Last Christmas a family member bought me the autobiography of noted psychopath Roy Keane.
It was a predictably colourful read covering the final moments of a fiery playing career and latterly, his transition into management.
After a bumpy start in his first coaching job at Sunderland, Keane scouted Coventry striker Stern John. He noted how every ball forward to the Trinidad and Tobago man stuck and allowed his team mates to move up the pitch.
John made the move to the Stadium of Light in January and immediately established himself as a vital cog in the machine. Sunderland lifted the Championship title in May.
In case you’re wondering, I’m labouring towards a point about the Jon Dadi Bodvarsson effect.
We should all be giddy because Wolves finally have a forward who can make it stick and in this competition that’s massive.
Stand it up high, fire it in low, lump it down the channel – all service gratefully received.
Today the Icelander was the sole representative of the new blood, surrounded by players who last season showed themselves to be toothless.
But with a ruthlessly effective target man to feed off, the likes of Mason, Wallace and Coady were transformed at St Andrew’s.
Mason in particular is loving life and his stunning finish to draw Wolves level just after half time was one of many impressive contributions.
Busy would be a good adjective to describe Mason who can infuriate by wasting the many useful positions he occupies, but with the goals starting to flow he could be the season’s bonus ball.
Jed Wallace has had a stop-start Molineux career up to now and today was the first time he’d caught my eye, often turning sharply, demonstrating a useful turn of pace and getting shots away. With time and confidence you sense he could reach much greater heights.
Utility man Conor Coady was back in his preferred position and swarming all over the Blues midfield as he did so effectively in the same fixture last season.
He too had a powerful drive turned away by Tomasz Kuszczak in a good first half showing from Wolves in which they were unlucky to find themselves trailing.
Birmingham were direct throughout. It was all crosses and long diagonals up to Clayton Donaldson, but Che Adams always looked a threat and his crisp finish was exactly what the away side had been lacking.
Walter Zenga will have been frustrated that such incisive approach play and effective counter attacking from his side wasn’t rewarded with a goal.
He needn’t have worried though, as Mason’s bullet, Batth’s close range follow-up and Bodvarsson’s thumping third more than made up for that first half indecision.
In his post match press conference the manager spoke of his desire to bring in forwards and defenders to balance the squad and for sure, both would come in handy.
At the back, Hause is still struggling to marry consistency with obvious talent and an experienced head would be a welcome addition. Luisao anyone?
Up top, the sledgehammer Bodvarsson and the reborn Mason could soon be joined by Nouha Dicko, but further competition for places is a must.
With some hard graft off the pitch before the end of Augst to accompany the relentless spirit being displayed on it – this could be a season we really make it stick.