If Mark Robins was at Manchester United today, do you really think we’d stand a chance of signing him permanently? Or, come to that, manage to persuade him to come here, even on loan? I don’t think we would stand a chance.
Archives for July 2015
It’s good to have options of course – players who can bring different qualities to games when it’s needed – but for a striker there has to be a consistent end product; the bulge of the net, the salute to the crowd and the hugs of team mates. I’m talking goals.
City’s starting XI was equally as ‘experimental’ as West Ham’s, both starting just two players likely to feature when it kicks off for real on August 8, but the strength of the Canaries’ line-up was another timely reminder of just how the stock of the squad has risen over the past three seasons.
A newspaper report of our training in Germany and Austria summed up life at City as it now is: “Every base was covered, every member of the team knew their role as Neil observed from close quarters.”
A friendly it may have been but Alex Neil appeared a disgruntled figure on the touchline for much of yesterday’s first-half. “Too much respect” was his no-nonsense conclusion as to why City were second best in the opening forty-five and the half-time message sounds like it was an unequivocal one.
Holt’s time at Carrow Road was far more than simply the goals he scored – 78 in 168 games – as crucial as they were in the club’s renaissance from those dark days in League One. Of course, others contributed hugely to the successive promotions and splendid Premier League season of 2011/12.
So if placing your gigantic logo on a football shirt so prominently and with little to no regard for neither the aesthetics or the tradition of that shirt ends up annoying 99 per cent of that clubs’ support is that still good “brand awareness” regardless?
I know Norwich City will defeat a ‘Goliath’ next season. Either Chelsea, Manchester City or Arsenal will feel the pain and, of course, afterwards City won’t be credited on Match of the Day for outperforming their opponents.
A Palace fan site recently published a letter it had sent to David McNally. It was an eloquent and impassioned plea for City to make a ‘principled stand’ by reducing away ticket prices for our opening match. It suggested that the £45 fee is both ‘unreasonable and ill-judged’.
But with a first outing since Wembley for Redderz and a re-vitalised Tony Andreu and hit-man Hoops backed up by an extremely solid midfield and slightly experimental back four, the first question of the night was… which kit would they be wearing?
RvW’s appearance and goal on Friday evening was the cue for a Twitter love-in of proportions hitherto unseen but by Saturday morning the realists were out in force reminding us of just why he was sent off to St Etienne with his tail between his legs. Seldom before has a two-yard tap-in caused such a furore.
Watching Alex Neil on the touchline, you wouldn’t guess this is pre-season against Hitchin and Cambridge – it might just as well be the Premier League. And forget going off for a shower and a beer when you finish your 45/60 minutes: the players sit and listen to his detailed dissection of their performance.
On one particular Saturday afternoon, Ted MacDougall was being even more sloth than usual, something which was steadily winding up the entire Barclay stand, all of whom were eager to offer him help and guidance in what he should be doing.
Well done also to our club for not opting for the Asian gravy train which many Premier League clubs have greedily hopped on board for in their early pre-season outings. Even Stoke are topping up their tans on a different continent.
For the past decade the Hitchin Town Supporters Trust has been raising funds each year to help pay the players’ wages. However, that doesn’t go anywhere near telling the whole storey, as the club’s problems are much bigger.
For Gorleston, a bumper crowd of circa 2,400 will have swelled the coffers nicely for the season ahead although for Ricci Butler’s squad it was naturally a gargantuan leap in quality given that their opening two friendlies of pre-season were against Caister and Acle.
It may just be someone commenting on the latest piece of tabloid rumour. Or possibly someone suggesting a transfer target based on hours of playing Football manager and a resulting knowledge of the highest rated free-agents across the European leagues.
For me, anyone who genuinely supports the club is a fan of Norwich City. They can have attended 500 consecutive matches or never been to one.
I’m still waiting for the Robert Rosario story or the warts-and-all account from Mike Walker of his ‘from youth coach to Munich to Goodison nightmare and back again’ journey. Yet there are other Norwich City-flavoured publications that are well worth adding to birthday or Christmas lists
We’ve seen enough of Mr McNally to know he’ll be working night and day, focused on exactly what he wants. He’ll achieve whatever can be achieved without jeopardising the solvency of the club. And he won’t be deflected from his path by clamour from the fans.