One thing is for certain and that is, unlike the season just gone, you couldn’t necessarily point a finger at deficiencies in the Canaries defence. We conceded just 76 goals in that campaign.
Britain was still a nation where the notion of ‘Derring-do’ was still in vogue, and, having talked the talk, Pilch set about walking the not inconsiderable walk required to make things happen.
Do we go all out to get back there by the end of next season? Do we throw money at the objective and do it whatever the cost (like QPR back in 2014), which brings short-term delight at the cost of long term pain?
No-one could see past the comfortable victory that was being predicted for United who, in response to the Norwich triumvirate of Bryceland, Bolland and Heath offered up Charlton, Law and Best.
Bly, forever etched on the minds of many a Canary fan as one of the clubs all time greats and a player synonymous with the 1959 FA Cup run, went into the fixture against Manchester United as a relative unknown. An unknown amongst many Norwich fans, let alone anyone else.
Liverpool gathered a head of steam for the inevitable reprisals yet Norwich not only weathered the storm, they struck again. Sullivan on the ball, as good a full back as the club has ever had, his perfectly timed ball behind the Liverpool back line finding Peters, always Peters, ghosting into position from nowhere to make it 2-0.
Norwich manager John Bond knew that Peters, ever the professional, needed little to no supervision or management. As far as he was concerned, his new acquisition could have the run of the place, live where he liked, train as hard or as often as he liked and say what he liked.
Indeed, as the advert treacled its way to a conclusion, the viewer might have been confused as to quite who the football coverage is being aimed at, such was the proliferation of scenes in the gym, the changing room, and the shower.
Players who, when put on the spot about a game they are watching or player they are offering an opinion on, rarely venture further than the “game of two halves” school of punditry.
Watling was another Saunders – fiercely ambitious, driven, single-minded and determined to have only the best for the club he was in charge of. Saunders would have seen in the glint of Watling’s eye a reflection of himself and that was enough for him.
It came at a risk. Remember, this was for a man who had been with his previous club for just twelve competitive matches, during which time, his sole achievement had been to narrowly avoid relegation to the Third Division with them. There was no doubt about it. Watling was pushing the Canary boat out to hitherto deep and unchartered waters.
There was no way Saunders was going to set another standard for Alex Neil to follow by taking Norwich up at the first time of asking. His first game, a 3-0 defeat at Leicester City on August 2, 1969 came five matches into that 1969/70 season, one that saw the Canaries eventually finish in 11th place in the Division Two table.
Norwich had first worn a kit openly showing the maker of the kit at the beginning of the 1975/76 season when the little double diamond of Umbro adorned the shirt. Admiral took over in 1976 before being succeeded by Adidas in 1981. They, in turn, were supplanted by Hummel in 1984.
He made it a hat-trick last season when, with us, he won promotion in the most glorious fashion, bringing about a wholly unexpected day of joy to the players and fans of a team who were, in early December 2014, in 11th place in the Championship, one win in six and seemingly in freefall.
Brown went on to win an FA Cup winners medal with the Hammers in 1964 and, a year later, played alongside Moore at the heart of the defence as part of the club’s victorious European Cup Winners Cup side that beat TSV 1860 München 2-0 in the final at Wembley.
So… Manchester City. They stockpile players like a Star Wars nerd stockpiles action figures. And, more often than not, Manchester City never bother to open the box either.
Units isn’t the word. Stoke City might have, unlike a leopard, changed their footballing spots a little over the last couple of seasons or so, but it wasn’t so long ago that you looked at them stood there pre-match and it was like looking at eleven massive fridge freezers all stood in a row.
The Man Utd website includes options to go to equivalent sites in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. The sum total of hits on these club websites now well exceeds 60 million per month.
He is, as those that have gone before him, a player who merits his selection on what he can do and the threat that he does offer. He’s a wildcard, a joker in the pack, someone you hope might just turn it on and, in doing so, turn a game.
When Norwich signed Roger Gibbins from Oxford United in the summer of 1976, neither he or his club had absolutely no inkling of John Bond’s interest in him on 1st June. Yet, by teatime on 2nd June, he was a Norwich City player, with the first that I, and most Norwich fans, knew of it being when we picked up the following days EDP to see a picture of him alongside Bondy.