On Saturday night in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings trailed 33-0 at home with five minutes to go in the first half.
The crowd were stunned into silence, except to boo their own team before the half-time whistle had even blown.
In the second half, Minnesota rallied to win 39-36, and complete the biggest comeback in NFL history.
Here’s the real kicker, though. When star player Dalvin Cook was interviewed after the game, the very first thing he said was: “We just want to say thank you to all the fans that didn’t quit on us today.”
Norwich City were in exactly the same boat on Saturday evening – they were booed at halftime after turning in an insipid performance. And what was their response? To be equally as bad, and then, as is becoming increasingly common throughout the halls of power at Carrow Road, just blame it all on the fans.
It should go without saying to anyone with half a brain (or an ego the size of a mountain… ) but, if you’re a sports team and you want the fans onside then typically the first port of call is not to blame them for every home defeat.
It’s really easy to sleepwalk into another loss, do nothing to change the outcome, and then just deflect the blame. It requires real character to actually take some responsibility for once, ignore the noise, and affect the game while you have the chance.
I find it hard to believe that there is a single member of the current Norwich City side that hasn’t overcome some form of adversity in their career – a disgruntled fan base, or even a coach telling them they weren’t good enough as a young player. If they had listened, given up all hope, and then blamed the haters afterwards, they simply wouldn’t have become a professional footballer.
And yet, our Head Coach (for now) is trying to spin a narrative that we should be grateful to play away next – as if the prospect of his side receiving any criticism in our upcoming fixture means the game is already lost.
What kind of message is that?
If Dean Smith really thinks his position is redeemable he will need to find a way to win home games right now, despite an unhappy crowd likely baying for blood during the match.
At this point, it feels incredibly unlikely that such a turnaround could possibly happen. From a personal standpoint, I’ve gone from “Deano seems like a lovely bloke but it’s just not working out,” to “Smith’s football is rubbish, the results are rubbish and he doesn’t even respect the time and money I stump up to watch this rubbish.”
Matters between the Head Coach and the fan base are turning increasingly personal.
Smith’s predecessor did turn the tide in his favour just before things got difficult, when a poor start to the season in 2018 followed a 14th-place finish. But we always liked Daniel Farke, even when the results were bad.
He acknowledged us and was sharp enough to appreciate that to survive as long as he did he needed a relationship with us. I also don’t believe he ever criticised the Carrow Road crowd.
Smith has never developed such a relationship. Partly because I believe he wants the players to take all the plaudits after a win, but also partly because he never had to try at Aston Villa. He was loved there unconditionally as one of their own.
Here, he was already facing an uphill battle as the man who replaced someone we all loved ourselves.
Ultimately, that’s probably why Steven Gerrard didn’t work out as Smith’s own replacement.
If Dean Smith can win back the Carrow Road support from here, that really would be the greatest comeback of all time.
I just wonder if DS&SS are being hung out by Webber to take all the crap and Smith has no answer to it.
I never thought he was a good replacement for Farke and the squad were to inbred with his style to change and that’s proving correct.
It’s taken less than 18months to wipeout all that was good with these players and Smith will never get that back.
Sinani score 6 goals from midfield and assisted in 9 others yet is played as a winger in front of Aaron’s so blocking his runs square pegs in round holes.
Smith out followed by worse owners than Robert Chase
Jack G says
Hi Alex, thanks for reading! I don’t know of course but I think you might be right. I’d Webber removes Smith then there’s nowhere else to hide is there? The next person the fans will be coming for is him.
I wasn’t old enough to remember the Robert Chase days but this feels like the closest we’ve come to them ever since sadly.
Smith has said that the players’ form has been affected by the fans’ criticism of the manager. Even if that was the case, they should ignore the noise. So it’s everyone else’s fault – how long will this disrespect for the club be tolerated? It started when we were relegated. Smith comes over as a con artist who is totally unattached to our club.
Jack G says
Thanks for reading Gil. It’s all just bizarre isn’t it?! No idea why they’re playing the blame game instead of getting the fans onside.
Biggest problem Stuart Webber doesn’t know. a good Coach or good player delays yes man
Thought Grant Hanley’s words post match said everything, no kind words for S & S, he knows.
I’m happy with our players and sense they would like nothing more than a change of manager and coach.
Webber removed the heart of our club on 6th Nov 2021 and replaced it with utter garbage, he should be ashamed. His ego made him over-estimate his own abilities and worth, he lost touch with reality, and missed opportunities to improve, to connect with others, and to achieve more success. He needs to man up and apologise, stop the excuses and do the job he’s being paid to do or depart.
Yes great post Jack and spot on Colin
I have said a few times on MFW that the owner at the time Webber left Huddersfield said they were more than just Webber and the Club would survive now that he was gone.
Reading what you will into that I think they were happy to see the back of him ??
On NFL comparisons Norwich , losing , see the Raiders Patriots last play . Total panic leading to a loss. Defensive carnage.