Blimey… where to start.
And all in a week when not a single football has been kicked in anger.
But talking of anger, there appears to be a lot of it about, not to mention apoplectic rage, seething resentment and undiluted fury. And all in the name of Norwich City FC.
First things first – the summer transfer window clearly didn’t go as Alex had dreamt it, and to enter September with a squad that’s unquestioningly light in the striking department was, while maybe not a complete disaster, edging it’s way into cock-up territory.
The squad isn’t without talent – certainly by Championship standards – but it is without balance.
A plethora of quality midfielders doesn’t compensate for a lack of firepower, however we try and dress it up, and much now rests on the broad shoulders of Nelson Oliveira if we are to enter the next transfer window in decent fettle – especially if the rumours that surround Cameron Jerome’s injury prove to be true.
The alternatives either appear unfit for purpose (from the manager’s perspective), in the midst of a Norfolk nightmare that he’s desperately trying to escape from or, in the the case of Master Chamakh – which is looking increasingly unlikely – simply unfit.
Of course a 20-goal striker isn’t the be all and end all of a promotion bid and others have proved that goals from all four corners of a squad can atone for not having a Ross McCormack or a Jordan Rhodes (just two names off the top of my head) but two seasons ago a squad that looked not dissimilar to this one relied heavily on Gary Hooper, Lewis Grabban and, from midfield, Bradley Johnson to supplement Jerome’s contribution.
It may all work out fine and the goals will flow freely but there is no escaping the manager wanted another striker in the group and didn’t get one.
A penny for his thoughts on Thursday morning.
But, as is invariably the case, from the outside looking in it all looks very simple. When you’re in the inner sanctum it’s anything but.
Jez Moxey explained on Friday exactly why Deadline Day (oh how I hate having to capitalise those two words) was fruitless in terms of incoming players and, while it was a fairly brutal and joyless, it was a message that simply has to be taken on the chin.
Although it wasn’t obvious to us all – but maybe should have been – Deadline Day was only going to offer up a new face if one of the big names departed; a Robbie Brady or a Steven Naismith most likely. That neither did meant Alex’s desire to land a striker was, it seems, without funding.
So, while we found ourselves linked with what felt like dozens of names – and which gave rise to the ‘scatter-gun’ accusations – in truth I suspect very few had any substance at all, and were simply fodder for Jim White et al.
And, on that subject, it’s an oddity that a club’s transfer window success, or otherwise, is measured by it’s activity on said Deadline Day, almost penalising those who ‘get their business done early’.
That City did neither is probably part of the problem but it remains easy to overlook that we did secure the services of two exciting midfield talents, a keeper who caught the eye of millions in the Euros and managed to retain all of last season’s squad minus Nathan Redmond.
Throw a Nakhi Wells or a Jonathan Kodjia into that mix and most would have taken it, albeit while still muttering about being striker short. Instead we have Nelson Oliveira, whose goals to games ratio has not set the collective pulse racing. But we’ll see… there is no other option.
And then of course there’s Timm Klose – the new darling of Carrow Road – who appears to have got the hump.
Early on in the window the EDP exclusively revealed that Timm has declared himself up for the fight and was already digging the trenches for the battle that lies ahead, which at the time came as a surprise and a bonus.
Everything that’s occurred since has led us to believe that his love of Norfolk and the club was genuine – and it probably is – and so therefore to learn that he was in fact angling for a move back to the Prem felt a bit like a blow to the wotsits.
How could he? Dear old Timm, him of the Snapchat tour of Norfolk’s beauty spots, actually wants out.
It could of course just be that his international manager has suggested he would be better off (in every way) playing in the Premier League and, not unreasonably, the player wants to be playing at the highest level. It was just the fact we’ve taken Timm to our hearts that made that particular news item hard to swallow.
But, in the same interview, he did assure us all that he’d continue to give his all for the City cause and right now that’s all we can ask – even if it does leave a slightly bitter taste.
With Naismith also making no secret of his desire to return to the Prem it does offer the impression of a not particularly happy little ship when they regroup at Colney later this week and there is work for Alex and co to do in order to reunite what appears splintered group of players.
It’s odd though. Given we appear to have so many players who see the Premier League as their rightful place how did we manage to get relegated in the first place?
And finally, aside from the general grumblings around Moxley’s honest appraisal of the club’s financial limitations in this window, he did throw in a phrase that sent another mini-tsunami thundering around the Broads:
“This club is not for sale.”
Naturally the investment conversation was instantly reignited and we all have differing views on what the future should hold for Norwich City – my own being that the current model will only ever support at best a yo-yo club – but some of the venom thrown at Delia and Michael as a result of their ‘refusal to sell’ goes way beyond the pale.
As Moxey rightly pointed out, if there were investors out there interested in a stake of our club they would naturally expect a degree of control. And right now it appears that any control relinquished by Delia will be retained in-house and passed on to her nephew, Tom.
That’s her and Michael’s prerogative.
We can moan, groan, protest, even stop supporting, but until about ten of us win the EuroMillions there’s not a thing we can do to change it.
So perhaps for now we should just be thankful we have owners who care enough to have saved the club from extinction and get fully behind them and the team.
Now, where’s that tin hat.