The key to writing a successful novel has always been, as any literary agent would tell you, is to start off with a cracking intro to draw the reader in and to finish with an awesome twist to the tale at the conclusion.
Oh boy, we must have written a classic on Saturday. James Maddison’s sublime strike (loved the nutmeg Madders) after just five minutes and Angus Gunn’s superb stop from Ollie Watkins the same temporal distance from the final whistle ensured that.
And what happened in between wasn’t half bad either. Passion, commitment and sheer bloody hard work denied Brentford, particularly in a second half when they turned the screw to the last thread.
Now, I don’t believe Daniel Farke has any special relationship with the football gods – far from it in fact. Ivo Pinto crocking his knee while emerging from his car surely serves as a prime example of that. We had an allegedly half-fit Mario Vrancic, ditto Tom Trybull, no Wesley and the lad Marcus Edwards from Tottenham who has already – after two weeks in which he has been recovering from a back injury – attracted a slightly obscure comment from Farke that already seems to sow the seeds of doubt about his attitude.
And three new signings who are probably still using their satnavs to locate Colney.
But those gods smiled on us on Saturday afternoon because for once the odds were evened up. I wish no ill-will on any footballer (except Kevin Muscat) but Romaine Sawyers’ bout of illness and the lack of Lasse Vibe due to a probable impending transfer out suited us down to the ground. These two combined twice to destroy us at Carrow Road and their absence from the team sheet cheered me immensely.
Those same gods also provided us with two rather large bonuses. Harrison Reed looks a more than able occasional right back – I was quite surprised at just how well he performed in that slot to be honest. I feared lack of height and experience in the role might have gone against him, but not so.
Also, the return of Marley Watkins to the fold can only help, even if only in terms of numbers. It would seem our Daniel has worked a bit of Nelson-style magic and “sorted him out”. Watkins would not have featured in the squad had that not been the case.
So, yet another most welcome 1-0 “grind-out” on away turf and up to 40 points. I wonder which other team has the same total? Oh yes. Them. Maybe after February 18 we’ll be above them for the first time in a while. That might not be essential in the great scheme of things but, c’mon, we’d all love it.
As so many of our readers and writers keep saying, let’s see what Farke can produce next season. Cynics like myself say it will be with a “downsized” squad courtesy of Delia, but when I think of all the youngsters (several of whom are on loan elsewhere and thus tend to be forgotten about) there is hope. It looks like the hunger has returned on the pitch big time – and that’s enough for most of us, however much the players are earning. Maybe less will indeed become more.
Having seen highlights from the Plymouth match, I have little fear about Remi Matthews taking over from Angus when he inevitably leaves us in May. Another bonus.
Now my personal plea to the gods of the round size five: Let somebody spirit Madders away to a remote Caribbean island with no w-fi for a week. I think Farke would join in a prayer with me on that one.
And I’ve got a mate who works in telecomms. I think I might just ask him if he can sabotage David Moyes’ moby and the West Ham fax machine. Until Thursday, anyway. They were desperate against Wigan in the Cup and might just make a silly offer.
As for the literary world, a couple or three classics have ended with the line: to be continued.
I can think of nothing more appropriate to the ongoing saga of Norwich City.