Laughter amidst our cup gloom

The Man In The Stands A lot of the old-fashioned character and humour has been stripped from football in recent years, but it was there in abundance on Tuesday night.

The Man In The Stands

A lot of the old-fashioned character and humour has been stripped from football in recent years, but it was there in abundance on Tuesday night.

Sadly not too much of it was demonstrated by Norwich players, but after the recent run of results only the most naïve of optimists could have believed our band of rogues were not still capable of delivering the vilest of performances.

Roeder has done great, but believe me, this team of ours still manfully retains the ability to plumb sub-Conference depths.


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Bury deserved their win, and good luck to them.

Victory over Norwich doesn't normally herald wild celebrations, but in this instance it did.

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And for a team that has survived in the shadow of Manchester United; you couldn't really begrudge them their moment of joy - even if it we shouldn't be losing to a struggling League Two side.

However, it was couple of off-the-pitch incidents which really tickled The Man - and both occurred late in the game.

The first happened after the ball went into the Bury fans behind the goal as 90 minutes loomed.

With Dion eager to get the ball back in play, one of Bury's faithful emerged to seemingly hand it back. Only he didn't.

He picked it up and booted it out of the stadium.

Clean out of the ground: the sort of touch-finding clearance Andy Marshall would have been proud of.

Sure, having taken a day off work and spent eight hours coiled in a car, it was annoying for most away fans to see such a blatant act of time-wasting.

But you had to admire it; it's the sort of nonsense you just don't get in the Premiership - even the Championship - anymore.

And then as injury time followed, the PA announcer started playing the beginning of Kool and the Gang's Celebrate to prompt the referee to blow up, which he did, without playing in full the required time.

Again, annoying for most away fans, but The Man is a firm believer in doing anything you can to win - and if those tricks help then so be it.

One slightly less humorous (although The Man chuckled) moment during the game was a spat between David Marshall and one of our fans.

Following Bury's second goal one of our supporters walked behind the posts and hurled some abuse at the keeper, easy target that he was.

Marshall, in turn, remained true to his roots and accepted the insults in true Glaswegian spirit - by turning around and sticking his finger up.

Football convention states that footballers should just simply accept the abuse they get without biting back, but The Man doesn't buy that for a second. We live in the interactive age after all, and if we give a player some abuse it's only fair that they get a right to reply. Well done Marshall, shame about the nutmeg for the second goal though.

While on the subject of goalkeeping, The Man has been told to offer a correction in light of last week's article. In my previous opus I said James Hollman's departure was for a “trivial” reason. That's wrong apparently.

I also promise never to mention the goalkeeping coach again, as I'm sure no-one cares, and it looks like no-one wants the job either. OTBC.

BEEB HAVANT GOT A CLUE

The Man notes the BBC did its usual trick of picking the most tedious FA Cup tie of the round to broadcast live to the nation.

Manchester City versus that disgusting team from east London was boring in the extreme; and further undermined the BBC's belief that “all Premiership ties” are somehow what audiences want.

As the Beeb was forced to give us updates on the unfolding drama at Havant & Waterlooville, pictured right, it become painfully apparent they had picked the wrong game. Again.

Even their attempts to jack up Keegan's return to passionate Newcastle flopped.

Lineker introduced the St James' half-time highlights with the line: “Once they found out Keegan had returned, the game became a sell-out.”

The BBC then cut to pictures of St James' Park with 20,000 empty seats.

Yes Mr Shearer, the FA Cup clearly is very special for Geordies isn't it…I know, I know, we just don't understand the passion.

ED SHOWS HIS TRUE COLOURS

Gordon Brown's right-hand man Ed Balls was seen bouncing up and down in the away end as we swept to victory at Oakwell.

The politician, pictured, enjoys the luxury of having a football-free constituency; so is free to support the club in his heart rather than the one that wins him votes.

On the subject of Barnsley, the south Yorkshire club must be the last team left in this country who are actually scared of playing us.

Barnsley like to sing “it's just like watching Brazil”, perhaps they should now reserve that song solely for when they are playing the yellow of Norwich.

ROB MYSTERY IS SOLVED

A MINOR thank you to the avid readers who got in touch regarding Robert Rosario.

Norwich fan Roy Howell in Long Island, New York, confirmed the long-held belief that Rosy was trying to carve out a career for himself in the United States.

Mr Howell said Rosario had recently parted company with Carolina Dynamos, where he had held a coaching position.

I had visions that he would be playing a dashing doctor or streetwise gangster in a daytime US soap, but clearly that hasn't happened yet.

If anyone ever does cross paths with the big man, please let me know.

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