We got a point. Unexpectedly so, but a point we got. But what was the point?
Too little too late and remarkably achieved without the squad’s chief pointer, Kenny McLean, on the pitch. So ultimately the 1-1 draw at Molineux was, in reality, pointless.
Despite Dean Smith’s declared ambition to glean another £2million or so by finishing above Watford, it isn’t going to happen as we are at home to fourth-spot chasing Tottenham on Sunday who will have everything to play for on the day.
The equally hapless of Hertfordshire contrived to lose 5-1 to Leicester City at Vicarage Road despite taking an early lead but whatever happens in their final game against a wounded Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will be irrelevant as we’ll get nothing against Spurs.
The queen Dee will not be pleased with this as she would surely have liked to rob the Hornets of some PL honey but it ain’t gonna happen and to be fair to all concerned we will finish rock bottom for a simple reason: we do not deserve anything else.
Wolves had little to play for and their fans on social media kind of accepted that, but their mood on Sunday was that of “if we can’t beat this lot something’s gone badly wrong”. This goes to show how we have become the pariahs of the Premier League as taking stick from those who favour the Old Gold has never gone down well with me – or most of us come to that.
I’m pleased for Teemu Pukki to jump from 10 to 11 goals scored this season and we have somehow managed to scrape one more point than Daniel Farke’s squad managed in our last relegation season of 2019-20. I’ve less joy in that statistic than some folks will have but I thought the side that went down last time had something that has been eroded. Character.
We’re in a situation whereby there has been no communication from the top for some time now and how long this situation will continue I don’t know any more than the guys on the Archant sportsdesk do as Stuart Webber has apparently had a hissy fit over a headline written by the Evening News editor that was nothing to do with Paddy, Connor or Sam.
We know this is correct because MFW’s Mick Dennis told us so a couple of weeks ago
To follow on from there, a person with an unshakingly cynical viewpoint [me, not Mick D] considers matters thus:
- We have an intransigent octogenarian ownership who claims to listen to offers of outside investment. Perhaps the reality is different?
- As Martin MacBlain expostulated on MFW very recently, when Daniel Farke was pushed out by Stuart Webber our identity went with him and I am unsure if Dean Smith and Craig Shakespeare knew exactly what they were walking into.
- We have very little left to sell on. Put Max Aarons and Todd Cantwell together and we’d be well lucky to see £20 million for the pair of them in the current market. And less than half of that would be spent on new players – self-funding and all that.
- Our sporting director has told the world and its friends that he can leave when he likes. How very comforting for us supporters.
- Despite that statement Mr Webber [on past experience anyway] is likely to continue with his underlying belief that only players with a residual sell-on value may be signed, which ain’t worth a jot on the pitch in the EFL Championship, let alone the Premier League.
- His wife, Zoe Ward, has been appointed to the Board, which kind of reaffirms that Mr Webber can indeed leave when he chooses.
- Division amongst NCFC supporters has not been at this level since the end of the Chase area and the Carrow Road public relations operation has simply fallen apart since the departure of Daniel Farke.
Martin MacB was totally correct when he wrote that many of us would welcome Daniel back with open arms. Sure I know that’s not going to happen but it’s only a couple of years ago that the antics of Onel, the Stieperdude, Emi, Jordan Rhodes and particularly Zimbo with his support for local education initiatives had us all either softly laughing or admiring what was going down.
These were players you could develop a real on and off-field liking for – but these days?
We never hear of anything like that anymore and that can’t be down to the NR1 PR team. It’s far more likely that it just doesn’t happen anymore. But if you claim to be a community club, why on earth appear to push that community away from behind a wall of silence?
I’d far rather read about Onel’s joy on discovering Argos and watch a quick vid clip of Emi and Jordan Hugill having a lockdown cookery competition than I would want to see news of Brandon Williams being followed from the ground by malicious eejits or read rumours about the supposed decline of player ‘X’.
To simultaneously lose your identity both on and off the pitch so quickly is quite something – but Norwich City have managed to do so and I’m more fearful for our future since the dark days of 1995.
Whether you, dear reader, agree with it or not I think I’ve made my point.
*** I had a plethora of musical outros floating around alongside the butterflies in my head but in a sense of the deepest irony I thought I’d discard Floyd’s Comfortably Numb and go with this instead:
One-time away season-ticket holder says
It’s clear that 2022-23 is going to be a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” sort of season at Carrow Road.
