Phew! There were some pretty powerful and heartfelt comments on Gary’s article yesterday – all of which I very much enjoyed reading.
I’ll return to that later but first a few words about the match itself. Personal circs dictated that I couldn’t attend, which is a real rarity for me, so I loaned my season ticket to Matt, a lifelong City fan and my next-door neighbour in Mundesley.
When he returned said ticket yesterday morning he was brief and to the point: “It was a tight game with an even tighter decision against Zimbo. Of course being in the ground you get informed of very little, if anything, regarding VAR. And the time these decisions take!!!”
“Why oh why can’t we play for two halves? Why on earth take off an apparently uninjured Teemu Pukki to put Marco Stiepermann on? And why can we never close out a game?”
I asked him about the atmosphere in the Carra and to paraphrase the response was roughly, “if neither set of fans can celebrate a goal for fear the VAR replay will discount it, what’s the point in going?”
Well said Matt.
He added the general mood was pretty flat from both sets of supporters inside the ground.
VAR is killing the game although I am increasingly accepting that it will not be affecting us next season.
I had a grim chuckle early yesterday when I opened my habitual redtop. They gave Emi Buendia a 9 and Star Man in their Goals section. Talk about shoving him even further into the January Sales shop window.
But more darkly indicative was the literal error in their Premier League table. Norwich City are bottom with 1 point. Not 14 points, 1 point.
I nearly choked on my glass of breakfast cider [sorry, cup of tea] when I saw that.
I have nevertheless made a New Year’s resolution for the first time in my life. There are eight home matches remaining and I have a good chance of making Arsenal and Tottenham away. I will do all I can to make sure I don’t miss a single one of these. Because:
The likes of our current collective have never been seen before. They are entertaining, work for each other and have played some superb stuff both last season and this. They are a genuine pleasure to watch despite the obvious shortcomings at Premier League level and their commitment to the cause and each other is truly endearing.
But in about five months time this group will be split asunder.
We will face losing Max Aarons, Emi, Ben Godfrey, the Dereham Deco, Jamal Lewis and most likely the Goat as well.
The money raised [I will guess conservatively at some £80 million] will not be reinvested in the squad. Anybody but the most blinkered Deliaphile will know that.
So it’s back to square one in the Championship with six huge holes to fill. But there could be a seventh.
Can we realistically expect Daniel Farke to continue to operate under these restrictions? In the knowledge that even if he did get us back into the Prem he wouldn’t have a dollar cent to spend, once again?
Farke is employable just about everywhere across the European leagues. There is a rumour that BVB are tracking him. Sure, it’s just a rumour at the moment. But I repeat: why should he stay here? I don’t think I would under his circumstances.
Anyway as I started with neighbour Matt’s words rather than my own I thought I’d end with a cheeky rob from Chris P on Gary’s piece yesterday:
“Top class football is a rich man’s sport. Either incredibly rich individuals or global companies. It’s not a corner shop. The fact is, the majority of us want Norwich City to be the best they can be. The potential is there. To simply trot out the tired line about the Smiths’ capability to spend isn’t cutting it any more.”
Spot on I’d say.
The loans aren’t going too well for us just now are they? Shrewsbury are sending Louis Thompson back due to recurring injury problems and Blackpool are returning Rocky Bushiri for a pretty similar reason, but reading between the lines there seems to have been an element of him not being good enough for League One.
Patrick Roberts is about to go to Middlesbrough via a return to Citeh. As Michael McGovern was on Saturday’s bench it wouldn’t surprise me if Ralf Farhmann was shortly returned to sender as well.
Ibrahim Amadou hangs around on the periphery.
Judicious use of the loans market?