I could do a long list of footballers who the Canaries have plucked from either obscurity or near footballing oblivion who have, in time, embraced the opportunity given to them to prove themselves, who have felt wanted and have, in turn, wanted to be here.
“A season of struggle beckons for Norwich…”, reckoned one old sage in whatever old rag I picked up the next day, adding, “… if the Canaries play like that for the rest of this season then Nigel Worthington and his men will be looking forward to trips to the likes of Port Vale, Northampton and Blackpool next season”.
Geoffrey Watling had been appointed as the new club chairman in 1957 and had declared that his objective was top flight football. When Norwich appointed Ron Saunders as their new manager in the summer of 1969 it did so with the caveat that he got the club promoted to the First Division within three years.
The people in power are too afraid that, for example, thousands of Norwich fans who would normally get themselves along to Carrow Road to see their team play Brentford will all think, as one, “…no, sod that, I’m going to watch Real Madrid against Barcelona on the telly instead”.
Pitch invasions these days are often instigated and precipitated by violence and provocation. No-one found the actions of the Hibernian fans who invaded the pitch at Hampden Park during last season’s Scottish FA Cup Final delightful. Yes, the Hibs fans were joyful at their win. But they were more content in goading their opposite numbers with it.
I was lucky enough to spend time in the company of Kevin Bond not so long ago. Much of the talk was, naturally enough, about his father. And I wasn’t particularly surprised when he said to me in the course of our conversation, “…we never did much defensive training under Dad”.
Luton paid Norwich a very decent sum for Cameron McGeehan’s services last year and, with him now attracting more than serious attention from a number of Championship sides, Norwich will, when he does move on again, benefit again by the sell-on fee that will almost certainly have been included as part of the deal.
The obvious question that I and, as it turned out, i journalist, Huge Godwin wanted to ask Lansdown was why, or when, he intended to just follow the oligarch lead and buy success – in this case, for his rugby club by also, by definition, for the football club as well?
Hansbury, unlike Theoklitos, stuck around and stuck it out, despite his nightmare debut. And it paid off for him. He ended his Norwich career having made 84 senior appearances for the club.
There are plenty of professional footballers out there who dislike the game and the entire industry with a very high degree of passion. They do it because it’s their job and they have been fortunate enough to be rather good at doing it.
No wonder Alex Neil smiles whenever he is asked about him. He knows Godfrey could go on to be a special player, one who already, in his own mind at least, will be convinced he is ready for a run in the Norwich City first-team this season.
“Whatever else people might have thought of Reid, he is still one of only two managers to have won a major trophy with the Canaries, an achievement that has eluded many of the more famous names that have followed him at the club…
Sheffield Wednesday then. A “proper” football club. It’s a term I often use in conversation about the game without really knowing quite what I mean by it. A mix, I suppose, of the club in questions history, their ground and the many and varying other ingredients that make up the whole football club package. You […]
McCormack’s overall record at Fulham is 100 appearances with 42 goals scored. An overall record of 2.38 games per goal. Now that’s not bad, not bad at all, but it does reflect these occasional purple patches he has had in his career, notably last season and 2008/09.
Norwich’s pre-season campaign had consisted of just one match; a 1-1 draw up at St Mirren on August 4, in the Paisley Charity Cup. We took them on again during pre-season two years later, that game ending in a 0-0 draw with, on both occasions, the trophy being shared between the two clubs. No penalty shoot outs then!
Hal Robson-Kanu thrived. The man without a club scored twice and made a real impact for both his country and on the footballing public at large, scoring, against Belgium, one of the best goals of the tournament.
It says a lot for the Norwich board’s opinion of Saunders that little effort seems to have been made to appease him or get him to change his mind. In truth, maybe each knew that they had gone as far with the other as they could, and this sudden break was just what was needed; a decisive action that suited both parties.
Bond was not afraid of big name players, nor those who had a similarly big reputation in the game. He’d already brought Martin Peters to the club as well as signing Peter Osgood on loan as well as having attempts to sign both Alan Ball and Bobby Moore as players thwarted.
One forward gone, one rumoured to be going? Boyer eventually sign for Southampton albeit a year after Ted had gone the same way. He might have gone earlier had it not been for an injury that meant he missed half of Norwich’s 1976/77 season anyway, the 21 league appearances he did make seeing a return of just five goals.
The Canaries had reached the final of the League Cup in 1973 and 1975 and had only missed out on doing so in the same competition in 1974 by narrowly losing to Wolves in the two legged semi-final. A third Wembley visit in four seasons didn’t seem a particularly unreasonable or unrealistic expectation.