December 11 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Greed is good. So Michael Douglas had us believe in his famous Oscar-winning portrayal of corporate raider Gordon Gekko. ‘Wall Street’ was a cinematic homage to the bloated excesses of the 1980s. A hit film that captured the essence of a decade.
You suspect Douglas would have found that mantra a slightly harder sell in the current climate; the one in which RBS boss Stephen Hester deigns to turn down his six-figure bonus. Nothing whatsoever to do with the political football that particular issue has morphed into over recent days.
Or the bitterness felt by the vast majority of us who frankly struggle to comprehend the grotesque sums lavished on the banking fraternity as a reward for perceived success.
No, Mr Douglas, greed is not good in all its forms. Greed is not always right, greed does not always work.
But there are caveats; exceptions to every rule. Paul Lambert and his squad broke one last weekend. The unwritten law that states Norwich’s FA Cup adventure contains one, two if you are very lucky, chapters at most.
Douglas was still basking in the afterglow of his award-winning performance on the big screen the last time Norwich’s fans could revel in cup runs worthy of the name. Two semi-finals in a three year spell at the end of the 1980s is only a memory in newsprint and celluloid to a whole generation of younger City followers.
Lambert’s current crop have plenty of hard work ahead to try and emulate that achievement. But Lambert’s men are not afraid of rolling up their sleeves. If they were, they would still be languishing in League One. Or hovering around Leicester in the wide expanses of the Championship.
Granted, Leicester’s league status belies the potential latent threat carried by the Foxes when they head to Carrow Road next month. But for a support fed on slim rations for the past two decades, Norwich have a wonderful opportunity to progress.
You just get the growing sense Lambert, his coaching staff and the players will do everything in their power not to let it pass them by. No-one disputes the Premier League is the holy grail. The economic gains from sustained membership over these next few seasons will be the key to funding a ground expansion that can help Norwich establish themselves as a permanent fixture amongst the big boys. But the benefits of an FA Cup run alongside steady league progress should be actively encouraged. And not solely on romantic grounds.
From a footballing and a financial sense, the numbers add up. City would have been kicking their collective heels over the weekend of February 18 if they had lost at The Hawthorns. A 15-day break between Swansea and Manchester United is hardly ideal preparation. Less so, if Norwich get little tangible reward from the trip to south Wales.
Lambert has talked a lot about momentum in recent weeks after a run of results which have propelled the Canaries well clear of the lower reaches. Beat Leicester and United’s task just gets a little harder when they ride into town.
The City boss also knows he now has a young man who can handle promotion, if called upon again. Jed Steer’s selection in place of John Ruddy at West Brom may have said everything about Lambert’s priorities, but one 90 minute shift said even more about the teenager’s abilities. Steer found himself thrust into the heat of battle and survived. Lambert’s faith in the depth of his squad reached even deeper levels. That sort of knowledge can only benefit player and manager over the course of the remaining months.
Cup success also brings a cash injection – in both prize money and gate receipts. Norwich’s hierarchy will not have budgeted for Leicester’s fifth round visit in their business plan for this season.
A potential full house at Carrow Road is the sort of boost even Gordon would approve of. Maybe he had it right all along.