Awayday tension with ballistic Jeff

PUBLISHED: 17:48 26 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:36 14 September 2010

MOVING day plus-7 found me, last Saturday, still busy unpacking and arranging things in my new house - you know how it is - and, seeing as I am now out of range of Radio Norfolk, I decided to keep myself occupied while relying on a combination of bulletins from a certain satellite broadcaster (three letter word meaning thing that clouds drift by in!) and Five Live.

MOVING day plus-7 found me, last Saturday, still busy unpacking and arranging things in my new house - you know how it is - and, seeing as I am now out of range of Radio Norfolk, I decided to keep myself occupied while relying on a combination of bulletins from a certain satellite broadcaster (three letter word meaning thing that clouds drift by in!) and Five Live.

In a way it was a forced experiment to see if my blood pressure remained more normal than usual between 3 and 4.50 pm on an alternate Saturday and to see if my fingernails saw any similar benefit from lack of attention from my teeth.

Well, having survived the enforced blackout, I can honestly say I was a paragon of virtue on the nibbling front. And not once did my heart rate rise above its normal level - except perhaps when I misread, through the glass of my French doors, the news that Northwich had gone one down. The fact that they weren't playing Derby didn't register - frightening really.

The only time I did get pretty excited was when the pretty likeable Jeff Stelling, in the 'thing that clouds drift by in' studio went ballistic at a colleague reporting live from Brentford when a goal went in because the poor unfortunate was nowhere to be seen on camera but was instead somewhere else shouting “who got it?” when the scorer's name was already on screen!

Having been berated by Mr. Stelling in the nicest possible way it turned out that the reporter was in fact asking the question about an immediate Huddersfield equaliser, so he had the last laugh after all.

You cannot blame me for thinking that probably outdid our 0-0 draw with Derby at Pride Park for action. But that just goes to show how wrong you can be when you're not actually there (dad take note) as the BBC used the word 'entertaining' in their write-up - and they certainly don't use that word very liberally unless it's really warranted!

Should we be worried about the lack of goals? Well if we don't score against Barnsley then maybe there'll be a few City fans clutching at their worry beads this weekend, but, and here's this week's amazing fact (to me anyway), according to one of the so-called 'red tops', Norwich are second only behind Tottenham in the current home form table - so we should be okay. Does anyone know why Chelsea aren't ahead of us, or could it be they are playing away this weekend so don't count?

This, however, is football and we've all seen enough to know that things don't always go to plan. Barnsley have been in good form, so I'll take a healthy dose of defence mixed with my favourite midfield, the one that has those razor-sharp teeth I liked so much against Preston, hopefully layered on top with that free-flowing attack to unsettle opposition defences and sprinkled on top with some belief and confidence, despite last weekend's blank.

There! A recipe Delia would be proud of and surely a winner…but this is football, and it only takes one ingredient to be slightly off to ruin the mix and the overall effect when digested.

After almost three weeks away from it all though, I just know I shall be incredibly hungry for any piece of City action, especially when the nearest thing to football I could have gone to this week was a Carling Cup tie involving our friends from down the A140.

Oh dear! Should I mention their loss to League 2 opposition or just feel very satisfied at our fruitful West Country midweek outing?

Tough one that!

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