Spud Thornhill: Nelson was only saying what City fans already knew!
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Nelson Oliveira was already a favourite among many Norwich fans but his popularity soared even higher when he scored his late equaliser against Hull – followed by an interview confirming what Norwich fans already knew to be true.
The striker spoke about tomorrow’s game against our beloved local rivals Ipswich Town, saying: “We are a better team than them, we have better players than them, we are a better club.”
Many Norwich fans would’ve loved hearing those words but I had my head in my hands and was thinking ‘No!, what are you saying Nelson?’. Whilst I may agree with what he is saying, I would prefer him not to say it, well not until after tomorrow’s game at least.
We all know we are a better club on and off the pitch. We all know our support is a lot better than theirs. At their last home game, when they lost 3-1 to Bristol City, they had a crowd of 15,256, whilst a week earlier Norwich entertained Bristol City in front of a crowd of 25,715. Currently their average home attendance is 15,700, just over 10,000 less than us, but at least we can help them increase the crowd on Sunday.
Off the pitch we are a better run club than them. Give me Delia & Co over Ipswich’s owner Marcus Evans any day, the man who is more elusive than Lord Lucan. After all the promises which led to many Ipswich fans waving £20 notes at Norwich fans shortly after he was appointed in 2007, Evans took on the debts that Ipswich reportedly has, believed to be around £70m.
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I believe we do have better players than Ipswich, I just hope they turn up tomorrow for a good scrap, because as we know sometimes it’s not ability that wins local derbies. Hopefully Ivo Pinto will be firing the players up for a pitch war for the yellow army! The only person I worry about is James Maddison. Last week against Hull, it seemed the Tigers’ main objective was to stop him, which included kicking him off the park. I think tomorrow he may be a target, so hopefully he’ll get better protection than he did last week.
Probably the only player I rate is their goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski. And even then, I wouldn’t put him ahead of Angus Gunn.
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The only other person I think is doing a good job for them is Mick McCarthy. The wily old fox has done a fantastic job for Ipswich. After us Norwich fans were being spoilt by Roy Keane and Paul Jewell’s superb efforts at Portman Road, it appears McCarthy has worked wonders at Town on a shoestring. Any other manager and I believe their long stay in the championship would’ve ended by now and I don’t mean with their long suffering fans having something to shout about.
He is my biggest concern for tomorrow. I really believe this is their best chance to finally beat us after eight years, six months and two days – or 3,105 days. He’ll have them fired up and will use Oliveira’s comments.
But while they may have a man who has got a lot of experience managing in the Championship and helped both Sunderland and Wolves to win the league, I still wouldn’t want to swap Daniel Farke for McCarthy.
After some reservations from some fans, I believe them and even some of the callers on Canary Call may just be warming to Farke. I think in the last three games, against Middlesbrough, Reading and Hull, we have shown that we have got what it takes in this league.
Farke appears to understand the hard grit of this league. It may not be pretty at times but it will be effective. Yes we will get many clubs in this league who will come to frustrate us and stop players like Maddison, but Farke has built fantastic spirit in this club where we never give up.
That spirit was shown in abundance last Saturday after our late show. I spoke about it after the game, Oliveira’s goal brought back memories of late goals and spirit under Paul Lambert. And if we can copy the team of 2011, we may have another season to remember. Something I doubt Blues fans will be experiencing in the near future.
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