Last week could end up being buried in the oubliette of the Norwich City archives dungeon with the headstone inscription May 14-20 2023 – the very eventful week in which very little actually happened.
It was the week when Stuart Webber finally decided he would speak with the local media once again after spending several months incommunicado and this predictably and properly drew the likes of the Pink Un, Radio Norfolk, and ITV to Carrow Road to hear SW’s views on the 2022-23 season and his thoughts going forward from hereon.
There was very little “grilling” from the assembled journos. I don’t know if there was any agreement in place concerning certain questions being verboten but that notwithstanding it was pretty tame stuff. But, and it’s an important but, if we are bold enough to assume this was a reopening of the conduits rather than a one-off event then it is a very positive thing to happen and I’m glad it took place.
Here’s what 3/4 of the Posse thought about it all, beginning with Alex B:
“I’ve just completed listening to the full interview and there was no hint of any animosity from Webber to Paddy, so all went well.
“Webber mentioned all the abuse Darren Moore has been receiving and says that’s headline news but when a 39-year-old white man gets it then no headlines so the reporting of abuse is selective and that’s not on.
“He also said police apologised to him for the abuse he got after a Carrow Road game but no action was taken. He said he asked them if he did it outside Morrisons to their manager what would happen. He was told he would be arrested.
“He said this meant abuse outside a ground is considered acceptable because it’s football but outside Morrisons it’s not and that needs to change because abuse is abuse no matter where it occurs.
“I would say no real hard-hitting questions were put to him so is this tiny reconciliatory steps from all sides?”
Bernie Owen remains less than convinced by the sight and sound of the lesser-spotted Sporting Director in full flight:
“Oh wow, Webber’s coming over like a politician as in ‘I’m sorry if what I have done or haven’t done upsets you, but tough. I don’t recognise the criticism as accurate, because…’
“Still, respect for saying ‘I’m there to be shot at’, and it keeps the flak off of others.”
Cutty was possibly less convinced still:
“Part of my training as a senior manager was how to speed read a document and to recognise and concentrate on the important and relevant information. I went through all this document at speed, no pauses.
“The relevance of this means that this was a ‘smoke and mirrors, keep the peasants quiet’ type of meeting, probably followed by the obligatory ‘help yourselves to the tea and biscuits, I must dash’ line followed by a smile and run.”
Cutty then added a line about ducks, defecation, and a Golden Eagle which I will wisely leave to the vivid imaginations of MFW readers.
My last word on this topic concerns Webber’s comment about a January bid for Andrew Omobamidele from “a foreign club” which eclipsed the £20 million he “achieved” with the sale of Ben Godfrey to Everton, courtesy of an article from Rudi Kinsella in Balls. ie, a publication I dip into from time to time that majors equally on football, rugby and GAA:
“Norwich City turned down an offer from a club to make Andrew Omobamidele the most expensive Irish footballer ever. Nathan Collins is currently in top spot at £20 million.
“While it’s unclear which club made the offer, he [Omobamidele] has been linked with some massive clubs in recent weeks.”
Thanks, Rudi, I would never otherwise have realised that Andrew was very nearly an Irish record holder [and might yet become one]
Despite the re-emergence of Mr Webber, it is hard to deny that Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore is the man of the week after the Owls’ thrilling 5-4 aggregate win over Darren Ferguson’s hapless Peterborough United, who were 4-0 up and surely cruising after the first leg.
There is a lesson to be learned for David Wagner and most other football managers or head coaches and for once it is presented by his usually irritating club captain Barry Bannan, who paid the following tribute to his boss on Thursday evening:
“This last week what you [Moore] have done to change our mindsets – you, the staff and [Wednesday sports psychologist] Tom Bates has been unbelievable. I’m not going to lie – there were some people down but what you’ve shown us and the work you’ve put in for us this week has been second to none and we’d like to thank you and the staff.”
And as that compliment, folks, comes from the most unlikely of sources we should surely be quick to acknowledge its absolute sincerity.
Congratulations to one of my favourite City players of recent times, Christoph Zimmermann, on achieving promotion from 2.Bundesliga with his new club SV Darmstadt 98.
Zimbo, a mainstay of the Lillies’ defence this season, can now look forward to mixing it with the likes of Bayern and BVB in 2023-24 and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.
There are many supporters out there who might think City have lost their zip of late. Rest easy y’all, you are not alone.
As soon as they hit the annual 40% reduction mark a couple of weeks ago I decided to contribute to City’s coffers by buying an Adult Training Rain Jacket [colour black, size L, as modelled by Tony Springett in the online Club Shop brochure]. As I went to unzip the inside pocket for the very first time on Tuesday the zipper pull came away in my hand.
One quick phone call to the Club shop later and I arranged to pick up a replacement on Friday that the guy said he would save for me at Carrow Road. I collected my fully-functioning jacket as planned and had a really good natter with the young lad on the till. He must be good at his job because I left the building with a companion for my windcheater, in this case, an Adult Travel Bench Jacket [blue, L, modelled by Adam Idah]
There’s absolutely no need for an explanation to accompany today’s outro selection: