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.
Keith B says
If Grabban had a brain he would have waited until today to jump ship; it’s a rather shorter train journey from Southampton to Bournemouth, than it is from Rotherham (or Norwich!)
Seriously, would Bournemouth fans want him back? I doubt it.
Today’s game has some significance to the transfer window. If we really are looked at as an “unattractive proposition” another win today would be the best way to dispel at least a little of the doubt in the minds of players and their agents.
Whilst the maths of the Premier League means that even mid-table clubs are uncomfortably close to the relegation battle for most of the season, sooner or later players are going to catch on to the fact that we have a very good manager whom they’d like to play for. We might be the bookies’ and press favourites to go down right now, but I think within the game that perception is gradually changing.
Stewart Lewis says
Stand-up comedian? You’re taking the p**s.
Lewis Grabban’s stock has gone the way of the Chinese stock market since Rotherham. I took issue with Ed the other day for his comparison of LG’s situation with Steve Bruce and Robert Fleck. Those two had a deep bank of goodwill to draw on, which Lewis clearly lacks.
Having said that, we CAN forgive – perhaps Iwan’s overweight and sluggish first season with us is a fairer analogy. If Lewis decides to get his head down and show commitment to his club, there will be a way back. As Russ says, he’s a skilled and hardworking forward – useful qualities to bring fans back on his side.
But that’s up to him (unless AN decides first).
Premier League Pedant says
You really saw what Alex Neil was all about in a ‘wee chat’ situation in that press conference snippet released by the club on their YouTube channel the other day. “That’s a stupid question.” He was clearly not happy, and was tough with the journo, but still remained calm and assured. And everything he said was spot on.
The message is clear. The club and its manager are in total control. That’s reassuring to the fans, and it also shows the rest of the squad there’s only one winner if you go against NCFC.
Let’s hope we’re just as strong today vs a Saints team desperate for their first win.
Keith B says
” If Lewis decides to get his head down and show commitment to his club, there will be a way back”
As my Grandad used to say IF is the biggest word in the dictionary. Either he was right or he had a very limited dictionary.
From what I’ve read Grabban has played games before, and was on the verge of joining Brighton until he was awarded a new contract at Bournemouth.
Assuming he is still our player on Tuesday evening I think he’ll be out on loan for the rest of the season. Could even be at Brighton if Chris Hughton’s looking for a proven Championship goalscorer to boost his excellent start to the season.
Jim Davies says
I think Keith B’s suggestion (4) of a loan to Brighton is an excellent idea – Grabban’s gets to go back to the south coast, but not to Bournemouth (who’s fans, judging by their forum aren’t too keen to welcome him back anyway), Brighton might benefit and keep Ipswich out of the promotion places, and we get shot of someone who doesn’t want to be here. It’s a win-win-win situation!
By the way, while the is no “I” in team, there is a “me” (with a slight rearrangement of the order of the letters).
And also by the way, don’t give up the day job – your prospects as a stand-up don’t look good.
Stewart Lewis says
Keith B (4) – No doubt about it, your Grandad was right!
Russell S. says
Not much to laugh about after that result but the good news is I have two weeks to practice my routine before we play again! Thank God I don’t have to write up that match report.
Stewart/Jim – looks like ‘urine’ the majority.
It’s comedy’s loss, not mine.. 🙁