Gary said yesterday that he is not feeling quite so aggrieved at the departure of Bali Mumba to Plymouth Argyle as other City supporters might well be so, here’s how I feel guv’nor, and there’s only one word for it: gutted.
That article attracted a large amount of comments and it is a testimony to us MFW crowd that, [as suggested by Trev ] we are keeping our debates civilised with no referring to Roger’s Profanosaurus of Viz Comic fame.
It also gave me time to read said comments before finishing this article, so for starters I will acknowledge that Bali is a 3-5-2 wingback who David Wagner does not see as a full-back in a 4-4-2 or its close relative, a 4-2-3-1.
Argyle Manager Stephen Schumacher was delighted with the deal, which sees the Devon outfit paying around £1 million plus undisclosed add-ons for a player many of us believe never got a real chance to impress while he was here, with just nine appearances, none at all under Wagner or Dean Smith.
“Everyone knows how good a player he is, and he’s a brilliant character as well. All the players were made up to see him when he came back in. None of them were aware of anything that was going on. He surprised a few people. If it wasn’t for his best mate leaking it on Twitter then I think no one would have known so it has been a good bit of business!
Schumacher added: “To get top quality players to the club and put them into our environment… that as a coach is one of the most pleasing things.”
Emerging from an initial state of shock, some City fans were clutching at straws by trying to explain the sale away by hypothetically questioning his attitude.
It doesn’t look like there’s much of a case to be answered from what Schumacher has just said.
One poster suggested yesterday that [and I’ll paraphrase] Bali might not be up to learning well enough or quickly enough to become an effective traditional fullback in a 4-4-2 so was surplus to requirements. Well, I can’t say that poster was wrong as I don’t have the requisite knowledge to do so but there was me thinking he was likely to prove a valuable squad member, right from next month’s kick-off!
Given our parlous circumstances the £1 million isn’t going to help in the short term, and in any case, just how much of that relatively diminutive sum will be swallowed by propping up fan funding is an unknown quantity.
I suppose it could be argued that if David Wagner doesn’t want the lad then it is Stuart Webber‘s job to get the best price for him, which on the surface he probably has done.
But when a player like Bali Mumba is sold in favour of promoting the untried Kellen Fisher from Bromley in the National League because he has “looked good in pre-season”, I really am past the point of understanding what recruitment at NCFC is supposed to be about right now – do we buy a player when he is young and cheap [from Sunderland in this case], send him out on loan until he is approaching the finished article [box ticked] and then sell him for a pittance?
And if he is indeed a direct replacement for Bali Mumba, young Kellen [he’s 19] has a lot to live up to according to PAFC Official:
“Mumba was named in the EFL League One Team of the Season and was named as the division’s Young Player of the Year, while in Argyle’s own awards, Bali was not only named as the outstanding young player but was runner-up in the Player of the Season vote, narrowly missing out to Michael Cooper.”
But not deemed good enough for Norwich City.
Norwich City took on Dutch Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday as their pre-season preparations continued, the Canaries having returned from Germany at the weekend after completing fixtures against SV Darmstadt 98 and FC Kaiserslautern in the land of Adidas and Juergen Klopp.
The Alkmaar match at the complex of Dutch amateur side VV Dirkshorn was a low-key affair, with Ashley Barnes opened the scoring just six minutes in from 10 yards before the Kaaskoppen, who finished fourth in last season’s Eredivisie behind champions Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, and Ajax, equalised in the 10th-minute courtesy of Ruben van Bommel.
Norwich City have completed the signing of Gabriel Forsyth from Scottish side Hamilton Academical. The 16-year-old has signed a long-term professional deal with the Canaries.
Born in Glasgow, Forsyth made a number of first-team appearances for Hamilton, with two coming in the Scottish Championship. Capped six times by the Scotland Under-17s, the youngster will initially form part of the club’s Development and Academy set-up.
Forsyth said: “It’s amazing to join such a big club. I’ve already started, so I’m excited [for] the new season ahead.”
Norwich City forward Abu Kamara has joined League One side Portsmouth on a season-long loan.
Kamara scored 13 goals in 15 Premier League 2 appearances for Norwich Under-21s last season, leading to Wagner giving him his first-team debut.
Kamara was introduced from the bench in the Canaries’ 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Carrow Road on April 1. He would also feature against Rotherham and Blackpool in the EFL Championship before the end of the campaign.
Norwich City Under-21s defender Lewis Shipley has joined Sky Bet League Two side Accrington Stanley on a season-long loan. Cambridge-born Shipley has been with City throughout his football development and is committed to the club until 2025.
