Search

As Nanny would say, it really was a case of ‘Wot about the City?’

06:30 28 January 2016

Norwich City fans watch it all unravel in that extraordinary match against Liverpool. Photo: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES LTD

Norwich City fans watch it all unravel in that extraordinary match against Liverpool. Photo: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES LTD

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

My dear old late Nanny always provided the best post-match analysis on Norwich City – I’m afraid to say neither I nor our full-time sports writers even come close.

Fab Four

Survival stakes are so very high

1: If you have a spare half an hour I’d recommend downloading the latest Deloitte Football Money League report. It’s an interesting read if only to show how much cash is sloshing around the Premier League, compared to elsewhere in Europe. Some 17 English teams were in the top 30 in Europe for revenue, which will only grow next season with a new TV deal. No wonder David McNally was prepared to gamble in the transfer window.

Score first, then let’s celebrate

2: What’s with this business of players celebrating when their team has just been awarded a penalty? I’ve noticed it a few times elsewhere, but last Saturday was the first time I’ve seen it from City players, at least three or four of whom high-fived, hugged and back slapped before the kick had even been taken. Thankfully Wes Hoolahan ignored it all and just got the job done. It really is asking for trouble.

A sticky night for young Toffolo

3: Tuesday night saw me spend an evening watching Peterborough United lose out to Burton Albion in a drab match which had me at various points wondering just what I was doing there. Poor Harry Toffolo must have been feeling the same, following a wretched 45 minutes which saw him at fault for the solitary goal, then stretchered off after a nasty head clash. It’s good to see the talented youngster wasn’t seriously hurt.

‘Pool are no more the greats of old

4: We may have lost the match, but Jurgen Klopp really does have a big job on his hands at Liverpool doesn’t he? The moment the teams came through I thought we had a good chance of winning and that must be the same reaction in their respective opposition’s changing room. Even their unsuccessful teams of the recent past had several names to be fearful and respectful of. Not now.

Win, lose or draw. Whether it was a drab 0-0 or a high-scoring thriller, the armchair fan for all of her 80-plus years would always sum Norwich’s fortunes up with the same four words.

‘Wot about the City?’ she’d say in that dyed-in-the-wool understated Norfolk way that I’m sure many readers will resonate with.

Yet, were she alive now, even Biddy Powles may have been moved to greater expressions of disbelief after last Saturday’s stunning afternoon of drama at Carrow Road.

‘Wot about the City?’ indeed.

It was one of those games where come Monday morning it becomes clear just how much of a football-mad county this really is, as offices all over are abuzz with people talking about the drama that unfolded.

It’s funny how many Liverpool fans come out of the woodwork as well.

My place of work was no different and much of the tone was similar to that in discussions on social media in the immediate hours after the defeat. People talked of being furious, angry and gutted at the manner of the defeat. They savaged those players (you know who I mean) whose mistakes had allowed it to happen.

Yet (and I’m fully expecting a bit of mild trolling for the rest of this column that is about to unfold) I felt none of these emotions.

Of course I was disappointed to see Norwich throw away both a lead and undo the work it did to prevent defeat.

Of course I don’t want the Canaries to be relegated and for those dropped points to end up being critical to failure.

But, despite this, my overriding feeling was one of being lucky to have witnessed such a match. Full of flaws and individual errors, granted, but all the more thrilling for it. Games likes this are what I pay my season ticket for.

I was lucky enough to be present the last time Norwich lost 5-4 at Carrow Road to Southampton in a similarly tremendous game in the 1993/94 season.

Two decades on and all I can properly remember from that season is the European run and those 90 minutes.

Granted there was no one of the calibre of Matthew Le Tissier running things on Saturday, but I still warrant that in another 20 years that will be the only game many of us clearly remember from 2015/16.

I’d much rather witness games of this ilk every now and then, than see us try to eke out 0-0 draws and 1-0 victories in the manner of the last time we were relegated. Perhaps that doesn’t make me a real fan.

We may have lost, but at least Carrow Road felt alive and kicking on Saturday. It hasn’t always of late.

Of course, if I was Alex Neil I would have been livid. He and his players clearly have a job to do and I understand why from their point of view points comes first, entertainment after.

He’s got plenty of questions to ask of his players between now and Spurs at home next Tuesday.

He’s also got questions to ask of himself, such as why he does not yet seem to have properly learned that Norwich always needs an out and out defensive midfielder to provide extra cover to our all-too-often over-whelmed back four.

He’ll also have to work out the best way to inform Russell Martin it’s time he was taken out of the line of fire and his captaincy given to either Alex Tettey or Steven Naismith. But this team really should have enough talent to ensure in the remaining games City pick up enough points to allow the rare guilty pleasure of a nine-goal thriller. Let’s just make sure we get the five next time around.

