Atmosphere a reminder of the bad old days at Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 08:27 20 January 2017
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I joined Norwich City way back in July 1997 and played for the club for seven years and apart from a brief spell away (five years to be exact) I've lived back in the city for the past seven years.
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a divide between the supporters and the hierarchy at the football club as we have now – and it doesn’t look like getting better any time soon.
That’s a huge shame as I’ve massive respect for both.
I speak to a lot of fans on a daily basis and they’re just not happy with quite a number of issues, and I can understand their frustrations and anger at times. There’s only one way to make all this negativity go away and that’s quite simple: the team need to start performing and winning games on a more consistent basis.
Don’t get me wrong, we had some very dark times when I was a player here and I’ve seen more than my fair share of protests outside the main reception at Carrow Road.
Maybe had social media been around the situation would have been as bad as it is now as you can voice your opinion so much easier these days.
Supporters like to know what’s going on at their club and the feeling I get is that Norwich fans feel they are being kept in the dark about certain things that are going on at their football club.
I believe they should know what’s going on as they pay their money week in week out and, after all, what’s a club without their fans? There seems to be a lack of communication towards the fans from Norwich City Football Club at the minute and, add that to the failings on the pitch and you can understand why Carrow Road is a very unhappy place.
These frustrations certainly weren’t helped by the loss at Rotherham, and the loss at Rotherham certainly wasn’t helped by the red card shown to Nelson Oliveira which will see him suspended for three games and fined heavily by the club.
However silly Oliveira was, I do sympathise with him; yes, he was stupid to react the way he did, but had Kirk Broadfoot not dragged him down in a headlock in the first place then he wouldn’t have reacted in the way he did.
I remember being sent off in similar fashion at the old Baseball Ground when I was playing for Leicester City back in the mid-1990s. I think there was only about 20 minutes gone when I turned Derby midfielder Robin van der Laan just inside his own half. Instead of chasing me back he just reached out grabbed a handful of my shirt and pulled me back. The ref had blown and given us the free-kick, but for some reason I saw the red mist, turned round and smashed Robin straight between the eyes. He just fell, out cold. As I was throwing the punch I was regretting it, but by then it was too late.
The only explanation for my behaviour, as I’d never reacted like that before, was that the week leading up to the game I’d started taking a protein supplement – which was back then a legal substance to help you improve your strength and power. Well it definitely did that – I’d never thrown a right hand like that in my life.
In all seriousness, I think taking those tablets in the week leading up to that Derby game had made me far more aggressive than I needed to be and I paid the price. Luckily we won the game, but it still cost me two weeks wages and I decided never to touch the stuff again. By the way, Robin was okay and got up and finished the game.
I don’t think you can just point the finger of blame Nelson’s way, though, as, let’s be honest, for the first 20 minutes or so up at New York Stadium the lads simply didn’t turn up and never matched the intensity and work rate of Paul Warne’s men – and that’s something you simply can’t do whether you’re playing a top-of-the-table team or a team that had won just three games before last weekend.
Olsson a good deal for Swansea
Martin Olsson departed Norwich and joined Swansea City this week for a fee of around £4m – a great deal for the Swans if you ask me as you certainly don’t get much for £4m these days in football.
I think it’s fair to say that Martin has wanted to leave since the club was relegated at the end of last season – and his agent did his very best in the summer to instigate a move.
I think Olsson is a steady left-back and will provide good cover for the injured Neil Taylor who broke his cheekbone last week in an accident at the club’s training ground.
With Martin gone I’d loved to have seen Harry Toffolo given a chance to show that he’s more than capable of playing in the Championship, but sadly that won’t happen now as he’s gone back out on loan to Scunthorpe where he’s been outstanding for the first half of the season.