The Bloggers’ Ball 2017

To all those who attended and survived…I salute you.

And to all those who missed out – like The Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 or the first Sex Pistols gig or when we beat Arsenal 5-1 in the snow – in years to come you’ll be saying:-

“Oh Yeah! Bloggers’ Ballbash 2017? I was there alright. A Classic!”

And so it was.

My particular Ballbash started on Friday when we drove up from Bournemouth to APV and met Clive.

And finished on Monday morning with a quick outing to the Molineux Megastore.

The days in between are starting to fade into a warm, comfortable glow but I’ve been told by the PMDG’er that I enjoyed them.

I’m not going to go into too much written detail because the * film that I’ve cobbled together pretty much sums up the time that we bloggers spent putting the World – and the Wolves – to rights.

* Warning! Contains strong language and scenes that might be disturbing to those of a nervous disposition.

Suffice to say it was a privilege to have spent some quality time with some old friends and some new faces who, hopefully, will come again and become part of the band of brothers that are renowned throughout the land. Or bloody well should be anyway.

And it was an absolute honour to be entertained by Steve Daley and Willie Carr – what a coup that was!

Many thanks to Brompton and Stu for setting it all up. Top men!

Another point, that the PMDG’er has just made to me. The Bloggers’ Ball is as much for the Bloggettes as the Bloggers. Wives and girlfriends are welcome and the ones who attended last weekend all had a blast.

Come along and see.

I was looking for some best or worst memories of being a Wolves fan over the years and managed to get a few on film but some people were too shy, or too fed up with me poking a camera in their faces, to comment.

If you would have liked to have contributed and I missed you, I’m sorry, but “we’d all had a drink”…

…and there’s always next year.

Give us a new blog

As the comments on Ben’s minutes gradually slide downhill from witty pertinence – mine of course lol – through slight irrelevance, to downright ridiculous – I’ll leave you to decide whose contributions fit the last two descriptions – the shouts have got louder.

No specific reason for using this picture

No specific reason for using this picture

This last thread has celebrated its month long vigil on the Wolves Blog and seen:- us out of Europe, my pond officially opened by the Twixfixes, a fat tart headlining Glastonbury (not Mr Moxey), nice Mr Cameron resigning, Little Jimmy Krankie threatening another referendum, half the shadow cabinet throwing their toys out of the pram and Jeremy Corbyn… well… doing absolutely bugger all as always.

We desperately need ‘Something Wolves’ to talk about and pick apart.

The trouble is, pretty much the same as with most close seasons or transfer windows, there’s NOTHING happening.

We’re linked with this player and have shown interest in that player and we’re having trouble getting a work permit for the other. We’re being bought by this multi gazillionaire and that ex rock star is interested in having his two pennyworth.

Yawn!

Give us a break!!

Or rather don’t give us a break, give us something to talk about, something to look forward to, something to give us hope that next season isn’t going to be a Groundhog Day of this last one.

I was on the blower to Scooped the other evening, and I said to him that we needed a new blog and he replied that Thomas and Ben were up to their necks in work and until there’s some concrete news about the Club they can’t afford the time to come up with an idea for one just for the sake of it.

I understand where they are coming from.

He also said “You want a new blog, why not write one yourself?”. That’s not an exact quote, I’ve left out a few expletives.

So I had a think and tried to come up with a few ideas.

How about picking eleven ex Wolves players who are representing their countries in the Euros and seeing if they would beat the present team?

I started off with Hennessy, Vokes, Ward, Edwards, Keane, then then I thought “Well, Edwards is already part of our team, how can he play against himself?” Then I got bored and wandered off to look at my lovely pond.

Then I thought of what’s the worst form of torture we could all come up with for certain portly CEOs.

But I guess it’s obvious. Having to watch the Wolves next season if we don’t get some new players.

In the end, I knocked it on the head.

But I think Scooped was right.

It’s not easy coming up with ideas for new blogs.

