The first of two consecutive guest blogs is from James Cushing with a timely reminder that the Championship is only fun when things are going well…
“We’ll regroup and go again next season”.
“It’ll be great, we can win every week”.
“We need one season in the second tier to build for the future”.
Sound familiar? It’s what was said when City were relegated to Division One as was in 1995 after nine seasons in the top flight. For those of a certain age, “On Loan to The Endsleigh” will ring a bell. And when we beat Luton 3-1 away on a Sunday afternoon in August 1995, live on ITV I seem to recall, we all thought it was going to be HMS Pi$$ The League with 100 goals and 100 points.
Norwich finished 16th that season. Then 13th, 15th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 6th, 8th before Worthy performed miracles and got us into the Play-Offs and that great (albeit unsuccessful) day at Cardiff.
So much for enjoying the Championship. Mostly I recall frustration, disappointment and dull football from City and anyone they played.
I suppose what I’m trying to get at is the Chump is not all it’s made out to be by certain City supporters. There is an acceptance that it’s just excitement all the time and we should wish to be there rather than the Promised Land (copyright Sky Sports) of the Prem.
As evidenced above we have not always been successful in the second division. I see those who are looking forward to the Championship and are seemingly celebrating City’s relegation as accepting failure and mediocrity.
This, unfortunately, extends to our owners, whose seeming lack of ambition was put into print several years ago. There has been a real acceptance of “Little Ol’ Norwich” this past season, with the management putting out that we are just happy to be playing with the big boys.
From what I’ve seen the fanbase at our club can be split into three:–
- The younger element, who have only seen City going up or down and haven’t experienced the dismal years when the season was over in February and we looked on enviously as our friends down the road competed (and lost) in a play-off after a play-off.
- The older generation, who are happy watching any sort of football, after all it means they are still breathing! (Ironically, I don’t fall into either category, although having had a season ticket for over 40 years, I am one of the more “experienced” NCFC followers).
- Those who only want City to be successful, and play at the highest level possible.
Nothing makes my weekend better than a win, nothing makes me grumpier on a Saturday evening than if we’ve lost (just ask my wife!), but I do have a question for supporters who are actively looking forward to the Championship and are pleased to be out of the “Best League in The World” (copyright Sky Sports):
Did you enjoy the Man City match earlier in the season? If the answer is “yes”, then why do you not want to repeat the chance to beat teams like this every week?
By actively wishing City to be in Division 2, you are denying those supporters (and the players) the opportunity to compete with the best in the world.
This mindset extends to the self-funding principle. The days of Wes (or Alex T) staying with us for nearly ten years are gone under this strategy. Any player at Norwich will be with us for a maximum of three years as I see it.
If they are any good they will be sold to “bigger” clubs, if they are not good enough they will be jettisoned. Another example from the “Little Norwich” textbook.
Ten years ago Leicester were on a par with Norwich. They had had little success in their history, a loyal supporter base and a few good players they could call heroes. Now with investment and more than a little ambition they are light years ahead of where we could ever wish to be.
I know this has been a depressing rant, but with the lack of ambition and acceptance of second-rate fare, I really don’t see much in the future for Norwich City apart from selling the family sliver year-in, year-out.
Having said that I’ll be back at the Carra as soon as I can.
Does that make me a hypocrite or just complicit in the past, present, and future of MY football club?