But if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need... oh, yes

Paul Lambert is all smiles before the game at Carrow Road - smiling wasn't something he did often he

Paul Lambert is all smiles before the game at Carrow Road - smiling wasn't something he did often here, but his success was fantastic. Photo: Paul Chesterton. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Desert Island Discs is 75 years old tomorrow and whilst I rarely listen in, I do appreciate the joy of picking out old favourites – and trying to show the world how surprisingly cool you are.

Without boring you with tales of the legends of the 70s and 80s music scene, it seems an appropriate time and place for some sports-based music.

So, selection number one (in no particular order) is the Rolling Stones with, 'You can't always get what you want'.

Alex Neil might just have been humming it this week as reports surfaced of imminent arrivals at Carrow Road - followed by reports that players had changed their minds. The frustration of getting everything set into place bar the signature, and seeing an agent put away his Montblanc at the crucial moment must be disheartening.

Do Colney and Carrow Road not cut the mustard for prospective new employees? Obviously, if you are coming from Ajax, then you have probably been used to facilities that even the top English clubs would envy – perhaps City ought to try and get a deal done aboard a Norfolk Wherry.


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Right, choice number two is Memory (usually called Memories, but hey ho) - from the musical, Cats.

They came flooding back a week ago as Paul Lambert walked to the dugout - the away one. But within a short while they began to disappear, resurrected only at the very end of the game as he waved goodbye to the Barclay. Lambert brought great times to Carrow Road during his time in charge and whenever his name is mentioned, you can be forgiven for getting a bit teary-eyed. Attacking teams, sometimes playing with an abandon that suggested even they didn't know what was going to happen next, but exciting, tenacious, skilful and simply entertaining. The only game I saw under Lambert that was instantly forgettable was at Swindon in the Johnstones Paint Trophy: truly dire. The rest? Great memories.

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At number three is Elvis Costello's 'I can't stand up for falling down.'

I am genuinely, truly fed up with cheating footballers – and media types who defend them. I have no gripe with ex-pros who now work in the media, but when Michael Owen comes out and says a player had to fall when he could actually have stayed on his feet, in order to persuade a referee that he was fouled, then I believe we are losing the game. Raheem Sterling was clearly pushed by Kyle Walker last weekend, but he stayed on his feet and referee Andre Marriner didn't blow for a penalty. Owen's view? 'People always quick to criticise when players go down. That incident with Sterling proves why they do it. And it has cost City the game.' So, basically, hit the deck if you think you are fouled then the ref will give it. We have enough incidents of players going down under the slightest of touches already, whatever will happen?

Golden Brown by The Stranglers is said to be a reference to heroin – but for the sake of this piece, we are talking simply about drugs, of the performance-enhancing variety (and not at all suggesting that cyclists or athletes take heroin).

But will cycling and athletics ever truly cleanse their reputations? Just this week, Usain Bolt lost a gold medal because a team-mate took illegal measures to help Jamaica win a relay medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Every week we hear of another athlete being caught and punished. And in cycling, such is the level of suspicion over the delivery of what is claimed to be a medical package to Bradley Wiggins that it is not considered out of the ordinary for a major inquiry to be held.

At number five Under My Thumb, again by the Rolling Stones, which I think nicely sums up Nicole Cooke's claims over life as a female cyclist in the GB squad. Cooke doesn't take many prisoners, and her evidence to a parliamentary inquiry proved it. If she isn't wholly believed, then she does appear at least to be getting a reaction. British Cycling says it is working to address 'the historic gender imbalance' in the sport. Cooke is waving a flag for women in all sports. As a male writer it is easy to be mistaken as trite and equally easy to be dismissed as watching the bandwagon go by. But if sportsmen and women of any age, colour and creed, don't shout from the rooftops, then inequality will continue. And we will all be living in Trump stupor-land.

I'm stopping short of the usual seven selections here, if only because last week's column prompted one reader to tell me I was too negative and not supportive enough (of Norwich City) – best Always Look On The Bright Side of Life, eh?

This is where I get to appear cold and heartless but, please, hear me out...

At Carrow Road on Saturday, I stood and applauded in tribute to former England manager Graham Taylor.

Had I been at The Walks, I would have done the same for former King's Lynn reserves and youth team manager Ellis Gay.

I didn't know Taylor and I suspect very few inside Carrow Road did.

But I did know Ellis, and I liked him enormously, so much so that before my Taylor applause, I had a minute's contemplation about a man who always, but always, had lots of time to chat when I ventured out west.

This isn't disrespectful, but too many silences for people we know by reputation only do tend to dilute the importance of the moment.

I would much prefer to always pay tribute to supporters, players or officials, past and present, who have lost their lives.

On Thursday, January 22, 1995, I was in a media centre at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Manila when news came through of an incident which rocked football.

Twenty years ago this week, Eric Cantona was sent off at Crystal Palace. As he walked down the side of the pitch towards the dressing rooms, he launched a kung fu kick at an abusive Palace fan, Matthew Simmons.

Over in Asia, we learned of the event many hours after it had happened – almost as unimaginable today as the Bruce Lee impersonation was then.

It was such a big event that today, mobile devices would go into meltdown. Donald Trump would see another audience dwindle before his very eyes.

Cantona was banned for eight months and, to be honest, came back a better person. His disciplinary record was appalling, but he remains one of the major reasons the Premier League is as big as it is today.

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