This campaign is all about survival

The Man In The Stands FOR 72 hours everything seemed possible. Our brave lions had gone to the City Ground, played with 10 men, and won on TV. Three things that very rarely happen - especially not at the same time.

The Man In The Stands

FOR 72 hours everything seemed possible. Our brave lions had gone to the City Ground, played with 10 men, and won on TV. Three things that very rarely happen - especially not at the same time.

The whole unbelievable episode was played out in front of the most raucous away support we have had in many years.

The Man drank long into Saturday night after watching the uplifting victory.

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In typical Norwich fashion, we all hoped that this could be a “turning point” (have we ever had a genuine one of those?)

One pal texted me after seeing the players' celebrations at the final whistle at Forest to say: “looks like team spirit - could be the start of something.”

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Just 72 hours later that same pal texted me after Palace went into a 2-0 lead to say: “new low point for a home game for me.”

It's our fault of course.

We should not kid ourselves that this season is about anything other than survival. We should not allow the glory of beating the division's worst side to let our imaginations run wild.

The truth is we have a patched-up team, which is continually having to adjust to new formations. We simply don't have it in our locker to be consistent.

You have to be good to be consistent. And let's face it folks, we ain't yet. We have the potential to play well in patches, but we can't win three games on the bounce. I strongly doubt we will do that at any point this season.

While on the subject of the Palace game, a few fans that The Man has spoken to have been very critical of Sibierski's performance.

I can understand the frustration of watching the Frenchman falling to the floor all the time, and seemingly having little impact on the game.

But please don't forget, he is not a target man, he is simply being played in that position because he is tall and we've got nothing else.

It is not his fault that despite knowing for months that Dion was not going to stay, we failed to replace him.

Andy Bishop from Bury is a target man for example, Sibi is not.

The Frenchman could have settled for the easy life and stayed in north west with his family and just picked up his Premiership wages rather than kicking about in a Championship relegation scrap.

He may not be up to this job, but I don't necessarily see that it's his fault.


ITEM number 176 in the “How to spot when your club is totally skint” guide: you loan a player to one of your relegation rivals.

The Man can only assume that our parlous financial state was the reason we have seen fit to off-load Jamie Cureton to Barnsley for three months.

I don't think it's too outrageous to suggest that the saving we will make on Curo's wages was ear-marked to bring in another loan on deadline day this week, only for the deal to fall through, all too predictably, at the last minute.

Despite the threadbare nature of the squad I wasn't too disappointed that we missed out on our tenth loan signing of the season. It's a bit like pi**ing on someone when they are on fire, I'm sure it helps, but there probably comes a point when they can do without it too.

Right now I'm drenched with loan signings, so the non-arrival of Snatch Friggut Poncenby-Smythe, or whoever it was, from Premiership United was not a heart-breaker.

But as for Curo going to Barnsley?

It's clear he is not going to make it under Roeder, so he is probably best off out of here, for his state of mind if nothing else.

We'll just have to hope he doesn't help the Tykes to a couple of wins that could end up sending us down instead. Stranger things have happened.

I would say good luck Curo, but in these circumstances that wouldn't be right. Whatever happens, none of us will forget that you actually gave a monkeys', perhaps too much.


POUND for pound we don't do too bad in the celebrity fan stakes.

From that girl what's in Neighbours, to her fellow Australian Hugh Jackman, we have an army of well-known supporters.

Closer to home Stephen Fry and Lord Nelson are some of our more high profile domestic fans.

But things were cranked up a notch this week as it was revealed by internet gossip column Popbitch that Geoffrey from Rainbow is a city fan.

For the spoiled generation - those that grew up when Norwich City were a proper top flight team - Geoffrey is a big deal. We've had Bungle on the pitch, so it's great to have Geoffrey in the stands. Too bad we can't have a Zippy function in the dugout occasionally.

t YES I am a miserable sod, particularly when it comes to football.

I suppose any normal human being would have been cheering on plucky Portsmouth as they took on AC Milan this week.

However, when the Pompey fans started taunting their opposition with chants of “are you Bournemouth in disguise?” after they took a 2-0 lead, I couldn't help but feel a little bitter.

This angst increased as the camera panned to a shot of Portsmouth's owner Sacha Gaydamak celebrating in the crowd.

This is Sacha Gaydamak, son of billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak, who is wanted in France in connection with allegations of illegal arms sales to Angola in the early 1990s.

The fact someone like Gaydamak can buy himself success while we fight it out to avoid League One makes me feel a bit sick. I am not saying we don't deserve our fair share of suffering - after all life's not fair - but don't expect me to embrace it.

Yes football is a cyclical business, but it appears some clubs are more cyclical than others.

Portsmouth got their hands on the FA Cup last season; I'll be dammed if I am going to enjoy watching them beat the mighty AC Milan as well.

Therefore, scumbag that I am, having seen Ronaldinho reduce the deficit with a brilliant free kick I let out an unrefined cheer as Inzaghi scored a late, late equaliser. The look on some of the fans' faces was priceless.

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