Why Chris Hughton’s daring act was simply lovely jubbly
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
If I said the names of Chris Hughton and Del Boy Trotter, would you be able to find a link? Random question? Yes, probably.
Well, it could be the strong London accent I suppose but after that you may struggle and I wouldn’t blame you.
I was pleased when CH was appointed and believe he was absolutely the right man for the job.
But I probably need to explain the apparently bizarre link I have made between the international footballer turned successful manager who was born in Forest Gate and the slightly dodgy Peckham market stall holder/managing director of Trotter Independent Traders.
There was a point at about 4.20pm (maybe a minute or two earlier) on Saturday February 23, 2013, when the idea of Del and Chris having more than just a Cockney twang in common was first born.
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There have been a few gripes about CH this season and probably the main one has been how late he has brought on subs.
Can anyone really make an impact when they appear in the 87th minute?
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But bring him on with more than half an hour to go and you have much more of a chance.
Throw in an obvious air of positivity to the players and we are getting there.
That then snowballs and the lads take it upon themselves to really go for it.
And lo and behold the seeds were sown for the stirring comeback and the smiles were back on the yellow and green faces.
You may still be asking where Del Boy fits in to all this? Think about one of his best loved phrases from Only Fools and Horses.
Picture him standing with his dear brother Rodney and uttering the immortal words “He Who Dares Wins.....”
Did CH say that to Kamara and the back room staff on the touchline?
Er, probably not in exactly that way.
Was “lovely jubbly” yelled out as Holty wheeled away and was mobbed by his team-mates and Carrow Road erupted? Maybe it wasn’t.
Did the boss look up to Delia in the directors’ box and shout “Cushty, cushty?”
We may never know.
But as the normally well respected David Moyes made a bit of a plonker of himself by moaning about the fourth official’s time keeping, another of Del’s favourite phrases was much, much more apt than if the bold approach hadn’t been taken.
Remember him telling Rodney: “This time next year we’ll be millionaires.....”?
Okay, even relegation would guarantee City that with all the parachute cash available.
So we perhaps should say “this time next year we’ll be multi, multi millionaires.”
In an era so dominated by money, staying in the top flight is so crucial with the new TV deal about to come on stream.
Relegation for Norwich wouldn’t be as much a disaster as it clearly will be for QPR. And you sense they could resemble the footballing equivalent of a yellow three wheeler fairly soon.
However, if we are to become an established Premier League club who can really strengthen the squad and expand the ground, the riches of the top table are essential.
That last few minutes on Saturday was really season defining and let’s hope the bold approach carries on. Don’t we thrive on the excitement? So come on Chris, get that sheepskin coat on. Order a cocktail or two down the Nag’s Head.
But don’t go to lean on the dug out and tell Paul Trollope “Nice and cool, Paul, nice and cool.....!”
• I’M BACKING OUR KEI SONG TO BE A BIG HIT WITH FANS
I made my debut on our new Mustard TV station this week.
Yes, I know what you are thinking – I’m someone with a good face for radio and certainly not the small screen.
Fortunately I was on with the smooth duo of Michael Bailey and Mark Armstrong so my mug didn’t completely spoil the shows.
The three parts of the Mustard football coverage are on each week and worth a look.
If you haven’t tuned in yet, they cover a three-word summary of the previous Saturday’s game (Kei’s The Limit was my obvious choice), Talk Is Cheap (in which the guests have to debate some City topics) and also predictions for the forthcoming weekend’s match.
It is good to have another outlet for a different perspective on football.
Remember those days when we pretty much only chatted to those around us during games and in the pub afterwards and people at work in the days following a match?
With phone-ins and Twitter and internet chatrooms as well as the good old fashioned ways to discuss, we have never had it so good.
The real highlight for me of being involved with Mustard this week was getting to hear the live performance of the new Kei Kamara song (certain to win a Brit next year) by the multi-talented Andy Palmer (also known by his Twitter name @bernardstringer).
While we were all inspired by the impact KK made on Saturday, I’m sure very few of us were able to quickly produce a number which will certainly get everyone singing. Those of us who formed an impromptu backing singers group to join in the “Kei Kamara” bit were most impressed.
Well done Andy and remember us when the royalties roll in!
• Hero of the week: Kei’s The Limit, King Kamara From Kansas, the Hero With Heart-Shaped Hands... I could go on and on. Quite simply, the man from Sierra Leone has swept a hurricane of optimism into Carrow Road. He has the enthusiasm, hunger and desire that we love as fans – and was the catalyst for the most excitement we have enjoyed this season.
• Villain of the week: I have always had a huge amount of respect for David Moyes. His achievements over the past decade are fantastic. But the Toffees’ boss blotted his copy book with his rant about a few extra seconds added on to injury time in which Holty netted the winner. Would he have said the same if a goal had gone in for his team in front of the Barclay? Of course he wouldn’t.
• Highlight of the week: No prizes for guessing what I’m choosing for this one. It has been some while since Carrow Road rocked in the way that it did on Saturday three minutes and 34 seconds (I think I’m right with that figure) in to added on time at the end of the second period. I told the lads around me that I would jump on my seat to celebrate if the winner went in. And I did. Love it.
• Funniest moment of the week: One of the issues regularly talked about on soccer phone-ins – especially Canary Call – is about fans leaving matches early. Well, we are all laughing at anyone who sneaked out before Holty’s winner or even Kei’s 9ft 2 goalscoring leap. But even funnier than that was the Coventry fan who launched into a tirade about his team – only to be told he had missed two goals as he left early!
• Prediction of the week: We’re already chatting about who is likely to be player of the season. With 11 games to go, the term is definitely in the final stretch so it is worth thinking about the runners and riders for the Barry Butler Trophy. If only KK had arrived a few weeks earlier, he could have made a late run. But I’m making an early prediction for my top three. Third Alex Tettey, second Robert Snodgrass and the winner, arise Sebastien Bassong.