Has your memory foam mattress forgotten you? Will your willow no longer weep? Or maybe your Mister Muscle has developed atrophy?
Or are you, like me, slightly less than excited by the news trickling out from the Norwich City media, both internal and external, this week?
While the outside world of journalism has come up with more than its fair share of rumours during the seven days since I last wrote on MFW, it would be rude not to begin by briefly recapping now the dust has finally settled on Stuart Webber’s interviews of Friday last.
I jokingly suggested on these very pages a couple of weeks back now that the local media should make the most of their interview opportunities with Stuart Webber after such a lengthy suspension of communication and Anglia News, Look East and Radio Norfolk did just that by each presenting what I thought were pretty good TV and radio versions of what was put in front of them by the man from Aberystwyth.***
Gary, Stewart, Jack, Tim and myself piled in with the MFW content and were rewarded for our labours with some tasty comments from you good readers concerning our varying takes on SW’s re-emergence from Trappism. Michael Bailey ensured there were a couple of decent interpretations in The Athletic and he was joined by a couple of nationals who were not in agreement with SW’s thoughts on women’s football.
But the Pink Un team [quite understandably under the circumstances] won the award in the all-Norfolk ‘how many squeezes can you get from a single half-time orange?’ competition. I quickly counted one dozen stories emanating directly from the same source before my concentration went and I gave up. London buses come to mind!
More seriously, let’s hope Webber speaking with the local media reverts to something like it once was rather than becoming an annual event
Webber also promised us long-suffering supporters both a new coach and a new player by the end of last week and while nothing has actually happened yet, the media are saying that deals are on the verge of completion in both instances.
Huddersfield coach Narcis Pelach has quit The Terriers and is nailed on to become the new coach, at least according to the Yorkshire Post and the Pink Un. Spaniard Pelach has connections with David Wagner and indeed current City coaches Christoph Buhler and Andrew Hughes as well as head of football development Steve Weaver from their respective times with the Terriers, so please excuse me for suggesting there is a copper bottom to this one.
The YP adds that Pelach was allegedly interviewed for the vacant managerial role at Blackpool but has instead elected to join up with Wagner at City. A few local [as in Norfolk rather than Yorkshire] jokers have suggested that at the tender age of 34, he would be a ready-made, in-house replacement for Wagner – without mentioning anything about any timescales that might or might not be involved!
On the player front, all fingers are pointing at Fulham’s Shane Duffy.
Duffy, 31, is a 55-cap Irish international centre-back who according to balls-ie is desperate to get his career back on track. Duffy’s not had a look-in with only five appearances from the bench amounting to a meagre 17 minutes of action with the Cottagers all season. His contract is effectively up and he would arrive at Carrow Road as a free agent in a similar manner to that of Ashley Barnes.
Duffy is well thought of by Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny and will be anxious to be part of their squad for next year’s Euros, a feat he will not be able to accomplish without regular minutes on the pitch. Given Grant Hanley’s parlous injury situation, the possible sale of Andrew Omobamidele and the general lack of quality in the Canaries’ defence, this one looks like a decent signing to me if it happens.
Maybe in answer to those who might sarcastically suggest Webber is scouring old folks’ homes for signings, it was also revealed yesterday that City are also pouncing for Hamilton’s Gabe Forsyth.
According to the Daily Record, Forsyth has broken through to the recently-relegated Accies’ first team this term at the tender age of 16, making five appearances for the New Fir Park club.
This has all the classic hallmarks of a Webber gamble along the lines of Daniel Adshead, Conor McGrandles and Regan Riley. Will it happen? Dunno. Will it work out if it does? In the lap of the footballing gods, is that one.
Further rumours heading towards the NW for *No Way* point on my football compass include the possible pursuits of Bradley Dack and Malian international Lassana Coulibaly.
Social media will quickly establish the case against Dack while Tuttomercatoweb reckons the 30-cap Coulibaly, who currently plays for Italian Serie A side Saleritana, has low-end PL admirers in Forest, Palace and [tries not to laugh] Leeds [fails not to laugh].
Any one of those three will outbid us if they want the player, so for that reason it’s a no-no for me.
There’s bad news for Onel Hernandez with a knee injury keeping him from international duty with Cuba in the Gold Cup. It looks to be the same injury that was troubling him towards the end of the EFL Championship season at City. Bad luck Onel – get it sorted as soon as you can as we’re going to be needing you next season!
I can confidently predict that published rumours we are after Isaac Hayden on a free and chasing a further loan deal with Arsenal for Marqinhos have even fewer legs in them than the players themselves!
I have to conclude by saying that my message to Carlton Morris, Luton Town and their supporters is as unequivocal as Gary’s was yesterday.
Congratulations and enjoy your season in the sun – you deserve it. If you can somehow turn it into a second season, you deserve it even more.
*** While googling to make sure SW was indeed born in Aberystwyth I discovered that he has recently acquired an extra line to his Wiki profile: In May 2023, Webber received further criticism for his comments on women’s football, saying the quality was “really poor”.
*** Many of our squad will already be enjoying their summer holidays with report back date some weeks away, so I hope they enjoy themselves in Bali, Cancun, the Maldives or wherever yer well-off geezer in his 20s or so hangs out these days.
I sincerely hope our sports scientists remembered to send them away with .pdfs of a strict personal regime and that they do as they’re told because this season more than ever we need to get off to a flyer as we face Leeds, Leicester and Southampton, which constitutes the *best* trio of relegated sides I can ever remember!
Any old excuse will do to play this: