'I must have done something right!' - Canaries legend Eadie on being booed at Portman Road
PUBLISHED: 14:29 19 October 2017 | UPDATED: 22:24 20 October 2017
Darren Eadie may have swapped his boots for a microphone but he still loves getting booed by Ipswich Town fans, as MICHAEL BAILEY discovered.
Come Sunday, there will be Daniel Farke’s Norwich City squad hoping to make their mark at Portman Road – and then there will be one man pitchside, still being remembered for his own East Anglian derby impacts.
City hall of fame winger Darren Eadie will be on live punditry duties for Sky Sports at the weekend and there isn’t too much distance between the treatment he gets now come derby day, and what he used to deal with in yellow and green on the pitch.
“I love it, I really do,” he beamed. “Without being able to play in the derby, the next best thing for me is to be able to go on telly and talk about it, and it’s always pretty eventful down at Portman Road – especially when we have to go pitchside at times.
“But I always see it with the view that the more you get booed, the more of an impression you must have made on them when you played against them.”
Eadie gets booed quite a lot, even now – so it must have been some impression.
“I think that’s it! I remember every game I’ve been to and whenever I played at Portman Road, they would basically boo me every time I got the ball, so it means you must be doing something right,” he continued.
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“The more stick you get, I thrived on that and actually used that as a compliment. So I was quite fortunate to have some pretty decent results against Ipswich over the years – they certainly outweighed the losses.”
Much like the changing of the guard City have undergone since the summer, there is a sense the Canaries’ eight-year unbeaten run against their arch enemy could now be at its greatest threat – and Eadie senses it too.
“For me, it’s going to be the closest derby in a few years,” he said. “Ipswich have picked up a bit and they’re scoring goals – they still concede them, but they are scoring goals, which is quite unusual for them.
“The run is going to come to an end at some point, but you would hope it wouldn’t come there.
“Derby days are a real leveller. People say it all the time but it does become that.
“Even last year, Norwich were streets ahead of Ipswich but in the derbies they probably didn’t look too dissimilar. So if you go by pure technical ability and looking at the squads, Norwich are miles ahead – but we all know in a derby game, that goes out of the window and if they get their tails up…
“I think we’ve seen it already this season and against Hull, if a team scores against Norwich quite early and then sits back, Norwich are having a little bit of trouble breaking teams down at the moment.”
Having not conceded the first goal at Portman Road since 1998, there is another run City would like to maintain.
“It’s an incredible stat, it really is,” Eadie added. “That’s the sort of statistic Ipswich fans must really hate and it must be a nightmare to go into every derby thinking that at the moment, they’ve got no comebacks.
“They go back to the fact they won cups in the past, but that’s history. Recent history is what people are interested in nowadays and Ipswich have probably been languishing where they are now for going on 15 years.
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“Norwich have had the better of it over recent years – they can’t argue with that – and I think even the most staunch Ipswich Town fan would admit when they’re at home that Norwich City have been the better side.
“But again, that goes straight out of the window when it is derby day. That run has to come to an end at some point but either Ipswich are going to nick one against us or the run against them continues for a little longer.”
All of which leaves Nelson Oliveira’s “we are the better club” comments from the weekend to discuss – comments Eadie wouldn’t have had a problem with, even if he was now sharing a City dressing room with the Portuguese striker.
“I’d probably say it got lost in translation a little bit and I’d probably try to play it down a bit,” added Eadie.
“It adds to the atmosphere and adds to the day. I don’t have a problem with it.
“I think players are professional enough to know that whatever gets said, it will get thrown back at you if it goes wrong. But who cares, quite frankly?
“You want to get one up on them before the game and it’s about anything you can do to take away some of the pressure.
“Some players would do it on purpose as well, to take the pressure off the rest of the lads – try to heap it all on themselves and take it off the rest of the lads to let them play.
“It’s all a bit tongue in cheek I’d like to say, but the facts are the facts at the end of the day – and Ipswich fans can’t argue with the fact that Norwich City have been the better side for a decade or so.”