These international breaks are a proper nuisance. You have just (finally) had a win and then off goes a group of your better players to play, somewhere, and then you sit tight and await news of pulled hamstrings, tweaked groins, rolled ankles, or worse.
But at least we can sit and bask in the glow of that most unexpected away win in Cardiff.
So, how did it happen?
Well, we for once saw a little bit of ne’er say die, combined with a Cardiff team that has become commonly known as a Norwich. My spies from Splott tell me the Bluebirds have a habit of doing this every now and again, so many thanks to them for choosing to do it against us. Appreciated.
Now I occasionally like an Old Peculiar but never in a month of Sundays did I expect our head coach to pick the starting back four that he did on Saturday. It certainly didn’t work when Cardiff had the ball but when we did it has to be said that Przemysław Placheta looked our most direct and effective attacker.
Plus – and make sure you’re sitting down for this one – the substitutions made by David Wagner had an effect on the game. Adam Idah finally reminded us again what he can do when he’s hungry and focused, so now, please Adam, can we have that from the start of a game?
Maybe it was all a clever move by Wagner to engineer effective substitutions … not before time!
Anyway, it might be the international break, but it’s not as if there isn’t much going on at our football club right now, and this one gives us a chance to welcome Ben Knapper to the hot seat of sporting director.
He now has six weeks to have a good look at the playing squad from close quarters before there is the small matter of the January transfer window. And it promises to be, for the want of a better word… interesting.
- Will there be a small stash of cash available for a purchase or a loan? Hhmm.
- Or (more likely) will we see a lower-half, desperate Premier League club throw in a bid for Gabriel Sara or Jonathan Rowe that we really can’t duck?
- And the big question (which I’ve been avoiding) … does our new sporting director intend to stick with Wagner or has he arrived here with an ace up his sleeve?
If it is to be the ace up the sleeve then it’s best he moves with all possible haste as games come sixteen to the dozen this time of year – ten of the perishing things between 25th November and 1st January.
But if he has faith in Wagner then he needs to get out there and say it. The worst thing will be for him to take a ho-hum-ha, game-by-game approach because, by the time he makes the decision, it will be too late.
And then there is also the small matter of the flak Mr Knapper will receive for the indecision (and the ace may no longer be up the sleeve), which would be far from an ideal start to his Norwich City tenure.
No doubt interviews will flow around Colney this week and I would like to see a thawing of relations between the club and the regional media. New brooms and new starts etc.
But, to end, just a personal plea to Mr. Wagner and/or Mr. Knapper and/or anyone else at Colney who is listening … please keep Danny Batth (top of page) in the side at centre-back for the QPR game.
Based on what we saw in Cardiff, he looks to have fewer mistakes in him than Messrs Duffy and Gibson, and for that reason, I think Jaden Warner should stay in too.
But that’s just my two penneth. Let us know what you think in the comments.
We know our Martin would approve of this one…