To continue the theme of offering the MyFootballWriter floor to a guest, this month it’s the turn of blogger and ‘home n away’ City fan, Lorraine Taylor.
Take it away…
Life as a Norwich City fan has always had its ups and downs, although over the past 41 years that I have been watching the team I remember the good days much more than the many losses and relegations we have endured.
Even my first match at Carrow Road was a loss: 1-2 against Fulham. Although I remember Ted MacDougall missing a penalty, what I remember most was the fantastic atmosphere.
We will never be one of the big ‘glamourous’ clubs and I am not sure that I would ever want us to be. Big bucks in football changes a club. I am sure a generous benefactor would be more than welcome at Carrow Road, but would we still be able to remain the same family-friendly club that we are now?
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see us lift the FA Cup at Wembley or presented with the Premier League trophy on the pitch at Carrow Road, but at what cost to the heart of the club? Without significant investment in the club, I really do not think we will ever be able to compete with the Premier League’s elite like we did in the 1992/1993 season – top flight football has moved on significantly since the early days of the Premier League.
This week’s edition of Barclays Premier League World on Sky Sports compared that 1993 Norwich team with today’s Leicester team. There are a lot of similarities of these two teams, even 23 years apart. Both were expected to be fighting to stay in the league rather than fighting to win it, both have held their own against the top teams, and two teams who worked hard for each other and were a team on and off the pitch… no prima donnas anywhere to be seen!
If the current Norwich City team could take one thing from the 1993 team, it would be the belief that on their day they could beat anyone. These days we often seem to give the ‘big’ teams a bit too much respect, let them get a foothold into the game, then end up trying to come back from a goal or more down.
If our team started the way they finished against Chelsea on Tuesday night, it might have been a different story!
But that has been the story of the season so far. Too many times we have not started well and have spent the second half chasing the game as a result. This, combined with not taking clear goal scoring chances, stupid mistakes, and lapses of concentration have cost us dear this season and now we are fighting relegation.
I am not one for blame, but maybe if there is any to be made it should be laid at the door of the Board. They clearly have not learned anything from when we were in the Premier League two seasons ago.
Leaving it until the January transfer window to bring in several key buys was too late – the investment should have been made in the summer when the players would have had the luxury of being able to settle into a new team without having to be thrown into the deep end, battling for league survival from day one.
I feel for Alex Neil, as it’s not been an easy ride for him. A ‘new boy’ to this level of football, he might have been out of his depth on occasions, but the Board and fans alike should keep the faith. He is only going to get better the more experience he has.
He has faced criticism for not playing a settled team, although injuries and suspensions has not made it easy for him to pick the same team week in, week out. And now we have lost Alex Tettey for the rest of the season, a stalwart of our side for some time, but luckily we have Gary O’Neil to cover that position.
If there is one thing we can take from our most recent loss, it is the level of commitment that the team showed in the second half. Even Brady and O’Neil were eager to carry on following their awful coming together which left one needing several stitches to his forehead and other extensive dental work. Maybe it was the bad refereeing decisions that spurred us on!
So on to our trip to Swansea tomorrow. A 6 a.m. start for me to get up to Carrow Road to catch the bus. As usual I have no doubt that Norwich fans will be in full voice tomorrow, ready to get behind the team, and thanks to the club for giving us subsidised tickets and free travel.
Maybe we can collectively be that twelfth man to inspire the team to a much needed victory.
Thanks to Lorraine for that rallying cry. You can follow her on Twitter @LoTaylor23