Another blogger to take up the offer of an MFW guest spot was Paul Usher, co-founder of new football fans site, www.headersandvolleys.co.uk. Here he offers his take on the impact of NCFC lockdown, and launches a phrase that will soon be as familiar as Webber-lution. Enjoy…
Let’s face it, this seemingly never-ending hiatus from football has been pretty hard to take. Strange, when you consider we have three months over the close season like this every other year. I think it is mainly because it COULD be on, and we could be basking in this glorious sunshine at Carrow Road after a couple of cold pints in our favourite pre-match boozer.
I’ve been trying to clutch at the positives: we haven’t lost in a while, we aren’t relegated (yet) and the re-runs of beating Ipswich on YouTube have brought some great memories flooding back.
Another thought I’ve had is that transfer market rumours seem to have gone quiet, and for a club like Norwich (for whom the media are much more interested in as a seller than a buyer) this kind of feels like a good thing.
Given the likes of Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis, Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey were never far from the transfer rumour pages, it has been a welcome break from the prospect of having the heart of that glorious promotion-winning squad ripped from our grasp.
Relegation or not, it seemed that a Daniel Levy or an Ed Woodward would pop along with a hefty cheque to tempt our young starlets to the fame and stardom a top-six club brings, but this virus-enforced break has at least stopped the rumours. And with talk of players’ values decreasing with the same rapidity as PPE in a hospital stockroom, the summer transfer market could be quieter than usual.
There is a part of me that feels we may just get one more season from some of our boys.
Which brings me to the possibility of Emi Buendia leaving the club, or Buexit as my friends and I have dubbed it.
I need to get my head round this possibility, but it actually makes my heart ache to think about it. Sure, Emi has his flaws, and Daniel Farke has been right to challenge his best and most creative force about this at times, but I think we can all agree Stuart Webber pulled a masterstroke to sign him for just £1.5m from Getafe.
I could keep going with the superlatives to describe ‘Football Heaven’ for my word count would break. I don’t think I have seen a player with such all-round skill, passion and ability grace Carrow Road. And I think Wes Hoolahan is God.
We all admire his through-balls, assists, little tricks and stepovers, but how often does a player have those qualities as well as being an excellent tackler, interceptor and being able to dribble past opposition defenders like they weren’t there.
My friends and I share the belief of his similarities with Carlos Tevez in his prime – stocky and bolshy, yet gracious. Sure, it is a common criticism to say Emi could add more goals to his game, but let’s remember he’s only 23. How he hasn’t broken into a relatively poor Argentina national side, I really don’t know.
What I can’t help but feel is that Emi is different to the others. We have already had a rumour of Atletico Madrid and a £15m (pah!) bid a couple of weeks back; and clubs in the UK and abroad would be churlish to ignore him. Realistically, any team would have to pay at least double that amount to take him, but given the possible recession in transfer fees, paying £30-40million now could prove to be a bargain.
I firmly believe he’s that good. As much as a move back to ‘sunny Spain’ would pain me, Atletico and Diego Simeone may be the perfect club for him to develop further. I’m sure Emi would cherish the opportunity to link up with a former Argentinian great, whose teams are known for their solidity and flair in equal measure.
For Emi and any potential suitors, the only stumbling block aside from this god-awful disease may be the pleasing pig-headedness of Stuart Webber, who will want as good a deal out of any kind of Buexit as he did when he entered into the agreement in the first place.
One thing’s for sure, on this occasion I would be more than happy with a ‘No Deal’ scenario.
Paul is the co-founder of new football fans site, www.headersandvolleys.co.uk which includes articles, challenges, quizzes and merchandise. During lockdown, they are hosting a weekly interactive online quiz named ‘Football in Isolation,’ details of which can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/headersandvolleysuk/