There was an interesting comment – among many – to the Sunderland point.
It came from a Dave B who was now willing to give Chris Hughton until the end of the season to prove his worth.
“Right now, I’m leaning towards keeping him until the end of the season, as I think he’ll keep us up, but largely due to imploding teams around us. I’ll gladly eat humble pie if he does that…” he wrote.
Ramming humble pie down each other’s throats is probably not the best way to bring the Canary Nation back together again; in my experience, those scoffed and scorned invariably come back with a greater vengeance once the tide turns.
As it invariably does – particularly given how form and fortune in this league can rest on the whim of a fixture computer.
Given Norwich’s run in, patience and opinions will be sorely tested again before the summer arrives.
The more interesting point was that about ‘imploding’ clubs running to Norwich’s rescue.
Because for me, one is indivisible from the other. It is woven into the very fabric of Premier League life, that events off the field can have just as much bearing on a team’s final position as those on it.
Spurs might be a case in point where Daniel Levy’s stewardship of the club is – almost for the first time – coming under the spotlight.
The management structure and those, in particular, charged with filling the yawning gap left by Gareth Bale’s exit clearly sat uneasily with the now departed manager; Tim Sherwood’s sudden rise to Premier League prominence looks one of those that could either be an act of executive genius on the part of Levy as he thrusts the Youth boss onto centre stage – or an act of panic as he seeks someone whose loyalty and gratitude for as long as he lasts can be more guaranteed.
Spurs, clearly, are a long way from imploding but there are still the first signs of cracks between boardroom and terrace; given the form of those above them, it is difficult to see a Champions League finish for both North London clubs this season.
But it is another example of off the field decisions dictating the health of a football club and how individuals other than a No9 can directly impact where a team finishes and the atmosphere that breeds inside and outside of a dressing room.
Humble pie here would be the way that Everton continue to hold their own in the top six minus Moyes. Part of that has to be down to the stability and sense that long-time owner Bill Kenwright brings to Goodison. The Faithful know he is blue through and through. He is not about to turn the club’s colours red.
Which is the point. A club at ease with itself invariably does better than one in the process of tearing itself apart. How long the ‘truce’ will continue at Cardiff is another matter. But compare and contrast to the boardroom sense and sensibility that underpins neighbours Swansea City.
And nor are this season’s pantomimes anything new.
Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Leeds United… Manchester City. The cast list stretches way back; in that the madness of the riches available in the top flight of English football can just as easily be the breaking of clubs as the making of them.
Heads get turned; egos get inflated. Owners rule, OK?
I haven’t been on a West Ham website. Ever, if truth be told.
But it can’t be sweetness and light there.
And they have another factor to bear in mind, albeit still some two years hence.
After a very bruising battle to lay claim to the Olympic legacy of that stadium switch – one that now forces Spurs into seeking their own pastures new – the pressure on the Golds, Sullivans and Bradys to keep the Hammers in the top flight for the next two seasons must be immense.
Is Carlton Cole the one to keep East London’s Olympic legacy alive? Leyton Orient owner Barry Hearn, for one, will make merry hell if there isn’t Premier League football to greet the stadium’s re-opening.
It will be fascinating to see what such pressure yields in terms of the forthcoming transfer window; just what appetite the usual suspects have for another big money raid on the European striker market.
But go back to the first point; who, of all the London clubs have successfully made the stadium switch – and come out of it flush with cash?
Arsenal. Whose stability at the top – certainly in terms of management – is reaping its overdue rewards in terms of a realistic title push.
Come back to closer to home and the same sense of stability may yet be seen to underpin Norwich’s gradual rise to mid-table prominence under the Smith-Bowkett-McNally-Hughton axis.
Twists and turns inevitably await; no-one is suggesting that anyone is out of the woods on the basis of three games unbeaten – games in which you wouldn’t look to be beaten. By rights it should be four unbeaten as Fulham head to the city on Boxing Day – fresh, of course, from their own recent upheavals.
For City’s success – or otherwise – will be hugely influenced by board-level behaviour.
And keeping calm in a crisis isn’t the worst trait in the world to have.
Panic and it could be all over.
THANKS, AS ALWAYS, FOR READING AND HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS – FROM THE THE MYFOOTBALLWRITER TEAM