Grey skies hanging over Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 16:31 20 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:00 14 September 2010
Well, the time has come to get a few things off this not very substantial chest of mine as regards goings on with this team of ours and last Saturday's game against Plymouth.
Well, the time has come to get a few things off this not very substantial chest of mine as regards goings on with this team of ours and last Saturday's game against Plymouth. Where to begin? That remains the problem.
Let's start with about the only thing (apart from Safri's lovely free-kick) that raised a smile on my face: the lovely gentleman who sits about five seats to my left asked, at full-time, if I remembered Laurel and Hardy. Well, though others who know me may beg to differ, they weren't contemporaries of mine but I have seen some of their films on television, as I explained. “They were funny”, he added “but not half as funny as that lot out there today.”
He wasn't far wrong. How on earth did we manage to come out for the second half one up (if a bit against the run of play), boss the first part of proceedings and then concede three in the space of just over a quarter of an hour, with the third looking almost like an exact replay of the second? It was all a bit surreal but, sadly, very real, as the rapidly darkening scoreboard confirmed. (Can someone please find a few bob to replace the bulbs that no longer work?) To me the scoreboard merely reflects the state of things such as they are and looking at them is getting depressing.
The officials didn't help matters. The man in the middle was like a boy scout taking his 'whistle-blowing' badge, resulting in there being more free kicks than at a taster night at the Moulin Rouge. Stop-start, stop-start… ad nauseam. No flow, no momentum. His assistants weren't much better if at all. I later learned from some Argyle fans on my train that the man officiating in their area got heaps of things wrong against both teams, as did his counterpart running the City Stand line. Whether wrongs were evened out by rights over the 90 minutes matters not a jot - the game was spoiled by too many petty decisions, not enough advantage being played, and…well, I won't go on, but you get the point. All very frustrating.
Then there were a few decisions that perhaps left us asking more questions, such as the move to take Jurgen Colin off with just a few minutes remaining (he had had a good game in my opinion) and replace him with Carl Robinson at right back.
Unless injured there would seem little sense in that one, even if the intent was to put Doherty in a more forward role. Then there was leaving the largely ineffective McVeigh on for the second half when bringing on new signing Chris Brown, in an attempt to press home our advantage, would have seemed the more obvious move. Agreed, McVeigh played better in the second half than the first, but I still felt we needed to look to be more positive rather than reactive when things started to go a bit pear-shaped.
Yes, there's more, much more to pick holes in, but the sum of all woes mentioned here, in other columns and in countless inches on our various fan sites, speak volumes. There is, it appears, an air of gloom hanging over all things Canary at the moment and it seems to be as immovable as the grey January skies I referred to last week. Three seasons ago things weren't all rosy in the garden but we had fight and passion aplenty and a never-say-die attitude that impressed those watching those heady Premiership days. Where has that all disappeared to?
How to put it all right, or even bits of it would be a start? I don't know. Not going to games for me is not an option: thick and thin, rough and smooth. That's what keeps us dreaming, far from the fat cats of today's Premiership whose fans simply 'expect' and have lost the ability to dream. All I do know is that if those who work for our club don't do something soon we will be having the nightmare some have predicted and spend the rest of this season fighting the drop. It is a reality and no one is too good to go down, us included.
Special mention this week to the fantastic bunch of Plymouth fans who made my journey to Ely (they insisted on calling it 'Eli'!) on the train very entertaining.
Best of luck to them as they represented all that is good about banter between fans. I hope we meet again sometime.