Come in No5 – you're time is finally up….
It is a sight that most Canary fans had largely given up ever seeing – a big, strapping centre-half holding up a No5 shirt to the TV cameras.
Today, however, it finally happened as 27-year-old Martin Taylor was introduced to the Press after agreeing his loan move from Premiership Birmingham City overnight.
New City boss Glenn Roeder could hardly be accused of not making an early impression.
By this evening, 35-year-old Lee Clark was safely installed as his new No2, fresh from being released by Newcastle United and, like his manager, agreeing a two-and-a-half year deal with the bottom-of-the-table club.
Both cited Roeder's presence as one of the principal reasons for their arrival; both will be centre stage come Sunday lunch-time when the neighbours arrive looking to haul the derby spoils back down the A140.
“Glenn being here has had a lot to do with it,” admitted 6ft 4in Taylor, limited to just one appearance for Blues this season – a 3-0 Carling Cup defeat at the hands of the club that first guided him through to the Premiership, Blackburn Rovers.
“I've got a lot of respect for Glenn Roeder and what he's done as a manager and I'm just excited to come and work with him and, hopefully, it'll go well.”
Clark would echo such thoughts – insisting that it was his total respect for Roeder that persuaded one of Tyneside's finest to uproot and leave his beloved Toon for a new life at Carrow Road.
Both will have their hands full come Sunday as the first East Anglian derby match of the season kicks off – Taylor partnering Jason Shackell for the first time at the heart of that Canary defence, while Clark stands alongside Roeder on the touchline.
For all concerned any sort of result this weekend would get their administration off to a decent opening; even a performance would be a start.
“I'm just looking forward to the game,” said Taylor. “Obviously it's a big one and I'm sure all the lads in there will be looking forward to it. It's just a good game to be involved in.”
Games have been distinctly hard to come by for Blues' occasional skipper last season. For having formed a promotion-winning partnership with ex-Bolton brick-house Rahdi Jaidi, both ave struggled to find a way around new arrivals such as Franck Queudrue and the on-loan Arsenal youngster Johan Djourou.
Opportunity now knocks for Taylor – 28 next week – to kick his season back into life and to put his name back on the footballing map.
“It's been very frustrating,” he admitted. “Any footballer will tell you that they want to play games. You can train all you like through the week, but when you miss out travelling with the first team or like being involved, it is frustrating.
“So I just needed to get out and get some competitive games.”
How long he has been looking to get out and get some games would be interesting to know. After all, Norwich have been scrabbling around seemingly forever looking for a loan centre-half – particularly once the Ryan Shawcross move this summer fell apart.
Indeed, one of the board's frustrations with the Peter Grant administration was the fact that the money was always there to fund a Taylor-like swoop – even if it was just a sticking-plaster solution for a month.
But, for whatever reason, Grant refused to commit his funds to battle; to put his wedge on someone's head.
And that's criminal. Whatever funds any board ever makes available, always spend it – always cover your own back and give yourself the best possible chance of clinging onto your job by spending every last penny at your disposal.
And if there's none left, go public and complain that there's none left. Switch the spotlight onto a 'miserly' board. That was Nigel Worthington's favoured trick.
Those are basics in the battle of political wills that exists between any boardroom and dressing room. Don't leave the suits with cash in their coffers.
Whether the board and/or Roeder are looking beyond this first month is for time to tell; Taylor appears to be happy enough with his lot if he was back at St Andrews come Christmas.
“Nothing's been said so far,” he said. “Like I say, it's just the idea of coming and getting some games. I've signed a contract at Birmingham just at the end of last season and that's the club that I'm contracted to at the moment.”
In the meantime, it would help everyone in Norfolk if 'Tiny' can get City moving forwards again. With just one point from their last 24, there's only one way they're going right now.
“The lads need to get confidence – and everyone knows that you get that from winning games. That's the total priority,” said Taylor, who – having captained Blues on a number of occasions last season – might be one of those to add to your Dion pile. A big character.
“You need some players who can hold everybody together if you go a goal down – you know that that's not it and you can get back into the game,” said Taylor, particularly in the midst of a derby due as he finds himself potentially pitted against the boss' boy, Town defender Alex Bruce.
“I've played in derby games before and often they're tense; there's not much in them. But, hopefully, we can make a good show of ourselves and, hopefully, get a good result.”
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