Back in the Middle Ages when even Wes Hoolahan was a young lad, French forces had a banner called the Oriflamme. Once raised, it’s meaning to the opposition (normally the English) was simple: We take no prisoners – either we die or you do.
Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt all come to mind.
As soon as that flag was hoisted it meant one of two things. Either, we’re strategically in the muck but want to die with glory for the sake of our King, or we’re really, really going to do you lot in. Stuff the ransom money, we want blood. Your blood. All of you.
Versions of it were used as late as Waterloo, when the Old Guard (wait for it) were annihilated by Blucher’s tardy troops.
But our supporters’ version of this against Blackburn on Saturday was more like a damp squib than the Oriflamme.
Chants against Alan Irvine for taking off Alex Pritchard? Sorry, it had to be done. It was Pritchard or Wes. Three at the back with a temporarily disabled Ivo Pinto or bringing on Bassong as part of the trio? No ta.
That’s not to say D Block of the Upper Barclay didn’t argue about the choice. We did. Vociforously amongst ourselves until half time.
After a very poor Blackburn team notched their second, a brief bit of anti-Board shouting started up. Three minutes later, CJ equalised and the noise ceased.
Taken in isolation a 2-2 draw when we’ve played around 70 minutes with ten men is not a bad return.
Blackburn were in no way a good side, and if some of our gas tanks could have miraculously been topped up I feel we would have held out for a 1-0. It didn’t matter anyway.
I am hardly known through my scribblings on MFW as an afficianado of the Board, whether individually or collectively. I am still in tune with my long-held views, so Jeff, Chris and others I love to hear from: I haven’t deserted you.
And no, I wasn’t convinced by Russell Martin’s recent comments. Not in the slightest.
However, I really feel this is the time to cut Delia and co a little bit of slack. Recent columns from Mick and Stewart point towards the fact that they are trying to do things properly this time and I hope they are correct in every single move they make.
The only people who can sort this mess out are the Board. The rest of us cannot by definition be involved, and like it or lump it, we have to accept the situation and live with it.
They have a lot of important decisions to make and indeed crucial appointments must be made. I too am hearing good vibes about young Tom from some quite disparate quarters, although being me I am still deeply suspicious of him – mainly through his family connection and lack of significant backstory – but please, pretty please, give him a chance.
I will if you will, as it were.
Oh, I nearly forgot about Napoleon’s Old Guard. Loyal and efficient to the end, they chose to die for Bonaparte at Waterloo rather than live (as they envisaged it) in some form of imagined shame.
Several of our old guard don’t have that ethic and the quicker they are shown the door the better.
Let’s get some players in over the summer who would fly a yellow and green Oriflamme. For Norwich City.
This week could possibly be the beginning of a successful future, although as Joe Strummer so rightly and poignantly said, the future is unwritten.
Please Board get it right this time. Please. From all of us.