Many of you who frequent the #NCFC world of X (once upon a time known as Twitter), will know of an account called @ncfcpain or, more commonly, ‘Norwich images that precede unfortunate events’.
It does literally what it says on the tin and has provided plenty of much-needed mirth at a time when it’s in hellishly short supply.
Luckily for MFW, its creator has also put fingertip to keyboard to give us his take on the current malaise and why it’s not (quite) the end of the world as we know it:
Yes, tis I. The harbinger of doom. The optimism evaporator. The one with a million bookmarks.
I’m probably not on the Webbers’ Christmas card list and am probably three tweets away from receiving my cease and desist from Dean Smith. My online brand is built on the hilarious misery of our wondrous football club and I honestly did NOT foresee the high tide of toxicity that has engulfed NR1.
Sure, we’ve won one in ten, we’re tens of millions of pounds in debt, them lot over the Waveney look like prime Barcelona, we have a hierarchy in tatters and a group of players from the under-18’s upwards who look like they’ve never kicked a ball in their life. BUT… look at the bright side!
At times of widespread pessimism, the tonic is of course to head for the silver linings. Who else to delve into this than someone who thrives on failure? So let’s go…
Well… umm… Christos Tzolis looks like he’s in form. That’s good, right? All of those goals and assists in Germany prove there is talent there. Aside from the fact he’s the living embodiment of our financial decay and a frustrating indecipherable enigma, it’s great news. I’m sure Düsseldorf fans are over the moon.
Enjoy our winger, I hope he makes you all very happy.
Hmm… there must be more? Oh wait I’ve got one! We haven’t failed to score since Leicester at home in September. If you ignore the fact most goals were either consolations or flopped leads, we are an elite attacking machine. The solution to our problems is just more of the same, goals goals goals.
Maybe I can speak to David.
Even enjoying Gabriel Sara and Jonathan Rowe is tinged with the bittersweet reality that they are being reared for a big-money move away, but young Warner put in a 7/10 performance on Sunday, which is far better than anyone else on the pitch. Pinning our hopes on a 21-year-old centre-back who has literally just made his league debut may seem a stretch, but there really isn’t much out there.
Good job Jaden!
Sshh… listen. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a particularly hollow barrel being scraped. That mental health video was a touching piece of media that will no doubt save lives. At a time of questionable club PR, it was a stroke of genius that reverberated across the football world. I’m not even joking that so far, a viral video for The Samaritans is probably the only upside without a caveat.
Is there actually anything else?
Well, if you can relish the prospect of Brad Hills looking decent, you are dragged back down to Earth knowing it is only in League Two, and if you feel pride watching Madders flourish at Tottenham, his most recent injury hampers that. Also, if you’re looking forward to Ben Knapper swooping in you need to remember that he won’t have the account number and sort code for Arsenal’s transfer budget.
To be real, the gloom is justified. If Norwich fans believe relegation is off the cards, simply look at the giants that have become trapped in the mire of the third tier. Sunderland took years to escape, while Reading and Derby look destined for lengthy spells of purgatory. Ex-Premier League with questionable transfer business and mayhem at the top level. Sound familiar? Fans speak of hitting rock bottom … we are definitely not there yet.
For fear of not wanting to ‘Norwich images that precede unfortunate events’ myself, there are definitely some glimmers of hope on the horizon. Nothing tangible to grab onto as such but I say bathe in the glory of blind faith.
Ashely Barnes and Josh Sargent will be back. They will. That rugged Somerset star-boy will return to kicking, nudging, and weirdly hand-shaking opposition players. Play him alongside our main man from Missouri and we will look a far more balanced team.
And almost every player failing for us right now was also part of a near-perfect team in August, so there is fairy dust in there somewhere. Who knows whether Wagner will be the wizard to conjure it…
Knapper’s swift arrival can only mean good things too, right? A reset is required and a change of ethos is welcome. Anything is an upgrade on the confusingly befuddled mess that Stuart Webber has created. It may turn out that Knapper is too inexperienced to extinguish all of our fires but as long as he does not laud a veg patch or hound divorcees, it has to be an improvement.
A new epoch can be scary but there’s no point bemoaning it.
There is also an apathy epidemic spreading from the River End all the way to the Snake Pit and social distancing looks like it’s back in fashion at Carra. The last thing that I’d want to see is our otherwise ardent fans being turned away owing to a lack of entertainment.
Our undying love for this club is something to feel wholly positive about, knowing our commitment is almost unrivalled. The fact of the matter is, we need something in return. The ship can’t keep going without fuel and right now, those icebergs look pretty close on the horizon.
Life jacket anyone? They’re yellow!
To summarise, everything is awful. Are you watching other teams right now with envy because they have literally something/anything to shout about? The NCFC pain right now is real.
But how do we keep going?
The same way that has kept us going for our entire supporting lives. By relying on that undying instinct to follow your team through thick and thin. It can’t stop now and it just won’t stop now.
We’ve experienced the highs, now it’s time to swim through the lows.
Never Mind the Danger.