Only two more to go, we can do it! Yes my fellow supporters of NCFC we can collectively get to the end of this wretched season, the one that promised a little but achieved absolutely nothing but condemnation and humiliation from the PL pundits.
Unless we are to class a seemingly regular bashing and bruising of the tattered and torn by Premier League elite and not so elite alike as an achievement of course. And 21 points from 36 games and a goal difference of -56 is quite an achievement in some ways, but surely not something you should be proud of.
Our latest reverse, 3-0 at the King Power, saw a couple of positives as in a starting debut for Tony Springett and a few other changes in selection. Ultimately this match was the definitive game that meant nothing, with mid-table mediocrity facing what many media types would describe as the side everybody outside Norfolk wanted to be relegated – us.
We had quite a reasonable first half, but as soon as Leicester opened the scoring we all realistically knew that there would be no coming back and so it proved.
I found Dean Smith’s post-match comments quite interesting, so I’ve picked out a couple:
“We are a team that has been recruited to play possession-based football, but unfortunately at this level, we are coming up against teams who are going to be better than us with possession at times.
“They upped the tempo of the game second half and once the first goal goes in it mashes with our brains a little bit and we suffer then. It becomes hard because we have to try and chase a game and we are not good at that because we are a better team with the ball than without the ball.”
I’m not sure I’ve heard the term “it mashes with our brains” in the football context before so I’ll have to give Deano some kudos for his originality there but we all know what he means!
Angus Gunn must have been grateful for a rare start doubtless caused by Tim Krul’s recent loss of form. He added:
“I think in the first half we did put on a good show, and we are probably a bit disappointed not to go in one or two up. They were putting a lot of pressure on us, but on the counter-attack, we did have a few really good chances and I think if one of them goes in then it could have been a different story.
“We were obviously backs against the wall for quite a lot of the game, to be honest, but I felt pretty comfortable in the first half to go in with a clean sheet and then the deflection for the first goal was not kind to us but these things happen in football.”
I woke up to an interesting set of messages from mi Posse this morning in which Alex B had questioned why there were no cameras zooming in on Delia and Michael from the stream via which he, Alex A and Bernie Owen were watching the match.
Bernie later replied: “At about 83 minutes there was a 10-second or so close up of our owners. The commentator on my feed said: “and here are the majority shareholders of Norwich City, They’ve had a few complaints but mostly about Stuart Webber who oversaw the recruitment”.
“They didn’t sanction the necessary spending. They spent, but on speculation.”
As for the playing staff, there are more doubts than usual about who will be staying, let alone speculation concerning anybody coming in. This is just my view but I would put Tim Krul, Max Aarons, Milot Rashica, Todd Canwell and even Teemu Pukki on the list of those who – potentially – might not be around next season.
I know the club has taken up the 12-month option on Teemu’s contract extension, or at least very publicly announced that is their intention. Pukki has seemingly indicated in his usual quiet way that he’s happy to stay. But I’m a cynical old sod and will say that I’ll believe it when all the dust has settled.
All current loanees will be gone, of course, freeing up four places in the squad presuming it remains 23-strong.
I would love to hear Webber’s “review of the season” interview purely to understand the reasoning behind some of his purchasing decisions and if he will cut back on prospective stars of the future in order to get in the couple or three hardened midfielders with Championship experience that we so desperately need.
Maybe we won’t hear at all if he doesn’t instigate a thawing of his current relationship with the local press.
Then the MFW end-of-term reports by Andy Head will have to suffice, and unlike the musings of Stuart Webber, we readers know that we’ll be getting a bloody good laugh out of Andy’s article.
We’re shortly to be thrown to the Wolves followed by a visit from Tottenham.
As I said, I cannot wait for this season to end.
*** I’ve never been a fan of 80s synth-pop but I’ll make an exception for this, which features the legendary Dusty Springfield. All NCFC supporters and quite a few players and members of club staff will be asking themselves exactly this question right now:
Our management has taken clutching at straws to a new level.
