As another international break looms, there is undoubtedly a large degree of navel-gazing afoot. Whether it is common to all clubs in this age of instant gratification and social media outrage, but poison and recrimination is never too far from the surface Carrow Road way.
Archives for 2014
In the battle of the technical areas I can think of few occasions this season where City have triumphed. In the game of chess that is Championship football, all too often Team Adams found themselves in check, often checkmate.
“The spotlight falls on us all – managers, coaches, players. We’ve got to get back on track; get back to winning games. And it’s so galling. For 85 minutes it was all that we wanted – and we’ve thrown it all away.”
In today’s game it is not unknown for the leading clubs to loan out their most promising young players for a season at a time in order for them to get “playing time” and first team experience, courtesy of another club.
Adams has some tough decisions to make looking ahead to the Forest game, and indeed the next few weeks, but I would seriously think of giving Carlos Cuellar or Ignasi Miquel a chance at centre-back on Saturday.
The decline has been equally steady, but in the opposite direction. Top of the league turned into some dallying around in the play-off places before, courtesy of last night’s walloping in the north-east, slipping to seventh.
“We’ve now got a massive game on Saturday against a team that are now probably rubbing their hands together when they have looked at tonight’s result.”
The best ones defy description as they are produced by the sheer enormity of the moment – no ordinary, run of the mill goal but that absolutely pivotal net buster which clinches a title or promotion, preferably in the last minute of added on time.
It is funny how such slices of ‘luck’ can play their part in potentially determining the course of a season. Equally, it is a risky business running to snap judgements on the back of one game.
While the rationale behind Adams’ 73rd minute changes were completely understandable – Jerome because of a gashed knee and O’Neil because he was walking a red card tightrope – the impact was such that City found themselves hanging on.
“But I thought it was well deserved. 2-0 would have been easier on the heart at the end. But, overall, delighted.”
The Prime Minister himself bizarrely claims (along with Prince William) to follow the Villa. I’m not too sure how many times either man has been to Birmingham but it seems that Paul Lambert’s knighthood is assured if he guides his men to Premier glory. Unlikely I know.
The final, played on a day of drizzle and gloom at Wembley, where the highlight of the pre-match entertainment was the sight of one of the RAF’s elite Red Devils parachute team miscalculating his trajectory and crashing into the stadiums roof (he was unhurt) was, for the main, as dour as the weather itself.
If you think Delia and Michael don’t really care or understand, then you and I will never agree and I can’t be bothered with you. It would be like trying to reason with nutters who swear Elvis is working at the Vauxhall Caravan Park on the Acle New Road. If, however, you know that Delia and Michael have always striven to do the best for the club, then that is a proper starting point to consider the work of Neil Adams.
Perhaps those of us who are left feeling a little uncomfortable when the league table comes into view are jumping the gun. Perhaps I should be affording Adams and co the same level of patience that I unreasonably, and unfathomably, offered to Team Hughton.
“And our performances certainly deserve more. The facts are there that we have won just the once in the last eight, but everyone in the stadium knows we should have won the game today bar some fantastic saves from the keeper…
The Championship is not going to be the cakewalk many thought it would, the one that a few still think it should be. We’re not the only ‘big’ club down there and we’re not the only club that has a strong squad, numbers and quality wise.
Unlike some of those around me, I don’t have a particular problem with the ball being played backwards and sideways as long as it is done so with purpose and pass, but when it’s done so slowly and with no conviction the problems begin.
And nor could the manager add a clean sheet to his wish-list. Conceding so soon after taking that priceless lead is the stuff of managerial grey hairs. Don’t switch off after you score is a mantra hammered in from the youth team up.
Long gone are the days when pub landlord or bricklayer were more realistic ‘after the parade’ paths for those who had been used to kicking a football for a living – at least for those who didn’t make it to the highest level.