So now we know how Colchester felt – not a great feeling is it?
I’d imagine most of us are a little guilty of feeling sorry for ourselves since ‘the news’ broke – not very mature perhaps, but true.
We’ve done our fair share of gloating over the last three seasons – and quite rightly so – and we can therefore have no complaints when some of those who’ve been in our sights are enjoying our close-season ‘wobble’.
Whilst there’s never a good time to have a ‘crisis’ – as the national media seem intent on reporting it – there’s no better time to have a management vacuum than when the entire playing squad is either on holiday or getting married.
Quite how dear old Russell Martin found time to so eloquently calm our nerves on TalkSport this weekend is to be applauded.
We all knew Lambert would leave at some point, and being a good old pessimist I did express my fear that it could be to our friends in claret and blue at the final game of the season.
But, deep down, I was more than happy to believe those who told me that there was no way he’d leave us for ‘that lot’, especially after the way we swept them aside without breaking into a sweat.
Seldom can I recall such an apology of a performance from a ‘sleeping giant’, particularly one that contained a fair sprinkling of international players. In fairness, I’m guessing they were demonstrating the definition of ‘losing the dressing room’.
As it happened, of course, Lambert’s medium term ambitions proved equally as difficult to predict as his weekly starting XI. In the long term we all knew he’d leave us but, as David McNally confirmed we’d expected it to be for a ‘top job’.
No disrespect to Villa but I’m not sure they currently sit on the cusp of greatness as many of their supporters will have us believe. Based on their recent visit I’d imagine they’re more in need of a Paul Daniels than a Paul Lambert…
But time will tell. And I’ll try and avoid the stepping stone analogy for now.
One thing they can be sure of is there will be very few ‘no-shows’ of the Carrow Road, 13 May 2012, variety next season – Lambert and Co will guarantee them that much.
In fairness to McNally, throughout this whole unhappy episode he’s played a blinder – cross him at your peril – just ask Holt and his ‘representative’. I’m not expecting either, along with Mr Lambert, to appear on the McNally 2012 Christmas card list, but so be it.
Unlike our former manager, our current chief executive does indeed appear to have the canny knack of saying just what we want to hear – even more canny when it just so happens to be the right thing at the right time.
Exhibit A – At the very time when many of us were needing a gentle back rub, an arm around us and to be told everything was going to be OK, good old Dave comes out with his ‘We’re in good shape…’ interview.
Exhibit B – When some of us were questioning the wisdom of going down the Lambert route – and appoint a successor from the lower leagues (Lee Clark, Karl Robinson etc) – he gives us the ‘requires top league experience’ speech.
Exhibit C – He responds to some fierce online ‘trolling’ with a typically no-nonsense ‘My only concern is Norwich City FC…’ rebuttal.
I know I’m not alone in recognising these qualities in ‘Our Dave’, as the swell of social media support for him this last week has proven.
Seldom can I recall a football club’s chief executive enjoying such cult status with its supporters – or could it just be that for the first time we’re seeing with clarity the key roles that McNally and our chairman, Alan Bowkett are playing in our recent meteoric rise?
To date the plaudits have, quite rightly, rested with the football management team, but without them being sought out and appointed in the first place… You know the rest.
I certainly can’t recall the current chief executive of the SPL enjoying the same adoration!
Whilst not purporting to know the gentleman personally, one doesn’t need to be a Mrs McNally to know that here is one bloke you want on your side.
Reactive, perhaps; the holder of a grudge, possibly. But most definitely someone who you’d choose to be beside you in the trenches.
I know one thing, however, in McNally we trust. And right now we have little choice.