What a fantastic game of football the Newcastle game was.
Riddled with errors, two sides who went for it and certainly the best entertainment I’ve seen at The Carra in many a long moon.
Maybe in the end we were slightly fortunate to escape with a point, but considering our depleted line-up and the sheer effort that went in from all concerned it would have been a kick up the derriere we did not deserve if we had emerged with nothing.
Just a few talking points from the match itself: the Karl Darlow show eclipsed Timm Klose ambling onto the pitch in his pyjamas. Honours even in terms of cock-ups, one more spectacular than the other. Russell Martin made a couple of frightening errors early on, but we rode our luck and got away with it.
With the Portuguese contingent injured the much-maligned Steven Whittaker did pretty much okay and Cameron Jerome was magnificent. I understand some joker on Canary Call said CJ was lazy – I wonder what world some people inhabit. I didn’t hear the show myself – more of that later.
Don’t misunderstand me – I despise Jonjo Shelvey and consider him to be a nasty bit of work, but a part of me would have him in our side because he can really pick a pass. I didn’t clearly see what he did or didn’t do to Wes, but it looked like a fist or an extended finger went in above chest height. The lino had a clear view of everything, and did nothing. I’d love to see a replay of the incident, but haven’t been able to track one down at time of writing.
Then fast forward to the frantic environment of stoppage time, Big John Ruddy pulled off a marvellous save. Jonny Howson – who didn’t really have the best of games – brought their guy down on the edge of the box. We all thought we knew what was coming. Thanks to Big John, we were wrong. A hoof away and that was that. I swear the crowd were as knackered as the players. I know I was.
Most of us stayed to give City the ovation they thoroughly deserved – the atmosphere had been cracking all night.
I happened to fall in with a small bunch of Mags on their way back to the train station and they were just as elated as I was. They berated Benitez for not bringing on Dwight Gayle earlier, I responded by saying I’m glad he didn’t and we should have somehow found room for Alex Pritchard in the starting line-up.
One of them wished us all the luck in the world for the play-offs (I ignored the little dig) and he said they prefer Saturday games here as they like to bring their fishing rods and make a weekend of it. Nice people.
So, with that warm fuzzy feeling in full flow and rummaging around in the Jack Pyke pocket for my vaping stick, I managed to turn my ankle just outside the Nelson. This is an all-too regular occurance, courtesy of Hackney Marshes all those years ago. I have a three-mile walk home, so I’d only one choice – get a cab. Bonus, I’d get home before our excellent local Chinese takeaway closed.
I normally use the same minicab company who are based near home (sorry Mike I’m not namechecking your firm even though you are the best), but as there are two or three on Prince of Wales I decided to hobble up the stairs of a rival to facilitate a quick journey home.
So that’s why I didn’t listen to Canary Call – I was in a cab rather than walking.
Everybody knows cabbies can – and do – talk for England, but in a ten-minute drive this particular one (who’d clocked my shirt and scarf straight away) decided to give me his views on the state of all things Norwich City.
After the preliminary “I’ll never go again while Delia is there” it got a bit tasty. One-way conversation wasn’t really in it and do not expect me to repeat precise details as I’m not into libel. But it went along these lines…
The guy claimed he used to work for a taxi firm employed regularly by NCFC. Apparently he was taking one of our midfielders who was not born in England home when he was called from base to turn round and take him back to Colney as he was being transferred out there and then. It was allegedly the first the player had heard of the situation.
I was also told there is a current midfielder who forgot to take his house keys to training and therefore couldn’t get through his electric gates when he arrived home (no Ross McCormack jokes please). He phoned his wife to open them and she refused, saying if he couldn’t remember his keys he could spend the rest of the day somewhere else. Unlike McCormack, said midfielder supposedly climbed the back fence.
“My” driver also regaled me with a few more NCFC related stories, which are frankly not even to be hinted at on a decent website with reasonable moral standards such as this.
I’m sure some readers will think I made the final part of this piece up, but I can assure you I didn’t.
A surreal evening in every way.
I thoroughly enjoyed my crispy chilli beef and special fried rice and I can walk okay today. Here’s hoping Nelson Oliveira and Ivo Pinto can too. And I think I’ll stick to Mike and his mates the next time I need a minicab.
Too much unsolicited information from their competitor.