In the televised leaders’ debates before the 2010 Election – back when David Cameron thought they were ‘essential to democracy’ – the mantra became “I agree with Nick”. For people like me, the mantra on this forum tends to be “I agree with Mick”.
Archives for March 2015
It seems cruel that so many of our finest hall-of-famers never got even a sniff of an England call, particularly so when you consider that Dennis Wise got 21 caps, Carlton Palmer 18 and the goal machine Emile Heskey a whopping 62 over an 11 year period.
The game was notable only for its lack of quality and it was somehow appropriate that it was won by the scruffiest of goals. But in a final who cares. The fact that Clive Walker chose to miss his penalty was also of no consequence on a day that was all about winning.
Would Norwich fans perhaps be happy to see our club fuelled with cash by an unknown quantity from the Middle East? Would we want to see a consortium of rich investors pool together and splash the cash in the search of success? I don’t think so.
Forced to follow the Forest game at home via the unsatisfactory multi-platform experience of Canaries Wall, Final Score and the radio commentary, I spent the fifteen minutes after the Forest goal looking pained and clutching my head.
It is certainly true that Neil is willing to change his men and alter how they are deployed. In Scotland he preferred 4-1-4-1. With Norwich, he has had success with 4-2-3-1, the much-loved diamond (4-1-2-1-1) and several variants of the 4-4-1-1 he went with against Forest.
It seems he was a very hard worker – often shirking days off – and a man who racked up the air miles in pursuit of the foreign imports, which arguably eventually brought the club down to the Championship. But I’m guessing that his time in Norfolk will not be featuring in any future books
The greatest commitment to attacking football wasn’t under Lambert or Alex Neil, but under Neil Adams, yet he didn’t come close to inspiring the fans as we’re now inspired. There’s something else – an evident commitment, heart and team spirit that supercedes structure and style. And that, perhaps, is the ‘Norwich Way’.
They are pointless questions but ones that always comes to mind: would either Alex Neil or Paul Lambert have signed their inherited strikers if fate and timing had been different? And how different would the club’s fortunes have been if they hadn’t?
Forest began the day as one of the league’s form teams, just as Wolves were upon their arrival at Carrow Road in mid-February, but both were swatted away like irritating flies – City again perfectly taking on the role of flat-track bullies.
“Over the course of these next seven games there’s going to e ups and downs – I can guarantee you that. Us and other teams. But, hopefully, if we can have more ups than downs then I think the top two is certainly achievable.”
With the benefit of the present loan system, these clubs can loan out their players to other Premier League, Football League or Conference clubs, supposedly in the name of player development. Chelsea, at one stage earlier this season, actually had twenty six players out on loan!
Colney may not be a pleasant place this week and the management team will be straining every sinew to right the wrongs of last night. Those who under-performed will be reminded accordingly but everything will lead to Saturday’s date with Nottingham Forest.
“At this stage in the season, it’s about wins. And we didn’t do that. And from that point of view I’m extremely disappointed.”
Neil Adams at times seemed to get the balance right but, in hindsight, it was maybe more a case of luck than design. Alex Neil, despite his relative youth, does appear to have more of a grand plan in place.
For all their injury woes the Rams remain on the cusp of the automatic places for a reason. They are clearly a decent side and to have restricted them to a Tom Ince ‘bobbler’ and an in-swinging corner over the course of 96 minutes speaks volumes for City’s dominance.
“If we continue to play like we did today in the next nine games we’ll be completely fine,” he said. “Its one win [from the top]. It’s a one game swing. But we’ll look at this game on its own merits and the chances that we had, we had more than enough to win it.”
It will likely be a bum-squeaker and probably not for the faint-hearted but it will also be good, honest Championship fare – the very antithesis of Wesdnesday evening’s drama-fest between Chelsea and PSG.
For the sake of my ticker, it would be good if our promotion efforts didn’t go so close to the wire. However, with that backs-to-the-wall, winning mentality already engrained in our manager and a cool French penalty taker on board, we might just have the upper hand.
Elliott Bennett has dubbed our run ‘The Yellow Train’ and it really feels like there are shades of Liverpool’s Premier League title bid last season. Positive vibes at Carrow Road are here to stay now, let’s just hope it ends in success.