In the space of two weeks, DEM BLADES have battled against the Birmingham Two, as I believe most people are calling them. Those battles have not gone well, but neither did it go well for Frodo throughout most of his journey to destroy the one ring and we all know how that ended up.
Aston Vile are basically just Birmingham City without Che Adams and with some pretty good players. I don’t know whether Aston are called vile due to their playing squad or not, but in Jack Grealish and John Terry, they have two of the Championship’s vilest players.
I’ve not exhausted my views on Terry, despite listing a number of reasons to dislike him in my last Vile blog. John Terry, the friend-betrayer that eats jellied babies and eel rusks – is my addition to that list. Grealish too, who I despise with 100x the force that it takes for him to go to ground, is just a skinny, moderately talented, overpaid, bi-pedal snake who is Vile’s greatest bad luck charm. I hope for his sake, the Vile don’t get promoted.
Unlike their local rivals, the Birmingham Wolfs are a tour de forced; at once successful and over-engineered in their tikka-tacca. Speaking of tours and Tikka, I enjoyed a post-match tour of the Brummie village of Wolferhampton with Dan, an old friend from university (Huddersfield, Leisure and Tourism, 2:2 Ba Hons).
Currying Favour: Streams: of consciousness and tears.
My doubly bechilded friend Dan takes me for a post-match Curry just around the corner from Molineux. He brings the less than magnanimous twins, Lily (5) and Jarrad (also 5). “They do a great naan,” Dan told me. I don’t ask how the curry is.
I shouldn’t have worried. Reveling in the post-pickle repast, I tuck into my Chicken Murgh Makhani and make peace with the 3-0 defeat. The main courses have arrived whilst Dan is in the toilet, but I am not waiting. And then – thwack! I rub the crumbs from my eyes. Lily’s laughing subsides and the blurry image becomes less blurry. Clear enough so I can make out the breaded weapon as Jarrad swings for my face once more; not the Paratha, I think loudly. The sharp shards of the layered bread gorge my eyeball. ‘‘Jarrad you shithouse! Never hit anybody in the face with a Paratha!”
My voice carries loud and true throughout the tiny Indian eatery. In this moment of literal crumb-blind panic, I wish that DEM BLADES had given me more to shout about. Had my vocal chords been properly strained, my panicked bellow might not have carried all the way to the toilets. As it is, Dan has wiped-up and rushed back to the table to find his offspring in crocodile hysterics, me blinded and the offending paratha in bits.
If I could see clearly from beyond the crumbs, I would fix Dan with a stare that explains that the twin’s mock-tears have nothing to do with my shouting and everything to do with their poor behaviour. Then Dan addresses me, ”Steve did you just call my son a shit?” I shake my head in what I believe to be Dan’s direction. ”Shit-house,” I manage to correct him as I try, in vain, to overcome the indignity of flatbread-induced blindness ”He’s four years old Steve, for fuck’s sake.”
I was going to stay the night in Dan’s spare room, but I found a perfectly good Travelodge around the corner and the discounted breakfast is rather better than I could have expected from Dan’s vegan missus.
DEM 90 MINUTES
We should judge a Curry House by its punters in the same way that we should judge Chris Wilder by DEM BLADES’ previous two outings: a bit, but not that much at all.
Against a strong-looking Vile Birmingham side, DEM BLADES proved that you can be the better side for ninety minutes and still lose – there’s always added-time. I’m not sure whether we forgot about this, or whether we were just very tired, perhaps both.
After a first half where we struck the crossbar and battered our Vile opponents, the second half came and was much closer. There was little by way of clear-cut chances, but at the same time, there were non-clear cut chances that both sides might have taken. Neither side did until the dying embers when Enda Stevens seemed to indecisively follow a man instead of the ball and allowed Robert Snodgrass to cut in and smash home a curling effort from the edge of the box.
(DEM BLADES 0-1 Aston Vile)
The Wolfs are a team made up of individually excellent players (Or Lone Wolfs); the opening goal, struck perfectly from around thirty yards, was telling of this. But they are not merely individuals, as evidenced by their second goal, where the tip-tapping combination up front was a perfect illustration of a team well drilled (Pack Wolfs).
This pack mentality was most effective in Wolfs defensive play. They closed down possession just like DEM BLADES did at the start of the season. In contrast, we looked tired and ineffective at times. This was never more evident than Simon Moore’s chin-high, logic-f*ucked tackle on the edge of his own box. He was rightfully sent off, leaving Jake Eastwood to don the gloves. The young keeper was soon to emulate his Simon Moore by picking the ball out of the back of the net.
A poor day at the office, but we all have them don’t we?
(Wolfs 3-0 DEM BLADES)
It’s too early to be saying that the season is over, but it’s never too early to complain. Since the departure of Paul Coutts to a hospital in Burton and then, latterly, to a specialist in Sheffield, DEM BLADES haven’t got a fantastic points-per-game record. In fact, it’s crap – and yes, we can complain about this.
However, instead of complaining about this many fans seem content to complain about other things. None more correct than the assertion that Evans should be playing. He should. It’s a surprise to me how many fans bang on about this because Evans is playing! He’s played the last three games and, for my money, could enable us to return to something nearing the holy trinity if Duff(y) is allowed to return to the side. I wish some fans would open their eyes and see what is in front of them like I do.
Man of the Match(es)
And what is in front of me is Paul Coutts