For reasons entirely of Addiply’s making, tonight I’m in New York, heading up to 485 Amsterdam Ave – between 83rd and 84th – to a bar called George Keeleys.
Somewhere down the back – in Canary Corner – will be the New York Canaries. We will, I suspect, talk football rather than digital platforms. Which is fine; you end up wearing a coat of many colours these days.
And I already know my first question: ‘So, is this as good as it gets?’
On the back of this weekend’s 2-0 success over Bolton, a result that maintained Norwich’s place in the top half of the Premier League table, and the fact that the Norfolk club have an eminently winnable FA Cup fifth round cup tie looming large, it is an interesting point.
That for a whole generation of Norwich supporters – both near and New York far – these are the happiest of days. As good as it has been since those heady, heady days of the early 90s and trips to Munich and Milan.
Of course, the good news doesn’t stop there. Canary fans can look forward to at least two new arrivals enlivening their spring in the shape of ex-Leeds skipper Jonny Howson and Posh centre-half Ryan Bennett coming on stream.
To those two you could probably add James Vaughan; he has barely had a chance to make an impact this season due to various knee knocks. If he can now stay fit, there’s three ‘new’ players to take to the Premiership stage before this glorious season is out.
The interesting thing there, of course, is their age – and, indeed, that of Lambert’s squad in general.
Without running off to Soccerbase, if memory serves Howson, Bennett and Vaughan are all 23. Their best years as a pro footballer are probably still some three to four years distant.
As they are for Anthony Pilkington who took his tally to the season to six with Saturday’s killer second. End up anywhere near the ten-mark from a wide position in this league and the Huddersfield ‘starlet’ could look like one of Lambert’s bigger steals.
Look back at the Class of 93-94 and, by and large, those boys were in their 28-29-year-old prime. They weren’t – Chris Sutton apart – just about to embark on glittering Premiership careers; they were in the midst of them.
Which, clearly, put that much greater pressure transfer-wise on then manager Mike Walker to recruit fresh legs and younger bloods.
Lambert is scaling similar heights achievement-wise with players – on average – three or four years the junior of a Crook, a Bowen, a Culverhouse or a Gunn.
He is, in short, laying the foundations for a rich and vibrant playing future if we buy into the notion that the likes of a Howson or a Bennett (Ryan and/or Elliott) are still learning their trade; that they all have yet to fully blossom.
Which is fascinating.
If collectively they can deliver ninth or tenth and an FA Cup quarter-final spot this season, one year stronger and wiser what heights could they hit next season?
Alas, this is where the debate is going to rage this evening.
In Walker’s era, a club of Norwich’s stature didn’t hit a glass ceiling somewhere around that fifth or sixth spot.
They could roar on into the top two or three.
Some twenty years on and – hand on heart – who truly believes that a Norwich under Lambert’s charge are going to be in a position to rock the thrones of either Manchester club? Or a Tottenham? Or a Chelsea.
The bloated rewards of the Champions League – and the billionaire owners that pot of gold attracts – has fatally skewed the English Premier League against clubs such as Norwich.
Whack another tier on top of the City Stand and see what difference that makes?
Is it enough to pay the wages of a Gareth Bale?
Lambert’s thoughts this spring have been interesting in the sense that – on the pitch – Norwich have reached the end of their ‘seven-year plan’ about four years early.
Where they head next is an intriguing prospect – given that that question is, to my mind, woven so inextricably with the manager’s own ambitions and intentions.
Encouragingly, in recruiting the likes of Howson and Bennett he appears to be building for his own medium-term future; they are not short term fixes to keep the manager in the top flight and, by implication, in a job.
These boys are players that Lambert wants to grow up with as a Premier League manager; it suggests that the story has a way to run yet.
But – and it’s a big but – how far can the roller-coaster go in the days of United, City, Chelsea and Co?