15 comments

  • Don't forget the Thane of Cawdor and leave not in the order of your coming (ish). I used the "Is this a bladder I see before me" pun for a picture caption jape on Monday. Forgotten who the instigator was. Not me! Anyway, just smile and be the villain. I don't think we can accuse our last 4 managers of smiling much. I wonder why. I blame Lady MacBeef.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Is this a Drogba I see before me? No, unfortunately not. And as for a few of our required "outs": Stand not upon the order of thy going, but pi$$ off at once. O-level for me too. The Thain of Fife and all that. Never really got into Shakespeare. Might have done without the teacher but too late now.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Bogaz, once the players are on the pitch, the outcome is not out of the manager's hands. He has three substitutes he can use, he has a half time slot to talk tactics and he can actually direct players from the touchline. Individual errors of course, as you rightly say, cannot be prevented once the match has started. However if the manager picks players out of position, out of form or send them out ill prepared, he is at fault. Hitting a backpass to your goalkeeper without looking is the sort of basic error only an idiot would make. Question is who was responsible for putting that idiot on the pitch where he could sabotage all the good work put in by his team mates? As my old Mother ised to say: "Don't send a fool on a man's errand". Similar rubbish decision to play Brady as a full back. Gollum is totally responsible for Saturday's debacle and he should admit his mistakes and make up for it by not making them again. Is he man enough to do that? I think so and hope so.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • @Bogazj, I've always seen Josef Konrad, William Donaldson, Leonard Cohen, Joseph Heller, Ken Kesey and Henry Blofield et al as my role models. Certainly not the unctuous, Iecherous, libidinous, faux avuncular, Shakespeare-quoting Stewed-heart HaII. How very dare you?! Not sure Hall from Hell was into Latin. OMFG, he was slimy. I only know one Shakespeare play - the Scottish one. O-Level English! Sticks with you for life. I laugh to scorn all power of man...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • My Gran was a West Ham fan. She would have been I guess as she lived all her life within a two-mile radius of Upton Park. I doubt she's ever been quoted in the Newham Recorder tho. And certainly not since 1976 - at least she got to see them win an FA Cup before she, erm...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Bogaz John, Both cases you quoted were players selected to play in their wrong position. I rest my case.

    Report this comment

    Reg Breeze

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Careful MB you are starting to sound like Stuart Hall and we all know where he went! As for Reg I disagree because players on £20k a week should know better than try 45 yds back passes without looking up or head the ball into the danger area rather than row Z. You can't blame AN for those bad decisions. I'm sure it will be Mr Naismith who will get the armband next Tuesday. He showed more leadership in 70 minutes than RM has shown all season. Liverpool knew he was on the pitch for sure. If AN hadn't subbed him we'd have got a point at least.

    Report this comment

    Bogaz John

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • nevermindthedanger, I took your suggestion a week back to look up the Deloitte Football Money League. That said, I don't agree with much else Powles has written. What's the point of quoting you granny if she says SFA? More relevant, most fans' comments were not about players doing the wrong things but about AN picking the wrong players! Absolute drivel, Archie, my Nan could have done better!

    Report this comment

    Reg Breeze

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • B Inners: they think it's the kind of stuff we like to read. Well, by and large, I believe they're wrong:-)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Hear! Hear! B Inners. This "professional country bumpkin" business is Puerilis et Intempestivus. The motto on Archie's Coat of Arms (which depicts four partridges rampant over a squashed hedgehog). Could ole cutty check the Latin? I only do sesquipedalian in English.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Now, el dingo, Chris Sutton IS a good radio presenter! Articulate and thoughtful. His performances, set against the backdrop of Goreham's screaming and Butler's blustering, are all the more praiseworthy. On topic; I agree with young Powles that Tettey might be the right man for Captain. Trouble is, his yellow card count makes it almost certain he'd miss at least 2 games in a season - and that also means he is frequently flirting with a red card. Cup runs are useful for using up suspensions... Then there are Alex T's kno bbly knees to consider. He seems such a nice chap. I wonder why refs don't like him?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Over the weekend we had a letter to Mrs Naismith now we have Nanny Powles. Seriously have you simpletons at Archant lost the plot? You seem hell bent on portraying Norwich City as a bunch of small time, fence sitting, straw chewing yokels. Here we are in the richest league in the world, making multi-million pound transfers and embroiled in a relegation fight and all you can offer is what your nan used to say. Have a serious word with yourself Archant. While our local rag publishes this sort of drivel we will never shake off the small club mind-set.

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Had it finished 4-4 as it probably should have done I would agree with David Powles. But to sling it away like that makes me side with B Inners I'm afraid. It was a long, long walk down the UB stairs for sure. I was at the Southampton game too and some of Chris Sutton's body language was exquisite, if you know what I mean:-)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • It was an 'I was there' moment in Norwich City history. I was there, and am proud to have witnessed such great drama. Everything Mr Powles has written I have to agree with whole heartedly. Didn't I suggest reading the Deloitte Football Money League last week though ?????

    Report this comment

    nevermindthedanger

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • My overriding feeling was to be furious, angry and upset not being lucky to have witnessed such a match.

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest from the EDP

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Rain

Rain

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up