I thought I’d kick off with a home-made joke this week – one especially for Canaries fans. Here goes (ahem)…
“I had an appointment with my Scottish bladder specialist last week. He gave me a wee chat.”
I’m not sure I could deliver it well in front of an audience but looking at the state of the top ten jokes recently told at the Edinburg Fringe Festival, I think it more than stands up on paper compared with that pretty ropey lot.
Of course, you have to be of a yellow and green persuasion to appreciate the subtle nuance involved with mine but I’m proud of it all the same.
Whatever the scale of the discussion which took place in Alex Neil’s office after the Rotherham bench-gate, I suspect that Lewis Grabban will think long and hard before crossing a Glaswegian again.
There’s no ‘i’ in ‘team’ but there is in Lewis clearly.
It was the first crack to appear since January when the new boss arrived to little acclaim and some bewilderment. No-one outside the upper echelons of Carrow Road had much idea who he was or what he had done in the game.
Fast-forward to the back end of summer and with promotion, an attractive playing style developed and thoroughly impressive off-pitch demeanour, any initial doubters of the appointment look mighty silly now.
A happy ship with nothing but glowing compliments for the no-nonsense boss. It couldn’t last forever could it?
Not when human emotions and sensitivities are involved in a squad of men all keen for glory and adulation.
Grabban was duly hit with a suspension for the rest of the transfer window – metaphorically sent to Coventry. I wouldn’t wish the literal trip on anyone.
Public enemy number one status was assured in Norfolk for the ex- Bournemouth man who has never quite managed to make a connection with most despite notching a dozen or so vital goals last season.
Yes, despite his actions the other night, he is a clever forward with sharp movement and space awareness but when it comes to consistently sticking it in the net, all too often he’s disappointed. He should have had 20 or so last season if not one or two already this.
“Kick him out!” many immediately cried. Probably the same people who wanted similar action after his sending-off last time out in South Yorkshire.
Suddenly, the Ricky devotees out there spotted an opportunity for their boy to shoot up the strikers’ pecking order and the Dutch enigma duly obliged with what turned out to be the winner. Will he at last blossom and begin to unshackle himself from that heavy transfer fee around his neck?
It would appear that the stroppy Grabban wants away back to the south coast, presumably for a bigger weekly reward.
Maybe the air down that way is more to his liking too or the Cherries faithful exuded a bit more love in his direction in his previous spell there.
He’s unlikely to be any higher than third or fourth in their pecking order, so I’m not sure how he can perceive a return south as an opportunity for more regular first-team action. That *would* be a joke.
If his desired move doesn’t materialise, then it’s hard to see him even warming the bench regularly for the rest of the season. A dose of ‘working with the development squad’ could well be in store for him – a sticky fate suffered by Grant Holt at Wigan last season.
If anyone can persuade an errant striker to rehabilitate and make his critics eat their nasty words, then Neil is the man. If Grabban comes back stronger and better in our colours then great although maybe some are less willing to forgive and forget than me.
The remaining days of the transfer window will be anything but dull whether you agree with it being open still with the season started or not.
All the chatter of course, even before Grabban threw his toys out of the pram, has been about buying a new striker; the list of prospective candidates has been long and varied.
With Wolves distinctly un-obliging (and quite rightly so in my opinion) to let their man go for anything below double figure millions, it looks like some late nights are in store this week for the men who matter at Carrow Road.
Much has been made recently of just how unattractive a proposition our club is to anyone of any note, be it up front or at the back. We’ll find out shortly who’s up for a move to the east and who’ll be posing at Colney with a new shirt or scarf in time-honoured fashion.
Meanwhile, I’m off to polish up my stand up routine. Edinburgh 2016 awaits.