So that is it for another season

PUBLISHED: 15:17 05 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:33 14 September 2010

And so it's over for another year, that time that football junkies everywhere love to hate: the close season. And just what did it bring we City fans as we look back? Apart from a damp “flaming” June, a Mediterranean-style July, and plenty of news of potential transfer activity the actual comings and goings were as busy as… well, as busy as a mainline station on Christmas Day.

And so it's over for another year, that time that football junkies everywhere love to hate: the close season.

And just what did it bring we City fans as we look back? Apart from a damp “flaming” June, a Mediterranean-style July, and plenty of news of potential transfer activity the actual comings and goings were as busy as… well, as busy as a mainline station on Christmas Day.

Until the past few days that is and the welcome arrival on platform one of Manchester City winger Lee Croft.

It remains to be seen if he is the answer to our right-sided problems, but let's hope so. It could just be, however, that our most important singing of this summer is in fact to the coaching staff, but again only time will tell.

As City fans across the world began to wonder if the ever-spreading drought applied to players as well as water, thank goodness for the added diversion of the kit launch that was postponed, the official revealing of the kit, the kit launch that then happened, and finally the in-store kit that was delayed.

Never to my knowledge has the elusive kit been such a hot topic of conversation, but then again I'm not sure I can recall such a quiet couple of months if I'm honest.

Before I am silenced on the kit issue, for now at least, it hasn't gone unnoticed that the new away strip is whiter than many a Hollywood smile.

A couple of times at least last season I mentioned the chameleon-like properties of the green and dark green striped away shirt and suggested that this may not be helping the players pick out each other easily against a mottled background of spectators (well, there had to be some plausible reason for our pretty poor away form, didn't there?)

Nice to know then that the important people who inhabit the corridors of power at Carrow Road also felt something had to be done. As for me influencing any decision and the choice of white I very much doubt it… but it doesn't hurt to dream (I hope the club has ordered extra supplies of stain remover though, and no I don't wish to apply for the vacant position of club laundress).

“Bitch and Stitch” - so screamed the title of a brightly coloured book on the shelves of a store in Norwich's newest shopping mall. But for the addition of a two-letter word beginning with “u” and ending in “p” it could have been the theme to England's World Cup campaign demise instead of the cover to a hand and machine knitter's bible.

Although hope sprang eternal, and was yet again off the scale for many, the realists among us saw Portugal as a pretty serious threat and had more than a suspicion that certain antics would come into play.

But nothing could have prepared most diehards for the play-acting of “the other Ronaldo” when, in front of the watching millions, he grimaced, contorted, protested and ultimately winked his way to an honorary Equity card, incurring the wrath of a nation in so doing, whilst surely removing himself from a certain team-mate's Christmas card list.

Oh well. In the end we were undone by the dreaded penalties yet again - just thank goodness for small mercies that it wasn't the Germans I suppose.

In our hearts I think most of us knew it would end the way it did before ever the first kick was taken, but at least we could rest easy that the boffins could have a welcome break from their television sets and return to calculating the drag factor on different vehicles caused by England flags of varying dimensions, ready to do it all gain in the Euros and then in South Africa in 2010.

I can't wait, but will my England vest top and briefs fit by then? Does it matter? Well, no actually, as I am one of those for whom club will always come before country and therefore August 5 couldn't come quick enough.

Welcome back and OTBC for the season.

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