Ian Clarke: Nine reasons for Norwich City fans to be cheerful
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It says so much about where Norwich City are at the moment that we are disappointed to be just two points clear of third place as we head down to take on Luton.
With the seconds ticking away at Carra as darkness fell on Saturday, it looked as if a gap twice that size would be opening up.
Alas, it was not to be and Maxime Biamou's late, late goal in front of the empty River End robbed Daniel Farke's men of their eighth win in the last 10 league games.
Dropped points, a ridiculous injury list, millions of pounds being lost due to the pandemic and a relentless period of matches coming up before the turn of the year may have left some supporters feeling less than festive.
But come on fellow fans, ahead of that nine game run, let's put the negativity away and here are my nine reasons to be cheerful.
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1- We're top of the tree - There's no doubt the quality of the Championship is not what it's been in previous years. However, the facts don't lie - City are at the summit on merit as the Advent calendar doors start opening up. If we can be there or thereabouts come 12th Night, we really will be in business.
2 - Yellow blood in his veins - If you haven't heard Daniel Farke's podcast with the club this week, then I'd thoroughly recommend it. The head coach has gone on record before about his love for the Canaries - but he reinforced his feelings with passion which should warm our hearts. "I want to create history. Sometimes it can be more important to develop a club and make the lives of people a little bit better than to be at a club who has better opportunities and has won 46 titles and you become the 47th who can do this." Love it.
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3 - There's light at the end of the injury tunnel - Surely none of us can remember a time when arguably a team of players on the treatment table would be as strong (or maybe even stronger) than those available. The December programme will push the squad to its limits but we have to hope the bulk of the crocked lads are back soon - and our luck starts to change.
4 - Fans are coming home - Carrow Road has been virtually empty for too long. Having 2000 supporters in this Saturday is a small step - but a vital one.
5 - Young talent waiting in the wings - Wow what a bench it was last weekend. Lots of jokes have already been made about Christoph Zimmermann's role as teacher/Scout leader/Mrs Doubtfire etc. Seeing the names of Daniel Barden, Reece McAlear, Andrew Omobamidele, Tyrese Omotoye and Tom Dickson-Peters should fill us with excitement with the next wave of young players coming through the ranks.
6 - City have momentum - 10 games unbeaten, 24 points out of a possible 30 and clear at the top. All these are such positive signs at the start of December.
7 - Even a cup run may be possible - Coventry at home in FA Cup round three is hardly a glamour tie, but has to give us a decent chance of progress.
8 - Alex Tettey - What a man! How often has he been written off? So many of us thought he wouldn't be a key player this season and yet he's emerged again as a rock through these troubled times. I just gave Ollie Skipp my man of the match vote in the Coventry game, but Tetts was not far behind. His influence and presence are so positive.
9 - Things are so miserable down the A140 - Yes I know we're entering the season to be jolly and to share goodwill with all men. Come on, though, we have to chuckle a little bit about goings on at Portman Road....
Wake up to the dangers
There has been growing momentum in recent weeks for football authorities to finally take the issue of dementia seriously.
We have had many powerful stories about the impact of the disease on former players, none more so than that involving former Canary Mike Sutton.
His son - City legend Chris - has spoken out so passionately about the issue.
Those who run the game have been accused of failing ex players - and the spotlight is on the impact head injuries again after the sickening clash between David Luiz and Raul Jimenez at the weekend.
Jimenez ended up in hospital with a fractured skull and inexplicably Luiz was allowed to carry on playing despite appearing concussed and having blood coming through his bandage.
Come on football - wake up to the serious dangers.
Max and the mayor
It's that time again - yes, the next Norwich City Fans Social Club players' forum is almost here.
As has become the norm it will be held on Zoom rather than at Carrow Road but a enjoyable night is certainly in store nonetheless. NCFSC have organised a great line up with full back Max Aarons and the mayor himself due to be answering the fans' questions.
The event on December 14 7.30-9 will be hosted by Canary legend Darren Eadie. Tickets are available at £5 (which includes one free online raffle entry) and further raffle entries can be purchased by selecting the relevant drop-down box. It will raise money for the Community Sports Foundation and details on tickets can be found on NCFSC website or its Twitter feed. OTBC