McCormack’s overall record at Fulham is 100 appearances with 42 goals scored. An overall record of 2.38 games per goal. Now that’s not bad, not bad at all, but it does reflect these occasional purple patches he has had in his career, notably last season and 2008/09.
Norwich’s pre-season campaign had consisted of just one match; a 1-1 draw up at St Mirren on August 4, in the Paisley Charity Cup. We took them on again during pre-season two years later, that game ending in a 0-0 draw with, on both occasions, the trophy being shared between the two clubs. No penalty shoot outs then!
Hal Robson-Kanu thrived. The man without a club scored twice and made a real impact for both his country and on the footballing public at large, scoring, against Belgium, one of the best goals of the tournament.
It says a lot for the Norwich board’s opinion of Saunders that little effort seems to have been made to appease him or get him to change his mind. In truth, maybe each knew that they had gone as far with the other as they could, and this sudden break was just what was needed; a decisive action that suited both parties.
Bond was not afraid of big name players, nor those who had a similarly big reputation in the game. He’d already brought Martin Peters to the club as well as signing Peter Osgood on loan as well as having attempts to sign both Alan Ball and Bobby Moore as players thwarted.
One forward gone, one rumoured to be going? Boyer eventually sign for Southampton albeit a year after Ted had gone the same way. He might have gone earlier had it not been for an injury that meant he missed half of Norwich’s 1976/77 season anyway, the 21 league appearances he did make seeing a return of just five goals.
The Canaries had reached the final of the League Cup in 1973 and 1975 and had only missed out on doing so in the same competition in 1974 by narrowly losing to Wolves in the two legged semi-final. A third Wembley visit in four seasons didn’t seem a particularly unreasonable or unrealistic expectation.
We all travelled down to witness the FA Cup tie at Paulton Rovers blissfully unaware that the club was as close to going out of existence as it had been at any time in its history.
You can ring around on a Friday afternoon and have someone in and ready to do just that the following Monday morning. Not quite so easy to do when you’re looking for a new CEO though, especially if there are contracts involved and notice periods to serve.
With us return to Championship level football again, a lot of hope and expectation is being pinned on some of the leading lights of our FA Youth Cup winning side, not least the Murphy twins.
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.