It seems the older I get, the more trips I make to the dump. No, not Portman Road.
I don’t think I ever visited a waste and recycling centre before I was 35, and now I’m there so often, I’m half-expecting an invite to their Christmas do. (I probably won’t go though; I bet they all get stinking drunk.)
Chucking stuff out is something you have to do on a regular basis unless you want to end up as one of those hoarders they make documentaries about. But it’s something I’ve never found easy.
There’s always the anxiety that you might discard something you’ll need later. And increasingly, the sad realisation that you’ll never have time to make use of much that you’ve put away, and that no one else will find it of any interest.
Those diligently recorded and nerdily catalogued video-tapes of 1990s sitcoms will never be watched again. My university textbooks and essays will never be re-read. No biographer will ever want to see the notes and early drafts of my books.
In fact, I probably couldn’t tackle the task without the help of my wife. Yes, there are occasional differences of opinion – one man’s programme collection is another woman’s pile of waste paper, apparently – but she is very good at identifying and throwing out anything unlikely ever to be used again. Though curiously, I notice her wedding dress is still up in the loft.
I can’t help wondering whether Chris Hughton has similar difficulty in having a clear-out. Following the acquisition of even more midfielders over the summer, I thought a few were sure to be defenestrated before the transfer window closed – but in the event only Andrew Crofts moved on.
By my reckoning, we now have thirteen senior midfielders on the books. Two of these – Tom Adeyemi and Korey Smith – have been sent out on loan, but that’s only like putting them into Big Yellow Storage for a while. (Other storage companies in less attractive colours are available.) Hughton clearly thinks they may come in handy at some point, so they haven’t been chucked out altogether.
I’m not complaining at this, you understand – I’m just a bit surprised. My experience of new bosses coming in has always been that they are itching to take a red pencil to the staff list as soon as possible. Starting with the Bs…
And it was certainly a relief to hear about David Fox’s new contract and to read the manager’s assurances that Wes Hoolahan is part of his plans. I think the fans know how valuable those two players are even more than Hughton does at the moment.
I just hope he’s able to keep everyone happy when they’re not playing – quite a task with so many of them, unless he tries the formation Spain used during Euro2012 with six midfielders and no strikers. (An approach pioneered by Glenn Roeder when we played at Reading in December 2008, albeit with rather less success than Spain.)
Perhaps he’s simply deferred the difficult decisions until the New Year. If he’s still finding it hard then, I know someone who could help.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the game at Villa next month. I’ve got another trip to the dump scheduled. (Not really.)
This means I won’t be able to show Paul Lambert what I think of him. Which is a shame, because a nose around various Twitter feeds and message boards suggests that quite a few City fans intend doing just that – but in a very different way.
Booing him or turning our backs on him seems ridiculous to me. What he did in his time at Carrow Road is the closest thing to a miracle I’ve ever witnessed in football. You could make a strong case that he, along with David McNally, effectively saved our club. He gave us three, gloriously thrilling seasons.
Yes, he left us. But this hardly constitutes a betrayal. We supporters may be City till we die, but it’s unreasonable to expect employees of the club to feel the same way. It’s a job to them – and as long as they do a good job while they’re here, we can have no complaint.
Ah, say some, but it’s the way he left that left a sour taste. Yet he didn’t break any promises to stay. He didn’t go to Ipswich, Wolves or Leeds. He hasn’t returned to sign any of his old players (unlike Brendan Rodgers, for example). He hasn’t, as far as I know, denigrated Norwich since his departure.
And the way we acquired his services from Colchester in the first place hardly allows us to complain about the way he left. We always knew he’d move on at some point, but were more than happy to enjoy all the success in the meantime.
Think how poorly it will reflect on us if Lambert is booed and heckled when he emerges from the tunnel. In fact, remember how bitter the Colchester fans looked on his return there. It’s as undignified as yelling ‘Slag!’ across the street at an ex-girlfriend. And doing it in front of your new partner, who is unlikely to be impressed with your behaviour.
It will be far better to show our magnanimity and decency by showing our warm appreciation of all he did for us.
Having said all that…
Once he’s been given a good reception, he can legitimately be given some stick, especially if the game goes our way.
When Mike Walker brought his Everton team to Carrow Road a couple of months after leaving us and we stuffed them 3-0 (even Ian Culverhouse scored, for goodness sake), the Barclay sang to him ‘Is this what you left us for?’
That made oi larf.
And finally… has anyone else noticed what appears to be a vile slur on a senior City player in the new BetVictor TV ad? One of the characters wants to put ‘a pony on that donkey that scored for the Canaries’.
It’s a disgrace. I intend to write and complain.
I might leave it a couple of weeks to see if he rediscovers his touch first, though…
And finally, again… We have three, signed copies of Kevin’s new book, Yellow Lines, to give away by way of a competition prize.
All you have to do is answer one, simple question: Kevin once wrote a column in support of Peter Grant incorporating almost 30 song titles by which artist?
Answers, not on a postcard, but to firstname.lastname@example.org