Jun 10 - www.roversrearguard.com
Ipswich Town, you lucky, lucky lot. You’ve signed James Norwood and everything that comes with him.
The goals are fun, but it’s everything else that you get with him that presents the real value here. So, treat him well for us – Micky’s going for three in a row, and if he succeeds, we’ll be back for James next summer.
To make sure you don’t fall foul of Lord Norwood, here’s a few tips for fair and proper use.
1) Don’t dish it out on social media if you can’t take it.
In a world of boring, polished footballers with less personality than a soggy dishcloth, Mr Norwood is a bit different to the rest. There have been many instances during his time at Tranmere when the frustration of a few fans led to them trying to give Nors a bit of grief on Twitter. Or even the team in general. This was a couple of years ago – we’re a successful, multi-trophy winning team now.
There was a time in the dim and distant past when not every shot he took flew in to the net like it does now. In fact, he once had a small reputation for missing one-on-ones. This has long-since gone. However, a few fans used to take the p*** a little for it.
The end result was nearly always some sort of witty retort that made you look like an idiot, or even just a brutally honest, human reply that made every fan want to give him a little hug.So, if you’re thinking that you may give him stick on social media, that’s fine, but don’t say we didn’t warn you if he gives you a bit back.
2) You’ll learn to love small dogs with human names.
The exploits of Terry, Tyson, Walter, Lennox and Kobe are always interesting. There’s even a video feature about them online if you feel you want to get to know them now.
3) Things don’t always go to plan away from football
If it can go wrong in life, it will for Nors. From turning up at the wrong wedding to locking himself out of his house the night before a key match. From losing his passport days before going on holiday to a stray football from a local park smashing his car window.
That genuinely is the tip of the iceberg. Strap yourself in for a comedy ride full of mishaps that’s sure to follow Lord Norwood to Suffolk. And the best part? He will share it on Twitter so you can all enjoy it.Oh, and if you get promoted, he will probably get a parking ticket while you celebrate.
4) He runs, and runs, and runs (probably just as well playing in a Paul Lambert team)
Fed up of lazy strikers who tell others to chase things down while they stand there with hands on their hips? Nors doesn’t do any of that. He will chase them down, force a mistake and maybe even leave a little bit on them. Even when he’s been booked.
5) When the odds are stacked against you…stand back and watch
The tougher it gets, the more he seems to relish it. 10 men for 89 minutes in a play-off final, with all subs used by half-time? Standard Norwood territory.
6) Opposition fans probably won’t like him
He’s been accused of going down a little easy, being in the ref’s ear and not having the best tackling technique. But while many opposition fans, most recently Newport, may cite “s**thousery tactics” from Mr Norwood, the main reason they’ll hate him is because he’s a pain in the arse and will probably score past them. Once he’s done that, he will probably take great pride in shushing them.
7) Every time he’s not in your starting eleven, we’ll be expecting him to come home
If for any reason, legitimate or otherwise, Nors finds himself outside the starting line-up at Ipswich, prepare yourself for Tranmere fans on Twitter calling for us to take him back on loan in January. We can’t help it. Deep down we know it won’t happen (see Andy Cook, January 2019), but it doesn’t stop us demanding it.
8) He may be lovesick for some time
True love has been blossoming at Prenton Park for some time now, and by Ipswich signing James, you’ve broken it. Expect James to take time to adapt to life without his best mate Connor (don’t even think of taking him as well).
9) Avoid the play-offs…for the sake of his hairline
Tranmere’s annual trip to the play-offs caught James a little off-guard last month, to the extent that he’d booked a trip abroad to have a hair transplant which subsequently needed to be cancelled. After the success of last summer’s teeth whitening expedition to Turkey, it was probably quite a blow to James and his hairline. At least we won at Wembley, again.
So, whatever you do, don’t make him put it off for another year by making the play-offs in League One. Rovers will obviously win them anyway – that’s what we do.
10) Keep an accurate tally of his goalscoring exploits
Whether you’re a seasoned journalist, an over-zealous statto or just a keen supporter; you’ll want to make sure your record keeping is accurate. He’s been correcting many a journalist for some time over a missing goal on his record which wasn’t credited to him.In fact, if you so much as mention his goal scoring tally, make sure it’s right.