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  1. Saturday 3pm kick off again. This time we travel to Molineux to face Jorge Mendes’ Wolves. They’ve been more or less the same as last season thus far, not letting too many in but not scoring very many either. Bruno Lage has simply carried on from where Nuno Holy Spirit left off. We’ve found them tough to break down on both our previous visits to Wolverhampton. What is required then? Skill. Movement. Obduracy. Knack. Execution. Style. Tempo. Accuracy. Composure. Know-how. Leadership. Intelligence. Guile. Heart. Tenacity. Nerve. Inspiration. Nous. Grit. I don’t ask for much. Last season’s fixture saw Wolves old boy Diogo Jota claim the only goal of the game right on half time, scuffing a left footed effort low into the near post past the reach of fellow countryman (that’d be Portugal, not the West Country) Rui Patricio. It was a bit of a grind and we were just coming out of that depressing losing spell in the league. The only other real point of note from this game was Sadio having to come off with a hamstring injury. The story of last season really. Getting crippled by injuries even when we won. The obvious fixture to recall would be the one on 4th May 1976. You could argue that it was a pivotal fixture in Sir Bob’s reign. He’d taken charge at the beginning of the previous season and went trophy-less as the club got to grips with the post-Shankly era. In 1976, QPR were the surprise title challengers, led by Gerry Francis and his evergreen mullet. He was probably born with that haircut as it’s still the same even now. QPR led the table on goal difference as we went into the Wolves game, but had already finished their league campaign so we would win the league as long as we avoided defeat. We weren’t half made to work for it though! Wolves had already been relegated from the top flight but took the lead when Steve Kinden raced through to slot past Clem in the first half. We were still losing with a quarter of an hour to go so up until that point, QPR were champions. King Kev was having none of it. As Barry Davies said in the commentary, the old firm had done it. A ball played into the box, nodded on by partner in crime Toshack and Keegan was alive to it, collecting the ball and slotting home from a few yards out. The travelling Kop behind the goal went mental, invading the pitch in jubilation. After that, Liverpool simply turned the screw as Wolves wilted. Toshack gathered a flick-on in the area, got his feet sorted out, shielded the ball, turned the defender and rolled it past the keeper to basically confirm the title. The late great Ray Kennedy hammered home the third at the very end and the travelling Kop emptied the stand to celebrate on the pitch. Sir Bob would prove he was a force to be reckoned with by leading the side to another UEFA Cup triumph, against Club Brugge to claim a domestic and European double. The rest of the 70s after that are the very definition of the term ‘glory days’. You can see the action from the league finale here from 54:30. The big film in early May 1976 is a gem based on a true story about perhaps the biggest political scandal in 20th century US history. Nixon and Watergate, for those of you who don’t know. Based on the book by the journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post, All The President’s Men was directed by Alan J Pakula and starred Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the intrepid journos who uncovered the attempt by low level criminals to break into the Democratic National Committee’s base at the Watergate Complex in Washington, on behalf of the Republican Party whose leadership were aware of but attempted to cover up the whole thing. It’s an extremely compelling tale to which the likes of which the more recent Spotlight owe a debt for showcasing that you can still make an engrossing film based on real-life events where it’s all about plot and dialogue over showy bits. Films likes JFK, while brilliant, are more the latter. I’ve often wondered why the Republicans went to such lengths when at the time, Vietnam aside, the US was doing pretty well, Nixon was still popular and the Democrats had the equivalent of Ed Milliband as their spearhead. Not a guy that’s going the win over the voters. We go to Wolves after a totally dominant derby display, and of course we want more of the same on Saturday. Often after dishing out a hiding to somebody, we are a little flat. Maybe it’s also the opposition working hard to not fall into the same trap as our previous opponents. Either way, we can continue to make strides as long as the attitude and application is spot on. Do what we know we can do, and we can come away from the West Country another 3 points better off. Go out there and get it done.
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