Okay, sit up at the back and listen. This is an MFW history lesson 😉
“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?”
Any reader who recognises the quote as being from King Henry II of England and referring to Saint Thomas a-Becket, later referred to by one Geoffrey Chaucer as “the holy blissful martyr” and the subject of the pilgrimage to Canterbury in his famous Tales can go to the top of the class and give out the pencils.
Unfortunately for our politically-ambitious Saint, who had been a close friend of King Henry at one point, a group of Knights wishing to reinforce their loyalty to the King took their Sovereign at his word, crossed the Channel, and hacked poor Thomas to death close to the main altar in Canterbury Cathedral. Much hand-wringing followed from Henry, who felt a tad guilty at the gruesome death of his old buddy and had a severe attack of conscience wobbles.
That was in 1170; over 800 years ago. No prizes for maths students I’m afraid.
So, some 800 years on, I at least can see a parallel with Norwich City
Delia’s version of King Henry’s quote is surely: “NO-ONE will rid me of this meddlesome priest”. One disaster follows another, there have been more false ‘dawns’ than at a dodgy drag show and there is no sign of any imminent change, apart from the exit of the left flank on the playing front in this awful January transfer window. Archant reports that Martin Olsson could go for as little as £4million. Oh dear, oh dear oh… dear.
Nelson does something just plain daft. I’ve seen the highlights, I don’t care what the provocation was, you don’t rabbit-punch an opponent, particularly when you’re wearing black gloves that show exactly where your hands are and what they are doing. Silly, silly man.
So, another excuse for another defeat, eh, Alex?
Of course, Jonny Howson limps off, Russell Martin fails to get anywhere near incoming crosses and Steven Whittaker, who at this rate will be our left back until the end of the season, might be okay going forward but struggles to defend.
Which neatly cues my next point. Who’s up next? Paul Lambert’s Wolves. I saw quite extended highlights of their game with Villa and they break at such pace poor old Whitts will be cut to ribbons. As will the centre-back pairing, whoever that happens to be on the day.
We ended up against the poorest team in the Championship – the table doesn’t lie – with Wes, Alex Pritchard and Steven Naismith on the pitch at the same time. Come on Alex Neil, how could that ever work? If we don’t get some physicality into this squad and soon we are in deep doo-doo.
This season is shot. Gone. No play-offs. No Wembley dreams. And as for automatic promotion, my sides are reluctantly splitting. We won’t be relegated. That’s the only upside.
I don’t always watch the Channel 5 Highlights show all the way through, but I did this weekend. The sheer exuberance of Leeds, the grit and endeavour of Preston and the way Fulham knocked it around for fun made me consider how proud I would be to support any one of those sets of players. Not our lot, I’m afraid.
Southampton is largely irrelevant.
I can see things getting a little bit raw when we host our second-best set of footballing friends – the Wanderers from the Black Country. The warning signs are there, they are seriously quick on the break.
I guess Alex Neil is getting his excuses ready now. I hate losing to Wolves, I really do.
But when or if it happens (choose your own projection) I fear matters could turn a little toxic at our favourite football venue.
I don’t have a Wolves-supporting friend, but a good mate supports Villa, and he said they are starting to look a bit special. The clubs largely share the same local media and the rivalry is obviously intense. He reckons that with our paceless defence (I don’t include you Olsson, but you’ll be gone by then) they’ll just hit us down our left at every opportunity. Ivo Pinto is quick enough but the threat won’t be on his flank.
Which brings me back to my medieval theme – King Henry II lived a long and apparently largely satisfying life, but always regretted his words about friend Thomas that led to his demise.
Maybe it would be appropriate if Delia decided enough was enough with Alex Neil before the Knights come charging into the Cathedral with their halberds and broadswords? With their favours in yellow and green.
Because the peasants, let alone the knights, are in the process of becoming revolting. We don’t want to be because we are basically loyal, but we are fully capable of being truly revolting.
M’Lady: increase our season ticket tithes just now and you might be in for an empty harvest.