Judging the mood of the ‘Canary Nation’ has always been something of an inexact science.
The advent of all the various ‘social media’ tools now at the disposal of your average Carrow Road punter has hardly helped; if anything, they tend to merely polarise opinions ever wider – the highs are that much higher; the lows are certainly that much lower.
Opinions are instant; views are forthright; some will brook no argument with their stated position. Until the next result. Then in the cacophony of social media noise out there, everyone will have long forgotten what your actual opinion was. The world has moved on.
Until the next result.
When opinions change again.
Michael Turner would be a case in point; the managerial nous of Chris Hughton another.
If the City chief delivers a Capital One Cup quarter-final spot on the back of tomorrow night’s home clash with Spurs, then events at home to West Ham United and QPR will be long forgotten. Fulham? What happened at Fulham?
In fact the way football tends to work, you wouldn’t bet against a Villa v Norwich quarter-final re-match; the Law of Sod would just lurve to engineer that re-union gig.
But look back over events of the last fortnight – and let’s not dwell over-long on the fact that the latest set of club accounts reveal that the Canaries are bang in the money right now – and I would suggest a rude, good health sums up the mood football-wise.
Certainly the directors of Reading, Southampton and QPR have far more to ponder some quarter of the season gone. Was it ever likely to be the case that Norwich would be top half of the table at this stage – particularly under the charge of a new manager?
No; that was never a realistic proposition.
Instead, I’d guess Norwich are where most would have put them – bobbing along somewhere around that 15-16th spot as both new boss and new players begin to bed themselves into the Norfolk way of football living.
None more so than Sebastien Bassong who – as others have noted – looks the total part at the heart of that Canary defence.
Equally, Alexander Tettey doesn’t look the worst player in the world; both bring new athleticism and power to the City dressing room. And then there’s Wesley. Who helps make Grant Holt tick.
Bolt John Ruddy at the base of a ‘spine’ of Bassong, Tettey and Holt and that’s not a bad-looking, mid-table outfit – it is certainly not one that has any whiff of relegation about it.
Whether Spurs will play ball and deliver the kind of general disinterest that allows the Norwichs of this world to move into the last eight of a cup competition remains to be seen. My suspicion would be that they won’t be wholly pedal-to-the-metal tomorrow; that opportunity may well knock for a little cup adventure.
Bag a result tomorrow; dig something out of the Stoke game as the bottom three continue to flail and stumble at the foot of the Premier League table and I think that life PL – Post-Lambert – isn’t quite as uninspiring as some might have suggested.
Hughton, as an individual, is likely to be far less black-or-white in thought and deed than his Scottish predecessor; he will be more steady, than spectacular.
But that is, probably, just what Norwich need right now; patient and considered building atop decent foundations.
And a manager who – in the case of Hoolahan’s return to centre stage – is not afraid to re-visit old ground, if that’s what it takes to deliver possession, performance and results.
No, all things being equal, I would have taken this start to the season had it been offered at the start of August. Wouldn’t you?