Of course, it’s perfectly possible that footy fans of my current age thirty years back lamented the lack of a Bobby Moore or a Tom Finney but hell, with Roy Hodgson reduced to handing the captain’s mantle to Wayne Rooney, what is the world coming to?
Archives for 2014
The argument against Norwich is that they are seventh due to an inexperienced manager whose squad is under-performing given the ‘obvious’ talent that sits in that dressing room.
And yet there are vastly more experienced managers than Adams sitting in lowlier positions.
“I did think it was a soft penalty – whether Bradley had caught him or turned him, but the lad did appear to be facing his own goal when the penalty was given. But then we’ve gone and conceded a second and given ourselves a mountain to climb.”
Quite a contrast to the same point in time one year ago when an early lead at home to Fulham fell flat and limp and we allowed Scott Parker to break his yearly scoring duck to give the Cottagers an all too customary 3 points over us.
Interestingly, while it appeared miraculous that after such a dire run of form City still found themselves within touching distance of the play-off positions, a run of three wins and a draw still leaves them outside the top six.
“We’ve put together some really good results recently – the key now is to keep the momentum going.” Consistent performances are starting to flow off the back of consistent team selections as Adams stuck largely to an increasingly winning formula with Gary O’Neil adding that little extra nous at the heart of a beefy midfield.
Players all have their little habits and rituals to go through in the minutes leading up to kick off. Some are physically sick; others go off for a crafty fag in one of the two cubicles in the changing room. Others sit quietly, heads down, chewing furiously. Jimmy Bone shouts encouragement to his teammates.
It works within the Norwich-supporting community. I’ve bumped into people at matches all over the country: at train stations, on the walk to the ground, while getting felt up by the friskers and in the stadium itself
We’re in touch with the play-off places if too distant for comfort from a current top three that not even Mystic Meg could have foretold back in August.
The decision to leave the starting XI unchanged from that which started against Huddersfield was justified and, against a side with a reputation for keeping the ball, City’s two banks of four denied the hosts any time or comfort on the ball.
“That was as good as we’ve played all season – and a point was the least we deserved,” added the Canary chief, delighted by the manner in which his side responded to Derby’s 43rd minute opener.
At Norwich, we should praise the Lord (or Delia) that our club has not and is in no imminent danger of suffering a similar sticky fate. We remain in yellow and green (except for that dubious plum away strip), we remain the Canaries and we remain at Carrow Road.
We’ve all, at varying levels, been lamenting the fact that the Canaries have been struggling to adapt to life in the Championship this time around and that the board’s pre-season vow of intent to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking has, at times, fallen rather flat.
There was much to admire, not least the sight of a rejuvenated Ruddy, whose dominant display – which included two world-class saves from distance in the second period – assured us all that the shenanigans of Reading have been well and truly put to bed
“Once the first goal went in then it seemed like every attack we were opening them up in the manner that we can – and the manner that we were at the start of the season.”
For four seasons we revelled in the fact that opposition supporters, and players, loathed Holty. But for 90 plus minutes tomorrow we find ourselves in that same role, except there is no way we’ll be able to generate the venom deserving of one of football’s great pantomime villains. I’m sure he’ll try and wind up one or two – that’s what he does – but we know that behind the Holt facade there is a heart that will always be a little bit ‘Norwich’.
In terms of great sporting moments, the choice of casting Zinedine Zidane’s World Cup final head butt in statue form is somewhat questionable you might think? If you travel to the Arab Museum of Modern Art, in Qatar, that’s what you can see outside.
I hate to be one who blames Adams when City lose and give everyone else, apart from him, credit when we win but Saturday had the knowledge of Mike Phelan stamped all over it. We kept it tight when we needed to and pressed them all over the park.
If there is one thing that these traumatic few weeks have taught us it’s that this season’s Championship in unexceptional. To have won just twice in eleven games and yet still be only two points off the play-off places speaks volumes.
“It was a professional performance from the players,” added the City chief. “We got the tactics right – and we got the team right…