Were City to win promotion again, you would have to ask what the point was, given that nothing at the club or in modern football as a whole will have changed. If we weren’t going to survive this season? So why would survival hopes in 2023-24 be any better to this year’s? The only “benefit” I could see as far as the Carrow Road hierarchy are concerned is that the financial Armageddon of parachute money drying up would be kicked a further two years down the line.
And if the top-six target is missed, what then? People who tweet “I bloody love Championship football” will soon change their tune if next season sees defeats against the likes of Sheffield United or Luton, say.
I am finding it all increasingly pointless, frankly.
Ultimately the problem boils down to this: had we never managed to stay up in the Premier League in the 21st century even I would be thinking “Oh well, we’ll try again some time in the future and maybe it will be different then!” The fact that we survived in 2011-12 and 2012-23 – although I will concede that football and its finances were very different then – makes every subsequent failure all the worse. After Messrs Lambert and Hughton opened that particular Pandora’s box, there was no going back.
Hi O-t a s-t h
I sometimes wonder if those who bang on about loving Championship football really understand that they’re beaten befor they’ve started.
Personally I find that attitude ridiculous, but it’s whatever turns you on I guess.
Had the Board allowed Lambert to sign – at the time – Benteke and Michu it could have been so very, very different.
We could be where Palace, Brighton and to a lesser extent Southampton are today.
Some aspects of NCFC ‘s approach beggars belief.
Andrew Delf says
Good read Martin, all the on and off football stuff we’ve done to death. However I have also “ Become Comfortably Numb”. Now the club has become more “Us And Them”. “ Money” don’t even go there and I think most of us agree Daniel, “Wish You Were Here”.
Slightly different genre but our team resemble “Matchstalk Men” rather than the team that achieved “Wuthering Heights” last season.
The trouble is that the powers that be treat us like *Sheep*and the owners are *two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year*.
Things might change when it’s too late for everybody.
One of these Days, hopefully.
Cant argue with any of what you have said Martin.Any other board would have sacked Webber by now and i expect they would not have appointed the DOF’s wife into their boardroom either.Sorry state of affairs at Ncfc at the moment and the only small crumb of comfort is theres only one game left this season.Whether there will be another demo after that game we will see,not that it would make any difference with our stubbon geriatric board!!
What will be interesting is to see how many supporters stay on for the lap of dishonour after the Spurs match.
The demos against Chase were huge and very vocal but I don’t see it happening this time around as this generation doesn’t have the fire within that mine did.
Maybe I’m wrong but somehow I doubt it.
Another excellent song.
You ask what the point of the point is. Are you kidding? It means that we’ve played Wolves 3 times this season, are unbeaten and have won 2-1 on aggregate. This means that the games against Wolves have cost me not one penny in buying pints to cover lost bets locally (indeed I am in surplus). This, Mr P, is a massive triumph (all things are relative).
There were 2 very poor sides out there yesterday. I’m not sure Senhor Lage has a future as Wolves’ manager and I think they’ll struggle next season.
My musical selections are eclectic but I loved this one when it came out.
After the Spurs game I’m really going to annoy you with 20 minues of prog blues but you don’t have to listen!
I’m glad you’ve made a little profit out of your mates in the betting sense but from going on a couple of Wolvers fan sites they were really not happy with their performance.
But they are deservedly in the PL next season while we are not.
Cheer up Martin! It’s an I’ll wind etc but after 50 years in exile for work (Hull, well someone had to, and Plymouth) now back in East Anglia and able to buy a season ticket thanks to the poverty of performance on and off the pitch. I am an optimist but I take the long view and since I began following City in earnest in 1960 that is the sensible view to take. Plus I get to catch up with my two brothers every couple of weeks.
Call me a happy clapper, unambitious Delia lover whatever. I know I will still be loving the yellow and green when I take my last breath whoever owns the club, whoever is Head Coach. NCFC is an institution, a concept that transcends individuals.
I worked away a lot too and with my company having sites in the Midlands, NW, NE and London it meant that with a company car plus a paid-for hotel I got to see us for just the price of the match ticket at [off the top of my head] Wolves, Villa, Birmingham, Liverpool, Man City, Blackburrn, Bolton, Leicester, Bradford, Arsenal and Tottenham.
Don’t worry, I don’t use the term *happy clapper* – NCFC is in the DNA of us all.
I really enjoyed reading your comment.
