The play-offs are unlikely but still vaguely possible and the flicker of desperate hope flickereth stillMon 20 Mar 17 by Martin Penney
My favourite artist is Ronnie Wood of Rolling Stones and Faces fame, but the piece of artwork I love the best is “The Lady of Shallot” by one John William Waterhouse, painted in 1888.
Waterhouse was a relatively minor pre-Raphaelite, probably away with the fairies like most of them, but I don’t care about that. I spent all my pocket money on a massive print of the painting at the Tate Gallery on a school trip about 1973. Somehow I got the item home safely. It was later properly framed and has been installed above my various fireplaces for many a long moon.
The Arthurian legend and Tennyson poem that inspired that painting I won’t bore you with, but the boat the Lady embarked on to attempt her doomed mission carried three candles. One had a tiny flicker of light, probably going into a gentle breeze that would soon blow it out.
Just like our play-off hopes – that little spark is still there. Somehow.
The atmosphere at the weekend against Barnsley was as flat as a certain part of a witch’s anatomy. There is no hiding from that. It was only after a couple of final scores from elsewhere were shared that the beat picked up a little – on the walk down the Barclay stairs in my case.
Jacob scored a well-taken goal and Naismith looked interested, so there were at least two positives.
Plus we probably had the most expensive bench in Norwich City history.
Looking forward at our fixtures between now and Armageddon, the play-offs are unlikely. But the flicker of desperate hope flickereth still, as it were.
Meanwhile we eventually had, to paraphrase Russell Martin, the exciting announcement we would all be pleased with.
Funnily enough, as telegraphed as it was, I wasn’t too disappointed. Not excited and most certainly not inspired, because it was wholly predictable. But…
I do not get why so many people on social media appear to want a manager, head coach or whatever you want to call him, in now. Why pick up what’s left after Derby and Forest have jumped like scalded frogs?
For once I’m with the Board because although our season has a little spark left in it, realistically it’s a tiny pinpoint of light indeed.
Surely the Director of Sport (whatever kind of title is that exactly?) must come in first. It’s logical, sensible and surely that person must have a direct input relating to the selection and recruitment of a Head Coach?
And there is realistically not much out there in terms of available managers just now who need to be snapped up yesterday. We’re not going down and we’re highly unlikely to go up. Let’s see what happens.
These frankly ridiculous polls that veer from Aitor Karanka to Steve Cotterill via Alan Pardew mean nothing to me. Or many of us, I suspect.
At Saturday’s game, I heard opinions on the ideal dream team varying from Alan Irvine and Ricky Martin (don’t tempt me, I try to be polite) to Mike Phelan and Ryan Giggs.
The usual Laurel and Hardy, Tom and Jerry and Simon and Garfunkel comments were made also.
We don’t know what the Board are going to do, but I realise one thing. The Sporting Director appointment will probably be the most crucial in the recent history of Norwich City.
Do I know who that will be just now? No, I don’t. But I really hope the Board do. They should, by now. Due diligence is a process that cannot last forever.
I’ve only removed one word – and replaced it with two – from a verse of the Tennyson poem I said I wouldn’t bore you with but I thought I’d put it anyway as it seems appropriate:
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all her own mischance -
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Carrow Road.
But you never know – one or two good appointments and we might well be back on track. Here’s hoping.