Come on feel the noise – or is it a case of chicken and egg at Carrow Road?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Stuart Webber is a brave man.
Not just because he swapped promotion-chasing Huddersfield for under-achieving Norwich City, but because of the honesty he has brought with him. It's refreshing to hear what he wants to do: move out players who really should have gone a while ago, bring in a new culture, a new 'Norwich City' way.
Success on those fronts would go a long way to giving the fans something to cheer about.
Webber hasn't been around long – but long enough to spot that the atmosphere at home matches was 'disappointing, at times non-existent'.
That's the brave bit. City's sporting director is a new broom, charged with a top to toe reconstruction of the football club. From the tea lady to the boardroom, to paraphrase one of his soundbites. And he's come in at a time when everyone is at a low ebb: any criticism is either on the mark, or very close to it.
On the atmosphere, well, he is spot on.
If you watch games from the Snakepit or Lower Barclay then you will perhaps believe plenty of noise is made. Sit in most other parts of the Carrow Road and you'd likely disagree. It's quiet.
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Away fans traditionally kick up more of a noise, but the home demographic is a different animal – a snoozing cat full of lunch compared to a travelling beast fuelled by the opportunity for tribal gains.
Will a noisier Carrow Road help? Given City are fifth in the 'home' Championship table, then it is possibly not a huge problem. However, those noisy travelling fans have been watching a team that is 18th in the 'away' table.
So does the noise level mean anything at all (apart from enhancing the experience)? Or would City have been top of the home table had Carrow Road vibrated to the sound of happy home supporters?
Of course, the big question is, is it the fans' responsibility to spur on their team with noisy support, or do the players get the fans going?
The answer doesn't have to be black or white in an essentially grey area. Footballers, even Messi and Ronaldo, cannot guarantee they will play well. But fans can applaud and cheer without stimulus.
Maybe it's time for the fans to lead the way. Who knows, the rest may follow...