Chris Goreham: The romance of the Premier League is fading for Norwich City

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:06 30 September 2019

Ralf Fahrmann's Premier League debut was cut short thanks to a groin injury. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Ralf Fahrmann's Premier League debut was cut short thanks to a groin injury. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Poor old Ralf Fahrmann.

When Norwich City's new goalkeeper joined on loan in the summer he will have arrived in Norfolk on the promise of playing at Old Trafford, Anfield and Stamford Bridge.

The fact his debut ended after just 22 minutes in the wind and rain at Selhurst Park underlines something that Canaries fans are having to get used to once more. The Premier League isn't all fine wines and Belgian chocolates.

There is always something dramatic about a goalkeeper having to be substituted.

It's such a rare occurrence even with Norwich's recent injury record. Fahrmann took on the appearance of an England batsman given out for a low score and worried about his Test Match career as he peeled off his gloves and tucked them under his arm while trudging off the pitch with the opposition players celebrating around him.

Palace had just gone 1-0 up thanks to an expertly taken penalty from Luca Milivojevic and the misery was compounded by the sight of yet another Canary casualty.

Having been brought up on a diet of German teams always winning penalty shoot-outs I initially wondered whether goalkeepers from that country always have to leave the field when they fail to save a spot kick.

Fahrmann's misfortune meant a returning role for one of the characters from previous series of the great Norwich City soap opera.

Michael McGovern was given his first big story line for more than two years having been one of those extras that's sometimes spotted nursing a pint in The Rovers Return or minding a market stall in Walford in the background.

He was on the open top bus and in all of the promotion celebration pictures last season but, bar the odd cup appearance, City fans hadn't seen him get his gloves dirty since Alan Irvine's spell as caretaker manager.

MORE: Six things we learned from Selhurst Park

When McGovern jogged on against Crystal Palace he was representing Carlo Nash, Paul Jones, Remi Matthews and all of those other goalkeepers who waited patiently for their chance to play a league game for the Canaries but for whom it never came.

The Northern Ireland international gave renewed hope to third-fiddles everywhere that their opportunity to shine is only a couple of injuries away.

The fairy tale seemed written as Norwich welcomed McGovern onto the pitch by embarking on their most promising 20 minutes of the match. For a while it seemed as if his long wait may be rewarded with a point or three but City failed to make the most of their time on top.

Much has been said about their defensive frailties this season and, while it's true to say that many of the goals they have conceded in the Premier League have been down to carelessness, the perceived wisdom that Norwich are actually sacrificing their defensive responsibilities in order to be a more effective attacking force doesn't ring true.

Temmu Pukki's effort at Anfield on the opening night remains the only goal Norwich have scored away from the comfort of Carrow Road this season.

Trips to Crawley, West Ham, Burnley and Crystal Palace haven't yielded a single City goal between them.

Their potential in the final third is undoubted but the ruthless streak that existed in impressive home wins against Newcastle United and Manchester City hasn't yet found its way onto the team bus.

Part of the test this season was always going to be having the ability to deal with defeat in a composed and grown-up manner and learning from it.

As wonderful as it is to be watching Norwich in the Premier League it can be a bruising experience at times.

I am sure Ralf Fahrmann would agree.

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