Chris S says
The players seem virtually anonymous. How many do you ever hear interviewed? – Grant Hanley, Tim Krul and occasionally Kenny McLean are the only ones who ever face a mike. Apart from Josh and Dimi’s recent school visit, I can’t think of any other reach-outs to the community by the players this season. Just spend their time sitting at home admiring their model girlfriends newly modelled faces, counting their (not inconsiderable) wages, and flicking through sports car catalogues pondering the merits of heated seats I guess. How many of this squad will leave an emotional hole when they leave? Not many I reckon.
It may be more of a case of the PR department’s failure, rather than a case of a lack of connection by the players, or it may be that the players just don’t seek the publicity, but I know for a fact that Zimmerman and at least one other take a keen interest in the Community Sports Foundation, and regularly attend sessions at the Nest. Don’t knock player’s community spirit just because you don’t hear about it.
i realise that not all people who do things like Zimbo does can be publicised but there seems to be a complete dry-up on this front.
To me it’s not virtue signalling but simply interesting.
Even by my standards that’s a bit scathing on the youth of the footballing fraternity and their developing personal relationships – but I like it!
My issue here is that the Club used to publicise community involvement from the players at every turn, but now that seems to have disappeared.
I remember that Tony Springett and another under 23 I can’t recall became mental health ambassadors and I for one would like to know how that’s working out but I guess info like that is very thin on the ground right now.
Chris S says
Hi Martin and Jim, more than happy to be proved wrong by a full list of community engagements attended by first team players. My point (which may be my fault for not looking hard enough) is that my perception has been the first team have not been out and about a lot interacting with fans across the county, plus the lingering suspicion they’ve all been hiding a bit this season. As I said, happy to be proved wrong if they have been and I’ve just missed it.
I’m just disappointed that NCFC Official don’t seem to carry these stories any more. You would assume these activities still go on and I for one love to hear about them.
Maybe it’s a PR decision to keep a low profile in bad times?
I’m genuinely not sure.
I think a large number of us would concur with you on this one Martin.
I think we desperately need new owners as the club is surely slipping back into league one.
It is clear that Delia owns a club she cannot afford to run in the top two leagues without a disproportionate amount of luck in finding an annual Maddison. This year looks like the year her luck finally ran out and I doubt if she can afford to keep City ticking over in the way Marcus Evans did down the road as estimates say it cost him around £100 M.
What annoys me is the arrogance of our owners telling us they are the only safe course without any explanation in detail as to why this is the case.
It is clear to a large number of people that City is in decline. Perhaps they could explain how they hope to run the club should the parachute payments run out.
There appears to be no investment made by them for sometime and their loans were repaid a while back.
I’ve just renewed my season ticket and deserve better than the dismissive approach of our owners. No wonder Robin Sainty stated in the EDP that the current atmosphere at the club is toxic.
*Arrogance* is a good word for the owners but quite possibly *insensitivity* might equally sit well – *rhino hide* would complete my hat-trick of descriptive terms.
My ST has been set up for years now as in if I don’t cancel, it will be renewed automatically. But if and when I quit I only have to cancel the DD payment at my end and there’s diddly they can do about it as in my case it isn’t a binding contract.
I realise that those folks who pay up front have different criteria.
Talking of diddly squat, the Smiths have invested nothing for years. If they tried to buy any EPL club right now due diligence would reject them out of hand, whether that be Barrow, Morecambe or Harrogate Town.
And that is a sobering thought.
I actually woke up this morning feeling a bit better about things. A good point, a reasonable performance and something to take away from it all and hopefully be built upon. I read the fair analysis from both Davitt and Bailey and found both interesting.
Then I turned to MFW and what do I get? Probably one of the most miserable and negative pieces I have ever read. Every comment with a negative spin on it that almost seems like an attempt to ensure that division continues to prevail following a decent result and to remind us all that nothing good continues at the club. Nothing positive suits the MFW narrative.
Well for what it’s worth I will be there for the final game and will support my team for the whole time and look forward to better times than we have had. The alternative is division which, as Chris Sutton has recently written, helps nobody.
Good for you and you’ve certainly attracted a few *likes* with your post.
A miserable and negative piece? Not in extremis but I understand your comment.
The whole raison d’etre of MFW is that it doesn’t have a corporate viewpoint as we are a collective of writers who all express our individual views and actively invite readers to comment on them just as you have done quite a few times in the past.
I can assure you MFW has no collective agenda.
