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Delia Smith Cooks Up A Feast At St.James’ Park

7 years ago
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We all know that if NUFC were food, one day we would be the most satisfying roast pork carvery, the next day the soggiest hot dog. In the last few weeks we have eaten the finest world cuisine by playing Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Man City in different competitions, all King Prawns in the Jalfrezi of English football, but what of today’s opponents Norwich CIty? Let’s open Delia Smith’s cookbook and find out.

Who Manages Them:           

For breakfast, our ex-managerial partnership Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood, an egg fried in a tablespoon of olive oil, two slices of buttered wholemeal bread and two grilled slices of finest Danish back bacon washed down with a strong cup of PG Tips. Hughton is steady, reliable and consistent, like an egg and bacon sarnie you know what you’re getting; it never sets the world on fire but is always welcome on any menu. Colin Calderwood is more like having lemon in that cup of tea instead of milk, you can’t think of a single reason why it would be there except to make you look stupid.

The pair had done a decent job at Birmingham after leaving NUFC’s fry up in 2011. They had done a decent job in TOON too, even if the club calling the boss “Chrissy” Hughton made him sound like the pin-up girl in Prisoner Cell Block H. When they took over at Norwich from Villa-bound Paul Lambert in the summer of 2012, the duo continued Lambert’s steady work in that they achieved their probable aim, to stay in the Premier League, but Hughton will be looking to move them to mid-table in the current term.

Who Have They Signed:                   

Lunch is a European style salad, with young winger Nathan Redmond from Birmingham the fresh and crispy lettuce, Gary Hooper from Celtic the grated carrot, free transfers goalkeeper Carlo Nash and defender Martin Olsson the ‘thrown in pointlessly for no obvious reason in fact we don’t even know what it is but it tastes odd’ bit, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer would be the expensive and adventurous seafood cocktail up top and Johan Elmander & Javier Garrido the sour vinaigrette.

The Canaries main problem last season was scoring goals so it was no surprise that Norwich spent big money on forward players. So far it hasn’t worked. Elmander, RvW, Hooper, Fer and Redmond have scored only 4 goals this season between them. It would have been 5, Fer and RvW combined to score an ‘unsporting’ goal earlier in the season when Fer banged an RvW throw-in into an empty net after Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall had kicked the ball out to allow Norwich player Alex Tettey to get some treatment. The disallowed goal was outrightly condemned by all except Fer who believes the goal should have stood, commenting “I just wanted to win the game and that’s why I did it. Ricky told me to put it in the back of the net, so that’s what I did. In Holland, it’s like that.” Cheating in Premier League football eh? He should have known it would never catch on.

Who Have We Seen Before:            

Delia’s late night curry would start with Sebastian Bassong, the poppadum. Like the Indian aperitif, he looked the part when he was first brought to the table but cracked at the first sign of pressure. KK signed him for 500K from FC Metz and Bassong quickly became a regular in defence for the TOON in our 2009 relegation season, he himself epitomising the team’s inconsistencies with quality performances coming as regularly as being sent off and making basic errors. Much the same sort of thing happened to him at Spurs after an £8million move and now he finds himself on the bench at Norwich. Just like those other footballing mercenaries; Owen, Martins and Beye, you have to wonder how it would have turned out for Bassong had he not jumped ship, instead of barking on about his career he should have just shut up and got us promoted again. If he’s playing he deserves every bit of stick he gets, if he’s on the bench, being ignored will be punishment enough.

How Will They Do This Season:       

Like Delia’s classic Swedish meatballs, all of those new Norwich ingredients need time to mix together and once the new signings are up to speed Norwich should be fine. As last season progressed City got better and it is easy to see the same happening again, midfielder Robert Snodgrass commenting that the other Saturday’s 3-1 win over West Ham could spark a repeat of last season’s unbeaten October to mid-December 10 game run, “It was this time last year, against Arsenal, that was a turning point in our season,” the Mince and Dumpling faced Scotland international, who is the spit of Cletus the slack jawed yokel out The Simpsons, said this week. In the next 13 games they play us twice, Everton & Liverpool away and Manyoo at home, but much of a muchness the rest. The next baker’s dozen games could be their Fillet Steak or their Toad In The Hole, dependent on results.

Are We Going To Win:                     

After the caviar and champagne of recent victories, the unpredictable feast which is Newcastle United, might turn out to be a turkey twizzler today. Norwich will have more confidence after beating West Ham last time out, will remember their unbeaten run last year and will look to continue last season’s form of scoring goals from free-kicks and not allowing the opposition to score from set-pieces. Unfortunately for them, we never score from set-pieces anyway and we’ll have all the ammunition we need to get three points from open play. Sing the lads to victory today, Delia’s truffle stuffed Canary is on the menu!

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