Having always been a firm ‘it matters little what the bookies and pundits say’ advocate, I’m now a little curious as to whether their condescending attitude towards ‘little Norwich’ does have in fact an impact when it comes to the transfer free-for-all.
Archives for June 2013
A successful 1975 trip to Kenya. Five wins, 23 goals and lot of opportunities for the players to go on safari which, no doubt, they would have done – after all, the opportunities to picture Ted MacDougall with a headline along the lines of “big game hunter” would have been too good to miss, surely?
It goes without saying it doesn’t sit comfortably to agree with Alan Hansen, but his incessant assertion that ‘nothing frightens defenders like pace’ is indeed true; Gabriel Agbonlahor’s match-winning performance at Carrow Road back in early-May a perfect example of how destructive the combination of pace and power can be.
Kevin was a good player, there is no doubt about. Neat and tidy in possession, a tendency to play the ball out of defence rather than kick it and, no mean feat for a defender, pitched in with his fair share of goals – 11 in the 1979/80 season.
Everton at home on 17 August is indeed mouth-watering and, with Roberto Martinez now at their helm, will reveal a re-branded Toffees outfit. One suspects their style will be the fluid, contemporary style that Martinez honed at Swansea and attempted, partly unsuccessfully, to refine at Wigan.
At around this time every year one of the nationals – usually a broadsheet – gives us chapter and verse around the complexities of compiling said list, and sure enough the Guardian hasn’t disappointed. While it apologetically describes the process as ‘laborious’, it’s actually quite interesting (or is it just me?) and offers one or two little nuggets I was unaware of.
The thought of a ‘big unit’ with a top-notch strike-rate (59 goals in 125 appearances since moving to Holland) linking up with Ricky van Wolfswinkel indeed sounds an edifying prospect, but before we get too carried away we should perhaps cast our minds back nine short years.
In the world of football it matters not what level you play at or the status of your club and players. They may not be as earth as iconic as Tardelli’s goal and moment of complete abandon against West Germany a little over three decades ago but, to the clubs and the supporters involved, they are as important, maybe more important than anything the perceived great and the good may have performed before.
It was Sir Alex Ferguson who memorably said, “Football. Bloody hell” after yet another of one of those moments, their last gasp win against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final – “that magical night in Barcelona” as Clive Tyldesley, ever irritatingly, constantly refers to it.
Swansea’s triumph in the Carling Cup at least suggests the odds of seeing green and yellow ribbons adorn a silver trophy are slightly shorter than England emerging victorious from the World Cup or Euros.
While the pub would once facilitate the sharing of such a rumour with maybe a dozen people – some worse for wear and unlikely to recall a thing – Facebook and Twitter can spread the same rumour to thousands in a single keystroke.
Raymond De Waard had a reasonable enough career in the top divisions of Dutch football to suggest that Bryan Hamilton might have secured a bargain when he signed him from SC Cambuur in 2000… alas his City career, along with that of fellow Dutchman Fernando Derveld, was of the brief variety.
I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad footballer. We can, and we will, call them all of the names under the proverbial sun, we can dismiss them, question their right to even exist and damn their name and ineptitude to the end of time but, in reality, they’ll still have footballing ability we can only dream of.
Where once City were renowned for injecting new life into the careers of thirty-somethings – Martin Peters and Mick Channon being two fine examples – our recent history has been littered with examples of us being the premature dispenser of said footballing demographic.