First things first: Norwich City are in the Third Division – get over it, deal with it, accept it.
No Canary fairy is going to turn up and wish away or make right all the mistakes made by players, management and board alike over the past five years; the swine flu pandemic is not going to wipe out the entire board and boot room, as some e-mail warriors and NCISA spokespeople seem to desire.
We have no money; we have to bring young players through; we have to sell Sammy Clingan to get in anyone who costs; no 'name' players are going to come here.
That's where we are at; that's what we've got.
So onwards and upwards.
If you don't like it, take up Scrabble on a Saturday, or go and support Chelsea or Man U and pretend that football is only ever about 'nice' things.
And anyway, Stan's enjoying himself.
True, pre-seasons are weird. They tell you very little. By equal measure, they can engender false hope and unwarranted despondency.
The games are unrepresentative; it is often difficult to tell in what 'gear' (to use commentator parlance) that players are playing in.
Nevertheless, Stan always likes to see the Yellow-And-Green running out onto the pitch again; he likes the fact that it represents the football fan's greatest palliative: the promise – and the hope – of a new and better season.
Slates are wiped clean, new faces appear, young players begin to come through the ranks and possibilities return. Pre-seasons sow the seeds of expectation when all there is ahead of us is potential. Come on, City …
And so this year we begin with Fakenham and Dagenham. 6-0 and 7-2.
The two goals against grates a bit. Makes Stan think that we still need a new right-back and, possibly, a new left-back to shore up the defence. But the 13 for and the range of players who have played in the two games is good to see.
As it is, Stan didn't make it to Dagenham. But he did enjoy a pint or two whilst watching a City XI trot out onto Fakenham rec last Friday evening.
On view was one new signing (Gill), one old face (McVeigh), lots of the young boys coming on through, and a handful of trialists. For what's worth, Stan thought this:
First, the team looked twice the size of that which played against Gorleston this time last season. Then, the only heavyweight on the pitch was that joke of a fitness trainer that Roeder brought in to bulk-up our scrawny squad with a mix of star-jumps, Mars bars and Tizer.
Although the diddy-men and Bertand-clones won that day, we all know what happened when they came up against the might of Blackpool et al. This year, at least six of the starting XI stood way over 6 foot tall. We looked like a team with modern-day athletes in it.
Second, the best two players on the pitch were Troy Powell and Tom Adeyemi.
Powell is a trialist from Spurs and someone who we really should sign up immediately. OK, it was only Fakenham. But he scored twice, set up at least one, hit the post twice, had two cleared off the line, and missed two further decent chances.
He won every header, he was strong, and he found space. In other words, to sign him would only add to the relative paucity of striking options that we currently have. Put bluntly, he looked like The Future.
Adeyemi, too, looked big and strong in the middle of the pitch. He scored twice and supported the strikers well. He stood out.
Third, Gill played 45 mins and looked alright. Took a decent corner, but appeared to be going through the motions. McVeigh, on the other hand, reminded us of the class he could – at times – bring to the Worthy-team-that-worked.
His tricks were a joy to watch and he scored a screamer. When he was in the game, he looked a different class.
As for the rest, David Stephens looks like he has the right-stuff to become a decent centre-back. Again, he looked big and strong; but he also came out of defence and played the ball. Kelly, too, looked a cut above when he came on for the second-half.
All in all, to quote The Who, the kids are alright.
Whether the older players will be is a question for which Stan hopes to receive a positive answer in the new season.
Let those go who want to go, and Stan can think of one quick, but ineffective player he thinks should be booted out of the door whether he can be bothered to leave or not.
All we can ask for is that the old boys and the new boys start the season with fire in their bellies and a team spirit to carry them through.
Let a new chapter begin …