When Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818 she kicked off a bit of a trend.
Georgian, and later Victorian, folks had a great fear of being quite literally buried alive, so insisted they were interred with a cord around their wrist and a bell on the surface that they could tug on, hoping somebody, probably said sexton, would promptly come and dig them up.
The truth of how many times the bells rang is lost in the unwritten. Very few I would have thought, old sceptic that I am.
But I heard a loud peal on Saturday – all the way from Goodison Park.
The corpse of Norwich City has risen from the grave and looks in finer fettle than the last time we saw it alive, arguably against Manchester City or Bournemouth, depending on your definition of life of course.
No longer are we “rock bottom Norwich”. No more are we a “basket case”. And Saturday’s result gives us more hope of survival than those Victorian folks ever possessed.
Two dedicated centre backs as in Ben Godfrey and the magnificent Kapitan Christoph Zimmermann. Two defensive midfielders as in Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull.
Tim Krul having help in the cajolement area from said Zimbo was so important and Max Aarons looked all the better for those stentorian Germanic tones in his lug. We looked organised against Everton and oh boy did it pay dividends. Jamal Lewis was more than adequately replaced by the excellent Sam Byram [we’ll forgive the missed free header from Mayor McLean’s free kick] and is no shoo-in on his return from injury, that’s for sure.
When we broke we did so with intent and the pace of Onel Hernandez scared the wotsits out of Everton at times. Quite why so many Merseyside media outlets referred to him as Oriel I dunno but I think they’ll spell it properly in future.
Also, the Mayor seemed so much more effective in that far more advanced role, which is of course where he did his best work while he was with Aberdeen. Teemu Pukki did his stuff, none more so than when he held off a pair of Toffees’ defenders for just long enough to slip in Todd Cantwell for the opener. Or poke it through to him if you like.
By now you might have noticed that I’ve name-checked every member of the starting XI.
But I’ll single out Cantwell for special praise.
His tracking back was on a different level to what he has achieved recently. He was extremely unlucky with a first-half effort that was surely goalbound but for a half-block from an Everton defender.
And that well-timed run on to Pukki’s assisting pass was worthy of a striker. And a very good striker too.
Plus we had the rare sight of a triple substitution from Daniel Farke.
As we understandably bunkered, Krul produced two excellent saves and as the clock ticked down we saw what I initially found hard to believe but, yes, it happened. The ball in the Everton box, a panicky touch from Morgan Schneiderlin and there he was. Dennis Srbeny keeping his feet when he could have gone down and somehow barreling his way through to finish at Jordan Pickford’s far post.
I’m so pleased for the big lad – he’s been given very little chance to shine but when his opportunity came it was game over for Everton.
I might as well lump in Emi Buendia, whose forward ball initiated the Srbeny mayhem and Ibrahim Amadou who added a bit of ballast.
The next two games are crucial [aren’t they all] but I don’t think Arsenal’s 96th-minute equaliser will have done Southampton much good in terms of confidence despite a rather artificially upbeat James Ward-Prowse’s comments on MotD. Arsenal don’t look that great themselves – more of that from me on MFW on Friday.
Can Tettey and Zimbo turn out next week? – that’s Farke’s call, not mine.
Lifelong Evertonian Sean Stringer, who kindly helped us with our match preview, mailed me to say we deserved to win.
The Merseyside media are screaming [albeit politely] for Marco Silva to be relieved of his duties, especially as they have five incredibly difficult fixtures on their immediate horizon.
But we can’t afford to worry about that [sorry Sean].
Just as some of us, myself included, felt like we had reached the nadir, this performance and result breathes new life into Norwich City’s Adventures in Wonderland.
I’ll leave the last words to an unknown Victorian.
“Wisely they leave graves open for the dead
Cos some too early are brought to bed.”