The only clear plan for next season appears to be that our woeful owners will cling on regardless and our sporting director is going mountain climbing.
If we remain in the championship at the end of next season it will be a miracle.
Actually I’m pretty sure we will remain in the Championship.
The caveat is that I reckon we could be there for a few seasons and when we’re completely skint will drop further down the ladder.
Answers on a postcard from a well-to-do village near Stowmarket please.
Martin, if Pukki, Hanley and Aarons leave, who could blame them, I can’t see what’s left surviving in the championship.
Max will go and I’d personally like to see the back of Cantwell but after his *achievements* this season who would want him?
I think Hanley might stay which is why I didn’t mention him.
Something tells me Pukki will be off and like you I cannot blame him.
Dissatisfied of Trunch says
I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t hear anything from Stuart Webber and that he will just give a cursory statement when he leaves sometime in the close season to ‘pursue different interests’. He obviously isn’t committed to the club so it doesn’t seem to be in anyone’s interests to draw it out. Pity, but that’s where we seem to be.
In most mainstream business you wouldn’t find an owner or a senior director bending over backwards to retain the services of a disgruntled employee. It doesn’t work like that except, seemingly, at NCFC.
Mind you if I’d performed like a certain somebody has this season I wouldn’t have had a chance to go mountain climbing at seemingly my leisure.
I’d have been shown the door with a quickly created P45 in my hand.
Keith B says
I don’t know about the media but everyone I know in the NW is sympathetic to us and would prefer to see both Everton and Leeds go (apart from the one Everton and one Leeds fan I know).
Our stock among neutrals is, at least in my experience, high.
And just re. Leeds. I see they’ve broken the record for yellow and red cards – given the brutality of teams like Blackburn under Mark Hughes that takes some doing. By contrast we’ve rarely been close enough to anyone to foul them. In the end though it looks like we’re both going the same way.
It also struck me last night that just as want-away Buendia seemed happy to see red near the end of our last relegation season I wonder if one or two Leeds players are playing the same game. Let the side down, as Ayling and James have both done recently, and the club might not be so keen to force them to stay.
Under the Red Card Logic why hasn’t half the city team gone out to get one 😂🤣🤣
That’s one dubious bonus this season – not enough commitment to pick up more than the very occasional red 🙂
Keith B says
You’ve got to get close to them first Alex – our lot are still social distancing….
More seriously, apart from Cantwell, there don’t seem to be any suggestions that any of the others want to force a move. I’m sure Aarons would like one, probably has done for a while, but throwing his toys out of the pram doesn’t seem to be his style.
The lad on loan at Inverness seems to collect yellow cards…..but then; he’s aggressive, get’s stuck in, tackles and challenges……all of which would make him totally alien to our current mid-field requirements.
I agree wholeheartedly about the Leeds pair; until recently we were supposed to be fighting for our PL futures and still the opponents received more yellow cards than us.
O T B C
Many people deride the Scottish Championship but that’s where Ross Stewart came from and there are many clubs after him.
We’re rumoured to be one of them but if they get promoted he might as well stick with the Mackems in all fairness.
He’s had rave reviews all season, has Reece MacAleer.
Everybody loves it when a *big* team goes down and if Leeds drop I’ll love it.
I was only speaking of pundits, not supporters of other clubs so I’m sure you’re right.
You also have a point about the tactics employed by players who are desperate to quit a club for what they see as greener grass but to be fair to Emi he gave us great value while he was here – in every sense of the term.
For 45mins I had real hope that we could leapfrog Watford but they put up a valiant fight V Everton out to impress new manager Rob Edwards.
My reading of the way DS is on the touchline reflects his team no heart, no plan, no style.
Many managers are very active DS is tactile I think his face changed once when the first goal went in after that no reaction to the next 2.
