Traveling away from home when you live in the beautiful county of Norfolk is always a trek. However you dress is up, it takes hours to go north or south in a day – to follow our team takes commitment.
If they’ve been stuffed or narrowly beaten it can make the journey home even longer, and although a few drinks and being with your football family can soften the blow, it can make you wonder “why? … why am I putting myself through this?”
Last season saw us perform better away from home, but there were still some bad performances, and many stopped following. Some fans even gave up their beloved season tickets. For some of us that’s not an option, however bad it gets. I’ve still been there watching in League One (but what a great season that was by the way).
I believed though, well I wanted to believe. I could see the objective of the new structure and style Daniel Farke was trying to implement on the pitch. I was lucky enough to follow City in Germany over the summer and I witnessed some fantastic free-flowing football; I saw first-hand the hard work the players were putting in and the camaraderie that was starting to form.
Did I dare to believe that it was all falling into place?
But as a known happy clapper or board lover, it took its toll. I deleted, muted and even blocked some so-called fans who berated me, but I’m a fan too. I was realistic and objective when I went along to fans forums and trust meetings, I listened to Messrs Stone (a frank, honest, friendly man) and Webber (stern, but means business and gives a great pitch) and I bought into their regime.
‘The project’ had to be given time. It was what us ‘happy clappers’ called a ‘work in progress’ and, yes, that line did become overused by those that wanted to believe.
But I didn’t give up. I continued to go on away trips and continued to drag myself to my seat at Carrow Road, I was prepared to wait until Christmas 2018 before I stopped believing and that still remains my goalpost.
Do I dare to believe that in another eight weeks we could still be fighting for those coveted top two spots in the league? Is that possible?
It is possible if we continue to play this Farkeball? The fast passing but also patient style that Farke has got the players playing, pressing opponents for 90 minutes and we are a team that is hard to break down.
Those players who haven’t been playing step up when given the opportunity, the half-time team talks from Farke has a habit of re-energising the squad.
I’m sure there will be teams that will give us a good battle, but this City team looks resilient. Even if we go 1-0 down, both players and fans now believe we can still go on to win the game.
Even fans who were sceptical are starting to get on board, the atmosphere is improving, and the club feels reunited in its positivity. The terraces are singing. Farkelife and Daniel Farke’s Yellow Army reverberates through the stands. New songs are being penned for our new players. There’s excitement and belief.
I was standing behind a group of fans at Hillsborough on Saturday (@JakeNcfcMann11 and friends ) and heard them repeatedly saying and singing “sexy, sexy football“. Yes indeed lads, it really is…
I don’t care that sometimes our fans are fickle or not patient, I just want them to enjoy watching my team as much as I do. I want them to fall back in love with the game and believe.
The recent tragedy at Leicester shows how football can unite. And there is a great example of a club that dared to believe, and their fans dared to believe…
So long may the positivity continue here in the Fine City.
I’m trying to keep a lid on my exuberance at the moment, but if City keep on serving up a few more performances like Saturday’s, I’m not sure I will be able to contain myself.