Norwich City have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup – for the first time since 2012 – and they did it with a great combination of flair and resilience it must be said.
It’s easy to say Burnley didn’t really want it, particularly as their manager Sean Dyche publicly said before the game that Premier League survival was their priority, but that takes nothing away from us and we’re in the last 16 for the first time in a long time. And I’m glad.
If tonight’s draw gives us a home game I’ll be there in March when the fixture actually takes place. I’d even cheerfully take on Liverpool at the Carra because in that way we could go out in a blaze of glory that we’d all enjoy.
I wouldn’t mind Portsmouth at home either it must be said. Or Shrewsbury.
I haven’t associated us with a Cup run in well over 25 years. Will we win it? Of course not, as Daniel Farke said in midweek. But knowing what end of the Premier League tunnel we’re looking at surely it’s worth giving it our best shot?
Call it a distraction from the inevitable if you will.
We [just the same as Burnley] made quite a few line-up tweaks but Mario Vrancic wasn’t a bad “replacement”, was he? Forget that floppy header to nowhere that Erik Pieters despatched with aplomb but consider the sublime arced free-kick that the excellent Grant Hanley read perfectly for our opener. And the cross Lukas Rupp flicked over a flapping Joe Hart that Josip Drmic tapped in for our second.
Onel Hernandez put in a shift too, including an excellent first half belter that was beaten away by Hart.
Ralf Fahrmann made a couple of excellent saves, particularly from Jay Rodriguez in the first half, although he seemed to have a little bit of AMDS [Andy Marshall Dracula Syndrome] about him as in: scared of crosses.
From what I’ve seen an understandably rusty Drmic did himself the power of good with a goal – others might not have followed up that flick from Rupp – and eighty-odd minutes under his belt.
Jamal Lewis and Tom Trybull were solid enough if unspectacular.
And off the bench, we had the luxury of introducing Teemu Pukki, Ondrej Duma and Mayor McLean as we closed the game out a la Bournemouth. Not a bad trio to introduce by any manner of means.
There was no Cantwell, Krul or Buendia either.
Gary G mentioned Danny Murphy yesterday as in: “Danny Murphy, never the loudest of City cheerleaders, described us as “the best bottom-of-the-league side I’ve ever seen” on last night’s Match of the Day
Of course, Murphy added that we can’t defend, which is true over the season so far but a little unjust about yesterday.
Many folks think the FA Cup has been devalued and it seems the BBC agrees. Otherwise, where were old Krispylugs, Shearer and Wrighty? Maybe Shearer was in the North East enjoying his Mags being held 0-0 at home by Oxford United. [They ended up in Shrewsbury – Ed 😉 ]
So while for the first time in ages we have an active interest in the fifth round draw I thought I’d offer a couple of nuggets from yesterday’s internet offerings.
Apparently Max Aarons was in talks with Tottenham on Saturday when he was actually on our bench. I’m sure he will go there [or somewhere else equally huge] at the end of the season but come on, fer Chrissakes.
It also appears we are about to sign 22-year-old Luxembourg international striker Danel Sinani.
One of my mates has suggested he’ll wear 208* on his shirt and that’s about as seriously as I’m taking that one too. Although, you never know. Stranger things have happened.
Oh, and of course Mike Ashley will sell Newcastle this week. Funny how that’s our next fixture so that one’s probably right even if only to set up an along come Norwich moment in which we beat them. No life-presidency for Mr Michael Ashley if that one’s true.
Well done to Daniel and the boys and some punters might be right as in: maybe that result could yet be the coal that fires the engine to pull the train into the station known as PL Survival. We shall see.
*208 was the frequency of the notorious pirate radio station Radio Luxembourg. You’d have to be well over 50 to remember it!