Times really have changed for Norwich City - seven CAN be a magic number
PUBLISHED: 12:22 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 04 October 2017
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October 3, 1992, was a very emotional day which I'll never forget.
Losing 7-1 at any time is tough to take for a football supporter. But imagine it happening on your wedding day.
Yes, while Mrs C and I were in Dereham Baptist Church for our own match of the day to commit ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives, goals were flying in for Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Fans below a certain age will have no concept of being unable to follow every twist and turn of a City match. Pink Un Live, Twitter, Facebook, Sky Go...there are now so many ways to keep up to date.
Back in those dim and distant days of the early 90s when smart phones were still being featured on Tomorrow’s World, tuning in to a mini wireless or car radio was how we found out how our beloved Canaries were faring if we were out and about.
When us newly marrieds walked on to the steps of the church for our photos, I was getting shouts from “friends” who had switched on their radios that the Canaries were four down. Forget that, five down. Oh no, it was six. It kept getting worse for City. I somehow managed to smile so those photographic momentoes of our big day wouldn’t be ruined (my darling wife knows that the result didn’t matter that much...)
Move the clock on a quarter of a century, and I’m very pleased to say that while Anita hasn’t fallen in love with the boys in yellow and green, we are still very happily married and this week celebrated our silver anniversary.
As we have browsed through pictures and remembered aspects of our wedding day, that 7-1 has obviously cropped up (even though I’m still trying to forget it).
So it’s been a relief to be able to dwell much more positively on the number seven as we head in to another international break.
The last time we had the blank spell from league action, things were very gloomy for Daniel Farke’s men.
If anyone had suggested City would go on a seven-game unbeaten stretch and set a new record for clean sheets, supporters would have laughed even louder than people have in recent days when looking at my hair cut on our wedding photos.
In my last column I talked about the really tough prospect of going to places like Sheffield United, Middlesborough and Reading.
To get nine points from those trips was magnificent.
Sticking with the theme of seven, I’ve picked seven reasons why City’s Super September has put a spring in our step.
*Togetherness – the huddle at the Riverside was a very outward sign of what has clearly been building in the squad. It takes time to happen – but boy does it make a difference, There’s a real obvious collective work ethic which was lacking earlier in the campaign.
*Meanness – Under Farke’s management, Dortmund II conceded the fewest goals and lost the fewest away games in their league last season. The head coach has now got his Norwich defenders defending. Crucially the boys at the back are showing so much more defensive anticipation. Rocket science? Of course not. Effective? Absolutely.
*Captain Ivo – I know some supporters were wary of making Pinto skipper. The full-back has risen to the task manfully and his spirit is clearly infectious among his team-mates.
*Midfield formation – While the defenders were rightly criticised in the opening weeks as the goals against column rose, the backline was too often exposed by a lack of protection. The introduction of Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull has injected some much needed steel in the engine room,
*Quality – Grit, fight and spirit have been so much more evident as the revival has taken shape. That has been sprinkled with a noticeable addition of quality. Maddison’s last two goals, Timm Klose’s and Christoph Zimmermann’s class plus the rise and rise of Angus Gunn are examples of how the cream is rising to the top.
*Momentum – It’s early in the autumn to talk about white stuff coming from the sky. Snowballs, however, were the order of the day as Cameron Jerome used the analogy to talk about confidence growing and momentum building.
*The Harry Kane legacy – What? I hear you cry. Kane was awful during his loan spell in NR1. I don’t disagree. However, the striker clearly left the club with the ability to have a fantastic September after a barren August.
Of course there will be plenty of ups and downs and times will be tough (no dear, I’m not talking about married life).
Don’t forget this time last year City were top of the tree and the upcoming games once action resumes are far from easy. But are you feeling better about life as a City follower? I certainly am.
Top man Cam
I’m not going to pretend that Cameron Jerome is my favourite ever City striker.
Iwan, Flecky, Holty, Ashton... I could go on, and I have loved watching many great frontmen over the years.
I do, however, have a huge amount of admiration for Cam.
His very well-taken header at Reading took him to 42 goals for the Canaries, level with one of my boyhood heroes Kevin Reeves.
Jerome is only one behind Disco Dale, six shy of Hucks and only eight behind Peters.
Yes, Cam misses plenty of chances. But just watch his workrate and never-say-die attitude and there is so much to be said for that.
He has now scored in 14 consecutive seasons, dating back to 2004/5.
That is some achievement and I really hope the winner on Saturday is the catalyst for many more this term.
For me, Nelson is the number one striker at City by some distance.
He won’t play every match, though, and an on fire Cam is crucial.
Gunning for another record?
If you listen to certain people, the league cup (or if you prefer the Carabao Cup), is on its way out.
Well, Norwich fans – and, indeed, the head coach and players – seem to think very differently.
So far this season Daniel Farke has fielded pretty strong teams in the competition and those he has sent out on to the pitch have responded well.
We love a bit of cup fever, but despite that I think most people were surprised that the first 5,000 or so tickets to be made available for the trip to The Emirates sold within a couple of hours.
I’m not sure exactly how many of the second tranche of 3,600 to be released have been snapped up but if the initial demand is anything to by, I would think they may all go.
Having getting towards 9,000 away fans on a midweek night will be pretty amazing – and could set a record.
I’ve been asking on social media if anyone remembers more City supporters travelling for a night match. So far I can’t find one – unless you know different....