Rod Stewart's troosers ....

PUBLISHED: 15:02 14 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:43 14 September 2010

Well I'm glad I had a giant crossword to do, plus a couple of tough Sudoku and yet more grass to cut. (Boy does it grow like mad here on this rich Fenland soil!) England, to put very it politely, were far from their best and Macedonia seemed to have us pretty much sussed so 0-0 was not totally unexpected after the first twenty minutes or so.

Well I'm glad I had a giant crossword to do, plus a couple of tough Sudoku and yet more grass to cut. (Boy does it grow like mad here on this rich Fenland soil!) England, to put very it politely, were far from their best and Macedonia seemed to have us pretty much sussed so 0-0 was not totally unexpected after the first twenty minutes or so. The least said really, and even less if possible about Wednesday's foray into deepest Croatia!

I'm not sure if I am partly to blame for the Scots' wonderful win against 'Les Bleus' by raising visions of a youthful Rod Stewart in those tartan troosers last week or whether, as is more likely, the astounding and derogatory remarks of a certain William Gallas seemed to inspire those north of the border and leave them feeling like they had fire burning up their bellies, let alone steam pouring out of their ears!

Hats off to them either way, but when oh when are the likes of Arsenal's new defender going to learn to keep such thoughts, however justified they might feel in harbouring and then sharing them, to themselves? The annals of footballing history is littered with 'faux pas' such as this and they make for easy tabloid headline writing as well as some very entertaining impromptu fan chants as we lot certainly like reminding any offender of their 'awful bad luck', our memories being far longer even than Dario Gradi's stint in charge at Crewe!

Before Mr. Gallas sticks his neck above the parapet once again I think it might be prudent if he were to take a giant gunnera leaf out of a certain Mr Henry's book about simply being sensible. Now there may well be times when Thierry comes across as more than a tad arrogant, and there may also be occasions when the ground beneath him races towards him at too fast a pace (if you get my meaning!) but open his mouth and stick his 'grand pied' in he generally does not!

And speaking of speaking there doesn't seem to be an awful lot being spoken to anyone who is anyone at City at the moment, although that doesn't mean it isn't happening of course, just that my spies (the stewards in my block who are only at the ground on matchdays anyway and so often know less than me if that's possible!) haven't reported seeing anyone notable shopping in Asda, arriving or departing on the London train or knowing a friend of a friend who showed them round a dozen or more properties during the past few days!

Yes, it all seems quiet on the Eastern front at the moment, although former Rangers manager Alex McLeish is probably leading the 'Managerial Stakes' by a short nose as I write, but more especially now he sees how kind I have been to the Scots this week! If you read this Alex I could use a week on the Island of Muck this side of Hogmanay! Managerless Stress Syndrome is biting hard here.

Thank goodness then that this weekend sees a return to domestic action for the boys, although QPR are beginning to hit some form and could prove tougher than at first glance. What we wouldn't give for a win - a precious away win to mark the start of Martin Hunter wielding his mop and broom over proceedings! (Sadly, as a child, when caretaker managers were spoken of that's exactly the vision I had until someone let the cat out of the bag and ruined it for me - leaving me feeling just as down as when I found out about the guy in red with the big white beard who ate copious quantities of mince pies!)

In honesty, given our very dire injury situation, I will raise a huge glass of orange juice for a single solitary point but think of the unbridled joy that three would bring! Can we dare to hope as we have done so many times before? Oh go on then…what harm hope hey?

I'm going to go into Saturday looking at my City mouse mat believing that the nine - yes nine- players who remain from that 04-05 season, and the new ones that have joined them, can and will do the business. If they do then there's no guarantee that Martin Hunter will have his name on the manager's door within the month; if they don't get something out of the game then it's very very unlikely. And in the meantime the speculation will be like playing 'spot the daft comment from a professional footballer' - a never-ending game!

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