It’s been a funny ol’ few days…
The Ipswich game is fast approaching and as a Canary living in what is basically ‘enemy territory’, it offers me the chance to try and gauge how the derby is being anticipated in these parts, and what the likely reaction is going to be after the ref blows his final whistle.
Some of you may have seen me make reference in previous columns to the fact I usually play a round of golf on a Saturday morning – I have done for years. As it happens, the course is halfway between Colchester and Ipswich, and out of our usual group of twelve, eight are Town fans, so I had already tested the water.
Only two differing views were forthcoming:
- “It’s our turn to win this one… no problem.”
- “Norwich have a couple of players who can hurt us and we can’t count our chickens.”
Mind you, only one of the eight is a student of poultry. The rest of them are going for a big, and I mean big, home win. They’re talking fours and fives and all in our net!
My local pub is even more one-eyed. Over the last 30 years, I’ve come across just two other City fans and an awful lot of carthorses. I must say it’s always been friendly banter but a lot of the Ipswich fans are friends and on the odd occasion a ‘non-local ‘ has started on one of my canary tops, the friendly Townies have had my back. We love to disagree, but always keep it good-natured.
Overwhelmingly though they expect an Ipswich win, with the consensus being that it will be by two clear goals.
Today’s the day when we meet in the city to raise a glass to Martin and I intend to, as an aside, canvass a few City views.
The send-off went well. These things are never easy, but when the subject turned to footie – Marty would have expected nothing less – the feeling of my fellow Canaries was that City probably won’t get much out of the game.
So, just a few thoughts from my golfer buddies:
- “Lucky maybe, but if you don’t put the ball in the net you don’t deserve to win.”
- “We battered them to a draw. VAR would have disallowed the first Norwich goal for offside”.
One ‘neutral’ in our group is a Villain and his impartial view was that Ipswich were naive in their attacking and seemed to always want to take an extra touch.
I’m going to enjoy the banter next Saturday!
And so, to the local:
- “How did you lot get away with that … we should have been four up by half-time!”
- “We played you off the pitch. Bloody unbelievable … with that sort of luck your lot might just make the playoffs.”
Well. I sincerely hope the last carthorse was right. The playoffs still feel like a distant dream but half a season of a fully-fit Josh Sargeant won’t do us any harm at all.
Looking forward… the transfer window opens in a couple of weeks and I do wonder if Ben Knapper will be able to get 7/6 out of the board to spend on a couple of impact players.
It’s always nice to have a dream before the January window but I’m telling myself it’s only a Christmas wish, so won’t be too upset when it doesn’t happen.
Have a Christmas wish, everyone.