Ian Clarke: I'd absolutely love it if Norwich City can stick it to the critics

Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones

Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones - Credit: Archant

Here's a quiz question to start this week - what do Delia Smith and Kevin Keegan have in common?

I'll give you a couple of pointers - as far as I know KK has no particular flair with a pavlova and I have no evidence that Norwich City's joint majority shareholder has bagged any goals for England (or Liverpool or Newcastle or FC Hamburg for that matter).

Think back to February 28, 2005 - a Monday night football match at Carrow Road.

The Sky TV cameras were in town as the relegation-threatened Canaries took on Manchester City,

Delia was there in her usual place in the directors' box. And Mr Keegan was the boss in the away dugout.

Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie both netted to give us a roaring start - but Robbie Fowler and Antoine Sibierski brought the visitors level (yes, as an aside Sibierski scored as many goals for Man City at Carrow Road as he did for the Canaries on home soil during his loan spell with us).

My son and I were among the faithful in the packed house in NR1 that evening and were chatting over a hugely eventful first period at the break when our attention was turned to a commotion on the pitch.

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Yes, you all know where I'm going with this.

"This is a message for the best supporters in the world," our beloved owner yelled.

"We need a 12th man. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be havin' you! Come on!”

The Norwich fans celebrate victory at the end of the Premier League match at Carrow Road, NorwichPic

The Norwich fans celebrate victory at the end of the Premier League match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 64026728/02/2020 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

We really didn't know how to respond!

The rest, they say, is history and Delia will forever be known for that amazing rallying cry (come on, who has still got the T-shirt then?)

Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones. Photo: Paul Chesterton/ Focus Images

Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones. Photo: Paul Chesterton/ Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

As we all know, Fowler went on to grab a late winner to send Keegan and his men home happy and despite a recovery, the Canaries were consigned to the drop at the end of the campaign after that 6-0 drubbing at Fulham.

Are you still not quite getting the link between Delia and KK?

We need to head back in time about nine years more from the Queen of cooking's piece of Premier League folklore to when King Kev was boss of Newcastle.

His side had just won 1-0 at Leeds to close to within three points of leaders Manchester United with a game in hand and two matches to play.

Rather than grabbing the chance to revel in the victory in an interview with Sky Sports after the game, Keegan served up a tasty appetiser for Delia's main course of impassioned speeches.

KK was furious that Sir Alex Ferguson had stoked the fire ahead of the match by suggesting the likes of Nottingham Forest – who United had just beaten 5-0 – might not try as hard against men as they did against his side.


File photo dated 08/06/1996 of Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan (left) getting to grips with Manchester U

File photo dated 08/06/1996 of Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan (left) getting to grips with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson as they meet at Wembley for the start of the European Championships. Photo: Adam Butler/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

“I would love it if we beat them… Love it!" ranted Kev, with the interviewer barely knowing how to react.

So, ladies and gentlemen, that is the link - the duo are responsible for the best known and most searched TV outbursts in top flight history.

Both rallying cries have come back into my mind this week as we prepare to resume our survival battle with the visit of Brighton.

So what's happened while we've been away?

A computer prediction model has informed us that Daniel Farke's men will be rock bottom come May - and the commentary which came with it revelled in the prospect.

TalkSport has continued its anti-Norwich tirade - and oh, the team just above us in the league table has been bought out by Saudi owners worth a cool £320bn. I read that Delia and Michael are worth 0.0072pc of the net worth of the group which has taken over at St James' Park (or put it another way - our owners are 13,900 times less wealthy).

It's great to see that the spirit of competition is alive and well in English football.

Daniel Farke still believes Norwich City can make their little miracle come true. Picture: Paul Ches

Daniel Farke still believes Norwich City can make their little miracle come true. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Do we sit back and take all the stick coming our way and moan about how everyone else has got ridiculously more money than we have?

What will that achieve?

Come on Norwich management, players and fans - let's be havin' you and let's really stick it to all the scoffers.

And I would love it - actually, absolutely love it - if we do.

We want Two-mu Pukki this weekend

What can be said about Teemu Pukki that hasn't been said before?

I was over the moon for him that he became Finland's all-time top scorer during the week as he bagged a brace in their latest World Cup qualifier.

It is clear that he is the ultimate legend in his homeland and after the disappointment of the country's performances in the Euros, it would be fantastic for them to get through to Qatar and really shine.

I was amazed to read that Pukki has scored 24 of his 33 goals for Finland since arriving at Carra on a freebie. 

We know what he's capable of for the Canaries and if he can really get firing we have a chance this term.

Another double would be just the ticket this Saturday for City - and move him above Les Eyre and John Deehan in the all-time City scoring ranks and closing in on none other than Grant Holt.

Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki offered Norwich City with a fresh impetus at the top end of the pitch.

Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki showed signs of a working partnership - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Make room for Billy

It's so easy for us fans to pick a City team every week and pick holes in Farke's selections and formations.

I expect every single person in the ground or following on social media will have very different opinions - 27,000 supporters and 27,000 views.

There are always players who attract more attention than others and Billy Gilmour is currently the hot topic for debate.

The on-loan midfielder has been winning rave reviews for his performances for Scotland, leading him to be described as "world class".

Billy Gilmour of Norwich in action during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture

Scotland boss Steve Clarke believes Norwich City is the perfect destination for Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

At times he's looked really good since arriving at Carra but on other occasions the lad hasn't flourished.

That has undoubtedly been down to where he has had to play.

For me, with Mathias Normann at the base of the midfield, it means Gilmour can do what he does best in making things happen and being the beating heart of offensive moves.

I really hope he plays this weekend. He's due his first assist - and may he serve up a winner for Pukki against the Seagulls.

NCFC EXTRA: Should Gilmour start for Norwich City against Seagulls?

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