Remember who was there when Norwich City were at Yeovil

Manchester City's mesmerising play was enough to drive anyone who follows Norwich City to drink, but I can't use that excuse for my impromptu Norfolk pub crawl on Saturday.

It appears that several bars which were planning to screen the game live from the Etihad Stadium had to turn to the BBC Radio Norfolk coverage after experiencing problems with their foreign satellite TV feeds. Many establishments keenly advertise the fact they show these Saturday 3 o'clock games, much to the displeasure of the Premier League and Sky Sports whose own multi-million pound deal is being circumnavigated via the continent.

Lawyers representing both sides are probably having an equally lucrative time of it at the moment as they try to establish whether the practice should be allowed to continue.

I enter the argument from a purely selfish point of view. If being in the Premier League means people are popping down their local to watch Norwich away games in the snug then they probably aren't listening to our coverage. Those who used to listen to us when Norwich were in the lower divisions might see me as a disapproving housewife complete with apron and rolling pin standing in the doorway saying 'You've been down that pub again haven't you?'

Radio may seem less glamorous than continental TV when it comes to following your Premier League football, it's like comparing Nora Batty to Nancy Dell'Olio, but it was heartening to hear that so many came running back to the good old reliable wireless when their new flame let them down. Greek telly weren't interested when the Canaries were playing Yeovil in 2009, were they?

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The game itself underlined the swagger that hundreds of millions of pounds can buy you. Had it not been against Norwich City, Manchester City's display would have been a joy to watch, but it's never nice to get a reminder of just how big the gap is between the very best and the rest.

Their passing football was so wonderfully precise that some described it as similar to watching a computer game like FIFA 12. I can't echo that sentiment because the unfortunate mixture of a lack of patience, no dexterity and a set of sausage fingers mean that I struggle with the intricacies of working my pixelated players and so on the rare occasion that I do pick up a control pad the tackles are more X-rated than X-box.

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It is not a result to dwell on though. The bigger Premier League picture is much more pretty than that blemish suggests. Norwich are well placed, despite having already been to Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium within their opening 14 games. We won't have to go to any of those places again this season while many of the teams below us will.

The Manchester game may have marked a new personal best for me though. I haven't made it into that many Norfolk pubs in one day since I stopped being a student at City College.


Norwich City were not the only underdogs to be beaten in Manchester at the weekend.

The former Canaries winger Paul McVeigh made his debut on the excellent BBC Radio 5 Live show Fighting Talk on Saturday morning.

I have long been a fan of the programme, presented by Colin Murray, which challenges four guests each week to provide entertaining answers to questions based around the week's sports news. It's a welcome relief from the majority of the media which takes sport far too seriously.

With Norwich playing just a Leon Barnett clearance away from the new BBC studios in Salford from where the show is now broadcast I struck a deal with Paul McVeigh. He blagged me in to have a nose round the shiny 'Media City' and see the programme broadcast and I gave him a lift to Manchester.

Having retired from football about 18 months ago McVeigh is no stranger to a microphone. He presents a Friday evening football show on BBC Radio Norfolk and has appeared on Sky Sports as a pundit this season as well as having his own weekly programme on the Norwich City website.

Paul got off to a spirited start on Fighting Talk, holding his own against stand-up comedian Mark Watson, TV presenter Dougie Anderson and Sunday Mirror football writer Andy Dunn.

In the end though his challenge for the FT crown faded much as Norwich City would later in the afternoon, but he certainly left his mark on the show – first by having a dig at Murray, who replaced Adrian Chiles as the host of Match of the Day 2 when the latter split to ITV, during a question about poor replacements in sport.

Any hope his fellow Ulsterman may go easy on him during his debut performance evaporated at that point.

We did both try and play it cool, despite the obvious excitement of rubbing shoulders with proper national radio types. Unfortunately the mask slipped before we had even been allowed in through the brand new BBC Sport front door when we stopped to have our pictures taken with the 20ft Gary Lineker on the wall outside.

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