Iwan Roberts: ‘Already I’m sick to death of so-called footballing experts and other team’s supporters writing off Norwich
There is only one game of the season played and already I’m sick to death of so-called footballing experts and other team’s supporters writing off Norwich City’s chances of staying in the Premier League.
It was never going to be an easy start at the home of the champions of Europe and okay, losing 4-1 in your opening game isn't ideal, but let's be honest - there are not many teams that will go to Anfield this season and have 40pc possession and more shots on target than their hosts.
If I had a pound for every time I've heard someone say, "Norwich were naive to think they could go to Anfield and outscore Liverpool" I'd have a good few quid in my pocket come Monday morning.
For me, I thought Norwich were brave to go out and play the way they did - the way they played the majority of last season which saw them win the Championship comfortably and score 93 goals in the process.
I'm so pleased Daniel Farke didn't change his philosophy and belief of how he wants his team to play. I'm delighted he didn't do what 99pc of other managers and head coaches will do when they visit Anfield and defend deep, get men behind the ball, conceded possession and have no real attacking intent and try and leave by stealing a point through a bore draw.
Of course there are lessons to be learned and Norwich will have to improve defensively, but there were a lot of good things to come from that trip to Anfield and I've been delighted at the response of Norwich fans. We're not stupid and we all accept that this season Norwich will suffer the odd heavy defeat, but it's vitally important that everyone sticks together and backs Daniel and the players and if this happens it will give the team a great chance of avoiding relegation.
The players deserve so much credit for the way they came out for the second half, having conceded four goals in the first half. Believe you me, I've been there and you just want the game to finish there and then and get back on the coach and get yourself home.
I remember being 4-0 down at Valley Parade at half-time back in March 1999 and we were shell-shocked and the changing room was like a morgue. Bruce Rioch pulled me to one side as I was the captain and told me to get into that changing room and start slaughtering my team-mates. I told him I wasn't prepared to do that as I'd been as bad as any of us in that first half so I really didn't have the right to go in there and start pointing the finger and hammering some of the lads.
However, I did go in and say a few words, something Bruce should have done. I calmly said that the 800 or so supporters that had travelled to support us that Saturday afternoon deserved so much better than the pile of you know what we'd served up and the least we could do is go out for that second half and show that we care and go out and win the second half.
My calming words seemed to work as we were a transformed team in that second half. Okay, maybe Bradford took their foot off the pedal slightly as the game was done and dusted, but we won the second half 1-0, with yours truly getting the goal! Believe me, it wasn't easy going back out: we were looking at a cricket score, a bit like the lads were at Anfield on Friday. But they dug in and showed the spirit and togetherness that will take them a long way this season.
My first ever Premier League appearance came against Newcastle at Leicester's opening game of the 1994 season at Filbert Street. I came on with about 25 minutes remaining and the game was drifting away from us with Andrew Cole and Peter Beardsley putting Newcastle 2-0 up. Robbie Elliot added a third to seal our fate with 15 minutes to go. Little Julian Joachim scored a consolation in the very last minute. Sad to say, my Premier League debut passed me by in a blink of an eye - let's all hope Norwich can win their first home game of the campaign against Steve Bruce's men on Saturday.
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