Standing at the crossroads has become one of the most hackneyed of clichés over the years, usually referencing a sea change in the life of the person concerned who is forced to make the right call on an extremely difficult personal decision.
I’ve heard it applied to Julius Caesar, Chairman Mao and a myriad of modern politicians whose names I have conveniently forgotten.
On Saturday, it was my turn for such a moment. I finally emerged from a well-known high street bank with my children having tortuously completed what we all assumed would be a ten-minute business meeting that contrived to run to an hour and twenty minutes.
My crossroads wasn’t a particularly aesthetically pleasing one as it involved the junctions of Prince of Wales Road, Castle Meadow, Tombland and King Street, none of which are particularly easy on this eye these days.
My phone told me it was 13:23 and the score was Norwich City 0, Wigan Athletic 1 – my important decision was this: do I peg it down to the ground to catch the second half, or do I go home and watch via the gift of the mighty football god known as Murdoch Astra?
The decision was quickly made for me as the X29 appeared on the horizon and so Sky won the day.
I actually saw a fair old bit to be cheerful about. At the time I hadn’t seen the Gibson howler but I’ve seen it quite a few times now and these are happening a little too often for my liking.
I only saw the tail end of what by all accounts was a useful debut from Marcelino Nunez. We have Isaac Hayden to enter the fray [I know, I know, not until September] and Gaby Sara provided a pleasant little cameo that can only bode well for the future.
Andrew Omobamidele looks frighteningly composed and mature for a young man who has just turned 20 and he brings the ball out of defence with the confidence that Gibson simply does not possess.
Andrew’s no longer one for the future. He is one for right now.
Of course, not all is sunshine and light.
We seem to have 10 to 12 midfielders on board which to my mind seems farcical. Aaron Ramsey has joined on loan but if the consequence of this is, say, Jonathan Rowe [when he has recovered from injury] or Tony Springett going out on loan to a League One club I will not be best pleased.
After the awful injury to Dimi Giannoulis and the wipe-out of Max Aarons surely Dean Smith can see how thinly resourced we are across the entire back line. Don’t worry lads, we’ll get in another midfielder. It really quite defies belief.
Teemu Pukki seems to have lost that half-a-yard of pace which is so vital to his type of striker although that cracker that Wigan keeper Ben Amos somehow flicked onto the bar shows he still knows very much what that part of the game is all about.
We look desperately thin in the striking department as well. Another midfielder, anybody?
Alex B beat me to the punch with a comment on Gary’s article yesterday when he questioned why on earth it fell to Wigan manager Leam Richardson to be the one to get the referee’s attention over Dimi’s injury. Why were our back room boys so seemingly unaware?
Gary said yesterday: “I try not to waste column inches on moaning about referees as I’m hardly impartial and confess to seeing everything through yellow-tinted contact lenses.“
For once I disagree with him. Sure Tom Naylor initially made full contact with the ball but followed through with his studs up and that’s foul and dangerous play to me. This all happened within 10 yards of referee Matt Donohue’s unobscured view and was a blatant penalty.
A possible red card is more debatable but remains a very real possibility nevertheless.
At least it’s off to Hull with a bit of heart and we couldn’t have said that after Cardiff.
I couldn’t find the theme music from 1960s soap opera Crossroads [I didn’t really try very hard] so I guess I’d better leave you good readers with this instead: