More fallout than Fukushima?
Take your pick from this lot:
“More to it than meets the eye”
“Out of their depth”
These are just some of the more printable negative phrases and comments which accompanied the slamming of the transfer window and which did the rounds on various social media sites and fan forums.
While no doubt one or two of these were promoted by devious, trouble-stirring fans from across the East Anglian divide, sadly the majority genuinely do seem to have come from our own – some of whom are of an age at which they should be wiser.
Within the space of a week which brought the first away defeat in eight months, a silly strop from a striker and not enough signings for some, suddenly the manager is out of his depth and the chief executives and owners should quit.
As Bart Simpson would have it, “Ay, caramba!”
In my own terms, “Holy cow!”
It takes all sorts of opinion to make up a football club supporting family. Thank God for that as otherwise we might as well buy a one way ticket to North Korea.
However, the vitriolic reaction from some to a perceived lack of transfer business still managed to flabber my gast (whatever that may be) and shiver my timbers.
To deal with all the contentious issues raised would take many pages, so I’ll focus on the three main ones as I see it:
Firstly – Bradley Johnson’s speedy exit. Good business or ripping the heart from the squad?
No-one seems to have seen it coming. The net-busting PoTS was settling into media responsibilities up in Derby quicker than you can say “Ricky van Wolfswinkel loan period”. His confusion over his new club’s name illustrates how fast the transfer wheels had turned in his case.
Problem with Alex Neil? The conspiracy theories went into overdrive. Let’s not forget that the ‘other Alex’ periodically dispensed with the indispensible at Old Trafford – the no room for sentiment approach seems to be engrained in the streets of Glasgow.
The most logical answer seems to be that BJ is clearly not as good as Graham Dorrans, Yousouf Mulumbu or Robbie Brady when the head is used in place of the heart.
The new midfield signings are all proven top performers in the Premier League at other clubs and have settled in quickly here. To be fair, Bradley struggled to make a mark in his three seasons with us at the top level, often being on the end of some stinging verbal barbs. How quickly some forget.
Mulumbu is the captain of his country,DR Congo, who finished third in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Brady is a regular in the Republic of Ireland side and Dorrans should be in the Scotland squad alongside Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker (he does have 10 caps from his WBA days).
Secondly: No new centre back. This seems to have caused the most ructions.
Frankly, who was out there of sufficient quality? Go on – name them if you dare.
Would we have settled for a Lescott or an Evans?
Virgil Van Dijk was maybe a possibility but he was always going to go Dutch at Southampton and his poor performances in the Champions Lwague qualifiers did put up a red flag as to his ability outside of Scotland.
Thirdly: That mythical 15-20 goal-a-season striker.
Many an offer was made but either club wasn’t willing to sell – as in the cases of Afobe and Walters – or another club was chosen. Glenn Murray/Dwight Gayle? Do we care?
To not much fanfare, we’ve brought in on loan an exciting and experienced big fella – pals with Mulumbu and with a fine goal record for club and country.
Dieumerci Mbokani – our new number 9, take a bow. He’s got fans’ favourite written large on his strapping frame. Hell, he’s even got a son called Bradley!
I’ve hear some dissenting voices say it smacks of Kei Kamara’s arrival. Just compare the records. They don’t.
Matt Jarvis should provide plenty of ammunition for Mbokani, Cameron Jerome and even Lewis Grabban once he’s released from the dungeons of Norwich Castle where he’s been put on a strict bread and water diet.
I’m not saying life’s perfect. Clearly, we’re not as happy as a Leicester fan or a Swansea fan at present but footballing fortunes are fickle and it doesn’t take much for trouble to brew up anywhere, anytime.
We may be a tad short in one or two positions for now but let’s all look forward and *try* to be positive.
We’re where we all want to be. Let’s enjoy it and not end up eternally grumpy like that lot at the Emirates.
* While a recent report shows that our squad is the third cheapest assembled in the Premier League, our little old squad would be in the top ten in all other major European leagues – unthinkable comparison just 5 years ago. Worth bearing in mind before demanding the owner and CEO consider their positions.
**Norwich has a long history of helping and accepting those looking to escape repression in their own lands – indeed, our club’s nickname is said to derive from 16th century Dutch religious refugees who brought pet canaries with them and settled here.
I would hope that the PL and our club in particular will publicly follow the example of Celtic and Bayern Munich, who have pledged to donate money to the current refugee crisis. In light of those ridiculous squad ‘values’, it would be obscene not to.