It was never going to finish quietly.

Many words have been used to describe Stuart Webber’s contribution to Norwich City but ‘dull’ certainly isn’t one of them.

Forget Welsh dragons. Back in Webber’s homeland the yellow and green beast that he’s spent the last six-and-a-half-years trying to tame stirred once more in Cardiff. It can fly when you least expect it and then run out of puff again just as you think it’s firing on all cylinders.

In 2017 Norwich City lost 3-0 at Huddersfield Town in the last game before Webber’s appointment as sporting director. Three days later they were 6-1 up at half-time against Reading at Carrow Road on the way to a 7-1 victory. How is anyone supposed to get a handle on a club which doesn’t seem to have much middle ground? Ben Knapper’s notebook probably has just as many things written in, crossed out and then rewritten as Webber’s did when he arrived.

It's now up to Knapper to find a way forward. Will a thrilling 3-2 win at Cardiff City have done much to change his first week behind a new desk? You’d like to think not. While those who invest emotionally in the Canaries as fans are entitled to ride the roller coaster from week to week, it’s the sporting director’s job to find a measure of calm and plot a course beyond whatever the most recent scoreboard said.

It was difficult to know how to feel in the immediate aftermath of the game. Ten minutes earlier City had looked on course for a fifth straight defeat. Not many managers ever come back from that. David Wagner seemed emotional when we spoke for our usual post-match interview. Perhaps he still thought one win wasn’t going to be enough to enhance his prospects of keeping the head coach’s job. Maybe I was reading too much into it. He needed a win and had just got it in the most dramatic circumstances followed by an official farewell to his biggest ally, the man who brought him to the club. There was a lot going on.

As the dust settled and the adrenalin that comes with commentating on a rare Norwich City away win faded the spotlight felt like it was back on Wagner and his fate.

A win’s a win. There is no doubt that Wagner has been putting his heart and soul into getting it amid a host of injuries to key players. Yet the previous run of one win in 10 matches remains all too fresh in the mind and some of what happened during the game at Cardiff might actually have undermined his position.

During that spell of mistake-littered performances many wondered why Danny Batth, Sunderland’s Player of the Year from last season, hadn’t been given a league start in the centre of an increasingly open defence. It took Ben Gibson, Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley all to be unavailable at the same time for Batth to get his start at Cardiff. He performed really well.

Wagner’s judgement was also called into question when the team sheet came out at 2pm. One of his full-backs was a 19-year old who was playing non-league football in May, the other was a winger. It was a bold call to say the least. That he found it necessary to replace both Kellen Fisher and Przemyslaw Placheta at half-time was an admission that it was the wrong call.

There is an argument that a head coach deserves credit for not being proud and changing what needed changing at the earliest opportunity. However, that inability to be flexible during a game and exert real tactical influence when the going gets tough has been another one of the Wagner worries most regularly expressed by the fans in recent weeks.

In the cold light of day Cardiff was almost as frustrating as it was exhilarating. A squad of players and a head coach that have shown glimpses of promise proved that goals, character and control even when circumstances are difficult are within their capabilities. They just haven’t done it often enough this season.

Was it a turning point or a one-off that shouldn’t alter whatever plans were being hatched for the new sporting director’s first week?

Knapper’s about to climb aboard the Bucking Bronco that his Norwich City Football Club. If he’s still in the saddle in six-and-a-half-years he’ll be doing well. I bet he’ll have aged.



The football sulks…

When Norwich City lose how does it impact you?

It’s a terrible question to pose so soon after a victory. However, it’s in my mind because one of the listeners to BBC Radio Norfolk’s Breakfast Show introduced me to the concept of ‘The Football Sulks’ last week.

We were on air the Monday morning after the loss to Blackburn Rovers at Carrow Road.

One supporter got in touch to say that defeats for the Canaries come as such a huge blow that they can’t watch or follow any other football for the next few days.

It’s daft really, to allow one’s state of mind to be affected by 11 fellas we have no control over, but we all do it to a greater or lesser extent. It’s that all-in investment that makes football so good.

The wins feel better because we know the stomach churning hurt that comes with defeat. Once you’re in you can’t switch it on and off like a tap.

I’m not sure I could ever switch my self-off entirely from the rest of the football world though.

Any Norwich City supporter who has insisted on avoiding Match of the Day since the Canaries last had a good Premier League season will be staggered when they find out that Des Lynam doesn’t present it anymore.