Kevin Doyle - A Short Story By NYCW
Yesterday afternoon the local rag published a useless sentence that stirred me enough to start writing my Kevin Doyle article. I had written most of it but time ran out before an afternoon and evening in Manhattan so I saved it and looked forward to finishing it up today.
This morning, cursing the bastard of an unexplainable head ache, I browsed over the news on the BBC until a picture of Doyle suggested to me he had most likely scored for Ireland. Having read the report, I sat still for a while wondering what this meant for the rest of the season, for Kevin Doyle & the immediate future of Wolves. Keep in mind that 95 per cent of this was written before his injury, and as things stand, we do not know the extent aside from Giovanni Trapattoni's assertion that Doyle has suffered a 'serious knee injury' and that we are talking about medial ligament damage. How the coach can be sure of this, I don't know, so let's just hope and pray we wake up to better news over the next few days when he has been properly assessed.
I have searched the web high and low, alright, perhaps for around five minutes but that's all it takes these days, and there is no other mention of a Kevin Doyle transfer rumour within the past six months or so, but........ according to the Express & Star....... Doyle is apparently a 8 MILLION POUND TRANSFER TARGET for, someone.
Whilst fiction is all well and good, if you are going to fabricate stories in order to sell papers throw in something remotely close to realistic.
Commenting on Crete's latest post, I had yet another chuckle at the price Andy Carroll went for a few months back, but this 'news'; under the E & S 'Where Are Not Saying It Is True' disclaimer, otherwise known as 'We Made This Up' had me laughing with abandon.
Despite the continued rise of Matt Jarvis, which is likely to peak on Tuesday evening, in my opinion Kevin Doyle has by far proven our best player since the day he was signed, and for me must take the Player Of The Year award once more.
I kicked myself in the shin recently having thought of, and then forgot to write an article trying to determine where we may be right now if it was not for Kevin Doyle. Mick McCarthy has taken a lot of stick in the past based on his apparent tactical short comings and occasionally bizarre substitutions (and team selections), but when the chips were down last season and Wolves were heading for a fairly rapid return to The Championship, he reshaped the team, modeled it around Doyle and low and behold, following consistent improvement and a stiring tail end to the season, we stayed up on the back of a comfortable eight point margin.
Despite a considerable summer outlay at the markets, our season presented as all too familiar and leading up to Christmas, the vultures were circling. As the deflated foot soldiers trudged away from the Boxing Day home defeat to Wigan, bitter cold, winds swirling, Mr. Morgan called his subordinates into his dimly lit office, his cheeks red from forgetting his scarf and the can of Bitter he had nailed, stared beyond the Waterloo Road, and spoke "Something has to be done."
Moxey dropped his mince pie, McCarthy dropped his dictionary and there were blank stares at the book, opened to a page with "syphilis" marked out in yellow highlighter and underlined in heavy black pen.
Sir Jack, framing a ten pound note that had "MINE" written on it, was allowed to stay "for a bit" as long as he poured the sherry. Graham Taylor, a guest for the day was allowed to share this thoughts on the team's undoings. Three days later, Taylor snapped together the buttons on his old England coat, and closed the door behind him. Morgan arched an eye brow and through squinted eyes took in a room of clutter; an empty biscuit barrel upside down on the floor, Jez snoozing in a reclining leather chair, plumes of smoke clouding the room from the cigar still clenched between teeth. Poor Mick was wearing a training top with the initials P.T on the front, and after standing in front of the mirror asking "Can we not knock it?" whilst Morgan rang his bell and a hearty breakfast was being served behind him, he turned with a wild expression in his eyes, and joined the others. Jack was told he was free to leave; he grabbed a framed picture of Luther Blissett that Graham Taylor had carelessly left behind and made a run for it.
Morgan had settled on a plan. "Fresh air- that's what we need. We need to get away for a while."
Jez had dusted the crumbs off his lapel and joined the others on the floor. When he noticed Mick was locked in a catatonic state; "Four four two, four four two..." he repeated until Morgan slapped him, Moxey switched his empty plate for Mick's and wolfed down a second helping.
Morgan creaked to his feet and paced around the room. "Men, we shall leave at noon. Our return, when, I do not know. We shall not return until a plan is in order to reinstate affairs acceptable to this club; unless we have a game."
Jez reached for the keys and was grinning on the North Bank car park, firing up the Jag as Morgan hurled supplies onto the back seat, pushed Mick in and put his belt on, and took hold of a map in the passenger seat. 'Turn left' said a woman. T.C had clambered in, but had not spoken. "GPS" smiled Jez.
Morgan turned, wild eyed; "Turn it off!" he yelled. "We are looking to restore tradition." "Where are we going?" asked Mick. "The Countryside" smiled Morgan, "an old cottage- it will do us good to get away from the city for a while, aside from short trips into the local village, for boots and such. At the lodge we shall fend for ourselves. Jez, you shall prepare the vegetables; TC- you shall be in control of the wood and fuel situation. We shall enjoy the finest wines known to humanity and work with gusto until Mick & I have carved into the wooden beams holding together our ramshackle forte a concrete plan for the future, one that shall shine bright and allow us to prosper with balance and continuity."
