Sunday, March 11, 2007


Heaven is at Molineux and that's where we come from

Is it really two and a half years since I last travelled to Molineux? On a lovely September day in 2004, I watched Wolves snatch a point in the dying minutes from soon-to-be-mighty Wigan.
The team today had definitely changed from back then - Paul Jones and Newton had yet to move to London; Naylor and Miller were still waiting on their Scottish call-up and Cooper hadn't crossed the border into Wales; Lescott and Seol Ki-Hyeon continued to assume that they would play in the Prem with Wolves instead of Everton and Reading respectively; Ince still had aspirations to manage Wolves; Clarke, Cameron and Sturridge continued to warm the bench). The team of 2004/5 managed 64 points from 46 games, something the team of 2006/7 passed today with 9 games left to go. Good times, good times.

Other things have changed too. They don't play "Hi Ho Silver Lining" anymore (except on the telephone queue for the ticket office). They do have boy bands and female dancers (word of advice - "sports-bras").

As usual, I took loads of photos and barely a handful were any good. I'm either concentrating on the game or the speed (lack of, rather) of the camera means the action has already moved on. For example, here is the impressive Matt Murray taking control of the ball:

Here's Michael Kightly doing a sort of dance. In fact I had quite a few photos of players in weird postures.

One problem caused by being a fairweather fan is that, although I may be able to list the starting 11, I have no idea what most of the players look like...

but I quickly picked up the fact that the blond kid was Andrew Keogh:

Mad scramble as the corner kick comes in:

The game went well and I am still surprised that we won and that Wolves are now 4th in the division. The Baggies seemed to have the stronger side - physically larger and faster - but they just couldn't get past Matt Murray today. West Brom also had a disappointing tendency to fly to the ground at the slightest touch - I assume this was something they picked up whilst in the Prem - and the ref eventually brought out a yellow card when he had seen enough dives. Pity he wasn't as generous with the penalty calls although Wolves' record with converting these into goals is not great.

On the way out, I noticed they'd erected an impressive wall of iron to prevent local fans having a pop at the departing visitors:

The temporary wall was effectively extended across the road via police vans, human bodies and finally the Snack Shack, famed purveyor of hot dogs and burgers:

Talking of Keogh (as I was earlier), don't you want to tell him to put his tie on properly like he was still at school? Maybe I'm getting too old...

He does make up for it with one of the most useful autograph styles:

Which reminds me - I stepped in front of someone to put the programme on the wall so I could tidy up my bag. He said "do you want me?", meaning for an autograph. Not being too quick off the mark, I said "no". Of course, once I realised he was a player (whom I obviously didn't recognise anyway - Seyi, maybe?), I was too embarassed to approach him later.

Hopefully I have this correctly identified as Jay Bothroyd, match winner and style'n'bling guru.

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