Redmond to Southampton has been on the cards for a while. Redmond to Stoke never felt quite right.
A Saints supporting colleague is convinced this is one that has been two years in the making, with City having had to fend off some serious interest from the south coast last time we dipped into the Championship. He’s probably right.
Given his talent, profile, and Under-21 credentials we did quite well to hang on to him then and there was almost certainly interest again last summer, so this time round it was inevitable he would depart.
Besides, relegation for the second time was enough the player himself to decide that he wanted to go. And so with him having only a year left on his contract, and the prospect of having to sell him at cut-price if he was still here in January, for the club it was a no-brainer.
The key of course was to get top dollar and at a reported £11 million plus sell-on clause that looks to me, in the circumstances, as just about it; Birmingham’s own sell-on yielding them 15 per cent of City’s profit.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘everyone wins’ because we have lost our most prized asset but it’s a deal that had to happen and now we move on. Whether the void will be filled by a Murphy or a new face will be revealed in the coming weeks.
As for Redmond himself, I suspect he’ll do quite well at St Mary’s. I’m less convinced than others that he’ll be pulling on the full England jersey by the end of next season but he’s clearly gifted and can do things with a football that most of us can only dream about.
And he was gracious in departing, which was nice, even if the outpouring of Twitter love did strike me as a little OTT. But good luck to the lad.
Italy 0 Norwich City 1
Robbie’s Brady’s late winner for the Republic against Italy was a special moment for City fans. Not as special as it was if you were Irish obviously, but given that Wes was the provider it was something a rarity for us long-suffering Canary fans.
A moment when two of our own came together to bring down one of the big boys on the international stage.
I say one of our own – still technically true – but with every passing minute of Euro 2016 the value of Brady appears to increase. Top that off with the odd heroic last minute winner and his chances of being a City player next season are up there with Boris being on the Cameron Christmas card list and Farage being elected to Westminster.
He simply won’t be appearing in yellow and green again and I suspect City’s record transfer fee received will be broken again in the next couple of months.
But that doesn’t detract from the fact that when that ball flew in the Italian net it was made and delivered via the fields of Colney. And for that I think we can be rightfully proud.
In addition to elation Wes will have also been feeling more than a touch of relief, given that he fluffed his lines just moments earlier when presented with a great chance for Irish sainthood. But that cross more than made up for it.
Touching too was the image of Brady celebrating with his partner and brothers in the immediate aftermath of victory. If you haven’t it’s here and sums up beautifully what it means to perform and succeed for your country.
It was Ireland’s night, not Norwich City’s, but if West Ham can claim to have won the 1966 World Cup it’s only right we throw our hat into the ring to claim the Republic’s famous win.
We’ll take anything right now.
Venky’s, we’re coming for you…
So, following the most underwhelming fixture announcement in history we find ourselves heading to Ewood Park on the opening day; the scene of Bradley Johnson’s thunderbolt winner back in February 2015.
If I’m honest, I’m less optimistic of a win on August 6. Not because we won’t be capable of winning – I expect us to start *every* game with the chance of a win – but because we simply don’t do opening day wins.
I was rather hopeful we’d get Newcastle away on the premise of losing and killing two birds with one stone but Blackburn it is and barring the miracle that would be victory if we can emerge with a point it’ll be an okay start to the campaign.
But with six weeks to go before we arrive at said day, and with departures likely, there remains a fair bit of work to do before the squad of 2016/17 is fit for purpose. And with the players reporting back for training this week I expect there to be plenty going on behind the scenes.
Unsurprisingly the footballing gossip columns and ‘in the know’ online experts are less bothered about those in the sights of a Championship club and the rumour mill has been relatively quiet – the few names mentioned invariably of the unheard of variety – but things are afoot.
Only yesterday Twitter was buzzing with news of a mystery man spotted chatting to Alex Neil at a hotel in Hethersett. We think he’s born in Leeds, is over six feet tall, has dark hair and is in his mid-to-early 20s but there the trail ends.
Interesting eh? Suggestions?
But, whether our mystery man is en route to Colney or not, he’ll not be the last to chat with Alex in the next few weeks.
Watch this space (unless you want some proper news and then I’d advise you to read the EDP).
“On the Ball City…”