Today the MFW floor belongs to ‘Big Vince’. I’ll let him explain.
As I finished the last sip of my pre-bed brandy and sat in my resplendent wingback chairs I’d bought from the owner of a tavern on a beautiful Swiss mountain, my eyes read the words again before I smirked. My thousands of friends are forever telling me, “Big Vince, your smirks are the stuff of legend”. But that’s another story.
The reason for my smirk? The latest reply to something I wrote on MyFootballWriter. It said, “The offer still stands, ‘Big Vince’ – there’s a page here awaiting 800-1000 words of positivity from your good self”.
Big Vince never backs down from a challenge.
Telling Mrs Vince to prepare me some supper and some of the good whiskey on the rocks before she heads off to bed – and not to wait up – I returned to that glorious chair I do all my best thinking in and began wondering how I could weave words in ways MyFootballWriter would wearily welcome as wonderful works of wisdom, showing reasons to be cheerful. Part three. One. Two. Three.
With the obligatory Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ reference ticked off, here are my musings.
We are only ever happy in two circumstances. When everything is going perfectly. Or when everything is going wrong.
Under Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber, we’ve been spoiled. Perfect football. Players we loved. A manager (Big Vince doesn’t like this head coach malarky) who did that daft wave thing we all lapped up. Running away to two league titles. A sporting director who had the magic touch. Even Richard Balls had nothing to complain about. Golden times.
And now look at us. We traded Farke in for Dean Smith. Now normally, Big Vince doesn’t utter his name without a four-letter expletive. Today, I’ll make an exception. But that tells you what I think of that rummun.
Webber turned from golden boy to a proper wrong ‘un in the space of seconds, telling us divorcees to keep schtum and decrying women’s football. Worst of all, the quality of football went the way of the Titanic, and Dean Smith was replaced with David Wagner.
After a couple of good results, the football got worse. Those players we loved to love? Gone. Exit stage right to America, Aston Villa, and back to Germany. Replaced with a bunch of expensive mistakes from the guy who we all thought was the second coming just eighteen months earlier.
I’m in such a tiz thinking about all that I take a big gulp of that whiskey Mrs Vince left for me.
Yet – we Norwich fans have still never had it as good.
This club has never been more interesting to follow.
Norfolk is a sleepy place. Wonderful people. Beautiful scenery. An attitude quite unlike a lot of the places in England that Big Vince frequents, like London and Birmingham. We’re a friendly bunch. We love a natter, and Norwich City is one of those things we love a natter about. Even a bit of a barney from time to time.
“What do they do in traynun, Neil?”
Because despite the fact that things ain’t so good right now, it still brings us together. Just like when things are good. Gives us a common thing to spuffle on about with each other.
Daft things the sporting director says? Check.
Links to players we’ve got no chance of signing? Check.
Crazy nonsense installed at our training ground to give us an “edge”? Yes Soccerbot, I’m looking at you, old bean. Check.
A manager most of us would like gone but could still come up with the goods? Takeover? Check.
Sporting director on the way out and new one being sought right now? Checkity check.
Even when it’s bad, Norwich City still plays its part in the day-to-day of Norfolk’s hustle and bustle. It’s never dull being a fan of this blinking club. And – takes another sip of this beautiful whiskey – I got to think, that’s got to be the point, hasn’t it?
You’ve still got this thing to talk about, to cherish, to will on to do better, to continue to love.
And it’s because the club continues to give us reasons to love it (either through it going so well, or going so badly, and we unite in the naffness of it all) that we continue to hope. Either for more or for better.
Pre-season is the time of hope, isn’t it? When we all hope things will work out for the best, even despite every fibre of logic and reason telling us not to.
Despite the form we ended last season in.
Despite the transfer activity having dried up and with big questions left unanswered.
Despite The Second Tier podcast saying we have the 20th-best manager in the Championship – before selecting a manager in first who led Ipswich to a proper impressive (read with sarcasm) second place in League One and has never actually managed a game in the Championship. The spanners.
We still have hope. We still all think, “Well if Nunez comes good, and a couple of new signings come in, and we keep Andy O and Sara then we might just … we could just…we might be able to…”
Good or bad, we continue to love.
And what we continue to love we continue to have hope in. And when we continue to hope, the people who support this club will always turn up. And when we turn up we give this club a chance against anyone.
And that’s your positivity lads. The people of Norfolk continue to hope. This wonderful fan base will still continue to turn up. If given something to get behind, that hope can spark a fire, which can lead us to anything.
Our greatest asset is still right here, hoping, loving, and ready to go.
And I raise a glass to that. Except – chuffin’ Nora – I’ve already finished that whiskey.
Big Vince. Out.
Cheers ‘BV’. Nice one, albeit you exceeded your word count by nine words. Tsk tsk 🙂