I’d so much rather be a chirpy Canary than a Blue (red) Bird
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
What’s the difference between Norwich and Cardiff?
No, it’s not the start of a bad joke – it’s a serious question.
Well, the obvious reply is that one is the county town of Norfolk with an 11th century castle and is the home of Alan Partridge.
The other is the capital city of Wales with a 12th century castle and home to the Daleks.
In footballing terms there is currently very little difference between the two cities.
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In fact they couldn’t be closer when you glance at the Premier Leagiue table.
The Welshmen are one place higher, with one more point and a goal difference of two better.
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Come Saturday at about 4.45pm and we will see who has triumphed in the head-to-head.
However, in my view the apparent parity of the Canaries and the Bluebirds masks so many differences.
And I have absolutely no doubt whose nest I would rather be living in.
Don’t get me wrong, all is not entirely rosy in the City tree.
None of us want to be in the bottom three. Six goals in eight games is not enough and there are concerns about the mis-firing frontline.
Defeat at Carrow Road this weekend cannot be an option, especially with a trip to the Etihad coming up.
It may not be a must-win game (they only really come when you need three points from one game to stay up), but most of us feel we must win it.
The rays of sunshine which warm us up as winter kicks in are the encouraging performances against Chelsea and Arsenal, despite the reverses, and especially the great stability the club now has going forward.
Being debt free and having a board which shows great support to the manager and generally displays respect to fans (in the context of modern day football) are two massive pluses.
Compare that with the situation down the A11, M11, round the M25 and down the M4.
Malky Mackay is widely seen as one of the most promising young managers.
Of course we will always love him for his fantastic service as a colossus in defence and man mountain of an inspiring leader.
He had a great career at Carrow Road with 212 appearances and 15 goals.
If any club, probably out of the top six, loses its boss, you can now expect the amiable Scot to be in the running.
So why on earth has he been treated with such contempt by Cardiff owner Vincent Tan?
Head of recruitment Iain Moody was well and truly Mackay’s right hand man. He helped him spend the £31m the club invested during the summer and was an integral part of the management team.
So what does Tan do? He sacks Moody and installs a young decorator with no experience in football and whose dad happens to be a mate.
Respected football pundits also paint a picture of Tan trying to influence tactics during matches.
That undermining of a manager is completely wrong. Let the manager manage.
It seems that Malky will stay on – and you can understand why he doesn’t want to walk away after fulfilling his dream to lead a team in the top flight – but he can’t be at all happy about the way he has been treated.
In terms of the supporters, Tan has inexplicably changed the Bluebirds’ kit (yes, clue in name) to red and also altered the badge.
So yes, I’d much rather be a chirpy Canary...OTBC.
FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Know what a selfie is? I didn’t until recently and basically it is taking a picture of yourself. Vain, yes of course. It can also be amusing and I loved the photo posted by Chelsea fan Sean Buxton who was suddenly sitting next to Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who had been sent to the stands.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I love quirky things about football and I saw a new first this week – yes a pitch being spray painted to make it look greener. The bizarre sight was at CSKA Moscow after complaints from Man City. Come on Manuel, you try playing at Cranworth in February.
HERO OF THE WEEK: He was one of my heroes as a young City fan. 6ft2, eyes of blue. Canaries legend Duncan Forbes encapsulated everything which was great about 1970s Norwich. His dementia battle 40 years on is heartbreaking and he and his family are in all our thoughts.
PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: I know we are only one place higher in the league – but I feel there is a huge difference between City and Crystal Palace. Palace look completely out of their depth in the top flight and I think they could set a record low total of PL points, especially after sacking manager Ian Holloway.
VILLAIN OF THE WEEK: I hate racism. What right has anyone got to put a fellow human being down due to skin colour or ethnicity? Sadly the poison of racism in football has reared its head again this week after abuse on social media of City manager Chris Hughton. Catch the idiotic culprit and jail him. Simple answer and the only way to deter others following suit.