And tonight, live from Norwich, it’s The Blame Game. Apologies to Nicholas Parsons but I cannot use the original title of Sale of the Century as Norwich City have very little to sell. So The Blame Game it will have to be.
I’ll take an insipid although not entirely inept display against West Ham at the London Stadium as an expected given for most of us. Some readers will think we might have scraped a point if Adam Idah’s effort had beaten Lucasz Fabianski while many, many others will be grateful that the Hammers didn’t run up a score that Ben Stokes or even Steve Smith would have been proud of.
Right now it seems as if nobody has enough fingers to point at those they wish to blame for our current, abjectly miserable, situation.
On the very day that Daniel Farke and his team of assistant Eddie Riemer, coach and analyst Christopher John and fitness chief Chris Domogalla all signed on at Russian Premier League outfit Krasnodar there are those of a Yellow and Green persuasion out there questioning whether dispensing of their services was the right thing to do.
A couple of social media gladiators have said that Dean Smith got the tintack at Villa after five straight defeats so what are he and Craig Shakespeare still doing at Colney after six losses without scoring a goal? These guys have a point, which is more than we’ve managed since my 64th birthday on November 27, 2021.
Then on to the next target for the pointing finger. Recruitment. No beating about the bush, it’s been the worst I can remember since Chairman Chase let Dave Stringer spend £150k on Dean Coney. Stringer didn’t want Coney, he was all we could afford. That was the season we were nine points clear at Christmas at the top of the final Division One table of course.
We have spent some money this time around, but on what? It’s like a litany of wastage really and not something I am looking forward to pointing out but in the interests of accuracy, I’ll have to document it.
Angus Gunn, Christos Tzolis, Milot Rashica, Josh Sargent. That little group adds up to something well north of £30 million in itself. And then we have the loans of Billy [can we believe the hype?] Gilmour, Ozan Kabak, Brandon Williams and Mathias Normann. Normann has been pretty sound but was brought in with what was surely a pre-identified medical condition. As for the others? If you think they have been decent investments I’m happy to discuss them with you in the comments section 🙂
The finger seeks out a new target: one Stuart Webber. Did he influence Smithy and Shakey by selling them a non-viable project or is that far too harsh a view? Does Webber believe in self-funding himself? Probably as he took on his role knowingly when he joined four years ago. Is he a Svengali, an Alastair Campbell or even worse a Dominic Cummings?
Webber has been so quiet recently that it’s hard to come up with a definitive answer.
The final finger to point is at the joint majority shareholders as in Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones.
I do not think I need to reiterate my thoughts about these people. MFW readers know what I think ad nauseum but I’ll leave it thus: when somebody doubtlessly well-meaning thinks they know what is best for everybody and are steeped in intransigence, we will have to learn to live with them as they are the one thing we can do bugger all about as they do not recognise that it is time to quit in an honourable manner as many of us would probably like to see.
Genuinely I hope it doesn’t turn nasty for the Smiths on Saturday as they deserve more than that, even if only in humanitarian terms.
I have run out of fingers to point with now which means that the kitman, stewards, hospitality staff and all us wonderful fans are innocent.
Unfortunately, The Blame Game will be a popular show this season – pun intended.
Me? I know where the blame lies: