As you were…
News that Aviva are to continue as the club’s shirt sponsors came, to me at least, completely out of the blue.
The grapevine – that Reuters-type source of reliable information – was heavy with talk of Coral or Best Fiends (I still don’t know who or what they are) but despite previously announcing that they were to end their eight-year reign it’s to be Aviva again.
There was however a clue in last August’s ‘deal is ending’ announcement with a reference to their wish to remain involved in being a community partner.
Now, presumably after a fair bit of toing and froing, they have managed to kill two birds etc by agreeing to adorn the club’s shirts with their Aviva Community Fund logo for the 2016/17 season.
The bad news? Said new logo is rectangular in shape and with a yellow background.
Hopefully if, as expected, common sense prevails, the home shirt will return to its traditional all-yellow and the “ugly” and “unsightly” yellow box will become a non-issue. I don’t have the strength for another shirt-related meltdown.
It will be interesting however if it means the away kit (or kits) will still have to contain essence of yellow in order to incorporate the logo in an aesthetically pleasing way.
But the continuation of the deal can only be a good thing and at least saves us from one furore, even if it took the club a while to get there.
Following on from the Wes Hoolahan’s virtuoso performance against Sweden it was mildly amusing to watch the nationals latch on to the ‘Wessi’ nickname as if it were their own, but at least it was a recognition of sorts of the type of performance we all take for granted.
It was worthy of note that Robbie Brady and Martin Olsson joined Wes in the 7/10+ category and it was with some Canary pride that the picture of the three together at the end of the game did the rounds on social media.
It was fitting too that the game was played out against a striking yellow and green backdrop.
Alas the other side of Wes – the reason why he’s still a Norwich player – was on show yesterday and he was unable to make anything like the same impact against Belgium; another glimpse for the watching world of what it’s like to be a City supporter.
Brady meanwhile continues to pull up trees and, as if it were needed, offered us another reminder of why his future is at the top table and not in the Championship. Olsson too was eye-catching in Sweden’s second game against the Italians and I do wonder…
All three however have a significant fight on their hands if their involvement in Euro 2016 is to extend into the knock-out stages.
Nothing to Laff about…
Given the outcry in some quarters over Alex Neil’s refusal to offer the Carrow Road floor to Kyle Lafferty it was with a fair dollop of irony that it took for the Ulsterman to be dropped for Northern Ireland to earn their first win in the Euros.
Not strictly true of course, and Michael O’Neill did go at great length to eloquently explain why Lafferty was rested for the game against Ukraine, but it was an interesting twist to the saga that seemed sure to end with Laffs banging one in for his country and, midst celebration, whip off his green shirt to reveal a Why always me, Alex? T-shirt.
There’s still time.
In all seriousness, I think think this is just one of those where have have to trust the manager’s judgement. It’s inconceivable that Alex Neil would have left Lafferty out of the City side last season if he believed he was a better option than any of the others he had at his disposal.
He didn’t not pick him out of spite, or to prove a point, or because he didn’t like him. It was simply because he didn’t think he was a good enough fit. And on Thursday, Michael O’Neill agreed.
We at MFW have taken some stick this week. In some quarters we have been perceived as being too soft on the club and failing to hold them to account.
As a site that offers opinion on all things Norwich City, all we ask from our team of writers is that they say it as they see it. There is no editorial control over what is said and all are encouraged to express their NCFC-related thoughts in an erudite and knowledgeable way. I’d like to think that most of the time we succeed.
Sometimes folk agree. Often they disagree. That’s the rub. In fact, that’s the whole point.
But what we don’t do is berate the club at every turn, as some seem to demand, especially when to do so would rely on guesswork and conjecture.
If something needs to be said I trust that among the team someone will say it – even if it’s an unpalatable truth – and as editor my aim is to offer balance to the thorny issues of the day. Sometimes I fail but always with the best intentions.
But if you really think we’re sugar-coating it then please feel free to have your say. We have a guest blog facility and I’m happy to offer the floor to anyone who can coherently string some words together.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
“On the Ball City…”