Think before you rant

There was a certain inevitability about my Saturday night viewing. Not Casualty – never seen it. Not Celebrity Get Me a Job Quickly Cos I'm Broke – don't do it. Nor Buy A Lottery Ticket As We Try And Convince The Weak Willed That's It's Worth It.

No, the screen of the i-Pad which appears to have taken root to the coffee table adjacent to my armchair was the viewing source for the outpouring of the most ridiculous comments on a Norwich City match/manager/players I have seen in some time.

Let's just start the story the previous day, when I tipped Hull to win 2-1. No one else in our in-house tipping competition did. But I thought it was pretty obvious that they'd be a difficult proposition on their own ground on their Premier League return.

What I didn't consider was that a penalty and a red card would change the game – had I known what would happen, I would have been even more confident of my prediction. Why? Because 10 men do sometimes appear to be more resilient than 11 as each one of them covers for the red-carded team-mate. And when they change tactics to defend their advantage, it simply gets more difficult. And let's be honest, this is Norwich City we are talking about, not Manchester United or Chelsea.

Norwich have good players, but they do not possess the greatest players in the division.


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You may have seen this: We. Are. Massive.

It's rubbish. Norwich City are not massive. In the words of Brian's mum: 'He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy.'

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The problem we appear to have is that some people are thinking above their station and forgetting that Norwich City are one of those teams, at the moment, for whom survival is the target. Anything more is pretty much a bonus.

That's not 'little Norwich City' syndrome, it's not disparaging, it is a fact. Which is why, on Saturday night, the silver screen which brings live to my living room the views of the world on all things from some pop singer's flat backside to the rare birds of the Outer Hebrides, brought me the most damning criticism of a Norwich City performance for some time.

And all because the web gives people a platform which, when the subject matter is nice and juicy, can turn them from sane person by day to imbecile by night.

I would suggest that many Norwich City fans shrugged their shoulders and got on with their life. Others would have debated it until the wee small hours with the aid of a brew or two. Others would have hit the Twitter button and let rip. The problem with the social networking sites, though, is that it brings out the worst in people.

It can be a little difficult getting into a debate when everyone agrees that, well, actually, it was a disappointment City couldn't break down a team of 10 men but, hey, that's not always as easy as you'd think.

How long is that going to keep a keyboard warrior interested?

Instead, Mr Carrow from Costessey has to rise above the average Tweeter. He has to create a debating point, to make sure the mere mention of his 'handle' strikes anticipation into the hearts of his keyboard chums.

His every word will, of course, be aimed at the Norwich City players and management alike. He will believe they are reading, listening, absorbing, and acting upon his will.

But, actually, he is simply a product of our age, rather than a genuine supporting critic of the team.

I am constantly staggered by the number of people who lend their opinion without actually having seen the game they are talking about – even worse, they are prepared to admit they were actually just following it by radio or laptop.

Having an opinion is fine, but it must be based on some semblance of knowledge and fact. Delving into the cerebral recesses and coming out with unsubstantiated and illogical view simply to feed an alter ego is not acceptable.

To say Chris Hughton should be sacked because his team lost to 10-man Hull falls into the category of either 'mischievous Ipswich supporter' or 'man who follows football on computer game'.

I yearn for the day when our i-Pads and the like can only be operated when the user is hooked up to a lie detector-style device so we can assess their credibility on a scale of one to 10.

Sadly, last Saturday was a two out of 10 night.

There was a certain inevitability about my Saturday night viewing. Not Casualty – never seen it. Not Celebrity Get Me a Job Quickly Cos I'm Broke – don't do it. Nor Buy A Lottery Ticket As We Try And Convince The Weak Willed That's It's Worth It.

No, the screen of the i-Pad which appears to have taken root to the coffee table adjacent to my armchair was the viewing source for the outpouring of the most ridiculous comments on a Norwich City match/manager/players I have seen in some time.

Let's just start the story the previous day, when I tipped Hull to win 2-1. No one else in our in-house tipping competition did. But I thought it was pretty obvious that they'd be a difficult proposition on their own ground on their Premier League return.

What I didn't consider was that a penalty and a red card would change the game – had I known what would happen, I would have been even more confident of my prediction. Why? Because 10 men do sometimes appear to be more resilient than 11 as each one of them covers for the red-carded team-mate. And when they change tactics to defend their advantage, it simply gets more difficult. And let's be honest, this is Norwich City we are talking about, not Manchester United or Chelsea.

Norwich have good players, but they do not possess the greatest players in the division.

You may have seen this: We. Are. Massive.

It's rubbish. Norwich City are not massive. In the words of Brian's mum: 'He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy.'

The problem we appear to have is that some people are thinking above their station and forgetting that Norwich City are one of those teams, at the moment, for whom survival is the target. Anything more is pretty much a bonus.

That's not 'little Norwich City' syndrome, it's not disparaging, it is a fact. Which is why, on Saturday night, the silver screen which brings live to my living room the views of the world on all things from some pop singer's flat backside to the rare birds of the Outer Hebrides, brought me the most damning criticism of a Norwich City performance for some time.

And all because the web gives people a platform which, when the subject matter is nice and juicy, can turn them from sane person by day to imbecile by night.

I would suggest that many Norwich City fans shrugged their shoulders and got on with their life. Others would have debated it until the wee small hours with the aid of a brew or two. Others would have hit the Twitter button and let rip. The problem with the social networking sites, though, is that it brings out the worst in people.

It can be a little difficult getting into a debate when everyone agrees that, well, actually, it was a disappointment City couldn't break down a team of 10 men but, hey, that's not always as easy as you'd think.

How long is that going to keep a keyboard warrior interested?

Instead, Mr Carrow from Costessey has to rise above the average Tweeter. He has to create a debating point, to make sure the mere mention of his 'handle' strikes anticipation into the hearts of his keyboard chums.

His every word will, of course, be aimed at the Norwich City players and management alike. He will believe they are reading, listening, absorbing, and acting upon his will.

But, actually, he is simply a product of our age, rather than a genuine supporting critic of the team.

I am constantly staggered by the number of people who lend their opinion without actually having seen the game they are talking about – even worse, they are prepared to admit they were actually just following it by radio or laptop.

Having an opinion is fine, but it must be based on some semblance of knowledge and fact. Delving into the cerebral recesses and coming out with unsubstantiated and illogical view simply to feed an alter ego is not acceptable.

To say Chris Hughton should be sacked because his team lost to 10-man Hull falls into the category of either 'mischievous Ipswich supporter' or 'man who follows football on computer game'.

I yearn for the day when our i-Pads and the like can only be operated when the user is hooked up to a lie detector-style device so we can assess their credibility on a scale of one to 10.

Sadly, last Saturday was a two out of 10 night.

I've always enjoyed watching Tottenham over the years – I suspect this year's team is going to be one that warms the cockles again. Their home games are watched on TV though, rather than from the press box, which is placed directly behind the players' bench, at such a low level that viewing isn't always the best. I always thought we got a seat further towards the front because we were the visiting, regional media – the view isn't quite as good as a few seats back, which were occupied by the nationals who, presumably, could kick up more of a fuss than us. I remember one game where, had I been so inclined, I could have simply reached out and placed my hand on the shoulder of Jim Brennan. It was slightly curious being so close during a game because, while all around them are glued to the game, the subs sometimes seem, to me at least, to be a little disinterested. I recall wondering why they didn't talk to each other. Perhaps they were just cheesed off at not starting – more likely, they didn't want someone years later writing in his column , 'you'll never guess what those subs were talking about at Spurs …'

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