Supporting Norwich City has become incredibly frustrating
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What word sums up how you are feeling as a Norwich City fan right now? It was a question I posed on social media after the Oliveira-inspired Derby win.
The bank holiday battering of the Rams prompted a “positive” from one and a “hopeful” from another and even one “excited”. Otherwise, the vast majority – despite arguably the most impressive win of the season against a team which had been unbeaten in 10 games – had negative connotations. Confused, annoyed, apprehensive and befuddled were among the descriptions. My verdict so far is “frustrated”. I’m getting bored of saying that the quality and depth of the squad and our resources should be sufficient for us to be challenging at the top rather than floundering just above the middle of the table.
Monday proved so clearly that we can do it.
What is just so frustrating is that we’ve had positive glimpses during the season which have proved false dawns and we revert back to dire.
The win and draw over the new year was the first time City have put two positive results together in a row since October.
That is just not good enough.
If anything is going to be salvaged from 2016/17, we’re going to have see a pretty spectacular second half of the campaign.
Worryingly, Alex Neil’s men haven’t shown the propensity to improve as games go on – so not a good sign for the long haul.
Before Monday, City were joint top of a table showing the most goals conceded by the 72 league teams in the second period of games.
That shows a lack of staying power, concentration and game management.
Over the past four seasons, the average points total needed to get the last play-off spot is 75.
That means City would need 38 from the last 21 games – an average of 1.8 per match. At the moment the figure is 1.48.
We surely have no chance of catching the top two and the other contenders such as Reading, Huddersfield, Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley and Derby (apart from on Monday) are all in good form.
Come on Canaries, end the frustration and make it a 2017 to really remember. OTBC.
Please, please can we have cup magic again?
Do you remember those great days of City enjoying magical cup runs?
I’m struggling too.
Some of you will be fortunate enough to have experienced the amazing exploits of the ‘59ers.
Others will be more au fait with the excitement of getting to the semi finals in 1989 and 1992.
The younger readers will find the whole talk of stringing wins together in cup competitions as an alien concept.
So why can’t Norwich do cup runs any more?
The obvious answer is that league football has become so much more of a priority to successive managers.
Of course I understand the clamour to eat at the money-laden top table – but it’s such a shame that we’re missing out on the unique joy of progressing in knock-out competitions.
It looks as if Carrow Road will be half full (or even worse) for Saturday’s visit of Premier League Southampton.
I maintain the club has got it wrong in charging £25 for adult tickets.
Surely it would be better to half the cost and potentially double the numbers?
I know some Peterborough and Lincoln fans who are joining huge away followings for their matches at the weekend. I have to admit I’m a little bit envious of them.
Of the week...
It’s been too long since a treble at Carrow Road
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Almost two years had passed since a Norwich player last scored a hat-trick at Carrow Road before Oliveira banged in three on Monday. Gary Hooper did it back in February 2015 and it has been too long a wait for his feat to be repeated. Another one soon please City players.
Perfect hat-trick has us purring
HERO OF THE WEEK: Picking a hero of the week has never been easier. One with his left, one with his right, one on the head - a perfect treble from the Admirable Nelson. City fans have had far too little to cheer about and let’s hope our number nine can keep up his golden touch. We certainly need it.
Probably the craziest penalty you’ll ever see!
FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: It would be a highlight of any “what happened next?” section on A Question Of Sport. I’ve tweeted a link to the craziest penalty I’ve ever seen. It’s a clip which has just about everything and well worth finding and watching.
Come on Steve, who are you trying to kid?
VILLAIN OF THE WEEK: I am all in favour of managers backing their players. But I was amazed to hear Steve McLaren trying to defend Jacob Butterfield’s shocking tackle on Wes. Surely the sight of his shin pad flying across the pitch must have been a clue?
Seeing red may well be Robbie’s last action
PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: Sometimes when a transfer window opens, certain deals look inevitable. And I think Robbie Brady leaving is one of them – probably to the Saints. If that’s the case, it’s a shame that his last action was being sent off.