Chris Lakey: guess who’s feeling the bite thanks to Norwich City’s form...
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Football fans do make my smile – they can be so contrary. I should know: I am as capricious as the next fan.
Had Daniel Farke left Norwich City at any time over the last few months (bar recent weeks) I wouldn't have been surprised.
I watched City and I was bored. Gone was the rather less controlled but ultimately much more exciting days of more recent managers, replaced by a game that just didn't excite me.
What a fool.
In such circumstances I should have heeded the advice to keep the powder dry. Instead, I just spouted on how about how rubbish it all was.
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The danger is that it comes back to bite you: and at the moment the tooth marks are still visible.
Moritz Leitner? Not good enough.
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Alex Tettey? Past it.
The youngsters? They'll be found out.
The list goes on, but I will spare my own embarrassment.
Fortunately I am not alone: many City fans were bemoaning their let, loading up the powder and firing with both barrels.
Some have since come our of the woodwork and, like I am, held their hands up and admitted: I cocked up.
The others, who were patient and understanding and could see something happening, are now either sitting there nodding their heads in that 'told you so' way; or they're firing bullets at us.
But, look, spouting off is what we do. We are football fans, we live for the opportunity to voice an opinion and when you live by that rule, you are bound to get a few wrong.
What Norwich City's current form (apparently, kids in Sao Paulo are singing 'It's just like watching Norwich') has done is change the atmosphere at Carrow Road – and, boy, did that need changing. When things were not quite going to plan, the grumpy silence of the naysayers combined with the usual be-slippered silence of the more patient followers, meant you could hear a pin drop at Carrow Road, But what has been noticeable in recent weeks has been the very obvious increase in volume.
Take the Tuesday win over Aston Villa: I was on couch potato duties but the rendition of Farke Life came over very loud and clear. The minute's applause for Bradley Raper, tragically killed in a car crash earlier this month, was absolutely brilliant.
And it has to be said, Villa's respect for his memory was magnificent.
Talking of which, what's with the fans' love in at the moment?
Forest fans – who saw their team beaten 2-1 at home by City last weekend – were effusive in their praise for the Canaries. Yup, there are always the idiots on social media, but it's not often the praise comes through so obviously.
Dan Buxton tweeted: 'NCFC fans, your support was quality, we had the first 15/20 mins after that all Norwich really. Totally in control, ran the midfield deserved win, good one touch passing. Well done all the best safe journey home all.'
Adrian Shaw: 'Like any club we have our fair share of idiots, but we also have a high percentage of knowledgeable fans who will say what they see. I have always liked #NCFC, good club,and hopefully we will be both back in the Premier League before too long!'
And this from Villa fan Tom Parker: 'Much as last night was poor for #AVFC, it reaffirmed my view that Carrow Road is one of the best places in the UK to watch football. A proper, compact ground, traditional but nicely modernised, fan-first facilities, and what a noise. As for that rotating screen...'
So. A good week in football. Hope I feel this good about the beautiful game in another three months time (note in diary, January 26, Sheffield United at Carrow Road... mood of away fan tweets likely to change).
Word on the street was that Ipswich were going to cut their losses with Paul Hurst if they lost at Millwall this weekend.
In the end, they didn't bother to wait, and Hurst went the day after a 2-0 loss at Leeds.
I'd been thinking that Marcus Evans might turn to George Burley, Terry Butcher or Matt Holland (any combination of the three) – old boys who might just get some fans back onside.
I suggested this trio in the office on Thursday morning and then dropped in the name of Paul Lambert. The reaction of one colleague was silence (actually, he just ignored me), while another just laughed.
Lo and behold, a few hours later, Hurst was sacked and Lambert was said to be in advanced talks to take over. Boom.
What potential employers need is good knowledge of every manager out there – and a bit of luck. Lambert's appointment at City in 2009 ticked both boxes.
Will Town strike lucky with Lambert, just as City did? The jury's out on that one.
For some reason, on my way to work yesterday, I found myself singing the following, well-known, footy song..
'When you're sat in row Z, and the ball hits your head, that's Zamora'.
I love footy songs, and while that's a nice clean one, some can be a bit sweary. On Wednesday, Derby's excellent win at West Brom was punctuated by the one where fans inquire 'what on earth was that?' Thousands of fans join in and it's very clear.
So why the match commentator chose to issue an apology for some bad language from a coach on the sidelines (which I didn't even twig) I don't know.
It's the same in boxing, when a microphone gets dropped into the corner between every round and more often than not picks up some industrial language. 'Apologies if you may have heard something untoward.'
It's sport, it happens.
No need for apologies... unless you're Timm Klose who dropped the bomb live on TV post-Villa. Now that WAS funny.