Ged Scott on a club's ambition matching that of their manager
It has been one of the longest courtships in football managerial history.
It took a few months, a lot of draws, then, finally, an encouraging number of wins before it finally dawned on Wolverhampton Wanderers' fans that they were in love with Glenn Hoddle.
But that was pretty much all it took for Hoddle to reciprocate, fall in love with them, too, and publicly 'pledge his troth'.
Maybe it was because of everything that had happened in his glamorous career that the Molineux faithful took so long to be won over . . . dodgy headlines, dodgy haircuts, even dodgier suit that he once wore with sleeves rolled up on Top of the Pops.
Hoddle arrived at Molineux with the reputation of a smooth-talking, Godfearing Essex boy who had a little too much to say for himself. He had a different sort of faith altogether and was, perhaps, a little too much in love with himself. Scarred by too many uncomfortable experiences in football, he was uptight when he arrived. What a difference the last six months have made.
The man, who stayed after yesterday's press conference to try to put into less formal words just how relaxed and happy he feels about being Wolves manager, appears to have changed. It is simply down to being made to feel at home.
"I've had a lot support from the fans," he said. "And while that wasn't the deciding factor in me staying, it went a long way [towards it].
" It's a good feeling knowing that everyone is pulling in the right direction, in the boardroom, in the dressing-room and in the stands. I've known it when that hasn't been the case at other clubs. And it is so important to have people singing from the same hymn sheet.
"The only reason why I waited before sorting out my future with Wolves was not waiting for this club or that club. It was about being happy. It was about knowing it was right for me, and finding out if the ambition here matched mine.
"If that call comes tomorrow, whoever they are can forget it. I've been straight with what I've said all along. I wasn't tempted at all.
"And I'm delighted to be here and looking forward to the future here with Wolves."
From the start, it was clear that Hoddle had made an impact in the dressing-room.
Not hard, given how things had slipped under his predecessor Dave Jones, who had started to earn a reputation for spending more time on the golf course than he did on the training pitch.
Hoddle's commitment to the cause never went unnoticed among the Wolves hierarchy.
Chief executive Jez Moxey said: "A couple of times I was just about to leave the office at 6.45pm only to be told by the security guard that Glenn and his staff were still in a meeting.
"It was really unusual for me to be leaving the office before the manager. I thought maybe I should go back."
It's a story that, on hearing it, brings out the other, less frequently-observed, wittier side of Hoddle.
Hoddle's reputation for meticulous planning is what keeps his backroom staff late into the night. Such attention to detail lies behind his record of only one defeat in 24 league matches. Wolves can prepare to go boldly into next season.
Already, the managers of Wolves' last two beaten opponents, Reading's Steve Coppell and Sheffield United's Neil Warnock, have tipped Hoddle's men as promotion favourites.
"The pressure is on," Hoddle says. "But it's a healthy pressure to have. It's what we want ourselves."
Unlike at least one of his fellow Midland managers, Aston Villa's David O'Leary who admitted on Sunday that he couldn't wait for the season to end, Hoddle's already chomping at the bit.
"I don't want the season to be over," he said. "I don't want to be on a beach somewhere. I just wish we could start next season tomorrow."