If you lot want a new thread, one of you come up with an idea!

Bloggers’ Ball 2016

It”s that time of year again.

Season done. Hopes and dreams locked away once more until next time.

After all the dust has settled and we are sitting on the beach with our hankies on our heads, Money Shop monogrammed budgie smugglers barely covering our naughty bits and our skin turning the colour of Steve Morgan’s face after we’ve just been stuffed 5-1 at home by the saddos from sandwell, what have we got to show for a season that started with such high hopes and ended as flat as a witches tit?

Sod all really.

Injuries, departures, crass decisions in high places and insipid performances on the pitch have left us all feeling completely underwhelmed.

Is there any happy memory that we can look back on and treasure over the close season?

Oh! Yes!

The Third Annual Bloggers’ Ball!

It was blessed, as the two previous have been, with a perfect Spring day. The Park View was bathed in sunshine as the Bloggers arrived for a pre-match quickie.

It was so good to meet up with the regulars again. It’s odd to think that some of us have only met a couple of times but I count you all as good mates.

There were some new faces too, which was good to see, but let’s have more next year Eh?

As everybody who has attended a BB knows, it’s not a posh get together for an elite few (have you seen Clive’s table manners?). It’s just a few mates having a quiet drink before the match, a slightly less quiet drink after the match and a rather noisy nosh in the evening for those who choose.

..Oh! And I think that there might be some football involved as well. Although, on the evidence of the season just finished, I’m not too sure about that.

I’m going to keep this short so I won’t list all who were there. Suffice to say we enjoyed a few beers, some lively conversation and the company of a few Sheffield Wednesday fans who breezed in and turned out to be almost human.

And they said that they’d let us win just to make our day.

The evening meal was good fun but the silly tie competition was a bit of a damp squib. Clive’s was unrepeatable, Stu Wolf’s was unelectable, TwixFixes was uneatable and mine was unplayable – two thirds passed on to the great Bloggers’ Ball in the sky and one with dodgy knees.

Sunday morning saw the ones who had stayed the night, playing ‘Hunt the Clive’ over breakfast.

We’re still looking, he must have hidden well.

As always, yours truly was there to make sure that some of the proceedings were immortalised on film for future generations to marvel at.

And, as always, yours truly had a bit of trouble doing it. The sound, in places, leaves a lot to be desired (as does the cast). Apologies for that

But it’s here and on general release with a PG rating. (Puerile Gobbledygook). So watch and enjoy.

It only remains for me to thank all bloggers for their contributions over the season, especially Thomas for keeping the thing going under huge pressure of work, Ben Rasmin for his welcome and erudite match reports and Ben for keeping the faith and attending the Wolves Parliament meetings.

And on a very personal note, I am now clear of the cancer that affected my right tonsil and on the road back to what passes for normality in the DOOGooder household. I have received loads of support from family and friends over several months of complete hell and I thank all of you who have telephoned me with good wishes, sent get well cards (and cartoons, you have a very talented husband Border Wolf!) or messages on the blog.

They were all received with grateful thanks and helped me through a very dark night time of the soul.

It’s put a lot of things into perspective for me.

Whatever happens next season, it’s only football and, in the great scheme of things, matters little.

Oh! If only I could believe that!

Bloggers’ Ball II – The Party in the park

Well – that’s it then.

It’s all over for another year.

Another Bloggers’ Ball has come and gone.

Clive has disappeared back across the water from whence he came and the rest of us are kicking over the ashes of a season that promised so much but in the end delivered what most of us, if we’re being honest, expected.

But over the course of the year the pride in our team, which we rediscovered last season after two years of humiliation, blossomed in our breasts.

And the growing affection which we feel for Kenny Jackett warmed our cockles.

Well, it certainly did for me and the PMDG’er!

A play off place was so tantalisingly close. How many of us over the last few weeks of the season said that it could well come down to goal difference?

Who are you going to blame?

