Ian Clarke: Drawing a blank could be a Hulluva good thing for City

PUBLISHED: 09:22 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:53 29 November 2018

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke salutes fans following the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull
Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751
27/11/2018

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke salutes fans following the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751 27/11/2018

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Seven league games unbeaten.

Mario Vrancic of Norwich City applauds fans following the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull
Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751
27/11/2018Mario Vrancic of Norwich City applauds fans following the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751 27/11/2018

We’re still top of the league with two home games against bottom six teams to come in the next week and a bit.

It is only the third time in 25 years that the Canaries have gone eight away games on the trot without defeat – the other two seasons were in 2003/4 and 2014/15, which both ended in promotion.

City have got a total of 20 points from nine matches in October and November.

Remember how poor we normally are in the penultimate month of the year? This season’s 10 points are three more than in the last four Novembers put together (thanks as always to @ncfcnumbers for great stats).

Tom Trybull of Norwich City (right) is disappointed after heading a goal opportunity wide during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751 27/11/2018Tom Trybull of Norwich City (right) is disappointed after heading a goal opportunity wide during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751 27/11/2018

Fear not, though – a goalless draw on a filthy night against a team who parked a fleet of coaches still ensured some of the moaners reared their heads again!

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

We all care passionately about our club. Some of us are naturally positive with our Canary cup being half full or fuller.

Others tend to normally only have a dribble of liquid in their yellow and green glass, however well the team is doing.

Ben Godfrey of Norwich City and Max Aarons of Norwich City arrive at the KCOM Stadium, Hull ahead of Hull City v Norwich City
Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751
27/11/2018Ben Godfrey of Norwich City and Max Aarons of Norwich City arrive at the KCOM Stadium, Hull ahead of Hull City v Norwich City Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751 27/11/2018

But come on, everyone. We should all be so delighted at the amazingly fun ride we’re currently enjoying thanks to Daniel Farke and his men.

If I’d have offered you 37 points in 19 games – including a shut-out at Hull – would you have taken it?

Thought so.

Yes, it was frustrating on Tuesday to have 66pc possession with 18 shots and no goals.

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 24, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or Norwich City's Teemu Pukki celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 24, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

However, I’ll say here and now that when we look back we’ll be happy with that point.

You could say drawing a blank on Humberside could end up being a Hull-uva good thing for Norwich City.

So many fans have been asking in recent days when the bubble would burst.

There was no way that the boys would keep netting four goals a game and steamrolling the opposition.

Norwich City's Marco Stiepermann scores the third goal against Swansea City during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 24, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or Norwich City's Marco Stiepermann scores the third goal against Swansea City during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 24, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Swansea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

To me, getting a draw and securing a clean sheet on a difficult night when our rivals didn’t really take advantage has got to be ok.

When the lawnmowers came out as the head coach did his post-match interview (and it’s clear they’d been locked up in the shed for many days before), you know the opposition had done everything possible to make things difficult, even letting the grass grow and grow,

In no way did the bubble burst at the KCom.

Actually taking a bit of the air out of the quickly-inflating ball of over-excitement can’t be a bad thing.

The traveling Norwich City fans celebrate another victory - this time at Swansea. It'a ll becoming a rather enjoyable habit this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesThe traveling Norwich City fans celebrate another victory - this time at Swansea. It'a ll becoming a rather enjoyable habit this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Hands up, I’m as guilty as anyone of getting a bit carried away.

I’ve been dreaming of a promotion parade and watching Premier League matches thinking how we’d fare against them.

I did the Pink Un podcast earlier in the week with my colleagues Michael Bailey and Dave Freezer, and we started talking about which of our current squad could cut it in the top flight.

Forget dreaming about a white Christmas. My festive thoughts have been yellow and green ones.

Mario Vrancic in conversation with Emi Buendia during the latter stages of last night's gameMario Vrancic in conversation with Emi Buendia during the latter stages of last night's game

Perhaps the point at Hull was a welcome reality check.

It showed that we are going to have tough times ahead as teams make it more and more awkward for us.

I thought Farke was absolutely spot on with his post-match verdict:

“If you can’t win it, then make sure you don’t lose it. We can live with this point, We are not so arrogant that we say we will win each and every game in this league and finish the season with 130 points or whatever. We know where we are coming from. We are on a good run, scoring a lot of goals in recent weeks but sometimes you have an opponent who is fighting with a knife between their teeth. This side was able to beat West Brom 1-0. It is a good point and not many sides will be able to do that here.”

Emi Buendia of Norwich City is tackled by Markus Henriksen of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull
Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751
27/11/2018Emi Buendia of Norwich City is tackled by Markus Henriksen of Hull City during the Sky Bet Championship match at the KCOM Stadium, Hull Picture by Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd 07814 960751 27/11/2018

I feel that the draw will focus the minds at Carrow Road a bit more on having a plan B and maybe a plan C when things don’t go our away.

City clearly missed Mo Leitner at Hull.

The team have adapted well when other stars have got injured this term and we need to be able to cope without him.

There’s been lots of talk about City “going under the radar”.

Tom Trybull is thwarted by a good save from Hull's David Marshall, the former Norwich stopperTom Trybull is thwarted by a good save from Hull's David Marshall, the former Norwich stopper

I’m actually pleased that the winning run has ended. It will help keep our profile outside Norfolk in check, which for me is a good thing.

Norwich have seven games in 32 days from Saturday. That’s a significant chunk of the season.

Dear Santa, please can I have another six wins and a draw from those games....?


Why I’ll always remember Leon

There was some sad news this week when it was revealed that former City defender Leon Barnett was being forced to retire from football at the age of 32 due to a heart condition.

He played more than 300 games in a 16-year career and I wish him all the very best in whatever he does next.

Barnett arrived at Norwich back in 2010 on loan which was turned into a permanent deal a few months later. He made a total of 55 appearances and bagged two goals while a Canary – but there’s one reason why I’ll remember him.

Let me take you back to January 2011 when he gave away a penalty in a 2-0 home defeat to Portsmouth. Barnett got a second yellow card for the foul and so was sent off. In protest he threw the ball at ref Simon Hooper.

Turn the clock forward to August 2015 when Hooper disallowed THAT “goal” from Cameron Jerome against Palace. If only we could all have been in Barnett’s boots and done the same thing to Hooper!

You bet it will be a good night!

Carrow Road will have a feeling of Las Vegas as the Norwich City Fans Social Club holds its latest fun evening for supporters.

The group of volunteers do a fantastic job in organising events for City followers and also raising funds.

On Thursday December 6 there will be a chance to try your hand at blackjack and roulette in a strictly-for-fun casino night.

After paying the usual £3 entry fee, supporters can spend a maximum of £20 during the night to exchange for make-believe money to gamble with.

There will be a range of prizes plus a traditional raffle with proceeds to the Community Sports Foundation.

Doors open at 7pm, games begin running at 7.30pm. It is for over-18s only.

The event will be in the Top of the City function room (entrance in the main reception of the South Stand).

Find out more about the Social Club and what’s coming up at www.ncfsc.co.uk on Twitter @NorwichCityFSC or on the Facebook page.

OTBC!

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