I fully expected the fallout from Saturday’s very disappointing defeat at the Etihad to rattle through way beyond tonight’s Carabao Cup game with Bournemouth; probably right up to kick-off time on Saturday if I’m honest.
Such was the dearth of positives, the Canary nation was a fractured old place as we all attempted to unravel, in our own way, a 5-0 defeat that was expected and disheartening in equal measure.
And then talkSPORT happened. At least it did on Twitter.
In a matter of minutes, we went from being a fanbase who were being prickly, argumentative and angry with each other to one that was prickly, argumentative and angry with a gobby bloke off the radio who very few people had ever heard of.
Incensed we may have been but we were united; something that just a few minutes earlier seemed, in the circumstances, an impossibility.
For those who don’t frequent social media and are wondering what the hell I’m talking about, a gentleman from said radio station by the name of Alex Crook (no, me neither) had an on-air Norwich City rant – on Sunday evening I think – that they thought so beautifully controversial they decided to post it online as a clip in its own right.
It was clearly designed to provoke a reaction and generate clicks – which it did to perfection – so I’ll not fall into the trap of posting the actual tweet, but a screenshot should give you the gist of Master Crook’s carefully manicured thoughts…
Sure enough, it did precisely what it was intended to do. We bit.
But just to make sure the Norwich fanbase were suitably incensed, and just to add a little fuel to the fire in order to generate a few more thousand clicks, another of their crop of highly astute, razor-sharp presenters – a failed ex-pro by the name of Jamie O’Hara – was tasked with doubling down on it.
If we thought Crook’s take was idiotic, our Jamie took it to another level, suggesting that City’s membership of the Premier League should be revoked.
For the radio station, it was job done.
The bigwigs in talkSPORT Towers – as they describe it – will have been slapping themselves on the back yesterday morning with social media abuzz with talk of “sporting integrity” and how Norwich City’s apparently feeble attempt to stay in the Premier League (two defeats against two of the best sides in the world) goes against the finest of sporting principles.
Of course, it was just total fabricated nonsense. It deliberately ignored the fact that so principled are the big six they would have happily departed the PL for the filthy lucre of a European Super League if the nation hadn’t collectively kicked off.
But that didn’t matter. I suspect (or at least hope) that neither Crook or O’Hara really believed what they were saying, but for the radio equivalent of The S*n or GB News that doesn’t matter. They’re playing a game.
And while I guess we fell for it, the way that a daft couple of sentences from a couple of daft blokes has dragged us all back from the brink and reunited us has been quite something.
Fair play too to fans of other clubs around the country who offered their two-penneth; almost all expressing their support for the way our club operates and attempts to live within its means – the very antithesis of the Manchester City model of which I guess talkSPORT approves.
Daniel Farke too, in his pre-Bournemouth presser, was asked for his thoughts on the notion that City are not worthy of their place in the Premier League. As ever he nailed it…
“97 points in the Championship last season.”
“If someone talks about us and doesn’t do the research it doesn’t really matter.”
“We have earned our place as a self-funding club.”
No one does ‘ignoring the noise’ as well as Daniel.
But on this occasion, I’m glad we made some noise, even if we did precisely what the shock-jocks of radio wanted us to.
As well as bringing us back together in a united cause, it was a reminder that our club is respected across the country for its attempt to do things the right way and without the aid of a safety net in the form of billionaire owners.
For us to be mocked for putting the long-term stability of the club ahead of a short-term, probably unsuccessful, attempt to stay in the Premier League by splashing out £100m+ of money that we don’t have, was just plain stupidity. But, then again, that wasn’t the point.
It also ignored the fact that we have spent circa £50m to date with a couple more signings likely to be made before the end of the month.
So, for once, I’m quite glad we didn’t ignore the noise.
If the lads could just deliver a performance against those plucky Cherries tonight to help us stay united ahead of the Leicester game, that would be handy too.
Never Mind the Danger…