If you are happy with the way the club is run you are not alone and your comments are always welcome. It would be a sad world without freedom of expression 🙂
Regardless of divisions amongst the fans if no investment Delia retains control league 1 is where this club is heading. Have you seen the wealth of current championship club owners?
I have seen the relative wealth of the EFL Championship owners since Alex B sent me the gory details about a month ago!
Watch ths space over the summer for an MFW article on the topic.
Morning Mr P very succinctly put. how can anyone who follow our club can disagree. it is a effing shambles in every quarter. staff at Carrow, who appears not to give a crap,some Players who seemingly do not know their arze from the Football.. Manager who still juggling the squad to find people who have a clue.. after months. An employee who does whatever he freakin wants,
Well Done to these two from stowmarket you have completely effed up what we had, you have managed to lose the character and Identity of this football Club. Why not build another stadium, for Resturants and Catering then you two move to that, leaving the football Club to people who know the Fluck what they are doing.
But the underlying issue at Norwich isn’t all about the quality on the pitch, it’s the attitude of the owners, and board at the club as a whole. Little Norwich, who don’t belong only in the championship. I think the past 20 odd years prove that. For when the opportunity comes along to do something, they do not go agaisnt their belief. That has caused a mental block, something that prevents them from performing in the top flight. Their mindset constantly echos, a small fish in a big pond,
Managers, players come in and it doesn’t take long to pick up on that. Who would want to mange this shower of a club, with their hands tied behind their backs, Daniel Farke made a darn good job of it, with one hand, so did Paul Lambert, but when his other hand looked to be tied, he was off and who blames him ? The current bum in the manager seat, has finished no higher than 5th in his four seasons as a manager of a second tier club. One promotion via the play-offs, yet had far,far greater riches to spend than Farke was allowed.
As you say Mr P, fearful of the future not since the days of Chase has that feeling felt so strongly, yet some of the football was outstanding,but some of the other stuff well do I need to stir that up again.
This might sound terrible coming from very long standing supporter, but I hope to the footballing god, we get nowhere near promotion next season. All what is wrong with this club will be whitewashed over at every stage. All forgotten except by a few who can see past the green of the pitch. I could not face another season like the last ones we have had. I have said sod it many times, that more than enough for me, but I wake the next day with thinking they will not drive me away. Chase could not and I am not letting an old has been cook.
I certainly will not be spending a single penny at the club while they still cock the show up. If I get offered a free ticket here and there from friends, I will trundle along. Over the 50plus years I have put thousands of £ in, from collections in a blanket, events at supporters club, shirts, merchandise and tickets etc. But I feel I have got little back, certainly not shares.
As for offers for the club, one minute , we are lead to believe there are not any, then offers received are passed to the duo. Which is it ? Do the board get a say ? Of course they will not sell it is nephews inheritence, someone they can still influence, heaven forbid that is sold.
sorry if I got too gobby, I am no writer (as comments prove) but I love my club never supported any other, yep I have others I like many have ex City boys in them. Spurs have always been my 2nd since the days of Jimmy Greaves and Martin Peters.
The big problem we never hear for the heir apparent on his plans.
Alias Smith and Jones have confirmed all their pennies will be going to an animal or some other charity.
Does that leave city with a majority share holder with even less money than this Micky and Mini pair.
Other share holders are just as much to blame not putting pressure on these two to sell up but then who wants yo upset the cosie little club they have home and away.
I don’t think Tom Smith’s plans for NCFC will be heard while Delia amd MWJ are alive and kicking!
Mind you, you never know. He might have something up his sleeve that we won’t find out about for quite some time yet.
I’m not holding my breath but I’m open to listening when the time comes.
AlexB not telling you how to suck eggs buddy. but wouldn’t Alas Smith and Jones, like the old cowboy series back in early 1970’s one of my favourites I add
My favourite Western series was Clint Walker as Cheyenne and watching it with my Dad in the 60s when I was a tiny.
Nothing beats Blazing Saddles though 🙂
A very emotive post and I take in every word of what you’ve said, believe me.
All I can sensibly say is that sometimes a sniff of relatively small-time fame and the accompanying media attention can get into the head of a certain type of character.
It’s a bit like a precursor of those who emerge from Love Island or Towie with a seriously deranged sense of their own self importance. Delia and MWJ knew exactly what they were doing when they invested in NCFC – I doubt it was all about the £££ for them at the time but far more about *enhancing the brand* as it’s called in these trendy hipster days.
