March 12 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 6, 2012
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. I believe City are safe but for various reasons I hope every ounce of effort is put in by the players to the final minute of the campaign.
Firstly, I am a huge believer in momentum and if we can finish this year well, it will give the bounce to start the very difficult second season in the top flight.
Secondly, every team we have to play is likely to have something at stake (even Villa who may still need something on May 13 to ensure they survive).
And thirdly, every place in the league is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds – and that is so important in allowing the squad to be further strengthened.
I am particularly relishing Man City coming to town next week and think we have a real chance of springing a surprise.
One thing which seems pretty certain is that the half time break won’t be livened up by Delia coming on to the pitch as she did the last time the boys in blue came to Norwich in 2005.
That Youtube footage of our beloved joint majority shareholder is still getting heaps of hits.
But I’ve been reminded by a phrase she used before the “where are yous....?” as I have analysed stats this week on the support for the Canaries this term.
“This is a message for possibly the best supporters in the world,” was how Delia started her speech.
So many comments have been made by players and pundits about the City fans this term.
And the facts back up how amazing it is.
In the current league table of highest average attendances, City sit 12th.
But what really caught my eye was when I delved a bit deeper and discovered that when it comes to average crowds compared to ground capacity, there are only four Premier League clubs who have a more impressive record.
City’s capacity is 27,010 and with an average attendance of 26,568 that means only 442 seats are unused week on week.
Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United have a lower number of “empty seats” according to the stats.
What is important to remember with Norwich, is that most of those unused seats are taken up with segregation – and if the capacity was increased the crowds would be even bigger.
And to add icing on to the “aren’t we great fans” Easter cake, is the evidence of our fantastic away support.
With about 1700 supporters in the neutral area at Fulham on Saturday, that probably meant 4500 City supporters were there on Saturday – just topping the 4490 number at Wigan on the opening day of the season.
The size of the travelling yellow and green army has been incredible all year and had there been more space in away grounds (and Tottenham and Arsenal will continue that theme in weeks to come), then even more would have gone.
Even taking into account the “first season in the Premier League” factor, the numbers are huge – especially when you look at the numbers coming to Carrow Road.
Wigan had nearly as many players and backroom staff than fans and you wonder how many of those would head to Brighton or Cardiff next season if they are relegated?
So to the question “Norwich’s 12th man, where are you, where are you?” the answer remains, “We’re right behind you City – in bigger numbers than ever.”
• Premier League club average attendances this season/ground capacities (empty seats)
Man Utd 75,379/75,811 (432)
Arsenal 59,976/60,361 (385)
Newcastle Utd 49,497/52,409 (2,912)
Man City 46,990/47,405 (415)
Liverpool 44,800/45,276 (476)
Chelsea 41,564/42,449 (885)
Sunderland 38,585/49,000 (10,415)
Tottenham 36,020/36,230 (210)
Aston Villa 34,177/42,786 (8,609)
Everton 32,980/40,157 (7,177)
Stoke City 27,232/27,740 (508)
Norwich City 26,568/27,010 (442)
Wolves 25,756/27,828 (2,072)
Fulham 25,219/25,700 (481)
West Brom 24,659/26,360 (1,701)
Bolton 23,625/28,100 (4,475)
Blackburn 21,933/31,154 (9,221)
Swansea City 20,007/20,520 (513)
Wigan Athletic 18,234/25,133 (6,899)
QPR 17,232/18,439 (1,207)
• City fans away:
Man Utd 3,033
Aston Villa 2,981
Man City 2,786
West Brom 2,582
Fulham 2,719 in the visiting section – plus an estimated 1,700 in the neutral area
• Away fans at Carrow Road:
West Brom 1,107
Man Utd 2,457
• Hero of the week: Take a bow Mr Wilbrahamavitch...Anyone who scored 100 professional goals is no mean player and I’m really pleased for Aaron that he netted in the Premier League for the first time. He looked hungry when he came on and could easily have nicked a point for us at Fulham. I hope he gets another contract.
• Villain of the week: Politics and football don’t normally mix. But all the government ministers who stirred up the fuel panic last week share this week’s boo boo gongs. Ok, the crazy drivers who headed to the filling stations like chickens with no heads have to share their responsibility. But highly paid politicians should know better. And crucially, what if the shortages had meant some City fans had been unable to get to Craven Cottage on Saturday....?
• Highlight of the week: I didn’t go to Craven Cottage but managed to get a slightly dodgy stream at home on the internet (if you haven’t done that it is quite amusing as the action is about 30 seconds behind the ever-excellent BBC Radio Norfolk commentary!) My highlight was the debut of Ryan Bennett. He looks class and what a great buy. Several Peterborough fans have told me he will be an England defender and he seems nailed on to be a mainstay for us for the rest of this season and beyond.
• Funniest moment of the week: The writers on the Sunderland FC website may need a little geography lesson. I had to chuckle when I read the report on the Black Cats’ reserve trip to Colney. “Conditions in Sussex were a lot milder than in the north-east...” Sussex?! Well they were only about 150 miles out I suppose.
• Prediction of the week: I’m delighted that Adam Drury has been given a testimonial and that Celtic (and I’m sure thousands of their ardent fans) will be heading down to Carrow Road in May. And my prediction is that Adam will get a new contract for at least next season.