Anybody of a certain vintage [I was born in 1957] will remember the original concept of school dinners. The inevitable piece of grey meat covered in bright orange breadcrumbs.
Dessert [I hate to disparage a word] almost always consisted of a bowl of semolina with a teaspoon of strawberry jam in it.
We’d all eat the jam and leave the semolina.
Although a couple of teachers had to sit amongst us as monitors, they never touched the food. Me and several of my little mates quickly changed to the concept of the packed lunch. Often, I had to make my own even at eight-years-old as both my parents worked.
Saturday’s match brought those memories hastening back.
Against Villa, the jam was Michael McGovern’s penalty save and follow-up to keep out the rampant Wesley while everything else was cold, lumpy semolina.
Some of my mates are exiles or can’t get to games so sometimes rely on me for first-hand reports. Here’s what I sent yesterday in the heat of the moment at around 1815:
Oh boy – just back from the game.
The Delia & Michael lack of finance issue seems to be returning. Big style. Certainly in the UB bar – sorry, concourse.
I don’t use words like “gobsmacked” but [with all allowances taken into account for our injuries] ’tis gobsmacked I am.
Sorry but I’m lost for words just now. We were cut apart with a blunt rapier.
Predictable but awful to witness, nonetheless.
Nearly 24 hours later I haven’t changed my mind. We were torn apart with a press all over the field from Villa. Not just in their final third but everywhere.
We lost duels, got turned over too many times for me to remember and had very little to offer in terms of transition.
As nearly always, I see no point in picking on individuals but our back four is weak enough as it is without an abject lack of proper screening in front of it.
I suppose the raft of injuries is a semi-legitimate excuse but surely a deep midfield of Kenny McLean and Mo Leitner is never going to work. At times Villa tore through them like the proverbial herd of wildebeest crossing the veldt.
And I’m not denigrating Villa in any way. They were good, very good in fact. They ably and amply illustrated that we don’t have the steel and resilience at this level. They were simply stronger and far more physically athletic than us. Fair play to them.
The international break? We might get Tim Krul, Alex Tettey and Mario Vrancic back by the time of its conclusion. Nobody else is on the horizon to return from what I can see.
I was the first to say on MFW “let’s give the promotion squad a chance and see where it takes us”. And I didn’t want us to waste money on expensive summer signings. Most embarrassingly I commented that we didn’t need to recruit a centre-back.
Seemingly everybody has worked out how to beat Norwich. Dean Smith’s mob did the perfect job on us. As did Sean Dyche’s, Roy Hodgson’s and Manuel Pellegrini’s.
Light at the end of the tunnel? Not this side of Christmas I’m afraid from where I’m standing.
Confession time: I left before Josip Drmic’s Tyrone Mings-inspired consolation and I cannot remember the last time I left before the final whistle. In the Roedent days I would imagine.
Just as I thought I had endured a pretty rough Saturday it got worse. On the way home I dropped into our local Chinese takeaway, which was truly excellent until it changed hands about a year ago.
I asked for crabmeat sweetcorn soup and Singapore noodles for what it’s worth. Three people came in after me and left with their grub. I went to the counter and mentioned this anomaly only to be told “Singapore noodles is complicated and takes a long time”.
Bow locks – I can do it myself at home in about six or seven minutes. I asked for my money back as they had clearly forgotten my order. I [politely] left to the comment: “You are only really disappointed because Norwich lost so bad”.
Maybe the lady had a point.
On my foodless trek back he had to be there didn’t he?
My Ipswich neighbour was leaning over his gate waiting for me. I got the lot from “we’re going up and you’re going down” to do you want to swap my sieve for your defence?”.
He’s a good guy so I didn’t bite.
I ended up with a corned beef sandwich and half a box of Mrs P’s Jaffa cakes.
At least Prince George had a good time.