The international break is generally a fairly dull time for the average football fan, or at least that’s how I feel about it. If you’re a Finnish football follower then I imagine this has been a pretty awesome fortnight though.
Back on the home front, there have been a few transfer links to players for Norwich City to perhaps consider in January.
The first one that I noted a couple of days ago was of French central defender, Axel Disasi. Even with the news last week that Timm Klose could well be playing again before the end of the season, City’s defence needs reinforcing.
The EDP report that the Reims defender, who is 21 and has impressed in French League 1 this season, has been watched by Canary scouts and that the club are interested.
Another link that’s been mentioned by the Sun and reported here by the Pink ‘Un is that of Spanish midfielder, Victor Camarasa.
The Real Betis playmaker spent last season on-loan at Cardiff, where he made 32 Premier League appearances, scoring five goals and assisting another four.
This season, Camarasa is on-loan in the English top-flight again, this time with Crystal Palace.
However, he’s only made one late substitute appearance for Palace and that means that Betis’ hopes of an £11.5m summer transfer are looking unlikely. The talk is that Camarasa needs to make 15 appearances to make that permanent deal a reality. Roy Hodgson clearly isn’t too keen, so it could be that the loan is terminated in January with the Sun suggesting that Norwich would be prepared to pay the remaining £1.5m loan fee to bring him to Carrow Road.
I imagine that if City were indeed interested that the permanent deal would have to be taken off the table at this stage though.
In other, England related news, you may have noticed that ex-City favourite, James Maddison finally made his debut for England as a second-half substitute in the 7-0 demolition of Montenegro.
According to Coventry Live a £1m payment will now be due to Norwich as part of the deal that took Madders from Norwich to Leicester City. His former club, Coventry City will also be due £100k from Norwich, meaning that around £900k will be added to the Canary coffers.
Finally, I just wanted to pay tribute to a gentlemen that I met through Norwich City and who passed away suddenly last week.
Eight years ago, my family and I moved to the family area in the upper tier of the River End. If you have a season ticket then you’ll probably be familiar with the way that because you always sit in the same seat and the club has so many season ticket holders, that you start to get to know the people sitting around you. Even if you don’t know their names, you get to know them by chatting to them, about the game, the weather, anything really.
When we moved to the River End, we found ourselves sitting next to Tony and Margaret. My wife has always got on really well with Margaret and they have spent virtually every match since, chatting and laughing. Tony was a lovely man who was always smiling. I don’t think I ever saw any other expression on his face, even during the bad times on the pitch.
Having sat there for so long, we’ve jointly witnessed it all, the Premier League under Paul Lambert which saw Grant Holt at the height of his powers. Relegation under Chris Hughton and then immediate promotion under Alex Neil and that wonderful day at Wembley. Dull Farkeball and then awesome Farkeball followed.
Every game there are people that I say “hello” to that I have no idea what their names are. We might share a quick chat or just a smile and a nod. There’s a chap directly behind me who I always talk to and have done for eight odd years and yet, I don’t know his name. I guess we’ve gone past the point of needing to know that now.
Last season, he lost his job when his employer went into administration, he’s in his sixties and was worried about the future, only for his employer to be bought out and he was offered his job back. I was really pleased for him when he told me the news. In between, we’ve watched some scintillating football and some not so brilliant stuff too.
Throughout it all, Tony and Margaret and all those others around us in the River End upper have been there, except Tony isn’t going to be there anymore. My wife spoke to Margaret a couple of days ago when she unexpectedly turned up at her work and asked for her, telling her the sad news.
It seems that Margaret may not be able to come to the football anymore, as it was something that she and Tony had always done together and at the moment, she doesn’t feel up to it. In the meantime, her grandson will use the tickets.
I last saw Tony and Margaret at the Watford game and they actually left ten minutes early, something that they rarely, if ever did, due to how poor the game was. That’s a shame and part of me wishes that we’d beaten Manchester City a couple of weeks ago instead of doing it back in September, that would’ve been a fitting last game for a man who loved football and who loved Norwich City.
If the type of scenario I’ve mentioned here sounds familiar to your match day routine then cherish those around you. Those like minded souls who turn up, year in and year out to do what you do, to support Norwich City and have a nice day out. They will almost certainly enjoy your company as much as you do theirs.
Lately, it feels like we have lost far too many good people and Tony is another one of those. Rest in peace, Tony.