Scratching my #1 cut I cannot think of any other football club in the UK who are stuck in this dreadful situation.
Yes well said martin , just watched Stuart Webbers interview from 6 months ago and you can see where we went wrong when you listen to him and I think he owes a lot to Daniel Farke believe it or not .
You get the impression yes this person is bullish and got mantras if you like but you can also see he is way out of his depth here and a bit clueless beyond what he thinks , there is no plan b ,these players are good enough , I will climb that mountain whilst I can lol. This man is the reason we cant crack the premier league in my opinion and if you don’t believe me watch his interview from 6 months ago its painful .
The Jones need a defensive wall so putting Zoe Ward on the board ensures that Webber will not walk and he is a willing shield for them and gets well paid plus all the time off for his impersonation of Chris Bonnington or Brian Blessed
Brian Blessed spoke at my graduation ceremony and I can tell you he was an impressive man. The microphone wasn’t working so he decided he didn’t need it and belted out his speech.
True leaders don’t need gimmicks or slogans on the wall.
I’ve never met him but a friend who did said Blessed was one of the finest blokes he’d ever met.
He seems to be a less than willing shield at the moment – at least in terms of the local media and that’s when you normally know things have gone Pete.
The appointment of Zoe Ward to the Board is hopefully a wise business decision; it’s just the baggage thatb goes with it that I mildly diapprove of.
There is no way I will watch that video right now – no way at all.
I’ve probably already seen it anyway but I’m not prepared to waste time researching it to be sure I’m afraid.
A wise man once told me to reach for the sky but be very careful about being brought back down to earth. As in reach the highest level you can, but realise where your plateau actually is and be the king of said plateau.
That wise old man was my Dad, so obviously not Stuart Webber’s.
Teemu changed his game more individually and it was nice to watch vs Wolves. He obviously didnt just want to score a goal, every effort had an individual meaning. The first one he tried to use spin, the angle was basically almost impossible. Second one he wanted to try to score between goalkeepers legs. Third one was cheating opponents defenders and goalkeeper, that was an amazing goal. He often attacked alone against 6 Wolves players and actually in that goal there were 6 Wolves players waiting for him. This guys skill set is amazing. Im glad he is showing those things what he is able to do, what we have seen so often. Its like a final gift to Norwich fans. There is just 1 game left. Hopefully he learns that no one cant carry a team and is not so hard on himself. Playing more relaxing and enjoying, results just comes then. Imagine bearded and bald Rolando, many football fans would start calling him too old and slow. People assume things about people how they look even in sports and they have difficulties accepting their picture of someone didnt match so only reason must be always that all others just failed no matter it happens to them all the time.
Teemu was superb yesterday and how we will replace his movement off the ball I simply do not know – he’s been unique in that respect and the only player we have had anything like him was Robert Fleck, who retired in the last century.
Pukki has the gift of speed of thought and we always seem to say if he does not wish to stay with Norwich we will all wish him the very best at his next, and probably final, club.
Keith B says
There’s no doubt that the cumulative effect of 2 seasons in 3 failing badly in the PL, and the season in between having zero crowds to watch our success (bar a small number in for a couple of games) have ripped the heart out of the club, at least for the time being.
On the pitch swapping managers without refreshing the squad has inevitable lost the playing identity too.
The thing is though, if anything were to rip the heart out of the club permanently it would be to sell it to a bunch of faceless investors who care nothing for the city, the club or its fans. That, surely, is what the current owners are desperate to avoid. Good.
The trouble is nobody is going to just invest for the hell of it. Nobody is going to give the club £100m or whatever without taking control.
From my personal point of view I’m as dissatisfied with this season as anyone else. When I make a 450-mile round trip, which I’ve done 3 times, I want to see us play attractive attacking football, put challenges in, give whoever we’re up against a good game. That just hasn’t happened for more than about the first 30 minutes. It’s not been quite as bad as going to watch us at Rochdale under Peter Grant, that really was a low point, but it’s not been pretty for sure. I feel for those who traveled long distances to watch us more frequently.
It could be a very difficult summer. If Webber’s heart isn’t in it of course he should leave. The trouble is he has to be replaced. Our most successful spells in the last 12 years have been when we’ve had McNally and Webber in charge (different job titles, but similar influences). That’s not coincidence. It could be go back to a CEO rather than Sporting Director, either way it’s got to be somebody good.
