That ‘good’ feeling around Carrow Road has been lacking for too long now. It’s as though some supporters have decided we’ll settle for mid-table mediocrity with Ipswich Town.
The atmosphere against Brighton was not that of Norwich City. Last Saturday we clocked up the highest attendance in the Football League, yet you could hear the kiosk staff warming up the half-time hot dogs.
Why do you think for the most part of this season, we’ve dominated more games away from home?
Is it because of the increasingly vocal sceptics? Or, as I’ve been told, ‘realists’ who continue to spread the negative-Norwich virus throughout the home support?
It’s this attitude that needs to change.
We all want the team to do well and to continually progress each season. I agree with my fellow MyFootballWriter columnist, Andrew Lawn, who wrote a superb piece on why it’s so wrong to boo those wearing yellow and green at Carrow Road.
I remember the 4-4 draw with Middlesbrough back in 2005, when Adam Drury netted an injury time equaliser. It was one of my favourite Norwich City comebacks.
I stood up with my Dad, with 78 minutes on the clock and 4-1 down, and we bellowed out at the top of our voices: “We’re gonna win 5-4, We’re gonna win 5-4…” Most fans around us told us to sit down and shut up, but we didn’t. We carried on and we ended up with a result.
Afterwards, we were surrounded with ‘negative Nigels’ wanting to apologise.
An essential psychological element in any competitive sport is the belief you’re going to win. In my opinion, if the players aren’t giving you that belief, it’s part of the football fan’s role to give them the belief – hence the term ‘supporter’.
At the Brighton game, after Russell Martin’s goal, I heard the following in the Upper Barclay: “How lucky was that, bet he can’t believe it went in either…” This attitude needs to change but sums up where we are at as a football club right now.
But on the subject of Martin’s wonder goal. Wow. We haven’t witnessed anything like that since Alex Tettey’s thunderbolt against Sunderland . The skipper’s strike proves to me that our players have got the talent and ability in them to out-do even the best in the Championship.
The only negative, which I can’t ignore, was City’s shambolic defending against Brighton. The problem for Neil Adams is that it’s not just a case of swapping players around anymore, because we’ve been consistently poor at the back this season whoever has been selected.
If you look at most teams through their successful eras, most – if not all – have stuck with the same back-line. This is a real conundrum for Neil but hopefully with the return of Ryan Bennett we’ll stop conceding silly goals.
It was interesting to hear Martin’s post-match comments in the Gunn Club. He spoke about naïve tactics after scoring a goal to go ahead where we keep knocking on the door of the opponent. It’s actually probably a better option to consolidate and defend for ten minutes or so and let the storm pass.
However, despite understanding the potential downfall to our current tactics, we continue to play ‘the Norwich way’ – the definition of which is free-flowing attacking football.
With Mike Phelan – Adam’s new assistant – having started his City playing career back in 1985, he definitely has yellow and green blood running through him. Let’s hope he’s the catalyst that sparks the currently lack lustre team back to winning ways.
Having observed the Yellow Army’s reaction to the appointment via Twitter, and other social networks, it seems most people believe this is all part of David McNally’s master plan to replace Neil if it all goes a bit cold turkey at Christmas. But why are we thinking like this?
The club has backed Adams in the appointment of Mike Phelan. The underlying message here is to try and create a positive, winning atmosphere at Carrow Road. Something the players will hopefully react to and subsequently start to win football matches again.