Penning – or is that keyboarding, these days – anything of an upbeat nature two hours before a Norwich City Football Club match is invariably courting disaster.
So perhaps I should stop now.
But having promised all concerned that I would ‘fill’ our 5pm slot with a column, I figure I should plough on; and not for the first time in 17-odd years charting the fortunes of Norwich City, hold myself hostage to Roots Hall fortune.
Cos, right now, things appear to be going rather well.
Even City’s inability to even reach the third round of the FA Cup – let alone the fourth – was generally shrugged off as ‘One of them…’
It was a no-show of all-too many away days of the past; the fact that it was at the end of yet another 650-odd mile round trip for the ever-faithful Faithful was merely par for Norwich’s traditional cup course.
Paul Lambert might have already performed minor miracles in his four short months in charge, but some things even he has yet to master.
Carlisle blips aside, there is little doubt that the Canary garden is looking rosier than it has done in a long, long while.
They are, for example, scoring goals for fun.
In previous seasons – or rather under previous managers – such accomplishments were normally under-mined by an ability to leak goals like no-one’s business.
Now, however, and the Lambert-Culverhouse-Crook combo appears to have addressed some of City’s worst defensive frailties; whilst at the other end, discovering just what you can do with Wes Hoolahan’s twinkling toes – if you put him in a place of least liability defensively.
Ie in a hole.
It was the same role that one-time Republic of Ireland international Alan McLaughlin used to play for Ossie Ardiles as Swindon Town swept all before them; ahead of him were Steve White and Duncan Shearer.
Like Chrissy Martin and Grant Holt, those two made hay as McLaughlin twinkled.
In short, the chemistry is ‘right’. The magic alchemy that can appear both through sheer luck and good judgement is there in abundance at Colney.
And when the Class of ’09 take to the field, much like Nigel Worthington’s title class, they don’t expect to lose.
You score one, we’ll score two. Two down? We can still do this… cos we can score goals. And if Holty doesn’t; Chrissy might; if he doesn’t then Wes can conjure something up…
These are the sort of thought processes that go through a dressing room that has ‘clicked’ into gear.
Belief, confidence… call it what you will. But it’s there. And in certain aspects, once its there it develops a life of its own – so, for example, new arrivals are welcomed into the fold with a genuine warmth and regard; that are not seen as a threat; a desperate last throw of the dice… they are seen in a positive light, not a negative one.
It is fascinating to watch; albeit at a slightly greater distance than in previous years.
But right now, it smells right.
It would, however, not be Norwich if there weren’t the odd cloud on the horizon; one or two ghosts that could yet come back to haunt them.
And – as ever – it’ll be money that will prove to be the root of most evils; particularly for as long as the Canary coffers remain overly-dependent on the fortunes of the Smith and Foulger families.
That the new chief executive David McNally drives a hard bargain is not in doubt; but when it comes to the compensation terms with Colchester United for Lambert’s services, it may well be a bargain driven from a situation where every penny counts… perhaps there isn’t the leeway there to settle with the Us outside the confines of a Football League ‘court’.
Could it end up in a points deduction? Three points that make all the difference between an automatic promotion spot and the lottery of a play-off finish?
And then there is January. And the transfer window.
That’s where the real bogey-men lurk; out there with a Championship team sat in eighth and needing six more goals from somewhere to nick that last play-off place.
Or, indeed, one at the other end of the table looking for six more goals to nick that last survival place.
That’s when money can be in danger of talking.
For now, however, just enjoy the ride; what January brings can wait for another day.