Sadly no heart for a fight once behind a real lack of commitment
No Style since he took over it’s been a mash up of different formations last night’s first 45mins was more like Farkeball and enjoyable to watch other than that it’s Heinz 57.
The team was a strange but refreshing change but why play Byram at CB are we looking at Russell Martin V2
Russ Martin had his own unique way of playing *centre back* so no, I don’t think Sam Byram will attempt to emulate him in that respect!
Villa fans continue to praise Dean Smith but they often say he is not strong in the personality stakes, but neither are/were a few others we could mention.
He needs the entire summer with as much support and as little interference as possible from Mr Webber if he is to do a job next season.
Game which looked more like a friendly game. Also the referee was abysmal, he didnt do his job at all. One example was to tackle to Aarons, which was a clear yellow card. Norwich had at least 2 very good scoring chances. First one Rashica made an awful pass, but the ball bounced to Pukki. Yes, Schmeichel made fine save but Teemu has enough skills and brain to execute it. Second one came again to Teemu, actually he made that scoring chance and completely destroyed Amartey. His direction changes are incredibly good, so he is also a very good dribbler. Then he hit a post. In my opinion he should have scored 2 goals yesterday, but in his playing it was easy to see that his full focus and concentration was not there.
Teemu has not at least as I know commented that he is happy to stay. It was known that Norwich would use their extension option. Norwich likely will offer him a new contract, with a lower salary. I have absolutely impossible to see that he would accept it. Norwich is forced to pay him premier league wages, his overall wages are higher than it is reported. Norwich does not have absolute must to get back to the premier league right away. If you sell him now or you sell him in january its big difference and after next season Norwich would get nothing. Internationally known striker has made admirers. In the championship he can only lose, there is nothing to win to him anymore. Ok, he gets his wages but he would get higher wages elsewhere especially outside Europe. Its known that when he wrote that contract with Norwich, he had a huge offer from China. He wanted to try playing in the premier league then.
About your other players transfers. Players who wrote contracts have known the clear possibility of relegation. Pukki, Cantwell, Rupp are leaving. Possible McLean, Giannoulis surely tries to get at least loaned away. If you make it again impossible and sell Aarons to english player market idiots, I raise my hat virtually.
There is a rumour – and it is just that – circulating that Teemu will remain on PL wages if he stays for the extra year.
I still continue to agree with you that he might coose to go elsewhere – as we have said before another season in the English Championship would be good for the supporters of Norwich City but probably not really that good for the player himself or the Finland international team.
I am sure Teemu will consider all options very carefully.
A painful evening martin. After a first half during which we managed to compete and give an account of ourselves we capitulated totally in the second half.
Once this team goes a goal behind it really does seem inevitable that a collapse will follow.
I had hopes that Dean Smith would at least instil some defensive organisation into the side. However, we still concede at an alarming rate. If anything the situation is worsening.
I’m his terse and dull pre match press conference Smith opined that a small minority of supporters are unhappy, apparently its tge same at Liverpool or Manchester City. The meaning is clear. He is a total yes man, churning out platitudes in support of his employer while simultaneously making himself look like a prat.
To think webber sacked farke and replaced him with this bloke. At least farke had some charm
A total shambles from top to bottom. The cadaverous board room, the arrogant and surly webber, the dull as pi55 manager with a loss percentage that would guarantee the sack elsewhere to disinterested players going through the motions.
Time for a cull.
I love some of the descriptive language in your post so I’ll single out *cadaverous boardroom* as the uncontested winner of the gold star!
Time for a cull?
How’s that going to happen mate – the wagons were seriously circled the day Zoe Ward was appointed to the Board imo.
I simply don’t see a way forward to get rid of any of those you mention and at this rate the only ones to leave will be the supporters.
Genuinely I do not think the ownership and their acolytes give a monkeys.
A bit like much of UK politics really 🙂
Summed up perfectly Martin.
