In true double-decker bus fashion, you wait a few weeks for a new MFW guest blog and then two come along at once! Already today we have had the redoubtable words of Liam Palmer, and to follow is an equally passionate view on where our club stands from the keyboard of Debbie Hewitt.
Debbie, the floor is yours…
Another home defeat, this time by Middlesbrough – the second in a week – was entirely expected.
Last Saturday’s capitulation against Leeds, after surrendering a two-goal lead, showed this team to be lethargic, vulnerable, devoid of any sort of performance or impetus, and certainly with no ideas as to how to win a game with issues at both ends of the pitch.
One win in seven league games is not even mid-table obscurity – we are gradually sinking further than that. And with ‘them down the road’ absolutely flying, it grates even more.
Sure, we miss Ashley Barnes and Josh Sargent, but their return is not going to miraculously turn this team into promotion contenders.
Obviously, there are calls for David Wagner to go, which is inevitable, although he can only work with the players he has. However, his seeming inability to turn games around with some unfathomable substitutions has been mentioned a number of times, along with the disappearance of the super-fit players that appeared in the first few weeks of this season.
Maybe his time is up but, once again, where on earth do we look for a replacement?
Predictably, last Saturday, the sentimentality over Daniel Farke was rife. He came, saw and conquered, and proved that he was, and still is, a fine Championship manager – something we have badly missed since his departure.
It remains to be seen how successful he will be in the Premier League if he gets Leeds promoted, but I suspect he will do better than he did with Norwich; once again confirming the point that he never had the resources needed for a realistic crack at staying in the ‘Promised Land’.
Unfortunately, this season (and last) seems to also confirm that we don’t even have the resources needed for a realistic crack at the Championship.
And then there is the curious story of the Sporting Director with the Executive Director wife – a very uncomfortable situation in my view with divided loyalties and conflict of interests coming immediately to mind.
We knew he would be moving on as far back as March, yet here he still is, and, by all accounts, will still be for a while after his replacement, Ben Knapper, starts. You really couldn’t make it up.
We can only hope his stay doesn’t extend too far into the January transfer window as his recent endeavours in the transfer market have not exactly been fruitful.
Surely we need a completely fresh start.
Having said that, as usual, you would assume that we will only be able to buy if we sell, yet again potentially losing the one or two brighter sparks that we currently have, like Gabriel Sara and Jon Rowe.
However, current form doesn’t bode well for any Norwich player being an attractive enough proposition to boost the coffers to any great extent, thereby again limiting any possible movement inwards.
Unfortunately, we are reaping the ‘rewards’ of years of supposed self-funding, with proof positive if it was ever needed that it just will not work anymore. Investment is needed. Mark Attanasio will be our saviour, apparently, but the latest share acquisition only gives him parity with Delia and Michael, with potentially a further share issue needed if a full transfer of power is to be achieved.
While I don’t necessarily believe that Attanasio is the answer to all the deep-rooted problems within the club, you have to hope that finances might actually improve, which would allow a more realistic foray into the transfer market and that Norwich City becomes a more interesting proposition to potential targets.
I fear our downhill meander is a regrettable reality unless some serious changes come, from the top down, sooner rather than later.
While the club has a remarkably loyal fanbase, there is a sense of resignation and inevitability at the moment, which will test that loyalty to the very limit.