The players, who probably all made mistakes at one time or another which cost us points?

The Head Coach, who perhaps got his selection wrong on a couple of occasions?

The owner and CEO who had the chance to strengthen the squad when we were top of the league, but didn’t?

When all is said and done, the finger of blame can’t really be pointed in any one direction.

Best to recognise it as a brave collective effort that fell just short.

The one thing which has remained constant for me in this season of ultimate disappointment is the blog – which never disappoints.

Most of you have already done it but I’d like to add my thanks to Thomas and Ben for all their work on the blog and Ben for his time spent trying to get the truth out of our esteemed CEO at the Fans’ Parliament.

I expect you will all be delighted to know that I’ve put together another epic movie that I shot mostly on location (at the Park View Hotel) and mostly under the influence (of a variety of liquids) which attempts to encapsulate the weekend spent with Clive, and the latest Bloggers’ Ball.

Getting together with some of you lot has been a real pleasure for me. It’s great to be able to meet a fellow contributor in person and tell him to his face what a load of old cobblers he spouts on the blog.

Also, a mention to Mr & Mrs Twixfix who couldn’t make it this year because of long standing holiday arrangements.

Seriously guys! Get your priorities right!!

You’re lucky I slipped in couple of seconds of you at a previous meet just so you don’t feel too left out.

Some of us travel a fair old way for our gathering – I’m not going to list everyone, you know who you are – but a special mention has to go to Clive and Clemens for going way above and beyond the call of duty.

And on Saturday one of our number made a solo journey from Oxford, by train… in an electric wheelchair!

Big respect to Jerryd!

I apologise profusely to any of you who attended either the pre match or post match gathering and don’t appear on this masterpiece of moviemaking.

I’ve only had the camera about four years and I still can’t quite get to grips with the on/off switch.

Sorry about that.

Plus, when I’m filming I’m not chatting.

And I like a chat.

Otherwise, I hope you’ll find it’s a diverting little piece.

One more thing. Some people might have got the impression that these Bloggers’ get togethers are only for an elite few.

Elite?!

Have you seen some of the characters on this film?

Next time we want more.

I’d like to think that we might arrange something for the first home match of the season, so mark it down in your Official Wolves Yearbook. Available at all reputable Wolves Megastores.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to master the camera so we can get all the faces in the frame.

Until then – Have good Summers all – and happy Blogging!

One day like this a year will see me right

Now the Molineux has emptied, all the tears have dried and my throat has just about recovered from the shouting, it’s time to reflect on a day that will live in my memory until the minute that I finally unlace my size twelves and hang them on the dressing room wall next to those of the Wolves legends that have passed into history.

I’d like to think they would be between the Doog’s and Waggy’s with Frankie Munro’s and Billy Wright’s close by.

But I’ll probably end up in the boot room with a brush and a tin of dubbin in my hand.

Never mind – I digress.

The day started with the usual excellent Park View brekker followed by a walk across a frosty West Park to get a paper and say hello to the ducks.

At around mid day, the bloggers started to assemble and the bar was soon full of the babble of happy people and their witty repartee.

(I don’t know who they were but we soon got rid of them).

A mix of the usual suspects and some new faces turned up and there was I, like some latter day Fellini, moving among them with my video camera.

Unfortunately, due to a mix up between me and the on-off switch, most of the proceedings were filmed from inside my trouser pocket.

More Frank Spencer than Fellini.

A couple of pints of ‘Shipyard’ later it was off to the Mol.

It could usually quite truthfully be said of messrs Morgan and Moxey that they couldn’t organise a Binge in the Banks’ Brewery, but the tribute to Sir Jack before the match hit exactly the right note and the whole of a rammed Molineux responded to it brilliantly.

All of us in the Steve Bull had to hold up cards to spell out Sir Jack’s name. I think that a fan from Sandwell must have sneaked in because the man in front of me was holding his card back to front and upside down.