Over the course of several days, the Molineux hierarchy busied themselves fashioning a place to call home. Avoiding the local ilk, they sat around crackling fires, talking the season through- Morgan showed bank statements, Moxey showed his. Mick drank bitter. Terry sat still. It was time for work. As promised Moxey and Connor busied themselves around the cottage whilst Morgan and McCarthy got to work. In one corner, Morgan sat with a calligraphy set, an assortment of pens, pencils, rulers and a Lego set. McCarthy had a blanket over him on the sofa with a sketch pad and a packet of crayons- all manner of formations and tactical approaches scribbled; on the floor there were two piles, one of screwed up paper, another of carefully laid out sheets. T.C busied himself attaching the good ones to his clip board and sat at the window pondering them.
Morgan was making bulldozer noises in the background until he caught a stern look from Mick, an hour later he replicated hand claps, by midnight a fairly impressive rendition of a noisy and hostile, yet happy and triumphant crowd. Both leap to their feet just before sunrise; "Finished!" they yelled.
Mick missed the high five and landed face down on the rug, where he began snoring. He was propped up in the dining chair and slapped repeatedly until he woke. "Mick, look!"
Everyone stared at the dining room table where Morgan had mounted his stadium design. "It's beautiful", Moxey said. "It's the future" said Morgan; Mick's eyes lit up. "What is it?" asked T.C- Morgan told him, "the new stadium." Terry looked, walked over to it, paced around to take in all available angles; "Steve." "Yes Terry?" "Why is it so small?".
Whilst Terry was sent into town for butter and milk, the three M's sat around the table. "Now, Mick, tell me how we are going to fill that stadium." "Er, where's Terry?". "No Mick, this one's on you."
Mick strode across the room and returned with a pile of magazines and newspaper cuttings from his back pack. He plugged in his Spectrum home computer and it's screen lit the room.
One by one he took his tactical pages from Terry's clipboard and set them in front of the two.
From his pocket he took out pictures, Sylvan Ebanks Blake, Matt Jarvis, Wayne Hennessey ….. the table was littered with success stories, on top of the pile Mick threw a picture of Kevin Doyle.
"All my signings" he smiled. "Targets" corrected Morgan. "Well...." Mick shrugged.
"Look Mick, no disrespect, you know your job is safe, and this lot- we love them all, they make for a great team but, look here". Morgan flicks through a newspaper and hands it to Mick, page open on the league table.
"From here" he says, "I want to know how you are going to get us to", points to Lego, "there."
Mick sat for several minutes, looking between the two. Scratched his head. Tapped his finger on his chin. Stared. "Can I have some more money?". Several more minutes silence was finally broken when Morgan & Moxey burst into a fit of hysterical laughter. "What's so funny?"
Morgan holds up a picture of Stephen Mouyokolo. "Who's that?" Mick asks.
When finances have been discussed, Morgan agrees to a couple of loan signings, so Mick returns to his scraps of paper, makes a few adjustments- some additional notes, and pops on a smoking jacket prior to his post dinner presentation.
"Okay- here's the deal. Remember last season? Favourites for relegation- we proved them wrong didn't we. Wasn't looking good for a while, I'll admit that- but when it came to the crunch I sorted it out didn't I. This fella..." holds up picture of Doyle "Player of The Year no two ways about it. This year, Player of The Year again already, and will be voted as such at the end of the year. This year, I'll admit, not the start we were looking for and spending the best part of it in the bottom three keep saying we are going to stop the mistakes is one thing, moving up the table another. I'll admit. So, I've dropped all the other strikers and this bloke, we are going to base it around him again- and
Okay so I pretty much reached my point in what became a short story but the point I think, people shall have got.
Kevin Doyle has proven the figure head of this side for the best part of nearly two seasons since he since and I was readying myself to write an article as to wondering where we would/could/will be without him and now it seems, we will find out.
I see a lot of people are questioning the 'timing' of internationals, not necessarily on this site but elsewhere, need I name. What is the alternative? Play all your international qualifying games, one a day for ten or twelve in the summer. It is part and parcel of the game. Every kid grows up dreaming of wearing his teams colours and the shirt of his country. Maybe we should trim the World Cup down to a 5 A Side Tournament and get it done with over a weekend. Jesus. It could have gone at any time. The main thing is what happens next.
I'll put it on the line now. If we did not have Kevin Doyle last season we would have been relegated. If we had not had Kevin Doyle until this point this season we would be bottom staring relegation in the face.
There never has been and never will be a one man team but Kevin Doyle, through his ability and work rate alone, has allowed us to become the team we are today. I still think we will stay up, but I think the posts have shifted dramatically because this, because we don't have a clone on the bench, will dramatically change if not our approach then at the very least our performances.
This is the worst loss at the worst possible time, and I will close by saying that whether he appears over any of our remaining games or not, he already gets my vote for player of the year.
Eyes peeled tomorrow evening no doubt.
See you then.
New York City Wolf