Are we honestly any better now than back in October under Farke. Financially poorer as he and his crew had to be paid off, but is what we’re “watching” any sort of upgrade? At least we tried to play some good stuff, but now all the players seem a bit like headless chickens with an awful lot of hoof it and hope.
I’m proud to say that I’ve never left a game before the final whistle, but at the rate we’re going, Spurs will be at least 5 ahead before half-time – and that will be too much even for me!
Unfortunately the pundits were right; we ARE an embarrassment; relegated without even a whimper, let alone any sort of fight!
O T B C
I’d never left a game early before either unless it was for pressing personal reasons but this season I’ve gone twice at half time without a sliver of conscience.
Farke had charm indeed – Gary posted *This Charming Man* by the Smiths on the eulogy I wrote on his departure. That was his inspired choice not mine. Should have thought of it myself in the first place!
Spurs are my second team and I won’t get the chance to see the likes of Kane, Son and Lloris again so I will be sitting this one out until the end.
Dean Smith would have known the tactical problems when he joined.so what has he done about it? His management shows the dangers of entrusting the club’s fortunes to someone who is completely unattached.Perhaps we would be happy to see another Jez Moxey,?
What hurts is to see promising players’ careers going down the toilet. Look at the deterioration of Rowe under Smith, next will be Springett. Reminds me of the Roeder era.
Mention of Roeder and Moxey in the same comment takes some comprehension.
Unfortunately I know exactly what you mean about Jon Rowe as in brought up to play one way and then directed to change his style because a different coach has come in.
Mart, like you I believe we have enough management and player talent to give a reasonable account of ourselves in the Chump next season, but it won‘t be an easy ride. Like wise I think there‘ll be a few quiet changes behind the scenes, gotta get leaner and meaner with scouting, recruitment and player development, more bang for the buck as our American cousins would say.
Couldn’t agree any more ole pal, but is there the will to do as you suggest?
It seems that life at NCFC is far too cosy for far too many people.
Good to see that no one is retaining any perspective! 😉
Most of us never had any to start with !!
Speak for thyself 🙂 🙂 🙂
I dunno about that – the likes of Gainsborough, Turner and other landscape painters always said that a true perspective is better gained from *a degree of diistance*.
I don’t understand exactly what you mean but I guess it’s all down to personal perception of what has been a pretty awful season.
Afternoon Martin was reasonably pleased with first half at least we have 3 or 4 youngsters who look like they might be something but second have was like a dose of bad piles like most of our previous 56 prem league games mostly gutless see u v spurs 4pm 😱
Yes I’ll be there and this time around when they sing *you’ve only come to see the Tottenham* I reckon they’ll be quite right in my case 🙂
Caught a stream on the Tinernet, that was patchy at best, but did enjoy (perhaps too strange a word) the first, choked when I saw some reasonable one-touch passing, and the amount headers our own Rob Roy Hanley got, was a little bit gutted when Varney’s shot hit his trailing leg, and even more so for Gunny who had been in top form.
Then thankfully the stream started playing the first half again, so turned and watched a documentary, saved me any more of being proved right about what would happen once one went in.
Good to see Springett getting a runout, deserved, as to the other wider player Rashica, his play lives up to part of his surname: RASH. saying no more other than I hope we get a fair chunk of the money wasted on him. Give me our own Argos boy any day.
Two more hidings to go and we are over with this ******* terrible season. Hope you guys in MFW towers have some good stuff lined up for the summer months, to help keep our minds of this crap we have endured Thanks as always Mr P
I don’t do streaming although I must be about the only MFW reader/writer who doesn’t. Fear of the unknown I guess although I’d probably give it a go if the match was important enough, which has never been the case this season!
Like you I’d welcome Onel back and Dean Smith has enough contacts in Birmingham to decide if he might agree with us or not.
MFW Towers? There’s a thought. But luckily for all our writers none of us lives in close proximity to each other, let alone share a building.
We’ll come up with quite a few things over the summer for sure.