Fans such as myself and, I am sure, thousands of others who remember Gunny’s tenure as both a player and manager will mostly choose to reflect on his time on the pitch rather than off it, time which proved, beyond all reasonable doubt, that he turned out to be one of the best signings the club ever made.
Norwich had maybe caught a few of their more illustrious opponents out with the speed of the bid, another sign, perhaps, that the Canaries under Walker were singing a different tune.
Take a look through some of the first-team squads from the early to mid-1970s for example. Most teams had their own enigmas in there somewhere, except they simply weren’t regarded as mavericks back then.
Peters ended up making 232 League and Cup appearances for Norwich, scoring 50 goals in the process. His form with us was so good that, for a time, he was heavily linked with an England recall. Hardly surprising really.
Good times. As was watching and celebrating Mark Wright’s goal against Egypt, David Platt’s last minute winner against Belgium and Lineker’s heroics against Cameroon in a game that remains my all-time favourite England match.
“Gossy was a great player. He’d get the ball, move it on, hit a great ball, to feet and move on, ready for what he had to do next. He was a great runner, an energetic ball winning midfielder. But he could hit a great pass.”
“That Norwich side, the squad then, we didn’t need Mike Walker or Dixie (John Deehan) shouting at us, or showing us what we had to do. We knew we could do it; we got on and did it. We had a squad of good players, clever and capable players.”
Joe Cole didn’t perform a flounce at Villa Park after being told he would be one of Villa’s subs against Notts County, whilst Jason Puncheon took the same decision on the chin at Selhurst Park after being left out of Palace’s starting line-up against Shrewsbury. Same stoical approach applied to Andrew Surman.
The noise and expectation on the day were so high that Kennon went on to admit that Barry Butler, directly behind him in the Norwich line-up as they ran out for kick-off, had to forcibly shove him onto the pitch.
On Planet Football, Norwich is seen as such an unfashionable place to be that you take the first offer to get out and get out while you can. And if the one and only offer at the time comes from Middlesbrough then that’s where you’ll happily end up.
If Mark Robins was at Manchester United today, do you really think we’d stand a chance of signing him permanently? Or, come to that, manage to persuade him to come here, even on loan? I don’t think we would stand a chance.
So if placing your gigantic logo on a football shirt so prominently and with little to no regard for neither the aesthetics or the tradition of that shirt ends up annoying 99 per cent of that clubs’ support is that still good “brand awareness” regardless?
On one particular Saturday afternoon, Ted MacDougall was being even more sloth than usual, something which was steadily winding up the entire Barclay stand, all of whom were eager to offer him help and guidance in what he should be doing.
For me, anyone who genuinely supports the club is a fan of Norwich City. They can have attended 500 consecutive matches or never been to one.
During 1971/72, Carrow Road saw an attendance of over 30,000 on four occasions with a staggering 34,914 packing into the ground for the home clash against Bristol City on April 4th. Think of Carrow Road as it is today then add around an extra 8,000 fans.
Whilst Alex Neil, a man whose glare is so terrifying it is one of only two things in the known Universe deadly enough to be able to defeat Superman, has made no secret of his admiration for Martin, nor the faith he has in him as a man, player and captain.
Players all have their little habits and rituals to go through in the minutes leading up to kick off. Some are physically sick; others go off for a crafty fag in one of the two cubicles in the changing room. Others sit quietly, heads down, chewing furiously. Jimmy Bone shouts encouragement to his teammates.
We’ve all, at varying levels, been lamenting the fact that the Canaries have been struggling to adapt to life in the Championship this time around and that the board’s pre-season vow of intent to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking has, at times, fallen rather flat.
It’s all about the squad as we are forever told, about every player. Tell us that often enough and we’ll start to believe it. The players certainly seem to have done so as no-one seems to caterwaul about being “on the bench” anymore.