Since signing for The Norwich from Blackpool, Wesley Hoolahan, AKA Wessi, has proved to be a real hit with City fans despite the testing conditions he inadvertently found himself embroiled in when he put pen to paper on the 26th June, 2008.
He was brought in by a manager for whom I dare not speak his name to replace fan’s favourite Darren (Hucks) (The Huckster) (God) (Noneckerby) Huckerby – big boots to fill. A tough gig was made a whole lot worse by the unmentionable manager when he stated he was heralding in a new era: a “time for new heroes”. Wesley, to the many already preoccupied with shouting “One more game!” at the merest hint of Hucks’ name, would never be that. The hero parking space was firmly reserved for Noneckerby and no one else.
But just like in the best traditions of a Hollywood feel good movie he rose to the occasion (metaphorically speaking, not literally, as in reality he’s Oompah-Loompa in height) and won us over. How? Well, three things spring to mind:
- Paul Lambert and his dazzling diamond formation
- Hooly’s innate creativity with a football
- Raw animal sex appeal
It has been mass debated many times over, but as the White Stripes once sang it bears repeating: for players such as Hoolahan one simply cannot overstate the importance of St Paul of Lambert’s management acumen and tactical nous.
By finding a formation that fully incorporated Wes’ free approach to footy, and it should be remembered it was not instant, Lambo allowed point 2 to flourish: suddenly Wesley Hoolahan broke free of the caterpillar chrysalis of previous management attempts to reign in his playing style and become Wessi; the beautiful butterfly we know and love flitting and floating around the hallowed turf of Fortress Carra Rud.
And he is very beautiful. According to my wife (and a few other ladies that have expressed a preference), Wessi has ‘come to bed eyes’. These pools of shagfestness are ably backed up by his deep, lilting, Irish voice. Admittedly he doesn’t sound too bright in interviews (he has a habit of repeating the question back to the interviewer), but when you’re ‘buff’ this is not important and besides, to quote a well worn cliché he does his talking on the pitch.
The top half of his face resembles a young George Best. A comparison that was only further enhanced when Wessi grew his hair into a kind of 60s Beatle era mop top as City hurtled towards automatic promotion. (If you hold your hand over the lower half of this link you’ll see what I’m on about.)
Now Besty in the 60s was a looker, no questions asked, and as highlighted Wessi has some of that visual genetic Bestiality at work too(Bestiality sounds a bit wrong), he also shares that other Best trait that so few professional players posses: footballing magic.
I’m not arguing Wessi is as good as the Belfast Boy was in his prime, but I am stating for the record that he shares Best’s ability to light up a game of association football with the unexpected, the audacious or the downright sexy. Wessi sees the game in a way that others can’t and whether you are male or female you’re going to get off on it – it’s impossible not to. Whether he’s laying off a simple pass, whipping them in with pace to Crofts, or spanking in a 30 yarder the pleasure he supplies to us, the Norwich fans, is unconfined, orgasmic even.
As for how Wessi will get on next season, who knows? I suspect he will need to learn how to work around being man marked a lot closer than in the Championship. St Paul of Lambert will need to introduce some new tactics which means Wes will have to adapt to playing without the security of the diamond week in and week out. But then he has already conquered the seemingly impossible task of being a professional footballer despite being no taller than a Sylvanian Familes character and winning over the fans despite not being Hucks, so he should have no concerns about how he’ll fair against the likes of Man United, Arsenal and so on.
And if for some unknown reason all his creative endeavours don’t work for him in his opening Premier League game he can always flutter his eyelashes and seduce the opposition into giving him the ball. Though he probably shouldn’t over do it or there’ll be a long line of ladies following him into the dressing room at full time.
And probably me too.
by Adam Orton