Blimey, where to start.
Well, first of all, it was a good result. Rotherham is never an easy place to go, as City discovered last season, and when you go there flaunting a Premier League badge on your sleeve you’re guaranteed an uneasy time.
But, by the sound of it, they coped well.
Only Seb Bassong, Graham Dorrans and Jonny Howson survived from the side that drew with Stoke at the weekend but it was still a line-up that screamed anything but ‘second string’, such is the depth of squad at Alex Neil’s disposal.
And they delivered. Good performances by Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and Declan Rudd in particular will have done players and manager the world of good, and will have reassured Team Neil that if the current Premier League starters dip below the high standards they have set themselves then there are some more than useful alternatives out there.
And then of course there’s Ricky – him of the pre-match love-in.
There’s something about the Dutchman that appears to bring out the parent in us all – possibly to do with the fact it’s almost impossible to type his name without preceding it with ‘likeable’ – and seldom can I recall such unbridled joy and anticipation at the sight of a players name in a starting XI.
Yet, to be fair, on the night he delivered too. The job a centre-forward is to to score goals, be they 25-yard screamers or three-yard tap ins, and he did the latter successfully to win the game for City. We could ask no more.
That, by the sound of it, his confidence visibly soared as a result can only be a good thing for all concerned.
Of a slight concern to Neil will be that whatever combination of defenders he puts together they still find themselves vulnerable from set pieces; something that you can almost guarantee will be the subject of a session or two on the fields of Colney this week.
And then of course there’s Lewis. Oh Lewis.
It was an odd night in many respects, not least because the biggest story emerging between 7:45 and 9:45 didn’t occur on the Rotherham turf. Instead, if the Daily Mail is to be believed, it was occurring at Rotherham Central.
The game was less than fifteen minutes old when the paper broke a story of such astonishing detail, the only thing missing was the filling in the sandwiches purchased by Lewis in the buffet car (well, he hadn’t eaten since 3:45).
The gist of the piece appears to be that nasty old Norwich have refused to accept Bournemouth’s third bid for his services and when Lewis tried to call his current manager to tell him he’s just being mean, Alex didn’t answer the phone. Shocking.
As a result, in a bid to drive through the deal, Lewis apparently headed for the railway station in order to “head south” even though a smidgen of research would have told him to head in the opposite direction, given that his Bournemouth pals were playing in Hartlepool.
All of this is conjecture of course and is based on a newspaper article in which there were no direct quotes from Lewis or an ‘insider’, but if the chain of events were as described, if I were Master Grabban I’d be preparing my excuses. If there are two people in the footballing world you don’t want to upset it’s Alex Neil and David McNally.
Either way, you get the feeling the odds of Lewis becoming a Bournemouth player increased massively last night, and the opposite for his chances of training with the academy lads.
And it left a nasty taste.
Interestingly, look who’s next up at Carrow Road.
But if Grabban was the night’s villain, the heroes were, as ever, the Yellow Army. For over 1000 to make the trip on the archetypal wet, miserable Tuesday evening was astounding. I salute you all.
City’s prize for the win – a home tie with West Brom – throws up an interesting one given that Dorrans, Andre Wisdom and Youssouf Mulumbu all plied their trade their last season. It also offers a decent chance of progress in the competition.
Oh, and City’s second bid for Benik Afobe was turned down last night by Wolves.
I’m going for a lie down.