My Sunday morning Norwich City media digest is normally a short, sharp but comprehensive one during which I take in all I can from a rich variety of sources in order to keep my finger on the pulse of the Canary nation.
This process normally takes around half an hour, then I fight shy of matters football until Gary G’s MFW piece appears. Whenever time permits, which is almost always these days, I read this before beginning my own article for the Monday.
This process has paid rich dividends this season as otherwise I could quite easily have unconsciously copied Gary without knowing I’d done so on several occasions.
It has become sadly necessary to do this religiously this season because for the first time in some 35 years I have been unable to go to home matches, let alone enjoy one of my infrequent trips away, so can no longer write fearlessly from the heart about what I’ve seen, which is the cause of a major disadvantage to a writer such as myself who habitually likes to include a smidgeon of what his matchday mates think in articles as well.
Yesterday’s analysis taught me that while malcontent with the Club itself is still very much alive and well, a certain optimism about matters on the pitch is beginning to gather momentum. And a bloody good job too I sense MFW readers everywhere concurring.
None of us want to be miserable sods about the performance of the team as we are supporters first and foremost, whatever level of disrespect Lord Anthony Richens might choose to attach to us.
On Saturday we showed what we all wanted to see: a plethora of fight at what is not an easy place to go. I went to Millmoor many years ago and did not like the experience one little bit. I doubt it’s very much different at the New York Stadium, I’d have to ask one of the 2,000-plus Yellows who made the awkward journey to find out for sure.
There were flashes of good football on display as well and apart from his trip down suicide alley that led to the Rotherham equaliser I was impressed with what I saw from young Sr. Sara and kind of get the feeling that if we can keep him fit, Isaac Hayden might well prove key to our fortunes this season.
Even if I had been at the game I would probably have missed what I discerned from the highlights as a moment of inspired genius from Teemu Pukki. When the ball was clawed out by keeper Viktor Johansson from Josh Sargent’s wickedly deflected shot it was spinning like a dervish but Pukki somehow managed to get his right boot to it and dig it out for Aaron Ramsey to slot what proved to be the winner.
It really was one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” moments and is best seen from the reverse camera angle.
Mayor McPointing made a lot more sense than some others have recently when he said afterwards:
“There is a lot more to come from us.
“That’s been spoken about a lot, not putting games or teams to bed and dropping too many points – it’s true. If we drop points then we aren’t happy about it. The fans are the same.
“We have dropped too many points and we need to take responsibility for that as players, but we move on and this result feels good.”
Other results elsewhere combined to leave us in fourth position on 32 points from 20 matches, with Middlesbrough up next at Carrow Road for the final game before the yawn-inducing World Cup break. Qatar? No ta.
It’s not inconceivable that after Boro we could be reasonably safely ensconced in the play-off places and furthermore looking forward to the resumption with, dare I say it, a fully-fit squad.
And I for one will take that with a good heart, and here’s why.
We were never going to get shot of Smith and Shakespeare. That was a pipedream. Can you imagine Stuart Webber having to admit he was wrong by taking this step? No, me neither.
Can you contemplate the Board shelling out the level of compensation required to get rid of them and their imported acolytes? Again, not I.
So like it or lump it, we’re stuck with them and the only choice we have is to grudgingly accept it and get on with it.
So let’s enjoy the points we have on the board. I know I’m going to.
This rarely-aired gem of a Specials song from Jools Holland’s Hootenanny a few years back sums it up for me: