Seven years is a long time in football

Agent Blake, who operates in disputed border territory close to enemy lines (Attleborough) between the hours of nine and five weekdays, has been dining out on the Demolition Derby for a fortnight now, at the expense of those from the dark side, who have no choice but to come into the veterinary practice from time to time.

This, of course, is fraught with danger, as one tends to get back what one dishes out in the world of derby leg pulling, as I know to my cost.

But it doesn’t feel like that at the moment. Such is the confidence felt by City fans at the moment that the buzz from this result still pervades almost two weeks on, and even survived the icy blasts of Pride Park, when lesser fans would have enjoyed the result, but shivered in silence. I feel like we could beat anyone in this league at the moment and am relishing the return visit to Portman Road in April.

However it’s not just events on the pitch that are responsible for this feel good factor. How encouraging it was to hear David McNally’s seven year plan. Not just for its content, but because it’s good to hear that we actually have one, something that has been sadly lacking in the past. What I liked about it most, was that the fundamental structure of the plan seemed dependent on two key figures, Paul Lambert and David McNally himself, being at the football club for its duration.

Seven years is a long time in football, and if you look at the average tenure of a football manager, even a successful one, it is usually considerably less than that. City fans know from sad experience that managers depart from the football club in two ways. They either fail and the club gets rid of them (later rather than sooner in some cases) or they are successful and the vultures from the big clubs start circling, and entice them away with the lure of big bucks. It’s been a lot of years since the latter last happened at Norwich, but it would be naive to think it won’t happen again. The better we do, and the more success we have, the more likely it is to happen again.

I got the old familiar sinking feeling in my stomach earlier in the week when Newcastle sacked Chris Hughton. It took the bookies about thirty seconds to include our manager in the odds they were offering on the new appointment. To my immense relief this didn’t last long, as Mike Ashley went ahead with the rather odd appointment of Alan Pardew.

But there will be others. Sure as you like somebody will be shown the door after a run of poor results and their people will come knocking.

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It isn’t just the manager though. A good chief executive is worth his weight in gold. He pulls the strings behind the scenes, has to keep a handle on the nightmare world of football finances, and most importantly have the confidence, trust and respect of the manager, which is vital if we are to hold on to him.

At the moment the seven year plan is ahead of schedule, and with luck by the end of the season will have become a six year plan. Certainly the noises emanating from Carrow Road today were encouraging.’ If we are in a strong enough position come January, we will go for it’. Music to City fans’ ears after all the ‘Prudence with ambition’ nonsense of the past.

The key though, will not just be the team doing their bit on the pitch to fulfil the plan, but also the club to managing to secure the services long term, of the two key personnel, Paul Lambert and David McNally.