So much to talk about, so little time …
First things first: we lost again. We have now lost ten of our last 14 games. We are averaging less than a point a game over the course of the season. We are heading for relegation.
As always, we did not get stuffed. As always, we created chances. As always, we gave away a soft goal and failed to take the opportunities afforded to us.
Roeder, as is now his Hamilton-esque way, spoke afterwards of how well we played and how unlucky we were not to get a point.
The fans, meanwhile, went home despondent, with many calling for Roeder's head and with most feeling that relegation was all but inevitable.
If, as could well be likely, we end the month without at least one newly-signed recognised striker (not to mention another centre-back), then Stan proposes that the writing is on the wall. 'Hello League One, it's been a long time …
So, should Stan talk about managers or strikers? For what it's worth, Stan thinks it too late to save us via the manager bounce.
That said, he also doesn't countenance the argument that making a managerial change is not worthwhile because there is no obvious 'name' replacement.
Selecting a manager is not an exact science, and only a handful of managers worldwide are in any sense a 'risk free' appointments. This is even more the case the further down the league you go. But to argue that no obvious 'fan's favoured' candidate means it not worth doing anything is to argue for never changing anything – ever.
As we know, some managerial appointments work and some don't. Who would have thought that Worthy would have got us promoted on his appointment?
How many people wrote Mick McCarthy off as a dead duck on his taking on Wolves? Who had heard of the Burnley chap who is more than holding own? Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc…
As it is, however, and in our precarious league and financial position, Stan suggests that change should only be made now if the board have a definite alternative in mind. There is no time for a long-winded appointment process.
They either act immediately because they have a replacement to hand, or they leave it to the end of the season after we have become yet another of Roeder's relegation victims.
Then the board will have to think hard about who is the best man to help us all acclimatise to life in League One. For sure, 'prudence with ambition' will at least be damned finally to the overflowing dustbins of history.
As for striker's, well Stan took his mind off the car-crash in which his club is currently involved by thinking of those number 8s and 9s who have previously graced the hallowed turf.
A couple of relevant points came to mind. First, we did used to mine the lower leagues well for up-and-coming strikers, though the experience of Zema Abbey et al seems to have scared us off ever returning to such pastures in search of fresh talent.
We may note, however, that way back in October 1971, Ron Saunders chose to boost our potency by signing David Cross from Rochdale. Never prolific, Cross offered Norwich less a target-man than a magnet-man to play the ball into and allow others to play off.
Some time after, Phil Boyer and, a couple of years later, a young Kevin Reeves came via Bournemouth. Stan's favourite, Kevin Drinkell, came from Grimsby; for some time he was partnered by Wayne Biggins, who we bought from a then struggling Burnley.
Iwan Roberts cut his teeth (literally) in the lower divisions for much of his pre-City career.
Of course, the game has changed since those days. But Stan wonders if our financial position and need to build for the future necessitates that we look to find those talents emergent from – or flourishing in – the lower leagues rather than rely always on young rookies not physically cut out for the Championship.
Truth is, Stan fears Roeder is so blinded by his Premiership contacts that he would not deign to look to pros-from-below.
Better to curry favour with the great-and-the-good (note how one of OJ's only two league starts took place at Southampton, a drive from Pompey..) than to mix it with the sheepskin coat brigade. He may be right, but Stan can't see much evidence for saying he is.
Second, in favour of Roeder's tactical approach, some of the examples cited above reveal that our strike-forces have not necessarily included six-foot giants.
We have regularly played with two 'footballers' up-front, but one of those tended to be able to play with his back to goal in order to allow moves to flow through and around him.
As it is, Roeder's failure to put together a decent forward line-up has been a primary cause of the situation we are now in.
Just like the Worthy team in the wake of Ashton's departure, we find ourselves with a selection of supporting strikers but no figurehead. Then, however, we had the talent of Hucks, Earnie and, eventually, Dublin, to keep our heads above water. Now we have no-one.
Consequently, we do not score enough goals, which serves only to apply more pressure to an already weakened defence (that boasts the third-worst goals against record in the Championship).
To make matters worse, Cort is looking to be Hartson Mark II, Lups wants out, Curo is persona non grata, OJ is not cut out for it, Sibi is injured and not even a striker anyway, and Lita is surely headed elsewhere.
Lovely. Renton, your day awakes … or does Roeder really have one last Ched-like card to play and save the day? Stan fears not, but he'll try to keep the faith.
Now, how far exactly is it to Carlisle?
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