I too “woke up yesterday morning with the intention of writing a piece in response to Delia’s interview in the Financial Times but, on reflection, thought better of it”, just as MFW editor Gary G did.
Last week we featured an excellent article from Trev, who exhorted MFW readers and writers to put any off-field differences behind us for a while and concentrate on what is happening with the squad, as Gary elected to do yesterday. There is enough frustration happening in this theatre to keep the angst flowing so I’m going to heed Trev’s words and stick with another in my series of weekly NCFC diaries.
And that is kind of what I shall do.***
Norwich City rounded off the German leg of the summer tour with a 0-0 draw against 2.Bundesliga outfit FC Kaiserslautern but the game itself was overshadowed by an injury to young American centre-back Jon Tomkinson.
Early reports suggested this was very similar to the one suffered in training by Spanish wideman Borga Sainz the day before the clash with SV Darmstadt as Tomkinson departed to a sympathetic round of applause from the 7,000-strong crowd, who were mainly Kaiserslautern fans of course
Head coach David Wagner confirmed after the game he feared Tomkinson had suffered a “serious ankle ligament” injury. He is currently being assessed by the club’s medical staff.
“The week as a whole and the game was good, but not perfect. It looks like there’s a serious injury to Jonathan Tomkinson. This is only the real set-back we had here”, said Wagner.
“The set-up we had here in Germany was great. Good locations, good opponents, good set-ups in general. The distances were not too far, they were very good games that we had.
“I think we made some good progressions, good steps. I like how the players fought, how the group starts to gel, and to fight to keep the ball out of the net. All in all, I thought it was decent for pre-season in these two games.”
And it’s good to see that it’s not just the first-team squad that is visiting foreign climes this summer.
Our Academy sides will visit Slovenia as part of their pre-season preparations – both the Under-21s and Under-18s will travel from tomorrow until Saturday [July 22] as they prepare for the upcoming season.
As part of the camp, both sides will play the academy sides of NK Celje on Friday, July 21, while both age groups will take on Ipswich Town at Colney on August 1 at 1030 [Under-18s] and 1500 [Under-21s].
Both of these matches are behind closed doors unfortunately so maybe a tad mean of the club? I guess they have their reasons, an enthusiastic and doubtless very vocal crowd wouldn’t exactly create an ideal learning environment, of course.
Back in Blighty, it came as no surprise that the much-touted moves of keeper coaches Ed Wootten and Paul Clements to Leeds and ourselves respectively went ahead seamlessly, as sure as night follows day.
Todd Cantwell [remember him?] was in the news north of the border when Kieran Dowell claimed TC “sold” him on a move to the Gers.
“When I first got in contact with the manager [Michael Beale], I was straight on the phone to Todd,” said Dowell.
“I was asking him how he’s found it so far and he was raving about it. He said it’s something different but it’s something that he’s really enjoyed. Just like the manager, Todd really sold it to me as well.
“I’ve known a few Rangers fans from other clubs so they’re always talking about it. I was knocking around with Kenny McLean and Billy Gilmour so you pick things up.
Another player released by City has got himself a contract – in this case with Hearts.
Keeper Michael McGovern returns to Scotland and will work closely with former City team-mate and current Hearts technical director Steven Naismith and Alex Neil’s ex-assistant Frankie McAvoy, who is head coach.
Next up is what would usually be binned off into the Yer ‘Avin’ a Larf section, but maybe there’s a ring of truth to it this year.
The bookies make Ipswich Town fifth favourites at 7/2 for promotion, with ourselves at 9/2 together with WBA and Stoke while Leicester, Leeds, and Southampton are currently unsurprisingly inseparable as 11/8 favourites.
Speculation regarding departures from Carrow Road proceeds apace, even though anything concrete does the exact opposite right now.
Turkish daily outlet Star says that Galatasaray have bid €5 million plus €2 million in add-ons for out-of-favour City winger Milot Rashica, who enjoyed [and I really mean enjoyed] last season on loan with Gala as he helped them to the Super Lig title.
Star says the bonuses would be triggered by games played in European competition, trophies won and domestic games played. They add that personal terms between player and club appear to have been sorted.
Other clubs are rumoured to be interested in Rashica but I can see this one working out well for all parties as long as City accept that they might not be getting as much up front as they would doubtless like. And swallow a €5 million trading loss on the player, of course.
Meanwhile, Antony Martin of Hammers News says David Moyes should sign Max Aarons., even if he appears a little confused:
“Norwich will allegedly demand around £30 million for Max Aarons, but I think that might just be a little bit steep for West Ham, in spite of how good he is.
“Perhaps if we could pick him up for closer to £20-25 million, it will be a deal worth pursuing for the Hammers.
“That said, if Norwich won’t budge on their £30 million asking price, I still think Aarons will be a good signing for us.”
Off the field, City have introduced Yellow Brick Mortgages as the club’s latest primary partner, building on a partnership that began in the 2021-22 season.
The Norwich-based mortgage advisers will have their logo on the front of the men’s first team warm-up shirt from the start of the coming season.
And not to be outdone, Norfolk-based tech firm Sekura become the 2023-24 back-of-shirt sponsor for David Wagner’s first team and become the main shirt sponsor for the women’s team. The company specialises in “allowing companies to verify the ID of their customers”.
So now we know.
Former City striker Grant Holt is swapping his Predators for Mammuts on August 5 when he sets out on a 44-mile overnight trek from Ipswich to Framlingham Earl, just outside Norwich, which is home of The Nook.
The Nook is the HQ of East Anglian Children’s Hospices [EACH], and Holty has helped them raise funds before, including completing a skydive in January last year.
Daniel Farke’s inevitable departure from Norfolk’s green and pleasant land was one thing, signing for a rival Championship side was another but signing up to manage Leeds United finally proved enough to break the resistance of Fat Cat & Canary guv’nor Christian Hodgkinson.
That’s a shame because through these eyes it’s a wonderful piece of street art in its own right. None of this mindless tagging and spraying two triangles on the wall to represent a pineapple, just a really good study of the man.
I drive past quite a lot and will certainly miss it, although I kind of understand how Christian might be feeling
*** I said at the top of the article that I would join Gary in giving writing about Delia Smith‘s interview with the FT a wide berth and so I kind of did.
Kind of because there was a passage in it where our joint majority shareholder was asked about her plans for the club when the passage of time will inevitably mean that she will have to hand over the yellow and green reins.
Her reply means that she has won Martin’s Midsummer Quote of the Week Award, [no surprise, there is no prize] even if only for her optimism in the final sentence:
“He [Mark Attanasio] seems like a really good guy. We have no idea what the future will bring. We just have to wait and see. What we have to do now is hand over to people we think will be good caretakers. Football is full of terrible disasters.
“We won’t have a disaster. We’ll do it properly.”
Which will doubtless please supporters everywhere, particularly a man and his family who were: