It’s been so up and down but I’ll be back for more (I hope)

PUBLISHED: 22:09 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 22:09 17 July 2020

Norwich
 City on their way to a 4-0 defeat against West Ham that confirmed their relegation Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City on their way to a 4-0 defeat against West Ham that confirmed their relegation Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Last Saturday was my seventh relegation in my 38 years as a Canary.

Emi Buendia looks dejected as West Ham's Michail Antonio celebrates the second of his four goals 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdEmi Buendia looks dejected as West Ham's Michail Antonio celebrates the second of his four goals Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Five of those have come in the last 15 years – us City fans have certainly had to get used to that sinking feeling during that time.

No relegation will be as painful as my first one, on the last Sunday of May in 1985 when Coventry controversially relegated us. I was only 10 years old and I remember being very upset and disappointed and ended up playing football against my old house garage wall, pretending to be John Deehan scoring the goals to win us promotion back to the old Division One.

Fast forward 35 years and, okay, I may have not been as upset, but I was still disappointed. This time, instead of playing football against a garage wall, I took my three-year-old daughter to the local park with a football. She may not totally understand the ramifications of what happened last Saturday, but in my eyes she was playing and pretending to score the goals for us to win promotion back to the top flight. That was good enough for me.

This relegation has to be the weirdest one of them all. I don’t know if it’s my age or if it is because of what is happening in the world, but I was not really affected by it. I was gutted, but honestly, we’ve had six months to get used to it.

Following another defeat during the week at Chelsea it just leaves Burnley today then Manchester City next week. Then we can finally say goodbye to the Premier League after a season that promised so much but, apart from the first five games, failed to deliver.

I will have my memories of Teemu Pukki’s hat-trick against Newcastle and the night of Manchester City at home, but not much else. I would take the pain of this season for the joy of last season. Or maybe next season could be good.

With all the criticism of Daniel Farke, Stuart Webber, many players, the board and many other people at the club, I am sure they are hurting as much as us.

In the past I have suggested we may have to mirror Southampton’s policy of bringing youth players in before selling them on, to try and be more competitive.

Well maybe we could also look at Burnley and Sean Dyche. Burnley owner Mike Garlick, with his reported estimated wealth of £62 million, is second behind Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones when it comes to being the least wealthiest owners in the Premier League.

It appears there are no multi-million pound signings through their team. Burnley and Dyche have shown great loyalty towards each other. Dyche won promotion in his second season with Burnley. Despite relegation the following season, Burnley stuck with him and the loyalty was rewarded with them winning the Championship the first season back.

Look at them now – they are challenging for Europe. I am sure a lot of Burnley supporters will give a lot of credit to both Dyche and Garlick for the patience and loyalty to the club.

I’m sure some people may disagree and I am sure we will, but I hope we as a club show the same loyalty as Burnley have done.

This set-up can work.

This is my last column of the season. It’s an absolute honour to talk about my beloved football club. I would like to thank Chris Lakey and his team for giving me the opportunity to talk all things yellow and green.

And a thank you to you guys for taking the time to read my articles. I try to put out a bit of positivity for Norwich fans and most importantly put a smile on people’s faces with my words. We may have had an awful season, but we as fans are lucky to support such a great football club.

Whatever has happened this season it’s just a chapter in our fine club. As we head back to the Championship, let’s get back to the togetherness. Faith in the club. The team. Farke and Webber. The board and with each other.

Hopefully, by the time the Championship starts again we can get back to Carrow Road. Supporting the greatest team in the world. Showing the world we are together.

On The Ball, City

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