“When will I see you again?”
So sang the Three Degrees.
Little did Shelia Ferguson know it would become the theme (or at least my theme) of the spring of 2020.
I’m missing friends and family. I’m also missing the River End like you wouldn’t believe. In particular, those I call my Carrow Road neighbours and friends.
And I’m missing the sights and sounds…
Right now I’d give anything to feel my blood boiling as that bloke on the other side of the aisle screams “BOOT… BOOT…” as Tim Krul, Ben Godfrey and Grant Hanley play a patient and deliberate game of triangle-chicken.
I’d give anything to be defending Stiepi from those around me who liken him, at times, to one of our four-legged friends who’ll be playing a prominent role on Easter Sunday.
The same with having to make way for that bloke who *always* arrives at his seat in my row five minutes after the game kicks-off. *Always*. It’ll never anger me again.
Nor, when those in my vicinity, moan and sigh when Tettey opts to go backward or sideways instead of forward. Never again will I moan at the moaners.
Ditto when 80-per-cent of the River End roars “SSHHOOTT” when our favourite Norwegian receives the ball anywhere within a 40-yard radius of the opposition’s goal. Hell, I might even join them.
No longer will I cringe as the Snake Pit howls in horror at the sight of the ball not even clipping the corner quadrant, prior to a corner being taken (usually when it actually IS clipping the line).
And – this is big – never again will I lose my $hit when, for the four millionth time, On the Ball City is ruined by being sung at 100mph and then further crucified by ‘Hurrah We Scored a Goal’ being abbreviated to ‘Hurrah w-sk-d’.
I’d give anything right now to hear a really terrible, disjointed, misworded, overly-rushed version of said anthem. Anything.
Similarly, I’d love nothing more than to watch Zimbo get his feet in a bit of a muddle as he gets closed down by rampaging opponents who have been told to pressure him in possession.
And to watch Ben Godfrey hesitate for a split second and get beaten on the near post as City go 1-0 down having dominated possession.
Ditto watching Teemu Pukki going one-on-one with the opposing keeper and, 2020-style, seeing his effort blocked by a stray foot or arm when he looked certain to score.
Same when, from a set-piece, our four zonal markers on the edge of the six-yard box end up looking at each other as an unmarked, unchecked opponent scores with a freebie. I’d so love that right now.
And that feeling of deflation as a period of sustained City pressure, filled with incisive, accurate and stylish passing, is concluded with the opponents breaking away, ripping Tommy T a new one and scoring with a deflected shot that gave our Tim not an earthly.
I’d bl00dy love that to be honest.
And I’ll tell what else I’d bl00dy love…
That feeling of undiluted elation as the ground rises to its feet as Todd side-foots one in from ten-yards after Emi has found him with one of those slide-rule passes.
When Emi brings one out of the sky, beats the first man and then using that low centre of gravity and both feet, gives it the Ali shuffle and leaves three opponents on their @rses.
When Teemu latches onto an Emi through-ball, 2019-style, and fizzes one in the corner with the keeper clutching at thin air.
When Big Grant finds himself in a foot race with a “jet-heeled” striker and still beats him to the tape before calmly rolling it back to Tim.
When Max scampers down that right flank like only Max can, with opponents trying and failing to take him out, and ends with him cutting back inside and rolling a perfectly weighted pass to the Mayor.
When Tim makes another brilliant save, high fives both centre-backs and then turns and gives it the big ‘un to the Barclay, veins bulging in his neck.
And, finally, when Daniel comes onto the pitch at the end and, after a win, thanks the fans in the form of his one-man tour of the stadium.
I can’t even begin to describe how much we all need that right now.
Alas, that feels a way off at the moment, but if we stick together, are nice to each other and follow the ‘stay in’ mantra, we’ll get there. We will.
And one day we’ll look back and this will all seem like a really bad dream.
Take good care people.
On the Ball City