To this day, there is no greater sight than seeing the great man, ears pinned back, turning on the after-burners to fly past a floundering defender. Whether said defender is Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville or Tubes (from Soccer AM) matters little; the end result is invariably the same.
Archives for May 2013
At just 24, he had been the central figure and goalscoring mainstay of a Norwich side that had genuine hopes of securing First Division football for the first time in the clubs history before the end of that decade. Who knows what progress the club might have eventually made had Ron stayed at Carrow Road and been the man that Lol Morgan, appointed Manager only weeks before Davies moved, had been able to build a side around.
The number of different players nominated totalled 86! That rather took me aback, but, given the quality of teams and depth of some of the squads that we have had at Carrow Road, should not be too surprising. In historic terms, the furthest back that the poll went was 1947.
Simeon Jackson’s goals in the run-in of 2010-11 are the stuff of legend and a quick Youtube search of ‘Jackson, Derby, Goreham’ is, to this day, guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. Similarly that downward header at Fratton Park. Moments that will live forever in the mind
The evening has been named Jamie’s Game – a well-deserved homage to Jamie Abbott, a 16-year-old City-supporting footballer with Down’s Syndrome who, as part of the Community Sports Foundation, has become a charity ambassador.
Every team needs a player who gets supporters off their seats when he is even within touching distance of the ball; Hucks was that for Norwich. Combining searing pace with great touch and a mix of tricks that often befuddled opponents and team mates alike, Hucks was blue touch paper in yellow and green.
With the summer now here it seems as good a time as any to review my own choice as to which players would make up that line up – and would be interested in seeing the choice of some of the MFW pundits who follow these pages.
While Hughton continually asked to be judged after 38 games – not an unreasonable request – it was never going to happen. We’re football supporters after all; knee-jerk reactions and snap-shot judgements are what we do… they’re built into our DNA.
“If we’re able to strengthen the squad then we will endeavour to do that. We know how difficult it is – us and 19 other clubs are trying to do the same. But it is our responsibility to the club and to the supporters to try and keep improving.”
Norwich set the tone early on with a really positive start – Robert Snodgrass and Wes Hoolahan both prominent in the opening exchanges as the home side began in ponderous fashion. A couple of decent looking penalty shouts – a scythe on Snodgrass and a handball shout against Joleon Lescott – both went unnoticed by referee Mark Halsey, in his last game before retirement, but did nothing to deter the City spirit.
It is an important question – because it ensures that the 14-strong mini-league come 2013-14 will be just as ugly, just as desperate and just as unappealing as it was, by and large, this…
So, while we can rest safe in the knowledge that events in Eastlands will have no impact on whether next season we dine at The Ivy, with the likes of Chelsea, or at a ‘greasy spoon’ – with the likes of Ipswich – it will impact on Hughton’s summer transfer kitty.
The Saunders mantra was hard work, application, team work – and then some more hard work. Running up the infamous slopes of Mousehold Heath became a feature of training. If Saunders tired of watching them run – well, then the players hopped up it.
The denouement of the 1984/85 season still rankles with a lot of Norwich fans. Following an impressive 2-1 win at a rain soaked Stamford Bridge in our mast game, we were safely sat – or so we thought – in eighteenth place, nine points ahead of Coventry City – and with a better goal difference.
How could Chelsea fans stomp out on their kids? How could they become so sated by success, so flush with a sense of entitlement that they wouldn’t stay to the finish and applaud teenagers? It will never be like that at Norwich. We remember what failure feels like, so when success comes, boy, it feels so good. But we can’t take it for granted.
Despite Andy Townsend’s best efforts to persuade us that last night was merely a triumph of guts and determination over class and skill, it was no fluke. Flukes don’t tend to happen over two legs, especially those where the same team wins both games.
Alas, my fears were unfounded and, to a man, those in yellow took not one backward step yesterday. From minute one to minute ninety-three they were ‘on it’ – every single one of them – and from somewhere found a performance right up there with anything we’ve seen in the McNally and Bowkett years.
All concerned knew what a tight-rope the Canaries walked; putting themselves in the driving seat early on was crucial to the way the game would unfold thereafter. In fairness to those at work with the City dressing room, Norwich were bright, up-beat and ‘on it’ from the opening whistle…
“We don’t know what the other results will be,” said Hughton. “We have to make sure that is very much in our hands. If we get the results that we need to get, then you don’t have to rely on other results.”
The mathematicians amongst us have suggested a single point on Sunday may be enough, but I’d hate to think Chris Hughton would set City’s stall out for anything other than victory. It wouldn’t sit comfortably with the Yellow Army for sure, if that were the case – caution playing a far too prominent role in the 2012/13 campaign.