I never stray onto Message Boards, let alone those of a Norwich City persuasion.
The comments here on MFW is as close as I ever get to a Canary debate.
But I wouldn’t be surprised of the words ‘must’, ‘win’ and ‘Cardiff City’ have featured in all-too many a post as a section of City support gears itself up for the seasonal slaying of whichever luckless manager has failed to match the feats of Leicester City of late and, therefore, finds themselves at the mercy of the masses.
This season’s ritual abuse might, however, have a different focus in that it appears that much of the indignation and wrath is reserved for the Board who have consistently failed to deliver a place in the Champions League as befits a club of Norwich’s standing.
After all, if Leicester can…
And that might be the rub for every other club in that Leicester-Norwich type bracket.
That the Foxes have now set a ‘standard’ for what is possible – if a club gets the ownership structure right, the managerial staff spot on and the players playing with the kind of conviction and general elan that Leicester delivered last season.
Suddenly nothing is impossible. If you show that level of ambition.
Enacting the ‘Leicester Model’ in Norfolk, however, poses a problem or two.
Not least in the change of ownership that would require – namely asking the poor millionaires who currently hold that role to step aside in favour of an as yet unidentified foreign billionaire.
Trouble being that for every Vichai Srivaddhanaprabhas there are 101 Vincent Tans and Vladimir Antonovs whose ownership stints at Cardiff City and Portsmouth respectively hardly bode well. You could throw Randy Lerner and Mike Ashley into that mix too.
The list is pretty endless.
I strongly suspect that in the minds of Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones, the succession question has already been answered in the form of the nephew and heir – as supported as and when his TV schedule allows by Ed Balls.
Suck it up people, a change in ownership is not about to happen in the immediate future.
As for the manager, much will indeed rest on events at the weekend when the Canaries return refreshed and renewed from the international break to host Cardiff City.
Who will, no doubt, sit back for the game’s opening hour and challenge Norwich to break them down.
And will be more than happy to return to South Wales with a point for their troubles.
That’s going to be the way of this league – teams will defend in depth against the three clubs with the Premier League parachute cash. End of. No-one is going to make Norwich’s life easy.
And if it ends in a 0-0 draw a la Wednesday?
Then the muttering will grow ever louder; the clamour for change will step up a notch and Norwich will be faced with the prospect of making yet another managerial appointment as the Coliseum bays for blood.
And this is the point.
People these days smell blood. And some like the way that smells in their nostrils.
There is previous to this.
The way that the likes of Nigel Worthington and Chris Hughton were dealt the ‘Thumbs down!’ still lingers in the memory; sections of the City support know the power that they wield – a power now able to be marshalled beforehand on the Message Boards and chat communities.
Via social media Supporters can organise like never before; grievances can be aired, alliances made and decisions delivered. Long before a ball is ever kicked.
Personally, I’d like someone to be given a chance for a change.
Leicester City’s success was a once-in-a-lifetime fluke – not a readily adaptable model for every other ‘provincial’ club in the land to follow.
Jamie Vardy played games; he avoided a long-term injury. The manager is a genius. There are not too many of his ilk floating about and out of work.
Steve Bruce is no Claudio Ranieri. Few people are.
Srivaddhanaprabhas don’t grow on trees either. He appears one of that rare breed of foreign owners who lets the manager manage. And simply sits back and enjoys the ride.
Leicester’s success also coincided with structural weakenesses within the ranks of the Big Four. Manchester City and Chelsea, in particular, were listless and mid-managers. Neither look like being that again.
Anyone who thinks that where Leicester led, Norwich can now follow, needs to think again.
And maybe, just maybe, think about giving peace a chance and letting this manager manage for a while longer.