I pity the podcast generation, all-knowing and fresh-faced, blinking blindly in the Premier League glare.
Sadly they seem to regard the world prior to 2014 as empty of integrity, truth and joy, and of no possible use to anyone with a phone surgically attached to their person. A black mirror indeed, and certainly an opaque view. But. yes, I pity the podcast generation.
And this is why…
For a whole generation, younger Norwich fans haven’t had the chance to see us play a top club with anything but the belittling thought ‘how many will we lose by?’ on their mind. The very thought City could go away and not only compete but win at the latest fashionably large club must be an ephemeral and elusive fantasy for them.
But the truth is it used to happen. Quite a lot in fact. Despite those events mostly occurring during a period of time all but irrelevant to anyone who still has their own hair.
Let’s run through a few of those occurrences…
In 1975/76: Liverpool won Division One (Premier League) and the UEFA Cup.
But Norwich beat them in the league.
29/11/1975 – Liverpool 1 (Emlyn Hughes) – Norwich City 3 (Ted McDougall, Colin Suggett, Martin Peters)
1976/77 season: Liverpool won Division One (Premier League) and the European Cup (Champions League).
Norwich beat them again.
22/01/1977 – Norwich City 2 (Martin Peters, Jimmy Neighbour) – Liverpool 1 (Phil Neal)
1979/80 season: Nottingham Forest won the European Cup (Champions League).
Norwich beat them too.
15/09/1979 – Norwich City 3 (Kevin Reeves, Justin Fashanu, Keith Robson) – Nottingham Forest 1 (Tony Woodcock)
1982/83 season: Liverpool won Division One (Premier League).
Norwich beat them.
04/12/1982 – Norwich City 1 (John Deehan) – Liverpool 0
23/04/1983 – Liverpool 0 – Norwich City 2 (Mark Lawrenson (og), Martin O’Neill)
1984/85 season: Everton won Division One (Premier League).
Norwich beat them as well.
24/11/1984 – Norwich City 4 (John Deehan (2), Louis Donowa, Dale Dordon) – Everton 2 (Graeme Sharp, Kevin Sheedy)
1987/88 season: Liverpool won Division One (Premier League).
Norwich drew twice without conceding a goal.
21/11/1987 – Liverpool 0 – Norwich City 0
20/04/1988 – Norwich City 0 – Liverpool 0
1989/90 season: Liverpool won Division One (Premier League).
Against Liverpool’s best side ever (until the recent billionaire-ball circus began) Norwich again drew twice without conceding.
16/09/1989 – Liverpool 0 – Norwich City 0
10/02/1990 – Norwich City 0 – Liverpool 0
1994/95 season: Blackburn Rovers won the Premier League.
Norwich beat them and drew (allowing only one goal against from old boy Chris Sutton only to help him keep his tally up)
01/10/1994 – Norwich City 2 (Mark Bowen, Jon Newsome) – Blackburn Rovers 1 (Chris Sutton)
25/02/1995 – Blackburn Rovers 0 – Norwich City 0
2012/13 season: Manchester United won the Premier League.
The one exception in a generation. A victory against the Reds.
17/11/2012 – Norwich City 1 (Anthony Pilkington) – Manchester United 0
Now, I’m not pretending it was all gold and glory – as there were some pretty significant negative score events in those days too; but at least we had some really great days to look upon, appreciate, relish and enjoy.
I’d like to think someday soon we will once again be able to approach big big games with genuine confidence and – not only that – but to win and to win well. Now wouldn’t that be great?