We did it! We only bloody did it!
And there’s not a single thing Graham Scott, Jonathan Woodgate or Ben Pearson can do to either change or spoil that.
While the plucky™ little Cherries still have the not inconsiderable obstacle of the playoffs to contend with before they can even contemplate life back in the Premier League, for Stuart Webber once the hangover has cleared, it’s all systems go.
And for now, let’s not let the fact we’ll be renewing acquaintances with Mr Scott again next season detract from the mood.
It was a disappointing result on the night, of course it was, but 11 v 11 everything tells me City win that game. Any fears I had before kick-off that events in Swansea and Brentford would detract from the performance level were allayed almost from minute one.
It was precise, it was purposeful, it had tempo and, collectively, was an almost perfect snapshot of why we are eight points clear at the top of the table. On five minutes it was perfect.
Emi’s goal was Farkeball at its finest and Messrs Carter-Vickers and Cook had not a Scooby how do deal with it. It looked like being a long night for our visitors, but none of us had accounted for a Pearson/Scott combo that would turn the game on its head.
Only 17 minutes had passed when Pearson and Dimitris Giannoulis challenged for a 50/50. In real-time, it was Bournemouth’s hirsute little terrier who was reckless and out of control, but it was also their enfant terrible who screamed the loudest. Like a banshee.
With Giannoulis attempting to pull out, his contact was slightly late and with the accompanying soundtrack it didn’t look or sound great. I’m sure the amateur refs out there will tell me Giannoulis’ lack of intent was irrelevant but I’d argue our little hairy friend was equally out of control and had more intent.
Either way, Scott had seen enough and was scrambling for his red before Pearson’s final death cry had drifted off into the night sky. Ironically, I’m not sure, when viewed in slow-motion, there would have been enough clear and obvious doubt for Stockley Park to overturn it.
Either way, it was the lifeline the Cherries needed and, fair play, they made the most of it.
They’re a decent side, and in Danjuma they have one outstanding player, but without the weight of officialdom falling their way and faced with 11 instead of 10 opponents, there is no way they beat City 3-1.
But good luck to them in the lottery of the playoffs.
Of far greater significance is that within five minutes of Scott’s final whistle and after the briefest spell of disappointment and reflection, the Carrow Road home dressing room erupted into a cauldron of champagne, beers, and Sweet Caroline. Those moments that footballers live for.
Minus a Carrow Road crowd to celebrate with, there was a forced, staccato edge to the celebrations on the pitch but that shouldn’t detract from them one bit. It was a promotion hard-earned and it deserved to be celebrated in the appropriate way (although none of us needed to see the Mayor in his pants!).
If the celebrations inside Carrow Road didn’t go long into the night and if there are not a few sore heads this morning I’ll be disappointed. And if that was Kenny McLean after half a bottle of beer, just imagine him this morning after a night also on the champagne and the MD 20/20. Or perhaps best not.
But every drop of booze, every song and every fist bump was earned. In the most difficult of seasons and faced with the biggest of hurdles, Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber have delivered us a club and a team of which we should be so proud.
Most outside of the Canary Nation don’t get it. A few do, but most don’t (I’m looking at you Martin Samuel), and some will already be drafting their obits for May 2022.
We hope dearly it will different this time around, and there’s evidence to suggest it will be, but that’s for tomorrow. For today we should rejoice in being supporters of a club that does things the right way; one that in doing things the right way has achieved what many of us believed to be impossible.
We also dearly hope they get the job done and win the title – the players deserve that – but it’s really all about promotion and anything else is just window dressing. The trophy would be brilliant and would be the cheery on top, but this season was all about – like it or not – getting to what some see as the land of milk and honey.
For us it’s usually anything but, but however we perceive it, it has to be the desired destination. And we made it.
That we were not there to share the moment stung a bit, and it was certainly odd seeing such celebrations take place against an eerie backdrop, but every missing moment will only further enhance the Carrow Road roar that will greet them when we’re next together.
The mere thought of Big Grant leading out our heroes to a cacophony of noise and colour is goosebump inducing, and can’t come soon enough.
What a football club this is.