You make some really good points there.
I have to admit I’m biased in that I met David McNally a couple of times and really warmed to him whereas I’ve never met Stuart Webber so it’s hard to form a definitive opinion.
No way was McNally the cold-blooded hatchet man he was sometimes made out to be – he was more than happy to have a chat and that’s what counts with me.
Apart from a visit to the Emirates two years ago the last time I went away was to Wembley to see us beat Boro but my awaydays are over. Age has caught up with me.
I couldn’t do the journeys you describe anymore but I’m lucky in that I can walk to the ground for home matches.
When it comes to recruiting a CEO/DoF i wouldn’t know where to start but I do remember Webber once saying he would recommend his own replacement on leaving.
Right now I find that concept a little bit scary tbh.
Good comment as always
Quite agree. The leadership vacuum is striking. Whatever Zoe Ward is, she’s clearly not a fan facing, communicator.
Between them, the Webbers seem to have free reign and right now its hard to think of a single area of the club where things have not been in decline for a while now.
Of course this all seems worse when we are losing and getting relegated. It may be that come the new season a few wins will see the old spirit come flooding back but there is a dangerous malaise amongst the support right now that the club must not underestimate.
I was absolute crap at maths at school but right now 2x Smith [or 3x Smith if you like] + 2x Webber does not equal 1x success.
You never know what might happen next weekend. Delia might cook up a tasty Lasagne for ‘The Spuds’ visit to CR. They all go down with food poisoning, lose to us and The Gooners take 4th spot……… couldn’t ever happen, could it?
I hope not – at least three of us on MFW have Spurs as our second team 🙂
Mind you I’ve never tried a Delia recipe so anything is possible.
As they say, the silence is deafening.
I don’t believe in the viewpoint of no-one in a senior positioning commenting prior to season end (despite sending out Smith to do so). Even if I did, I wouldn’t accept launching a charity, a podcast, and doing an interview with the Times while the club is in freefall, yet not commenting on relegation.
The Along Come Noriwch Podcast “Shouting at Duvets” is very enlightening on this front.
*The Sound of Silence* was high on my list of music choices – beautiful song – but it didn’t quite make it in the end.
I do feel sorry for Dean Smith. He shouldn’t have to be the one who deals with the media all the time and in any case it’s not his natural environment.
A good read and excellent replies
Most readers will know that since day one of these owners it’s all been sound bites to keep the supporters on side.
They never had a game plan it was only to keep the slowly wilting celebrity status alive, someone said a few days ago at the time they took the club on they were part of the riches owners in the EFL I just can’t find any proof of that.
Did we see shoots of a team for next season maybe but why play Gilmour, Normann and have Williams on the bench unless it was to save money on loan fee’s if so then that’s a poor reason, We played well in parts but Gilmour had no influence and Normann was just playing out time, Williams never left the bench.
Next week is a strange one for a few that follow city and Spurs as a second team do we want city to turn it on and get all 3 points and a possible £2m extra for league position and possibly deign them a CL place.
The other kick is will Salah win the golden boot or can Son score enough to over take him againts city.
I just hope that the Jones don’t do anything embarrassing like standing at the end and applauding the supporters they have shown contempt for it would be worse if Webber did as well.
I’ll form a more solid opinion after Newcastle v Arsenal tonight but right now if they need the points – which either way they will – I’d give them to Spurs.
Whatever happens I don’t expect to see that much of a performance from us but at risk of being deemed disloyal I won’t be there for the immediate post-match parade as there’s nothing I want to applaud. I’d rather have tea at a reasonable time tbh.
I’ve no idea what the Smiths might choose to do but I won’t be there to see it.
Marty, of course Web can leave whenever he likes, the problem is him staying. Both him and Farke put together mismatch of hopefuls that so far have achieved one more point than last time we failed to stay in the prem. How many more attempts would they need to get us to stay up? They should both be gone, a clean sweep, maybe Smith & Shakespeare can sort things out whilst Web is up the mountain, perhaps he‘ll find his way to Kathmandu and never return.
The thing with Webber is that with his wife on the Board who the heck could ever get rid of him? It’s a unique situation in professional football within my knowledge.
All this mountain stuff is going on under the umbrella of charity, so nobody with a heart can criticise the efforts.
Mind you I’d love to drive a Blower Bentley around Snetterton for a circuit or two and if I could get enough sponsorship I’d give every cent of it to the Air Ambulance.
