In fourteen years of watching the mighty Yellows I’ve never felt such an indescribable, overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness.
To throw away your fiercest rivals’ hard work over the course of a season and to reach a play-off final at the home of football is a memory that will never be forgotten. Arguably the best stadium in the world will now be half-filled with the best supporters.
But if last Saturday was a memory we’ll never forget, next Monday Norwich City has the opportunity to better it.
Last weekend the atmosphere was something else and perhaps, at least in part, it was down to the Barclay End Projekt’s fantastic pre-match rally cry on Twitter.
“On The Ball, City” was, in my opinion, the loudest it’s ever been. The bloke sitting behind me was crying genuine tears of joy. The Snake Pit, the Barclay and the whole of Carrow Road combined to create an unbelievably loud cauldron of noise. If only those decibel levels were reached every home game.
Wes Hoolahan’s cool, calm and collected penalty started proceedings very nicely and I can confess now, I have only watched it on the highlights. I couldn’t watch it live following his infamous penalty chip a few years ago.
For once it was a stone-wall decision that no-one could complain about – even the most partisan Ipswich fan.
If at the time the ‘Blue Army’ thought things couldn’t get worse they were wrong. Little did they didn’t know that after the end of the 90 minutes they’d then have to deal with the stench of horse manure!
Another scrambled effort from the Tractor boys was dealt with almost immediately by Nathan Redmond’s goal, and the relief around Carrow Road was tangible – the England Under-21 international finally fulfilling his ginormous potential, at the perfect time!
His performance against Ipswich was reminiscent of those he has been producing all year for Gareth Southgate; committing forward, getting his foot over the ball and having a go. And what a finish it was.
When Cameron Jerome poked home City’s third of the afternoon it was well and truly party time and the alreadt electric atmosphere somehow reached another level.
Due to the sheer magnitude of the fixture, it’s now officially my favourite ever City game, topping our famous 5-1 away victory over the same opponents.
And now on to Wembley where more Norwich City history could be made and it almost goes without saying that they’re in the right hands.
Alex Neil achieved promotion to the Scottish Premier League through the play-off’s with Hamilton only last season, so the excuse of him not having the experience certainly isn’t a valid one. With that in mind we know the players will be calmed and then directed in the right way once more by the Scot.
As for the opponents Middlesbrough, their main threat for me is Albert Adomah. The six foot Ghanian is very fast, skilful and good on the ball. Having watched him recently against Brentford he made their defenders look amateurish. Let’s hope Russ Martin has got his best running shoes on…
Also, let’s hope Daniel Ayala, who I previously labelled the most over-rated Norwich defender ever, doesn’t produce another solid performance against Norwich on Monday.
Even if Monday isn’t the dream outing the Yellow Army have been looking forward to for years, in terms of depth the squad is in the strongest place it’s been for many seasons.
Many Ipswich supporters are predicting that our best players will be poached during the summer transfer window but I can’t see that happening on David McNally’s watch. Championship or Premier League, next season is only going to get better.
The attitude for Wembley needs to remain the same: get behind the boys in yellow, stay positive and shout loud. Very loud.
Norwich City have come from nowhere and now they could achieve their original goal. The dream is alive. See you all at Wembley!
“On The Ball, City…”