It’s guest blog time again, and this time it’s the tweeter known as @TheBoySadler who succumbed to some polite badgering and offered us some fine retro thoughts on all things #NCFC…
Pondering… Pondering… Mm.
After the result, the second most important question for many after a game is: ‘Have our players excelled?’
Invariably the bell curve of player performance applies. For us fans, expectations are usually more or less satisfied by some thoughtfully effective huff ’n’ puff with a tinge of finesse. Occasionally we’re surprised and disappointed with some donkey-like braying or tactical un-nous. And in distressingly rare moments we’re elated by a sublime example of memorable excellence.
But in most cases, our expectations are met, and the performances fit neatly into the bell curve somewhere, hugging us snugger than Bryan Gunn in a cummerbund.
There are peaks and troughs, or troughs and peaks. A few past examples immediately spring to mind…
I remember vividly Ian Culverhouse gently lobbing a mysterious yet exquisite 30-yard own-goal over a stranded Chris Woods when we were 3-0 up and romping away from a dispirited Grimsby Town. The incident changed the game in a moment and we were delighted to scrape home 3-2 at the final whistle.
An excellent player, Culverhouse, no pace but could launch himself from five yards behind a winger (yes, I’m that old), somehow extricating the ball and leaving the player (usually Jesper Olsen) laying in a confused heap before once more cantering purposefully up the wing. In full flight, a delight to watch.
Of course, there’ve been many joyful surprises too; like Robert Rosario’s stunning 40-yarder against Southampton; or St Jeremy Goss’s slow-motion elevated hoof against Bayern Munich; or Dean Coney scoring a goal. Any goal. A gift from the heavens if ever there was one (was there one?)
Rosario was an enigma, one long surprise. He stood around 7ft 2in but had the heading ability of a wet sponge on a stick. Could knock one in from 40-yards though, every decade or so. Never knew what you would get. Nottingham Forest found out though after they bought him.
Ah, dear old Jeremy Goss. Never before has such a solid, likeable, reliable pro more deserved a moment of magic and permanent place on John Motson’s mantelpiece. Gosh bless you, JG.
And then there was Dean Coney (cough).
A-n-y-w-a-y… back in the room and let’s return to the theme… The Question: ‘Have our players excelled’?
Well, it turns out the question is also the answer. If you take the initials of ‘Have our players excelled?’ then you get the reason for supporting our club (or any club for that matter).
It is the joy, the icing on the cake, the balm on the festering wound, the salvation, the bridge; the solid post onto which you nail your rosette. It is the reason we keep going back. Why? Because the next game anything could happen… and you know what? It always will.