But of course, I’m not responsible for an ex-Premier League football club.
Cheers ole pard.
Malky McKay for Sporting Director .
Dunno about that but along with Iwan, Worthy let Malky go far too early.
Inside Right says
A very bleak, if accurate view as things stand at Carrow Road.
What Smith and Shakespeare really think is an interesting point. In contrast to many other Norwich fans, I do not hold the view that we will automatically return to the EPL. There is too much that is wrong and the value of the squad is far lower than it should have been and far less attractive as a result.
I really do wish Dean Smith well and that leaves me with a cynical question to make:
Given the lack of interest the club and its owners show the EPL – time after time – is it not unreasonable to suggest that ANY Norwich manager should resign immediately after achieving promotion?
In Farke’s case, he should have seen it coming. There was no value in him starting another campaign knowing how limited the interest and finances were of the club to achieve EPL security. He was always going to lose, especially as we hear he thought the squad was not up to it.
I would like to think Smith is smarter. Despite the humble nature of him, he should use Norwich City as a tool to achieve a bigger and better move, with club owners that try to achieve the maximum and not criticise football for not being how is was 30 or 40 years ago.
Unless there is a significant move towards a professional board, outwardly looking with the best interest to move the club forwards, this may be the last fans look to achieving promotion and instead become resigned to mid table obscurity – or worse.
Businesses that do not move forwards usually end up going bust, despite the rhetoric and somewhat misleading claim that we are a well run club.
If we are to have a chance, things off the pitch need to happen fast. This summer should wait for no one and that includes Stuart Webber.
A very fair point about DF but he is a man of integrity and he always said he would see out his contract. To balance that I have no reason to think Smith & Shakespeare are anything other than honest folks themselves.
I sometimes think, in my darkest moments, that anybody – from head coach to hospitality assistant – should perform their own due diligence before joining NCFC in a working capacity. Personally, I’d run a mile.
Of course businesses with their heads buried in the sand will never move forwards but instead stagnate and eventually disappear.
Moving with the times seems beyond the ken of our club, unfortunately.
Thanks – good post as always.
Tim Ball says
I agree with with your article Martin 100%.
And looking through the comments I think it is true that the club ‘s supporters are more divided than at any other time in my nearly 60 years of supporting the club.
View one is that Delia and Michael are the only way forward, any other person wishing to take on the stewardship will not have the club’s interests at heart.
View two is that Delia and Michael must go if we ever want to play regular Premier League football.
Now that is as diverse as you can get. I sit firmly in View two but I can see the worries those in View one have.
The thought of a Bury, Oldham, Blackburn, Derby etc owner fills me with dread. However I cannot ever see Delia selling to any such owner and I commend her for it. A leveraged buy out of this club could one day see us going out of business ala Bury.
However their is a fatal flaw in the supporters of View one and that is that this yo-yo existence of EPL and Championship football will go on forever. We now have 20 years of evidence that under Delia’s reign it is just not possible to sustain life in the EPL. And as soon as the parachute payment dries up and as I have said on here before, once there is no Maddison, no Buendia, no Godfrey to sell things will look a lot different at Carrow Road financially.
A few seasons fighting Championship relegation with the likes of Wigan, Hull etc may change a few supporters minds on Delia and Michael. But if you are happy to support your club in any division that is a perfectly valid opinion. But isn’t it better to have some ambition ? To play at the highest level that you can ?
My greatest memories supporting City are mainly in beating Liverpool, Manchester United or City in vital games. Putting Chelsea out of the League Cup Semi-final, beating Sunderland at Wembley.
Okay the Championship wins have been terrific, but why ? having earned the right to play in the old First Division or EPL that’s why.
I bet most of us loved winning the Third Division ( League One) Championship, but do any of us really want to go back there ? I certainly don’t.
Just as the new stewards of the football club as is the opinion of those in View two, may well be like those at Leicester, Wolves, West Ham etc be prepared to back the football to attain and stay in the Premier League.
I am not of the view that get rid of Delia and Michael and EPL, Cup semi-finals and Europe here we come, just like back in the late eighties early nineties. Nothing in life is guaranteed.
The EPL is so much tougher now and that is a fact but by listening to offers at least it gives us a chance of sustained EPL membership and who knows even another long needed Cup run.
We know the continued ownership of Delia and Michael will not be enough for us to play football at the head of the pyramid for more than a season, but the promise of new investors gives every City supporter the chance to dream.
