My son’s 12 and as such his interest in football and cricket is shared with a love of playing against his mates on the PS4 (that’s a generation four Play Station for the uninitiated….. a Play Station? … oh, just Google it).
Yesterday morning for him was PS4 time and, as always, I intermittently popped into his room to check that all was okay and that amidst the intensity and tension of it all (no, I don’t get it either) he’d taken the time to breathe… and take on board fluid.
Usually I’m met with a pre-teenage grunt, which while not much is sufficiently re-assuring, but yesterday was different. The grunt had a Naismith-type edge. In fact his whole demeanour was more Naismith than Pinto.
“What’s up, mate?”
“No, what’s up?”
“My friends are all playing on a game that I don’t have”
And there it was. That human trait of sometimes being the odd one out. We’ve all been there – except it’s of course never quite as serious as when it occurs in PS4 circles.
“Well, if it’s any consolation, I felt a bit like that this week. It was because….”
I was cut off in full flow because the headphones were back on and the protruding bottom lip had been replaced with the steely gaze of a gamer. A hardy bunch these PS4ers.
So, I didn’t get the chance to tell Aidan but I’ll tell you instead, and it’s all to do with the next City head coach.
Not to put a too fine a point on it I don’t have a scooby on who it’s going to be. And I don’t know anybody who can tell me. Yet, it seems, huge swathes of the Canary Nation seem to know an ‘insider’ or have heard a ‘whisper from someone at the club’ or are ‘in the know’.
Twitter and the messageboards are positively riddled with folk who either know someone, or know someone who knows someone. Yet I find myself in the next division down; I know someone who knows someone who knows someone – and that’s been no bloody help whatsoever.
For a while I’d heard (from my wholly unsatisfactory third-hand sources) it was going to be Uwe Rosler – in fact was almost certain it was going to be Rosler – only to then learn that the odds for another German, Jens Keller, had first of all been slashed and then suspended.
I was quietly pleased. In my mind, a bloke who I’d barely heard of until three weeks ago and whose team I’ve never knowingly seen play was a perfect fit. He’s German – like Klopp and Wagner – and is clearly au fait in working in a structure like our shiny new one, and has a name that suggests he doesn’t take too much s**t.
That was good enough for me. I even posted a picture of him. A perfect fit. Surely the board can see that.
Except it seems someone forgot to mention this to Herr Keller and his current employers, 1. FC Union Berlin. In his pre-match presser prior to their final game of the season this afternoon he spoke passionately of his plans for next season… for his current club. Berlin, as opposed to Norfolk, appears to be his location of choice.
And any links between said gent and Norwich City have caused barely a ripple in the German press.
So, I realigned my thoughts back to Rosler, comforted by the fact he too is German and despite being sacked by Leeds (but that was by Cellino, so I’m not sure that counts) and Wigan he did well at Brentford and has done fairly well at Fleetwood.
I didn’t bother posting a pic – I’d already done that a fortnight ago.
But then Sheffield bloody Wednesday go and get themselves knocked out of the play-offs by Stuart Webber’s Huddersfield and the next thing you know we’re being linked with Carlos Carvalhal – someone who’d not even been the faintest of faint blips on my radar.
So I head to Wikipedia. And learn that Senhor Carvalhal started his managerial career in 1998 during which time he’s had 16 clubs. 16 clubs in 19 years. Do the maths. Then a City supporting friend who lives in Sheffield confirmed that the Carvalha to Norwich rumour had made it into the local paper and also that his two seasons at Wednesday have been his longest managerial stopover to date.
Doesn’t sound like a great fit for a project, but hey. What do I know.
And then on Friday a blast from the past suddenly pops up out of nowhere. Dennis van Wijk, last spotted at Wembley in a yellow and green shirt doing a needless handball, enters the SkyBet fray at 11/1. Wiki revealed that Dennis has enjoyed a long, varied managerial career, predominantly in the Belgian second tier and, it has to be said, without too much acclaim.
And just to further confuse my already addled brain the names, Monk, Wagner and Lambert linger around – but with so many ‘in the knows’ telling me so many different things it’s impossible to separate wheat from chaff.
So… despite messageboards and social media being crammed full of folk who think they know, I’ve concluded that actually most of them don’t. And quite possibly me not having even an inkling doesn’t make me the odd one out. Not that it matters anyway.
For what it’s worth my notoriously unreliable gut tells me it’s going to be Rosler – possibly the most solid but un-sexy of all the protagonists – not least because Webber had allegedly penciled him in for the Huddersfield job if the Wagner deal didn’t come off, but that’s no more than an uneducated guess.
I really have no idea.
And I could ask Aidan for his thoughts – but he’ll just grunt at me.