Friday, February 24, 2012
I think enough has been said and written and tweeted and posted about the FA Cup exit.
I am gutted that another chance has gone for me to visit the new Wembley for the first time.
I had this column drafted out in my head before Saturday and I was going to suggest that if we progressed to the semi-final and ended up in the top 10 of the Premier League table it would have a good chance of being the best ever season in our history.
If we reached the final and survived relegation – and certainly if we finish around where we are now – it would cap what would surely be our most glorious campaign.
An FA Cup win and a mid-table finish and 2011/12 would take over from 1958/59, 1972/3, 1992/3 or 1993/4 to create an undisputed all-time top year.
Sadly the Cup script has been ripped up and there are quite a number of chins on the ground – and a few fans were prompted to boo at the end of the game.
But I’m still really looking forward to the rest of the season and having chatted to a number of fellow fans, I believe it can still be among the best seasons for the Canaries.
I did a little survey on Facebook and Twitter asking for thoughts on the all-time top 12 months and thanks to those who contributed.
The Euro campaign was the winner and those achievements were amazing – and not surprisingly a certain Scottish ’keeper gave his vote on Twitter for that!
The ’58/’59 Cup run is still tops with some fans and I understand why they hold that so dearly.
The visit of the Red Devils this Sunday will bring back many memories for supporters who were treated to the “Bly, Bly Babes” giant killing.
I was only three when the Canaries first reached the top flight but that is another season which sticks in many minds.
And then there was the ’92-’93 campaign when City rattled so many of the big clubs’ cages and achieved their highest ever place in the Premier League.
We all have our favourites and some even suggested last year’s achievements of getting a second successive promotion and of course including perhaps the greatest ever Old Farm Derby double.
Even a fan with the biggest green and yellow glasses would be hard pushed to see us finishing above the current eighth place.
If that can be maintained it would be phenomenal.
PL will still insist that if we survive it will be what the season was all about – and he is right.
But expectation levels have gone up so much and we need to remember that even getting to the Premier League was a five-year aim.
And now we are all gutted at going out of the FA Cup at the fifth round stage and believing we can finish in the top 10.
It is just over 900 days since that 7-1 defeat and if I was asking for the lowest points in City’s history that day in August 2009 would be one of the darkest moments.
If we plotted a graph to track the progress of the Canaries in a relatively short period of time then would there ever have been a steeper line marking a rise and rise? I think not.
Sunday is a chance to quickly get over the disappointments of last week and get our first win of the season over one of the really Big Boys.
I’m really looking forward to it.
There are now three more live TV appearances to show off to the nation what we can do.
Trips to Newcastle, Spurs and Arsenal will be big occasions and as well as Fergie and Co, Man City and Liverpool are among those still to come to Carrow Road. So let’s look forward with optimism – and there’s always next year for Wembley . . .
• Hero of the week: Not too many positives between 3pm and 4.45pm on Saturday – so my diamond moment of the week came just before 8pm on Monday. I was managing our team in the Norfolk 5s at Dereham and as I walked over to the pitch a young lad asked me: “Are you a Norwich City scout?” Of course I didn’t live the lie and admitted I wasn’t – but if PL wants me to help find some new talent, then I’m available . . .
• Villain of the week: As if British sport didn’t have enough of an image problem as the Olympics edges nearer. So the antics of Dereck Chisora and David Haye, which were beamed around the globe, hardly helped the cause. In my book the Klitschkos must be the hardest brothers on the planet (even tougher than Phil and Grant Mitchell). Therefore, Chisora has to be mad as well as bad to slap one at the weigh-in and then spit in the other’s face. And the ugly fracas between him and Haye capped it all. It’s brawl over for them both.
• Funniest moment of the week: I love own goals and gaffes and have half a shelf full of those great old Danny Baker compilation videos. I’m sure the Brighton team who went down at Anfield on Sunday could bring out their own special edition. Defender Lewis Dunk put away surely one of the great OGs of all time in front of the Kop. He coolly chested the ball down near the goal line, but then it bounced off his thigh and he hooked it in to the net. Priceless.
• Highlight of the week: I love PL’s ban on gloves and scarves and snoods, even for training. Maybe it’s that I carry a few too many pounds so warm up quickly – but surely any pro is running around enough not to need such woolly comforts. And maybe any pampered players could learn from the Swedish guy who spent two months in a snow covered car with temperatures as low as -30C. That’s hard...
• Prediction of the week: Two guesses this week. Chisora will get BBC Sports Personality of the Year and City will beat Man Utd 2-1. Yes, I know you will say I’m living in fantasy land with one of them. But come on, the boxer may say sorry and do a load of work for charity and win over the hearts of the nation . . .