Who will want to come to Carrow Road?

I don't know about you but the week leading up to Christmas was a blur that left me pretty much exhausted, so it came as no surprise that the energy to go for a gentle stroll on 25th went out with the wrappings into the recyclables bin.

I don't know about you but the week leading up to Christmas was a blur that left me pretty much exhausted, so it came as no surprise that the energy to go for a gentle stroll on 25th went out with the wrappings into the recyclables bin. 'Never mind - come Boxing Day we'll all be up for some action' was my thought as the last cheesy straw laced with Worcestershire sauce did for me and consigned me to the sofa!

By 5 o'clock on 26th, post Southend, I'm afraid I felt more like a nap on the sofa than on the previous day! 'Action' had clearly become, almost like the famous Python parrot, not an ex-bird but an ex-word, no longer to appear in a Norfolk dictionary, alongside other gems such as 'excitement', 'ruthlessness', 'incisive', 'determined', and the like. Time spent looking up 'lethargic', 'lacklustre', 'demotivated' and 'dismal' in the thesaurus would probably prove more fruitful, especially if able to assume little change in the coming weeks.

But that's exactly where the fans I have spoken to are pinning their hopes so far as this season is concerned: the ability to change things dependent upon new faces arriving between Jan 1st and 31st.

In theory it should be out with the so-called 'dead wood' (debate still raging as to exactly whom that term includes though some clearly look more wooden than others!), and in with the new, with the arrivals sparking the 'good wood' that remains into life for more than the reason of trying to keep a place in the starting line up. As I say - that's the theory. The practice is however a little more difficult to predict.

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With the team performing as they are and not even in the top half of the table the question has to be asked: who would want to come here anyway despite the 'lovely area and great training facilities' we often hear vaunted?

There are always some pros who, for whatever reason, have fallen out of favour with their bosses and to whom the prospect of paying regularly somewhere is most attractive - Hucks and Earnie being prime examples from recent seasons. Likewise, there are always a few who are desperate to leave a particular area and make a fresh start away from whatever has caused (or been allowed to cause) difficulty. But surely better to be able to attract those who make a positive decision to join because of the prospects of playing with x and y, or the strong likelihood of playing at a higher level.

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Well, we have to face it, we're not in the latter situation right now so any new recruits are likely to be disaffected with their current club in some way, too young (or old?) to get regular football where they are, or have some sort of baggage that will need careful handling if they are to settle quickly and produce the goods we all long for. That's not to say that they won't have a valuable part to play or to suggest they will lack motivation, desire, hunger etc, call it what you will, merely to bemoan the fact that few (if any) of the real quality we need will see a transfer here as just the decent career move they need at this moment in time. That's just where we find ourselves, and it isn't a happy place to be.

One thing is for certain: lack of activity will leave us feeling that more of the same is inevitable and many will point to a possible end-of-season relegation scrap the longer this is allowed to continue; however, any activity in the market for the sake of doing something as opposed to nothing is not going to appease either. We need quality and, I may suggest, a leader or two who can really galvanise the team's effort out there where it matters. (Dion Dublin was City's general-in-chief last week and a pretty decent job of it he did too… but he needs others around him who will be proactive in that department and read the game at a deeper level than that of your typical tabloid report!)

Oh well, one thing is I don't see January being completely dull so far as City is concerned. By 31st it would be nice to have a couple of results under our belts and no defeats, a couple of notable new faces bedding in well and no empty feeling of dread that our Championship rivals have all got off the ship and are busy relaxing on the beach while we have…well… missed the boat again!

Happy New Year to City fans everywhere.

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