For readers of The Times there used to be a yearly occurrence that was as familiar and comfortable as Christmas might be to the rest of us-the letter that laid claim to the bitterly fought honour that is hearing the first cuckoo of spring.
It was, and is, a fiercely competitive event that saw claim and counter claim being sent, recorded, denied, and even ridiculed. Maybe some people were telling the truth. Undoubtedly, however, many correspondents would have been making it up.
This draws me nicely to a footballing parallel. That lays claim to knowing whom Norwich City will be signing in the coming months. Now, regardless of whether or not Cuculus canorus has been heard by eager eared twitchers or not, one thing is for certain, cloud cuckoo land is where a lot of these people are currently residing when it comes to the authenticity of some of the football related ‘exclusives’.
Let’s look at the evidence. On what we’ve heard so far, 2012 looks like being a bumper year for Canary signings, sightings, and as one of our former managers might say, sit-u-ations; one where we might just need that open topped coach again-not to celebrate our Premier League survival, but to bus all them here!
For, at the last count-and I have probably missed some here-I make it a total of eleven-and counting-players who have been linked with us so far this Spring. Some of the sources are vaguely reliable whilst others are relentlessly inaccurate.
They do, however, have the penchant for bringing the same old names up again and again and again with even a cursory read of some of the club messageboards mentioning one or more of the following...
Kyle Bennett, Curtis Davis, Fraser Fyvie, Chris Gunter, Matt Jarvis, Jason Pearce, Kyle Naughton, Jordan Rhodes, Robert Snodgrass, Joel Ward and Aidan White.
That’s a whole teams worth-and there are still three games to play this season! How many will we have been linked with by the time we get to June, and it truly becomes open season on the transfer front? The number of players on their way to Carrow Road by then will resemble, size-wise, those herds of wildebeest we regularly see thundering across the Serengeti on the BBC.
But will we sign any of them?
I’ll leave it to you to decide how many of the above are realistic-as well as those (the great majority) that are no more than agent talk, lazy journalism and wishful thinking. What I can say in certainty is this: whoever our player targets might be in the Summer, there isn’t a cat in hells chance that fans, journalists, or anyone else will know for certain who they are until they are sat, signed, sealed, and delivered, and filmed at the resultant press conference.
Personally, that is the way I like it. It’s also how transfer business used to be done, way before footballing gossip and idle speculation became a mini industry in itself with, for goodness sakes, whole websites devoted entirely to the topic. It’s so much more enjoyable when, like Christmas, you don’t know what any of the brightly wrapped parcels might contain before you open them.
Enjoy the speculation by all means, contribute to it if you must-especially if you are one of the hundreds of people who claim to have a “contact” at the club-and here’s some speculation for free. If you had, or there was, they won’t be there to see any of the new signings put pen to paper-but do remember, it is all, at best, speculation-and more, so much more, mere fantasy.
Enjoy them when they arrive. Until then focus upon supporting those that are here. What matters is what is now, not what might, or never will be.