Search

‘Every one of us needs to work harder for Norwich City to secure safety’

12:08 11 February 2016

City fans can play their part in the clubs quest for Premier League survival. Picture: Focus Images

City fans can play their part in the clubs quest for Premier League survival. Picture: Focus Images

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

Let’s get one thing straight from the off, Norwich City do not have a divine right to be in the Premier League.

fab four

Ruddy return for West Ham clash?

1: We’ve seen too many changes to the starting XI in recent weeks. I don’t expect that to change against West Ham on Saturday, but I hope we get that vital win and then go for some consistency in selection until the end of the season. My preferred line-up would be as follows; Ruddy, Martin, Bennett, Klose, Olsson, Naismith, Howson, O’Neil, Brady, Hoolahan, Jerome.

Too quick to accept the defeat

2: As I wrote in my last column, the 5-4 defeat to Liverpool did not leave me quite as seething as it did many others. It was a freak game that we shall all remember for years to come. However, it’s the performances like that a game later against Spurs which really get my blood boiling. They’re a good team, granted, but this season shows no one should go out accepting defeat. It felt as if several of the City players had done just that.

A little thank you means so much

3: It’s such a small gesture, but surely every player knows that when away from home, win, lose or draw, simply acknowledging the supporters who have travelled to see you play can do so much to maintain both positivity and unity. Reports from the last few away games of some players not doing this and heading straight down the tunnel is a worry and something Neil and Russell Martin need to eradicate.

Fascinating night among legends

4: Thanks to the Norwich City Fans Social Club who have invited me along to their Legends night next Wednesday, February 17. With Darren Eadie, Adam Drury, Dean Ashton and Dave Stringer taking the questions it promises to be an eye-opening night – if only to hear their take on the current situation. It’s at the Top of the Terrace from 7pm and only £3 adults and £1 concessions. See my next column for a report.

There are a dozen teams in the Championship alone who would argue they are as big a club, with as much potential as the Canaries.

That means, if City are to stay amongst the country’s elite and build an exciting future we all want to be part of, it needs to be worked for.

It’s a dogfight, so it’s time to roll up those sleeves.

That’s the simple message which needs to echo around Carrow Road, Colney and the whole of our wonderful city between now and the end of the season, because at the moment I’m not sure everyone gets it.

And I don’t just include the players in that, there’s work to be done throughout the club, if Premier League status is to be maintained.

The echoes of City’s previous relegation are hard to ignore. A manager who seems to have lost his way a bit, players lacking in confidence and some fans starting to turn. The accusation made of the board last time was they failed to act soon enough to sack Chris Hughton, leaving Neil Adams with too few games to turn the ship around. I for one would like to see the board act straight away. This week in fact.

But not to rid us of Alex Neil. The opposite. If they still believe he is the right man for this job, come out and say so.

Tell the fans he’s your man and appeal to them to concentrate all their efforts on providing the support that is needed during the run in.

Some might see this as the dreaded vote of confidence, but hopefully it would give the players and fans something to rally behind.

Let’s make Norwich united again in all but name.

I’ve no more idea than the next fan whether ultimately Neil is the right man to lead Norwich City. But surely he’s earned more than enough credit to be given our support at the first real signs of crisis?

Those with a short memory might not recall, but few expected promotion when the Scot came to the club in January last year.

That it was achieved puts him ahead in my books. Even if relegation does come, I’ll be calling for him to get a chance to put things right. I don’t want Norwich City to be one of those clubs which sacks the manager whenever they hit a rough patch.

Prior to this run of five defeats in a row, four games was the longest sequence Neil had gone without a win for Norwich. Is that really enough to deem him unfit for purpose? And just who is the knight in shining armour waiting to ride to the rescue?

Of course Neil has made mistakes. He also needs to work harder if security is to be achieved. This team needs a clear vision again. To know exactly what its style is. Neil also needs to choose his men for this battle – and stick with them. He should round up key players and tell them they are the ones he trusts, through thick or thin, to pull City clear. That could work wonders for their confidence.

It’s then time for those chosen ones to up their games. It must take real hard work to play at the pinnacle of your sport and refrain from making the costly mistakes which put that in jeopardy.

At the moment too many City players are failing to show they have the desire or ability to keep their heads for the full 90 minutes-plus. It’s those lapses in concentration of recent weeks that have cost Norwich greatly.

And finally, to us the fans. We need to work harder. It’s been said many times a vocal, passionate crowd, fully behind manager and team can make such a difference. Even to the points tally.

Yes, we are the ones who keep the club going, pay the players’ wages out of our own and spend weekends travelling up and down the country to see them play.

But that alone does not give us the divine right to follow a Premier League team. That takes hard work and pulling in the same direction.

14 comments

  • Date error corrected. No thankyou from young Powles. Usual proofreading fee - zilch.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • Bruce Rioch had "Bruce says no spitting" banners put up at Ayresome Park. True:-)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • Agree 61.....I remember years ago Brian Clough had signs put round the Forest ground saying "no swearing please gentlemen". I don't know if it had any effect or if any PA announcements would these days make any difference. But I also get fed up with the extremely moronic and offensive language which comes from some fans not just here but at stadia around the UK in general. People have every right to show dissent and anger but it doesn't have to cross the line into verbal assault. Having said that I have much sympathy for our great travelling support who feel they are seeing a team which looks confused, disjointed and worst of all not putting in the required effort.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • Yet more STBO David, is this supposed to be a newspaper?

