Certain thoughts are better left unthunk
– Woody Allen
I have a really bad idea. If I follow it through, I’m on a hiding to nothing.
Yet it’s fair and right. And having thunk it, I can’t unthunk it.
It concerns my wife and Norwich City. She’s willingly proofread all of my 100-odd articles for this site – and given nothing but constructive and supportive feedback, even when she has a different view of things.
So it’s right and proper that some of her views should get an airing here.
The danger is obvious. Seeing her thoughts, many readers will no doubt conclude that she talks more sense than her husband. Some will probably think it with regret; one or two of our regular commenters will, I suspect, say it with relish.
For a start, she reserves judgement. I sometimes get excited at City’s signings (e.g. Jordan Rhodes and Ben Marshall). As I wax lyrical about their virtues, she’ll tell me to stop talking them up – she’ll decide for herself when she sees them actually perform.
I guess I can’t complain on that one.
Barbara’s decidedly not a fan of tiki-taka football. She’s never shared my enjoyment of watching Spain play, and in particular doesn’t appreciate The Canaries doing it.
I’ve tried to explain my view that passing across the back is OK; the key, and what we failed to do last year, is to inject pace when the ball is moved into midfield. If it’s good enough for Man City it should be good enough for us, and I’m sure Daniel Farke is working on it.
She’ll watch, but I can tell she’s not convinced. Playing it around at the back, it seems to her, simply gives the opposition time to set themselves up as they wish. I suspect she may not be alone.
If a passing culture is one of my hobbyhorses, then combination play is one of hers. She constantly refers to the example Gary Neville and David Beckham on the right of United’s great teams under Sir Alex; players who developed an almost telepathic understanding of each other’s game.
I can’t deny that kind of thing would be good to see at Norwich. Interestingly, we might just see one this season. Ben Marshall played 100 games with Jordan Rhodes during his goal-rich years at Blackburn. Apparently, they’re close friends as well as instinctive colleagues.
Some of our differences are style rather than substance. As I once mentioned on this forum, my inclination after a bad City performance and result is to crawl off and sulk. The last thing I want is to listen to the rants and prejudices that – together with the odd bit of good analysis – characterize Canarycall.
Barbara gets angry, and wants to take in the full measure of Canarycall vitriol. For her, my skulking away represents a cop-out.
On many points I’ll concede there’s some merit in Barbara’s view. On a couple, though, I’m standing my ground. I don’t think she properly appreciated Wes, dwelling too much on his (undoubted) flaws and not enough on the magic.
Similarly – perhaps it all goes back to tiki-taka – I haven’t yet persuaded her that Moritz Leitner is a genuine class player and a sensational signing for us.
Barbara is a true City fan but didn’t enjoy the football served up at Carrow Road last season. She’s made it clear she’ll give them a chance this season – but if the fare is no more inspiring and successful than last time, she can think of better ways to spend her Saturdays.
If we’re not performing well by December, then, there may be a space for someone wanting a lift to Norwich once a fortnight from the Watford area….
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. After all, she finds my driving (and presumably my thoughts on the match to come) very conducive to a good sleep.
Though she has a reasonable wait-and-see view, at least Barbara’s impressed at the focus of our transfer activity on attacking players. As well as Hernandez, who’ll seem like a new signing, she’s open-minded to see what Buendia, Marshall, Pukki and Rhodes can bring to our play.
Me too. Whatever happens in defence and midfield this coming season, it’s not rocket science to say that we need to see City scoring more goals. Hopefully our new strikers are on board with what’s needed, and won’t require the succinct guidance Bill Shankly once gave to one of his:
If you aren’t sure what to do with the ball, son, just stick it in the net and we’ll discuss your opinions afterwards.