It also seems inevitable that Robbie Brady is off, which on paper should give us the funds for a left-sided wide player (a true replacement for Brady, and not an auxiliary left-back) and, whisper it quietly, a better centre back than – Timm Klose apart – we possess already.
Archives for January 2017
Klose and Martin are not bad defenders but are simply not reliable nor solid enough to function as the backbone of a promotion chasing team. Two clean sheets may suggest otherwise but they have come at home against ineffective opposition and the result at Rotherham once again made their shortcomings palpable.
Eight defeats on the road, with a sprinkling of horror shows among them, is precisely what has afforded Delia, Michael, Jez and co a rough ride. And until that part of the equation is solved Carrow Road will continue to carry the air of a brooding, petulant teenager who’s awaiting the chance to kick off.
His potential arrival would signal the ‘domino effect’ Neil mentioned recently when quizzed about the timing of any window ins and outs and given City’s failure to land two Dutch left-backs this week he’ll be keen to get this one over the line.
All the people I refer to go to Carrow Road because they want to be there – even the guy who cannot pick out which player is which. And he’s younger than me and doesn’t appear to need glasses. He might not know who the players are, but seems to enjoy himself nonetheless.
There’s a split second, where the brain has enough time to comprehend that something exciting is about to happen as you wait for the inevitable clattering of the pins – whether those pins are skittles or someone’s legs.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Board is well aware of fans’ feelings, and would rather go with them than against them. The situation is that the Board – rightly or wrongly – genuinely believe in their path. On that basis they’re prepared to defy the fans’ wishes…
Lambert was very aware of the mood of the crowd. His post-match comments repeatedly highlighted how conscious he was of the ability to turn Norwich’s own fans against them, and how close his team came to doing just that after their equaliser, and capitalising on the tinderbox housed within the Barclay, the Snake Pit et al.
So, three points against a club that – let’s be honest – few of us admire. And what I believe is our first double of the season. Unlike some folks on social media I am not concerned about putting a spoke in Paul Lambert’s wheel. His tenure leaves me with fantastic memories and I wish him all the best.
For all the talk of hero worship amid a potentially acrid atmosphere, the Wolves manager was a peripheral figure in the afternoon’s proceedings, and the prospect of the bloodbath many had predicted was realistically quashed by Steven Naismith’s nicely executed 13th minute opener.
As an attacking force City were clearly limited – how they were set up to be – but they offered the odd threat, mainly through triggering counter-attacks via the pace of Josh Murphy but chances were virtually non-existent and Kyle Lafferty offered little by way of quality service.
Without extra funding to compete, I don’t believe long-term success was possible for either. We don’t have enough funding options to go into debt so we have to live within our means; something that is incredibly difficult to do in such a competitive market. It leaves restricted transfer and wages budgets.
The Board may feel fate has dealt them a cruel card with that fixture, and the obvious contrast in mood between Lambert’s time at Carrow Road and now. Rather than fate dealing the blow, though, I’m afraid they need to recognise it’s become a self-inflected one.
When I hear members of our board feed supporters another line of drivel, I feel nothing – I just shrug. When I look around at our players at the end of a game, I feel nothing for all bar a couple. I don’t even jump around, hugging complete strangers like a lunatic when we score anymore.
I don’t always watch the Channel 5 Highlights show all the way through, but I did this weekend. The sheer exuberance of Leeds, the grit and endeavour of Preston and the way Fulham knocked it around for fun made me consider how proud I would be to support any one of those sets of players. Not our lot, I’m afraid.
The self-financing model this board perpetuates is not for the 21st century. Jez Moxey spoke with great pride of how this club likes to do things differently but for me the question should be why have we found ourselves on a path that is trodden by absolutely no-one?
If the same mentality as offered against Derby prevails then expect a convincing win, and some extended leeway for a manager who has already been afforded grace aplenty by his employers, but a repeat of the lethargy of Oakwell will only serve to reopen festering wounds.
The Board is not powerless here. It could have ‘bitten the bullet’ and dismissed AN; for various reasons it has not taken that course. Having retained him, it could now act to make the second outcome more likely than the first.
We also have a top-quality international centre back who wants out and we own the registration of the kind of player most people would want up front for them in this league but is obviously thought of as not good enough for us by certain people.
Back in 1992, I went to The Dell for our quarter final. A 0-0 bore draw and we were shoehorned onto old trestles with ‘seat’ numbers on the back. Anyone on a packed Sleazyjet aircraft who complains of sitting next to a large person on one side and a small child with an ear-splitting shriek on the other hasn’t lived.