    Report this comment

    whereareyou

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Reference sidebar piece #4:- Good to see young Powles getting that free invitation. Is he a legend already? Anyway, if it saves him £3, all good. Is complementary executive time travel thrown in? Next Wednesday is 17th February. I eagerly await the next column for a report.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Championship looks exciting though...looking at the table. Personally I know our season is going south but its nice to see Leicester and Spurs at the top.

    Report this comment

    Robin Sydney

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Spot on David. We are in a dogfight and if we are to stay up we all need to get behind the team. I think the problem at the moment is that no one is sure what to get behind - the way we play? The team selection? Our strikers, our defence? I’m not being pedantic; I just think we are lacking identity on the field and leadership. The manager wants to play the slick attacking football the supporters demand, but maybe it’s time to start playing dirty and going for the ‘by any means’ approach. I have supported the changes in lineup depending on the opposition tactic, but the problem is we now don’t know what to get behind and teams don’t fear us.

    Report this comment

    MellowYellow

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Foul mouthed abuse is never helpful, save to enable the abuser to relieve pressure and get things of his chest. Constructive criticism is far more useful, and that's one of the reasons I found Paddy Davitt's tirade in the 'vitriol' story yesterday so bizarre. Whilst Internet message boards can be very negative places, in the main they are populated by people with a genuine interest in the subject, and they afford posters the time to make a reasoned, structured debate, without resorting to personal insults, effing and jeffing, character assassinations and the like. Furthermore, whilst it's true that most posters have never been involved in the prodfessional game, it does not make their view invalid. Quite the opposite in fact. I've never trained as a chef, but it does not stop me from appreciating good, well prepared food.

    Report this comment

    Rick

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Re abusive shouts from the fans. I've never understood why at the beginning of games there is not an announcement reminding supporters that we are a family club and abusive and foul language is not condoned. As to rest of season yes, pick the 11 players plus subs. Tell them it is them for every match. Put them in their best positions. Why for example pay £7m for a winger and then use him as full back? Get the team building, mutual understanding and self confidence back through players spending more time off the pitch together. Take them down to La Manga when there is the two week break in a few weeks time. If necessary bring in the sports psychologists and team building specialists. The talent is there but at the moment it is not being released. It is not just a matter of silly little mistakes on the pitch that is losing us the games, although goal keepers dropping the ball, running too far out and players charging 49 yards to foul a player and get sent off doesn't help!

    Report this comment

    Canterbury Tales

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • 61, my personal view is close to yours but I would go further and argue that it is more or less never constructive for a City supporters to voice abuse or displeasure at the players for their performance. 99% of professional footballers hate it when they lose and they do not need reminding of the fact that the fans feel the same way. While I guess that if people buy a ticket to Carrow Road or switch on the telly in the spirit of going to the cinema, they may wish to complain if they don't like the entertainment they are paying for, but I would say not if they are supporters wishing to see the best for the club.

    Report this comment

    Pierre

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Part of getting everyone (including the fans) to work harder and all pull in one direction is for someone at the top of the club, eg McN, DS, or even Ed B, to come out with a strong rallying statement about what is being done behind the scenes to make NCFC a strong mid-table PL club. There needs to be a strong rallying plan laid out that everyone can feel good about, knowing eveyone is pushing hard for success. It seems when things are not going well for NCFC the BOD bury their heads in the sand and stay mute. Leicester, Bournemouth all have Chairmen and owners who have big plans, not just sit back and hope it will be alright on the day. A big part of running any organization is getting everyone fired up and pulling in the same direction, so everyone has a feelgood plan to rally behind. Let's be 'earin ya!!

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Fine line between abuse and showing displeasure. It is understandable that fans, especially those away supporters, who have payed a considerable sum to follow their team, should be angry when they feel that the team as a whole have not given 100%, but it is not acceptable for a torrent of foul mouthed abuse to be aimed at the players, especially when there are very young supporters present. I have booed on many an occasion, but I would not call someone a f-----g useless ba----d as this will not achieve a better performance in the next game, and is more likely to have an adverse effect. Supporters are fickle and will cheer and applaud the players one moment, then vilify them when things havn't gone so well. We are in the middle of a slump, but things can quickly change starting with West Ham, so we need to try and be positive from now on in.

    Report this comment

    61canarie

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I refer the right honourable gentleman to the answer I gave a moment ago . . . . re: the abuse the players received after Villa. Those who just wanted the players to come over to boo them back again. Pure muppetry at it's finest. You can always rely on Norwich fans when the players need them most.

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • David re sidebar piece #3: Darrel Russell had very interesting take on this on CC a few weeks back when he said that sometimes they feel like guilty schoolboys who can't face up to the fans they've let down - and that those who don't acnowledge the fans at all can often feel the most guilt!

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, February 11, 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: 12°C

min temp: 12°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up