebrating goals with an air of arrogance that belies what we’ve experienced in recent seasons. This a truly great team at this level – so let’s enjoy it properly. Why do we need to be coaxed into involvement? Nuno was right – we should supporting this team properly from minute 1 to 90. They deserve it.
And so Nuno exorcises another demon in the form of the McCarthy factor. He’s had his day. The people mentioned in the first paragraph have had theirS. This isn’t a time for reminiscing now. We must only look forward. 7 points clear at the top of the table at Christmas on a record points tally. We are the real deal. 1-0 to the Wanderers. It’ll be a song soon.
Prior to the Ipswich game I met with The Old Gold and Black Youtube channel to discuss my thoughts on the season so far. You can catch that at the link below:
Merry Christmas to one and all. Love from Santo Claus