Delia’s presence gave no solace

The Man In The Stands Sometimes you just have to take a defeat on the chin. No excuses, no blubbing; just accept it. Last weekend Ipswich completely, and utterly, out-played us.

The Man In The Stands

Sometimes you just have to take a defeat on the chin. No excuses, no blubbing; just accept it.

Last weekend Ipswich completely, and utterly, out-played us.

If Marshall had not been in fine form, the **** would have been commissioning another of those 'demolition derby' DVDs.

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Aside from losing a play-off final on penalties, an FA Cup semi to a team in the league below, or losing a crunch relegation match 6-0, getting humiliated at That Place is just about the worst sort of defeat there is.

After the final whistle The Man sat in his seat, quietly seething.

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I'd already been warned by the ****-supporting Plod next to me that I wasn't allowed to swear or he'd arrest me, so I simply had to sit there mute.

“You've had a miserable day - don't make me make it worse,” he warned, in the condescending manner only police seem to be able to muster.

So I couldn't even answer the **** fans back as they mocked us on their way out.

It was hellish; but in all honesty, there was nothing that could be said anyway.

We were walloped, and aside from knowing I didn't have to stay in The Land That Time Forgot for much longer, there was very little to take refuge in.

The Man just hopes that defeat hurt the club's hierarchy, management and players, as much as it hurt the fans.

To have fallen this far behind the **** after recently being a league above them is very hard to take.

Seeing Delia, inset, get a round of applause from our fans after the final whistle, as it became apparent she'd been sitting with us, did little to lighten my mood either.

I don't blame her for not wanting to spend the afternoon hobnobbing with ruddy-faced toff David Sheepshanks, but her presidential presence did not make me feel any better about watching my team get battered by its rivals.

In fact, it made me feel like a naive country bumpkin, “Hey look - it's Delia! That makes everything alright. She's a cook on telly you know.”

She's a great woman, who has done great things for this club, but I'd rather she concentrates on getting a half-decent team on the park before she starts waving that scarf about again.

The Man still loves her though...


Much disquiet amongst Norwich City's ultras at Ipswich last week - and not just about the result.

I was told the club's 'away season ticket' holders were a bit miffed at having to stump up £31 for tickets after the club earmarked the most expensive seats for them.

The Man was told the ASTs weren't offered any choice, they were simply mailed the tickets fresh from the club.

This is the usual practice, but maybe on this occasion they could have checked whether people were happy to pay £31, when there were cheaper tickets available.

If it is indeed true, it's not a great way to treat your most loyal supporters.

However, it's very much a one-off from a ticket office which is normally on the ball.


In a fit of supreme idiocy, The Man signed up to the FA's mailing list last year, so he could get tickets for an England game.

As with 99 per cent of international fixtures, it was immediately forgettable, in fact I can't even remember who we played.

All I do recall is that it was dull and over-priced, a bit like Bonds.

However, because of my registration, I now find myself the subject of occasional mail-outs from the FA, as they bid to hawk tickets.

This week I got an email informing me that “time was running out” if I wanted to snap up tickets for England versus the USA.

I sat staring at the email for a moment, trying to see if I could think of a less appealing football match. I couldn't.

The man despises at least 50 per cent of the England squad anyway, and watching them huff and puff against a country where football is a woman's sport ain't my idea of fun.

There is now a tragic imbalance between the quality of football in England's international matches, and those turned out by the nation's top teams in the Champions League.

We have dominated Europe's top competition again this year; yet we couldn't even qualify for the European Championships.

Pathetic stuff - count me out.


The Man was interested to note that former winger Ruel Fox will be attending the Greatest Ever event next month.

I can only hope he is a little more grateful of any plaudits he receives this time, compared to his behaviour at the Hall of Fame dinner a few years back.

At the Hall of Fame do, Foxy was presented with a framed picture of himself in his City heyday, as were all the legends.

Apparently, however, rather than gratefully receiving the accolade, Fox left it in the toilets so he didn't have to lug it around a nightclub later that night.

He was overheard telling a pal: “I'm not dragging it round all night. I'm leaving it here.”

There is a happy ending to this disappointing tale though, the picture now takes pride of place in a supporter's home, after he rescued it from Trap One.

t As a footnote, it has not gone unnoticed by fans that Neil Doncaster has used his last two columns in as local newspaper to promote the Greatest Ever. Sorry Neil, you can punt it every week, but still not many proper fans are going to go.


UEFA have confirmed that Liverpool have failed in their bid to have the second leg of their Champions League contest against Chelsea staged at Anfield.

The Merseyside club had appealed to the governing body on the grounds that the fixtures - in which the second game will be at Stamford Bridge - broke law 192b which states: “All two-legged European games featuring Liverpool must involve the Scouse club playing the second game at home.

“The second half of the second leg must also involve Liverpool shooting towards the Kop (sic) End, to allow the supporters in the aforementioned stand to make any refereering decisions they may deem necessary.”

Upon hearing the decision, a Liverpool FC spokesman said: “We want justice.”

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