As tempting as it is to wallow in the searing afterglow of Saturday’s win, it’s time to look forward.
To lap up the acclaim and kind words that have headed in our direction since Saturday teatime is one thing; to milk them for all they’re worth is human, but to prolong the celebrations beyond a couple of days is maybe giving too much ammunition to the ‘little Norwich’ crew.
As wonderful as it was – and it was – as the Premier League have yet to make it six points for a win against the big six, it was worth the same as that win over Newcastle.
And of course, there’s that age-old quote about only being good as your last performance, which would render the Man City win limited in its shelf-life if we go to Burnley and bomb.
A West Ham-type performance at Turf Moor wouldn’t half bring us back down to earth with a bump, which is a possibility.
As Daniel Farke was quick to note post-City, it was only right for the fans to celebrate a win that was right up there with the best the club has achieved, but equally, for him and the players there was (and is) no room for laurel-resting or to get carried away with the hype that ensued.
He was going to permit himself a coffee and a slice of cake on his sofa on Sunday afternoon and that was as far as it was going to go. There were to be no Mayor Kenny type shenanigans this time around with some training on Sunday morning!
Instead, there are the positives from Saturday to build upon. So many.
Whether any of the wounded will make the squad for Saturday remains to be seen – Mo Leitner, Mario Vrancic and certainly Grant Hanley reportedly have a chance – but really, how do you change a team that tilted the footballing world on its axis?
To have to call any of those starting XI into the office and explain that they will be starting on the bench at Burnley would be a massive blow to the cajones, and Farke doesn’t tend to deal in those. The group will still be buzzing and he’ll be wanting to embrace and use that adrenalin surge, not quash it.
But, as he’s already said himself, Burnley will be a completely different game and as an event, it will be another world.
When Man City come to town they bring with them a media glare almost like no other, and with that comes an intensity and sense of occasion that, with the best will in the world, is not replicated when you go to Turf Moor.
And then there’s the game itself.
Again, with said best will in said world, Burnley will offer a technically very different challenge to City, and one that in many ways is equally challenging.
This won’t be a game of chess. There’ll be less in the way of technical and tactical sparring but instead, it will be a more traditional game of English football, where grit and grizzle trumps fluidity and style.
Sean Dyche, armed with a squad more Big Sam than King Pep, will demand his troops deny City the time and space to play the liquid football that has become our thing, and which they seamlessly slipped into on Saturday as they found their way around the Man City press.
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) September 16, 2019
In turn, this will make for a totally different game and the space that Emi Buendia, Marco Stiepermann and Todd Cantwell were afforded by Man City between the lines will be non-existent on Saturday.
All three had, arguably, their best games of the season, helped by Pep believing they could simply outplay us and not squeeze us in those central areas – opting instead for the high press. Dyche will try and deny the trio the opportunity to get on the half-turn and make things happen from there, as is their wont.
Farke and co will know this of course and there’ll be a plan. There’s always a plan.
But in terms of a spectacle, it will obviously be different to last Saturday and there won’t be 25,000 roaring every save, block tackle and surge upfield, even though the travelling Yellow Army will do their very best to replicate it.
So, please let it not be an after the Lord Mayor’s show moment. Let’s reset and go again.
Never Mind The Danger