For me, anyone who genuinely supports the club is a fan of Norwich City. They can have attended 500 consecutive matches or never been to one.
During 1971/72, Carrow Road saw an attendance of over 30,000 on four occasions with a staggering 34,914 packing into the ground for the home clash against Bristol City on April 4th. Think of Carrow Road as it is today then add around an extra 8,000 fans.
Whilst Alex Neil, a man whose glare is so terrifying it is one of only two things in the known Universe deadly enough to be able to defeat Superman, has made no secret of his admiration for Martin, nor the faith he has in him as a man, player and captain.
Players all have their little habits and rituals to go through in the minutes leading up to kick off. Some are physically sick; others go off for a crafty fag in one of the two cubicles in the changing room. Others sit quietly, heads down, chewing furiously. Jimmy Bone shouts encouragement to his teammates.
We’ve all, at varying levels, been lamenting the fact that the Canaries have been struggling to adapt to life in the Championship this time around and that the board’s pre-season vow of intent to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking has, at times, fallen rather flat.
It’s all about the squad as we are forever told, about every player. Tell us that often enough and we’ll start to believe it. The players certainly seem to have done so as no-one seems to caterwaul about being “on the bench” anymore.
Our reputation as a ‘good footballing side’ was crafted under the management of John Bond, who was himself was ingrained with that philosophy given he was brought up in a West Ham side that included the likes of Bobby Moore and Martin Peters
you might not be blamed for thinking that Phelan is taking a downward step in coming to us. A lesser role at a smaller club alongside an inexperienced and under pressure manager.
As supporters, we forever seem to be getting het up about something or other now. I feel for Rob Butler and whoever his guest is on Canary Call post-match because, whatever has happened during the game, those that call in will, more likely or not, have an axe to grind about something.
We didn’t just win the League One title during that first triumphant season under the new boys, pitch and boardroom – we bludgeoned our way to it, sweeping not only opponents aside but detractors and critics as well. We were a mad, bad runaway train with a massive snow plough at the front.
In today’s game it is not unknown for the leading clubs to loan out their most promising young players for a season at a time in order for them to get “playing time” and first team experience, courtesy of another club.
The final, played on a day of drizzle and gloom at Wembley, where the highlight of the pre-match entertainment was the sight of one of the RAF’s elite Red Devils parachute team miscalculating his trajectory and crashing into the stadiums roof (he was unhurt) was, for the main, as dour as the weather itself.
The Championship is not going to be the cakewalk many thought it would, the one that a few still think it should be. We’re not the only ‘big’ club down there and we’re not the only club that has a strong squad, numbers and quality wise.
Football fans tend to see the game in a very simplistic manner. Clubs, games, players are all the same – they’re either good or bad. There is rarely, if any, middle ground. Look at how that’s reflected with our club at the moment.
Our performances this season put me in mind of our having just bought a brand new car and driven out of the showroom and on to the open road for the first time. It looked so damned good, stood there, in the sunshine, surrounded by pot plants and posters of cars driving through parched deserts
Vasper was one of a cluster of hopefuls doomed to spend time at the club hoping upon hope that they would, one day, supplant the one and very only Kevin Keelan in both the side and the hearts and minds of Canary fans.
For Gunn it was the start of a long and glorious playing career at Carrow Road, the beginnings of a club legend. For Benstead, it was the beginning of the end of his Norwich career. He didn’t feature at all for the Canaries during the remainder of that season, going onto have a three month spell on loan at Colchester United
Ruddy is quality, the best keeper in the Championship by some considerable distance. But not only that, he was also, during our three year residency in the Premier League, one of the best goalkeepers in that division as well. But not as good as Ben Foster – then or now it would seem.
The howls and anguish at Darren Eadie’s departure to Leicester City for £3million in December 1999 weren’t reserved for the fans alone. Eadie didn’t want to go and has said so since on more than one occasion
If Redmond did have the “end product” that everyone is looking for he wouldn’t be playing for Norwich and more than likely would either never have signed for us in the first place!