Almost to this very day two years ago I had to go to the NNUH for a full dental extraction. The guy in the next bed to me was a Polish fella called Marek who was in for some kind of preventative DVT operation. Neither of us could stand the noise from the other patients so he suggested we retreated to the little waiting room just off Coltishall Ward where some cards and board games were provided for visitors.
I helped him into that area and discovering the cards only numbered 49, he asked me if I could play chess. I said that I could, but only because I know how the pieces move. He battered me twice in less than 10 minutes I’d guess, although neither of us could wear our watches.
Out of sympathy, he suggested we switched to draughts and I gave him a much better battle, although I think he beat me about seven to five in a best of 13.
Objective achieved, we had about an hour of respite from the noisy boys who had quietened down by the time we returned to the ward.
Why am I going on about one of the worst nights of my life?
Because at Premier League level Norwich City are forced to play chess, not draughts. In either board game, one wrong move gives you a massive setback and a second consigns you to the bin. People better at either game are going to beat you if you stuff up.
And, oh boy, did we stuff up at Goodison Park on Saturday.
MFW has already done the Everton match to death which, like chess, gives me little room to manoeuvre, except to say that having seen two obvious errors from firstly Ozan Kabak [you cannot kick a player on the thigh in the box, mate] and yet again Kenny McLean, kind of points to where we are.
We’re off to Burnley on Saturday and I’m glad I’m not on MFW preview duty for that particular game. I have nothing nice to say about them apart from a grudging admiration for Sean Dyche and what he’s achieved. Grudging admiration, but genuine too.
We’ll get as battered in that game as much as I was on that tattered old chessboard on that awful night.
The question of course remains: where the flipping heck do we go from here?
Should the knives be out for Delia, Daniel Farke or even Stuart Webber?
I genuinely don’t know but this time last week I was happily responding to some positivity from MFW readers. Right now, apart from us getting on top for a 15-minute spell in the second half, I have no reasons to be cheerful.
In terms of my proverbial glass, the tide has gone out.
I hope Brandon Williams enjoyed watching the Joshua-Ukay fight on Saturday. Williams comes from a boxing background and, of course, he deserved his night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with some friends and family. I’d have loved to have seen it as well but £25 to Sky Box Office is a bit too much for me to splash out.
For heaven’s sake boy, how did you allow that to leak out online – anybody might think you had commitment issues or something.
The October international break will be extremely interesting in terms of what happens. I’m confident there will be no invitation issued to Big Sam and that Daniel Farke will still be at the helm come the resumption.
But for the life of me, I cannot see how this squad could pull us out of the Championship yet again. Rashica, Tzolis, Sergant? I don’t see any of them cutting it in that dreadful league and that’s for sure.
We won’t have Kabak or Normann either as it’ll be *return to sender* in both cases. No Mario, no Tetts, no Stieperdude. No Skippy or Emi either of course. Think about it.
Maybe some MFW readers will castigate me for putting my arms in the air and waving the white flag rather than the yellow one too early and fair play to any who might. But we’re not long for this PL world that we currently inhabit if something doesn’t happen quickly.
I’ve no idea how we can progress from here and it seems that Daniel Farke doesn’t either.
Some folks have said that watching us this season is akin to having your teeth drawn. I know a bit about that and would say that both are equally painful, albeit in a different way.
I didn’t come around from general anaesthetic particularly well and a kindly doctor gave me a bonus recovery night in the NNUH and kept his word by discharging me at 0730 [the shifts those guys work!] the next morning and I hope Marek was equally fortunate, although he was still there when I left, understandably fast asleep.
Even then he would have beaten me at chess. How good are you, Daniel?