It’s ‘only’ football and in the grand scheme of things, we should all remember that life is too short to get that worked-up. But when has common ever applied to being a football fan? It’s our passion and on this occasion, the outpouring of frustration and anger was entirely justified.
Archives for September 2016
I was lucky enough to spend time in the company of Kevin Bond not so long ago. Much of the talk was, naturally enough, about his father. And I wasn’t particularly surprised when he said to me in the course of our conversation, “…we never did much defensive training under Dad”.
Establishing a two goal lead was once a trigger for more noise, more celebration, more backing and more confidence. Now it just brings anxiety as soon as the opposition threaten, which palpably transmits itself to the players. Just look at what happened against both Wigan and Cardiff.
We definitely have enough creative spark to scare every single club in this division but there are concerns about the soft underbelly that appears to have rolled over from last season. I worry that a better side will take full advantage, where Burton failed to.
That Jacob Murphy added to his ever burgeoning goal tally came as no surprise whatsoever, but for him to be joined on the list of goalscorers by Messrs Olsson and Pinto merely added another layer to an already slightly surreal afternoon.
Luton paid Norwich a very decent sum for Cameron McGeehan’s services last year and, with him now attracting more than serious attention from a number of Championship sides, Norwich will, when he does move on again, benefit again by the sell-on fee that will almost certainly have been included as part of the deal.
City – incompetent defending for Forest’s opener aside – were terrific in the Midlands, showing a potent combination of resolve, application and discipline to overturn a deficit in front of 2000 elated travelling fans.
Despite our relative wealth in Championship terms, we all know that Norwich City have financial constraints. Our ‘salary cap’ is defined, not by the League, but by those who hold the purse strings at Carrow Road – or rather those who own (and fill) the purse in the first place.
The now famous (infamous?) dressing-room picture after the game suggested that the players knew they’d done something special, and perhaps taken an important step on the path to success. Early days still, of course, but they proved to us – and to themselves – that they could rise to a real challenge.
We rode our luck at times and were grateful to the profligacy of Barkley and Deulofeu, the abs of Alex Pritchard and the standing foot of Steven Naismith, but… so what.
That would now be more than enough right there to rebuild the City Stand – plus a Ross McCormack if you fancied it – and give the purchaser a 60 per cent controlling interest in the club. The markets have, apparently, been trawled before for potential investors – perhaps, now, with City in a much better position financial health than previously, is a time to revisit the options?
I wouldn’t want to support Chelsea or Man City – no sensible neutral has liked Chelsea for years, but City were a much-admired underdog club for decades. Going to a game there now is like being at an airport; the players passing inhabitants of some hollow transit lounge.
A Forest side that is clearly full of goals was always going to be a test for a back-four that has creaked a little and after falling behind in such disappointing fashion I’m not sure too many would have been betting on City conceding just the one goal.
The obvious question that I and, as it turned out, i journalist, Huge Godwin wanted to ask Lansdown was why, or when, he intended to just follow the oligarch lead and buy success – in this case, for his rugby club by also, by definition, for the football club as well?
That sense of entitlement to that seat there,my ear after year, can underpin the thought process of those that do nothing but moan. Which then devalues the experience for those that just want to kick back and enjoy their Saturday afternoon.
Of some comfort was the manager’s assertion that the issue was one of match fitness rather than fitness per se – were it the latter there would be some serious questions that needed answering.
More strikers would spoil the broth. We must give Alex time to strategise and coach Murphy-Murphy-Hoolahan-Pritchard-Canos-Brady-Naismith into exactly what is expected of them in each position in the three behind Jerome-Oliveira-Lafferty.
I just hope the person leaving in front of me on Saturday and muttering about Jacob Murphy is in a small minority. We’ll need different ways to break down opponents this season, and the Murphys have a special ability to take on defenders.
In that summer of 2014, Norwich sold seven and bought 16. They spent £2.7m more on the new men than they got for the ones who left. They offered handsome incentives to keep players at Carrow Road and entice others to join them.
It will take more than a couple of wins against Cardiff and Wigan to fix these various situations City have found themselves in. Meek acceptance of the status quo, being grateful it’s not worse and nobody asking the pertinent questions just adds to the cacophony of disgruntled voices from both sides of the broad church […]