Chris Goreham: A results based business? It’s not always as simple as that as Chelsea and Norwich fans will testify
PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:25 26 August 2019
Norwich City’s Premier League return has brought a veritable feast of goals so far but it isn’t all fireworks, at least not for some of us.
The extra media attention that comes with top flight football means that there is a longer wait for post-match interviews than there was in the Championship.
To be absolutely clear, I'm not complaining, it's a price worth paying for getting to commentate on the Canaries in the Premier League.
The demand for interviews means that those of us with microphones get dispatched to an area of Carrow Road somewhere underneath the City Stand called 'The Mixed Zone'.
It's a requirement at all grounds in the division and it leads to some of the more surreal experiences in a football reporter's life.
It's a bit like one of those red carpet movie premieres that feature on TV sometimes in that we are kept on one side of some hastily erected barriers while 'the talent' passes through on its way to the player's lounge, the team bus or wherever else the multi-millionaires of Chelsea might go after an early finish on a Saturday.
There is an interesting Premier League rule that dictates all players must walk through the mixed zone after the game but it's up to them whether they decide to stop and give any interviews.
MORE: Six things we learned from Chelsea defeat
You can imagine the charades that unfold as a result, particularly when a team like Chelsea come to town. Some players move so quickly at the sight of a microphone that you wonder why they couldn't find that extra gear during the 90 minutes on the pitch, others engross themselves in phone calls that may or may not be genuine while a few are good enough to smile politely and say hello to the hungry press pack without ever actually breaking stride.
It was while we waited on Saturday that a man who looked like the missing member of Madness, with his trilby hat and dark glasses, started telling me how despondent he had felt about football after the first five games of last season. I solemnly nodded in agreement before it dawned on me that he wasn't actually talking about Norwich City.
He went on to lament the previous campaign for its lack of fun and entertainment and said that he is much more optimistic about what 2019/20 might have in store for his team.
People always say that football is a results business but it's not quite as simple as that. As the City Stand Suggs will tell you, watching a team finish third in the Premier League and win the Europa League doesn't necessarily constitute a satisfying season.
Chelsea's transfer ban and the subsequent appointment of Frank Lampard as manager has meant the club is less fancied to win the Premier League than it usually is but it has opened up the possibility of some of the promising youngsters who have seen their paths across Stamford Bridge blocked by a crowd of highly paid, much capped international stars getting the chance to shine.
It's an opportunity that players like Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount are taking all too well for Norwich City's liking but the sense of identity that has been created by having a manager and a group of players that understand the club has certainly created a feel good factor that one win from four games wouldn't have for Chelsea fans in previous years.
They may have loftier ambitions than Norwich City but the Canaries have been reaping the rewards of their own bridge building over the past 12 months or so and there was time to reflect on that when Todd Cantwell made his way into the mixed zone by which time most of the national writers had disappeared.
A Dereham lad scoring his first Premier League goal was a moment to savour even in defeat.