I think the diversity between supporters has only been nullified by messrs Stringer, Walker, Lambert, Alex Neil for a while and Daniel Farke.
Walker had charisma in bucketloads – I know that cos I’ve met him a few times 🙂 – and Lambert had a certain rapport with us fans. Farke took that a step further which is why I guess many of us will continue to remember him with great affection.
I often say this but no harm in a reiteration. If Delia or MWJ know anything about playing the game at any level whatsoever I would be amazed.
Even at my lowly Sunday League level [and that is something I have in common with most MFW writers and quite probably many readers too] you know what it feels like to train, to get to a venue, even change in the car sometimes and all those things that the Smiths have no concept of – let alone what actually happens on the pitch itself.
But back in the day we did it all for fun because we were genuine *football people* as was every member of the teams we played against.
I’ll pose you a question: would you invest in a club where Delia and her clan would still retain complete control over where your money went?
Thanks as ever.
Tim Ball says
The straight answer to your question Martin as to whether I would invest in the club if I won the Euro- millions while Delia and Michael retain control the answer is a very firm no !
To put big money into a club you must have full control. Otherwise it could become a mish-mash of visions.
You are spot on with your assessment that some of our previous managers have been the people, the characters to unite the fan base. I hadn’t thought of that before but it is true.
Poor Gunny, Peter Grant and Glen Roeder reigns were fraught to say the least, and lets be honest those appointments showed Delia’s naivety about football.
You also remined me of my playing days, the smell of the pitch, the excitement you felt before every game and the great friendships formed that last a lifetime. I bet the whole Norwich board have no concept of that. They should do though as the players of the 1985 League Cup Winners Norwich City do still meet up to reminisce about that great day.
Maybe we are all too forgiving of failure in that true positive thinking Norfolk way, keep on a troshin Dad used to say. Where the hell did that come from ? But after he said it at least he was cheered up after a defeat. Me not so much😂
Another of the points you made earlier kind of shocked me and that is if Delia and Michael were trying to buy the club now they would fail on the financial side of things.
I thought that was very sobering.
Irony of ironies I am reading Mr Blessed’s autobiography at the moment and he comes across as a really lovely, no nonsense chap.
I know Ed Balls was quite a decent footballer in his day but I’m struggling to think of anybody else who has ever been on the Board during Delia’s reign who would fit that bill tbh.
As for Delia failing due diligence that was meant not in the sense that she’s committed any impropriety but in the sense that she simply doesn’t have enough money!!!
Brian Blessed was indeed a nice guy – and he could speak softly too if he wanted to 🙂
Great stuff Martin.. you always get the debate started.
There were crumbs of comfort in the display and result.try as I might, I can’t detach myself from the canaries when they take to the field. Listening on radio norfolk I found myself yelping with delight at our goal and swearing profusely at our concession.
This season has been an unmitigated disaster, even before a ball was kicked. There are plenty of arses fully deserving of a huge kick this summer. Perhaps they will get the first instalment on Sunday.
Funnily enough I never aim to be a firestarter – I say what I think for sure and if folks agree or disagree I’m happy either way.
I just try not to *write bland* – nobody was as positive as I was last season!
As for bruised butts on Sunday we’ll have to wait and see but all I can predict is that the ones who deserve that kind of treatment will be protected from it – in one way or another.
Thanks for the nod, Martin.
I seem to remember us having a conversation at the time of Farke’s sacking and lengthy search for a replacement, that the club appeared to be making a real mess of things…..
Unfortunately it now appears all too prophetic.
The nod was a given – as you’ll know many of us agreed with your take on DF.
The MFW Martins, the prophets of doom 🙂
channelling my inner Isaac Asimov today after doing the robot check to get in and I’ll agree it was pointless, mind this season has been pointless since christmas. Possibly before.
The inner optimist that exists in me really thought this season wouldnt be pointless, but after the fixture computer doing us over again and we came to Watford pointless. and Watford left us pointless. the occassional point that followed was ,in effect pointless. Wins against Watford and Southampton gave pointless hope. Rapidly followed by another pointless run of pointless results. A pointless change of head coach proved pointless. i think its pointless going on any more about this season.
Just like me, you’ve made your point 🙂
ps Harry Nilsson made an album called The Point. I could have picked a track from it but as I never liked his music I didn’t!
Tim Ball says
Hope Kenny doesn’t read this and do a cover version Martin 😂