May 22 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Never has a tabloid story been more obviously conceived than in the post-Fulham chat with Simeon Jackson on Saturday – which for the record, already feels like a very long time ago.
From the moment the Canaries’ saviour that day confirmed he once worked at McDonalds while trying to get going as a footballing starlet, the door was open to a McFlurry of flipping good puns about Big Jack’s hunger to succeed and the like.
We all have to make ends meat (that one is accidental) if we are chasing a dream – and for the one or two that make it, thousands fail for reasons both within and beyond their control.
Still, it does make for a great story and is certainly a factory that plays a big part in the success Paul Lambert’s squad have had since picking themselves up off the floor of League One – that will always make it a tale worthy of being told. That said, Jackson (inset) himself was almost reticent to talk about the subject – maybe he could smell the impending puns…
“You really want to know about that?” he squinted. “It was tough, but when you have a dream you just keep going, keep plugging.
• We’re nearly there. Blackpool beat Liverpool in their 20th game last season; 28 points. They only won two more games all season. Even with the Canaries’ tough run in, surely they’ll manage more than that? For me, Monday’s win may well have been the big one.
• Yes, I still find myself in the strange situation of wanting Cardiff, West Ham and Middlesbrough to do well. Here’s hoping Southampton go on to prove exactly how hard back-to-back promotions are to achieve…
“You don’t actually think you will do it one day, so to now be here is amazing.
“I remember going into Croydon College, registering and sitting there for about five hours and thinking ‘you know what, I don’t want to do this – I just want to play football’.
“So I walked out half an hour into a business studies lesson and just decided I wanted to make it. I was working at McDonalds and playing non-league. I’d had enough after half an hour and it was ‘forget this’. I drive past a few (McDonalds) now and then.
“It’s something that’s part of the journey and helped me get to where I am, and I’m just blessed and pleased of my achievements so far.”
I’m sure Simeon isn’t the only person to walk out of a lesson and think ‘stuff this, I’m going to be Simon Cowell’ – and for a lot of them it probably wasn’t a good idea. Still, City’s number 10 has made it work – and that will always take courage, serious determination and the bit of talent we all hope we have.
Jackson added – with, I’m assuming, an unintentional pun of his own: “The whole squad – everyone here: you just look at Holty and that sums up quite a few of us.
“It’s good to have that because you have the hunger and desire, and you definitely want to work hard for the club, so it’s worked well and we just have to keep going now.”
So the hard work starts now for Jackson and co? Not really – just a case of it having to continue.
• So the new year kicked off in style – and not just on the pitch. Monday was a pretty compelling day all round, especially as Norwich City again proved their big Twitter draw.
First was Simon Lappin’s Premier League debut – an event so unexpected it was trending nationally on the social network. The best bit was how the Scot did perfectly fine on his late call into action at Loftus Road.
It didn’t stop there. Part-time Twitter philosopher and occasional exponent of on-pitch violent conduct/intent Joey Barton decided the social medium would be the best way to label City midfielder Bradley Johnson a con artist. Irony given Barton’s fall from a Gervinho flick earlier in the season was widely noted.
My own feed of City-related tweets did not stop turning over all night – helped by someone’s smart work to grab and post Johnson’s retort at the PDC World Darts final as some of the Norwich boys enjoyed a night out; one fully deserved after such an excellent victory at QPR.
There was plenty of abuse on Twitter for City and Johnson too – by this time, also trending nationally. That is par for the course.
But there cannot many clubs that command the impact the Canaries seem to regularly manage on Twitter. And while it was good to see Grant Holt finally signal his England intentions this season, it was a shame his ‘Adam Drury for Hall of Fame’ board didn’t get a go as well.