He has played over 30 games in PL2 for the Canaries, with 18 of those coming in the 2022-23 campaign.
He joins fellow Canary Brad Hills at the Wham Stadium after Hills joined Stanley on loan for the season last weekend.
Burnley’s signature of Nathan Redmond has been confirmed as the former City, Birmingham, and Southampton wideman joins the Clarets following a season with Turkish giants Besiktas.
Remarkably, to me anyway, this hero of Alex Neil’s 2015 Wembley win over Boro, is still “only” 29.
Bradley Johnson has completed a return to Derby County as a player-coach to support the development of their academy players.
Our former Norwich City midfielder secured his Pride Park return on Tuesday and will focus predominantly on coaching in his first full-time role and will also be eligible to play for the Rams Under-21 side in the Premier League 2 as an overage player.
MK Dons released the 36-year-old following their relegation from League One last season.
City’s upcoming home fixture against Leicester City has been selected for broadcast coverage by Sky Sports so, you guessed it, the game has been moved back 15 minutes to 8pm.
There is no change to the date of the match itself, which will still take place on Wednesday, September 20.
Back to haunt and taunt us is a reprise of the rumour that Sporting Lisbon and former Liverpool winger Rafael Camacho is reportedly being tracked by Norwich City, and a trio of Championship rivals.
Portuguese daily sports newspaper O Jogo claims the 23-year-old is set to be released from his Sporting contract 12 months early, and could be available on a free transfer.
Apparently, the Canaries, Watford, Stoke, and Hull are monitoring Camacho’s situation.
Milot Rashica has re-joined his parent club at their Austria training base, but the Kosovan remains a summer target to seal a permanent move to Galatasaray [or possibly did until Gala made a very recent move for ex-Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, anyway].
If we don’t sell him relatively quickly there will be even less money available for recruitment. Nothing is confirmed as I write.
Christos Tzolis remains another who could potentially depart, with the Greek youngster getting limited game time so far in pre-season under Wagner.
In what was hopefully an entertaining afternoon for those supporters who made the POET’S Day journey, Norwich City and Stephen Fry opened the doors to over 400 people at Carrow Road’s brand-new pub, the Lion and Castle on Friday.
Canary legends Grant Holt and Darren Eadie were in attendance, with the latter acting as mine host for the event and introduced Blackadder’s Boss on stage to cut the ribbon and officially declare the sports bar open.
The bar was part of an extensive refurbishment project in the Russell Allison Lounge in the Lower Barclay. To continue holding the memory of long-serving groundsman Russell Allison, a plaque was put in place in his memory next to a mural of Barclay-end highlights.
In what is the last of my close season diary pieces [it’s the return of The Posse next Monday and then the serious stuff starts] I’ll make a tongue-in-cheek apology to Delia Smith for the times I have suggested that she might be intransigent and is too old to take on new ideas [with thanks to the Lynn News]:
The owner of a fish and chips restaurant in Thornham has said there has been a “crazy” response to a quirky item on the menu after Delia Smith’s endorsement.
It comes after the celebrity chef added the deep-fried jam sandwich, which she had tried at Eric’s Fish and Chips, to the menu at Yellows Bar and Grill at Norwich City Football Club.
Eric Snaith, chef-owner of Eric’s, which has branches in Thornham near Holt and St Ives in Cambridgeshire, told the Lynn News: “It’s been crazy, the interest has been really good.”
Delia’s love of the deep-fried jam sandwich, which she first tried at the fish and chips restaurant in Holt, has made national headlines in the last week, and even saw Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond doing a taste test of it on ITV’s This Morning.
In the description of the dessert on the Yellows menu, Delia says: “Who is Eric? The very famous Eric of Fish & Chip fame who in his restaurant in Holt serves the best fish and chips ever.“
We have permission from him to use his exclusive recipe which may sound unlikely but has to be tasted to be believed.”
A couple or three summers ago I was walking along the Haymarket sporting my habitual black NCFC training jacket and saw two lads bouncing along the pavement towards me with all the energy and cheeriness that only the enthusiasm and exuberance of youth can bring.
They were wearing City training gear and laughing, smiling, looking into shop windows, and saying “Hi” to a couple of folk who, like me, recognised them.
I asked the taller guy if he liked it in Norwich and we all chatted for a while and then wished each other well for the season as this was late July time.
One was Matthew Dennis and the other an endlessly polite and cheerful Bali Mumba.
I’m pleased it all turned out for the best for you Bali.
I really think it did – because there’s nothing like being where you are wanted.
I might have left you with this soul classic before but, just in case I have, just remember that you can never get too much of Marvin: