Just when we thought it was time to move on and, for now at least, leave the past behind (Ipswich take note…) the club only go and release the final part of their City360 series on YouTube.
If you haven’t, you really must.
I’ll resist giving away the ending 😉 but the behind-the-scenes glimpses of the run-in and all that followed are fascinating, and confirmed my initial belief that the Play-Off Final was almost won before a ball had been kicked.
It also revealed Russell Martin as a future Morgan Freeman.
And it reminded us of a few commentary sound-bites that will remain with us all forever. You know the ones…
“A crisp efficiency about Norwich just now”
“And it’s a BLISTERING start from Norwich!”
“His side have put on a performance of such class and composure it’s belied the magnitude of the occasion”
While none will ever usurp the Goreham/Adams finale to that game against Derby County, the mere mention of any of the above will conjure up immediately the sights and sounds of that glorious Wembley day.
Thanks to said video, I spent most of yesterday reliving it. (Yes, I know I need to get out more).
As far as looking forward goes, we currently only have the surety of a Mulumbu and a Dorrans in midfield, and a yellow Aviva box (aka ‘that bloody Aviva box’) adorning the new shirt. Work is clearly ongoing to bring in a few new faces but for now patience is a virtue.
While for some pre-season is already a week old, many of those whose season extended beyond May 25 return to duty tomorrow, among them Ricky and Kyle Lafferty. And when the main party returns from the St George’s Park training camp, the countdown to the first friendly begins.
For those heading to Emerald Park, Gorleston next Saturday, the squad will likely be of a hybrid variety and won’t contain any of those who didn’t make the trip to the FA HQ – but will still be sufficient to satisfy those who have been craving Saturday afternoon football that kicks off at 3pm.
From sunny Gorleston, the Canaries then head west to play some more Canaries – Hitchin Town – on Tuesday evening before ending the week with a date at Cambridge United’s Abbey Stadium on Friday evening.
There then follows a trip to the German Alps where, according to the EDP, City are due to lock horns with Bundesliga opposition in the form of FC Augsburg and un-named opponents, before West Ham arrive at Carrow Road on Tuesday July 28 to curiously commemorate the 80th anniversary of Carrow Road.
It’s an unusual move because we’re used to a European name or two providing Carrow Road opposition at the same juncture, but with The Irons guaranteed to be a week or two ahead of City in their preparations given the ridiculously early start to their Europa League campaign, they’ll offer a timely step up in intensity.
Interestingly, compared to previous seasons the schedule looks a little light – only four confirmed games against pro opposition – but anyone who views the aforementioned video will know in an instant that ‘meticulous’ is Alex Neil’s middle name (he knew that Boro had only won from a losing position once all season and that it was at Bolton).
The trip to the continent appears an ideal platform from which Alex and Frankie can finely hone the playing-style that will serve City throughout 2015/16 and there’s no doubting that it will be time used to gradually crank up the level of performance and intensity.
The boss currently has several credits in hand. What he says goes, and no-one’s about to doubt him.
The sight of a City shirt or a flag adorning the Canary badge popping up in fairly unlikely circumstances has become so much the norm it’s almost no longer ‘unlikely’. Test matches in the Caribbean and Australia or snooker at the Crucible are no longer complete without a glimpse of Canary yellow.
This week the Y’Army took it to another level with at least a couple of retro (not half n half) shirts popping up in the crowd at Wimbledon’s Centre Court; the lady adorning one during Dustin Brown’s defeat of Rafa Nadal doing a particularly fine job of photo-bombing the German’s close-ups.
In truth, I’ve always steered clear of the ‘We are massive’ mantra – to me it’s akin to the We’re *by far* the greatest team the world has ever seen chant – but with seemingly every major sporting event revealing another yellow and green shirt perhaps it’s time I started to believe it.
And on that note… a challenge for MFW readers:
If you’re planning to attend an Ashes Test or the Tour de France, the sight of an item of NCFC regalia in the background of a snarling Mitchell Johnson, or road-side as Messrs Froome and Cavendish whizz by will earn a place in the highly acclaimed MyFootballWriter Hall of Fame.
Who’s up for it?