UK time is: 09:15:37
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Local Derbies: A Semi-Detached View

Yesterday, Wolves played their first local derby of the new season and the real 'battle` began, as opposed to the phony 'war` that some bloggers had been waging on the websites since August and beyond. But ... should I be writing about such 'confrontations` as if they were military engagements, even if, unfortunately, to some, they are?

I was appalled at the bricking of the Nottingham County coaches a week ago, a possible reaction to Lee Hughes`s goading of Wolves fans in the match, itself a result of the treatment he expected to receive from the anti-WBA home crowd and his premeditated response to it. Hughes is an uncouth, callous brute (and, incidentally, a fine striker) but that does not condone the actions of a handful of mindless thugs.

I`m as firm a Wolves supporter as anyone. Hey! I have followed their fortunes down through four divisions and back up again (and occasionally back down a little and back up once or twice). For me, the added frisson of a derby enhances the occasion, but I cannot understand the aggravation that surrounds such events. Good-natured banter between rival fans, whether in the work-place or pub, at the ground or on the 'blogosphere`, is fine but when partisanship escalates to the level of vitriolic, foul-mouthed abuse and physical violence, it becomes nonsensical.

Surveying the websites, especially after the weekend`s dramas, many of the comments on the various sites were surprisingly restrained, even sympathetic on occasion. However, several non-Wolves posters went too far, perhaps to provoke an intemperate response, and to a certain extent they succeeded. Accusations and counter-accusations flew about and the level of debate spiralled downwards, in spite of the attempts of the more mature contributors to rein in the wilder spirits. Words are bad enough but, even worse, they might incite aggressive behaviour at matches and five derbies, including the two big ones, are still to come.

Why should we want Aston Villa, Birmingham and WBA to do badly, unless, of course, they are vying with us to avoid the drop? They might even help us by defeating an outside team. Local derbies ensure full houses, a great atmosphere and a keenly-fought match, whatever the teams` respective positions in the league. Getting there is easy too. I hated it when we lost the twelve point cushion to WBA in the 2001-2 season but only because we missed promotion not because WBA took our place. I felt exactly the same way when Watford pipped us in the 2005-6 season.

Perhaps, I am not passionate enough. Perhaps I do not get wound up about the fortunes of the other local teams because I used to live in Albrighton, eight miles to the west of Wolverhampton, and not in the Black Country itself. With only Telford United and Shrewsbury Town as rival attractions, virtually every soccer fan in the village supported the Wolves. We did not have to defend our team on a daily basis, though some blokes probably had to do so at work. Perhaps, it`s because I have lived away from the Wolverhampton area for so long and have avoided getting embroiled in the shouting matches that accompany derby games. The Fulham game, however, reminded me of what it means to be a proper, active supporter: the adrenaline rush; the noise and the atmosphere; and the energising effect of belonging to a large body of people bound by a common cause. I`m learning.

Is such outrageous behaviour a modern phenomenon, a reflection of the enormous pressure on teams to succeed or, at least, to avoid failure? As a young teenager on the South Bank in the late 1950s I cannot remember any real hostility: a charged atmosphere, yes, but not actual danger. Perhaps I was too young then and am now viewing the past through rose-tinted spectacles.

Southbank60

Tell us what you think

As well as joining in on the forum and article comments below, you can also write an article to appear on our site!

This website is 100% by the fans and we are always looking for people to get involved. If this interests you please contact Vital Wolves.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Southbank60 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 27 2010

Time: 5:51PM

Your Comments

I for one being bought up in Wolverhampton know what its like at these "derby"matches.But I think that for the first time for many years its great that all the midland teams are up there in the top tier and long may it continue.The atmosphere that they bring is unique and the game would be poorer if it was taken away.
Crete Wolf
i agree, i was happy we villans had some loca derbies again been borin playin northern n cocney clubs for years apart from when we play each other lol good luck hope u stay up
ClivetheVillan
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Wolves Articles

Stats: Wolves v Bolton (Monday September 22 2014)

Wolves edge out Wanderers (Sunday September 21 2014)

Wanderers duel for supremacy (Friday September 19 2014)

Wolves target to line up against us? (Friday September 19 2014)

Jackett identifies new forward target (Thursday September 18 2014)

Another fine point for Wolves (Wednesday September 17 2014)

Honours Even At The Valley (Wednesday September 17 2014)

Have Wolves struck a deal for striker? (Tuesday September 16 2014)

New contract motivates Evans (Tuesday September 16 2014)

Archived Wolves Articles

List All Vital Wolves Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. kingsley 1
2. kiawolves 1
3. johnwolf 1
4. astraltrader 1

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Blackpool 0 - 0 Wolves
Wolves 1 - 0 Norwich
Wolves 1 - 0 Cardiff
Wolves 1 - 0 Bolton
Wolves 3 - 1 Blackburn
Fulham 0 - 1 Wolves

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Forest 8 5 3 0 +10 18
2. Norwich 8 5 2 1 +10 17
3. Wolves 8 5 2 1 +5 17
4. Watford 8 5 1 2 +7 16
5. Middlesbrough 8 5 0 3 +6 15
6. Sheff Wed 8 4 3 1 +4 15
7. Charlton 8 3 5 0 +3 14

Breaking League News

Wolves : 22/09/2014 08:59:00
Bowyer Salutes Outstanding Rovers
Blackburn : 22/09/2014 08:38:00
Arter: Deserved the win
Bournemouth : 22/09/2014 08:37:00
Raya Makes Southport Loan
Blackburn : 22/09/2014 08:37:00
Accrington Stanley Loan For O'Sullivan
Blackburn : 22/09/2014 08:36:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Can Wolves pull off back-to-back promotions?
Suggested By:  
Yes 49%
No 51%