Why I won’t be getting too excited about City – just yet
PUBLISHED: 10:16 05 August 2017
Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures
Between 1986 and 2015, Norwich went 18 games without a win against Fulham. Which club have a longer run without losing to us?
Happy New Year to all Canary fans everywhere!
We wake up this morning with the excitement of another year of the rollercoaster that is being a Norwich City fan.
At the end of the month, it will be 35 years since my first game – a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City on the opening day of the 1982/83 season. And I still get the same buzz for a new season as I did as a seven-year-old back in 1982.
The buzz starts once the fixture list is released in the middle of June – even if it reveals that the first game is Fulham (A). All the build-up with, more often not, new signings and good pre-seasons, leaves me feeling very optimistic and saying, normally over a pint before the game, “I’ve got a good feeling about this season” – only for us to produce a Colchester 7-1 or a Fulham 5-0 to bring me back down to earth.
Before it all begins for real I do like to try and take in some of the pre-season games. I like a balmy evening in the sun, catching up with fellow Canaries friends who you only see whilst watching us entertaining Norfolk’s other fine teams such as Dereham or King’s Lynn, or the best team in Suffolk, Lowestoft.
In the past I’ve been to couple of Scotland tours and a few tours to Belgium and Holland, and they have been great fun. A mini holiday, taking in the sights with football the excuse. I’ve seen grounds that I wouldn’t normally. I’ve also seen things like Robert Green swapping his goalkeeper’s gloves to play up front for Norwich in a friendly against Cambuur Leeuwarden in the summer of 2003. How I would loved to have gone to Germany last month.
In the past, I’ve allowed pre-season friendlies to form my opinion for the season. Back in 1988 after defeats to lower league teams Hereford, Mansfield and even Ipswich in the Hospital Cup I feared the worst, only for us to nearly win the old Division One title.
In 2009, we had an impressive unbeaten pre-season, winning six out of the seven games, including beating then Premier League Wigan 3-2 with players like Simon Whaley and Goran Maric standing out, only to lose 7-1 at home to Colchester. Whaley and Maric played a few games before heading for the Carrow Road exit a few months later.
So this year I’m not going to fall for the pre-season excitement of being unbeaten or thinking we’ve signed some impressive players, not just yet – even if I have been impressed by some of them, especially Marley Watkins and Harrison Reed.
I was sad to see some of the players go over the summer – from a couple of Player of the Season winners to certain players who played their part in promotion to the Premier League, with one being a part of two promotions.
But while I was sad to see some go, I suppose we must move on to new chapters at Carrow Road. I believe we will have an exciting new chapter some time soon – maybe not this year, but I think we will in the next few years.
I think our football will be the continental style similar to Jaap Stam’s Reading last season – apart from the 7-1 defeat against us, I think they did very well, only to just miss out on promotion. I feel our attacking threat is far better than Reading’s so I think we’re in for a promising season.
So here we go for another exciting new year. I just hope by 5pm today I have not got that hangover feeling, thinking, ‘we’re in for another long season’.
Spud’s teaser answer: Man City (22 games, 1964-1981)