The match, as has already been said, was largely frustrating. A couple of notable highlights included a certain ex player getting kicked up in the air and booked.

But it ended in the most perfect way.

If we had scored in the first minute and then just played out the following eighty nine, it would have been a bit of an anti climax.

We don’t do that at the Wolves.

To score two in the last five minutes ensured that we all went home on a big, big high.

I was talking to the PMDG’er over dinner later that evening and she said how much she enjoyed chatting to the bloggers’ other halves.

She suggested that they should be called BWAGS – or BWAGGIES.

I don’t know what you think, Clive, but I reckon Sir Jack would have approved.

The best a fan can get

It seems like only last week that we were celebrating a record breaking season for the boys in Old Gold.

Macca

Now that the new campaign is nearly upon us we’re all hoping for similar success this year.

The sky’s the limit….

…Isn’t it?

Rumours like the one that is doing the rounds at the moment about Aston Villa and Danny Batth have brought me back to the the reality that comes with operating in the higher echelons of the football pyramid.

English Premier League clubs continue to escalate the ridiculous sums of money paid for, and to, average footballers who, in spite of signing long term contracts and swearing loyalty to the badge, everyone knows will be off somewhere else as soon as their agents can persuade some other club to fork out a few £K a week more for their greedy, tattoo covered clients.

I’m not putting Danny Batth into that category, but I think you all know the point I am trying to make.

The big clubs think they can take who they want – and they invariably do. Money talks.

And that raises a question that we have all asked in the past.

How prepared are Steve Morgan and Jez Moxey to invest in the future of Wolverhampton Wanderers?

Keeping the gold flag flying high at the Forever Sun festival.

Keeping the gold flag flying high at the Forever Sun festival.

Last season Kenny Jackett blew a hurricane force breath of fresh air through our club, without spending shedloads of Morgan’s money, and his inspired leadership, together with Kevin Thelwell’s astute judgement of players’ potential, built a side from the ashes of previous regimes’ ‘Bonfire of the vanities’ that made us all proud to be Wolves supporters again.

They played a brand of football that would have seemed impossible a few short months ago.
They played with freedom.
They played with confidence.
They played with skill…
And they played as A TEAM.

I can’t remember enjoying a season so much since Bully’s heyday.

Now we stand on the threshold of a new season, with high expectations of establishing ourselves in The Championship and no little hope that we might just challenge for promotion.

This is where I start to worry.

If we get promoted to the Premier League what, realistically, will we be able to achieve?

Transfer fees and players’ wages are increasing year on year.

Small clubs, like Hull City have spent nearly £20M on a couple of new signings and even smaller ones like the one from Sandwell which I can’t name here, have apparently spent £12.6M on some guy I’ve never heard of.

Neither of the Clubs I’ve just mentioned are going to be challenging for honours. Their aim is purely to stay in the Premiership and keep picking up the huge amounts of dosh that are being flung their way.

Over the course of the season they might manage ten wins if they are lucky and their fans will probably see them get humiliated quite a number of times.

I would love to see the team that KJ has built take the Championship by storm and, a bit like Southampton did, make their mark in the Premiership.

But if they start to struggle……

Will Steve Morgan be prepared to risk big money to try and ensure promotion or avoid the drop?

If so, what effect will bringing in ‘big name’ players have on the Wolves ‘family’ that Kenny has fathered.

Finally, if we get close to promotion but just miss out, how many of our team will be headhunted by clubs who have had a chance to see them playing at a higher level?

You can call me a pessimist if you like (you wouldn’t be the first) but there is a distinct possibility that last season will be the best it will get for us fans and the club that we love.

I desperately hope not.

I hope that Kenny will carry on building, and being allowed to build, another great Wolves team to rank among the ones that us older bloggers remember.

The potential is there for Wolverhampton Wanderers to achieve virtually whatever they want.

But if it doesn’t happen, treasure the memories of last season.

I know I will.