Refs should break shoot-out rules for City

PUBLISHED: 16:09 28 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:46 14 September 2010

Memo to self - remember to write memo to referees asap. Include lines such as: when refereeing Norwich City games please note that there will be a maximum of 60 seconds added time at the end of each half for reasons already stated (see last week's Bird's Eye View) and under no circumstances is there to be a penalty shoot-out even if this means a blatant breach of competition rules.

Memo to self - remember to write memo to referees asap.

Include lines such as: when refereeing Norwich City games please note that there will be a maximum of 60 seconds added time at the end of each half for reasons already stated (see last week's Bird's Eye View) and under no circumstances is there to be a penalty shoot-out even if this means a blatant breach of competition rules.

To break the latter law will result in loss of league referee status plus awarding of the appropriate trophy to the Canaries by default (ie for picking on us and making us participate in yet another of those completely farcical charades).

I must admit that many memories of play-off strife in Cardiff just a few years ago came flooding back midweek when, having failed to break down Port Vale's defence during normal and extra time, we again paid the price in one of those events that is about as loved as a lingering bout of flu.

Only consolation is, I suppose, that on this occasion it wasn't quite as heartbreaking, and there was at least some solace to be found in starting some therapeutic writing. (Look forward to my new offering which will be on your local bookshelves soon: 101 Ways to Say We Don't Need to be Distracted by a Cup Run when Promotion is the Main Aim).

Let me instead concentrate on the victory over Cardiff last weekend and reflect upon arriving so close to kick-off time (thanks to a lethargic train) that I almost felt like Chris Kamara the day he got lost on his way to the ground and muggins here had to race him up to the press box just to get him to his seat on time. Sad, but true.

A game of two halves it most certainly was but I think City fans saw enough in the first 45 minutes to believe that we are indeed capable of being there or thereabouts when the 'games played'

column says 46, that is pending maintaining better away form and points gained on enemy territory, coupled with also learning how to put games to bed when we have the lead rather than sitting back and hoping that none of the opposition has read the 'time when goals conceded' stats.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people I know, not of yellow and green persuasion, who say things like “Norwich are a very funny team”. And it always amuses me that when they do I have images of the lads dressed like Razz the Clown running out to a little something by Madness, and falling over hopelessly during the warm-up due to the size 18 boots on their feet. (All of which reminds me too of the City fan who, upon seeing the guy on stilts handing out leaflets outside the City Stand before Saturday's kick-off, said: “I see Liverpool don't want poor Crouchy any more”).

Anyway, we all know exactly what these

heathens mean in truth as we always seem to play better, almost to a fault, against the so-called better sides, and long has it apparently been that way.

Who can forget just three short seasons ago when then-lowly Watford came and mugged us at the fortress, as did then-bottom side Bradford when all and sundry before and after them met with classy, ruthless attacking football?

Well, as we are often reminded by those who love a helping of clichés at Delia's Brasserie, Rome wasn't built in a day, and the Championship is at best a marathon and certainly not a sprint. At least recent signs have been encouraging as opposed to depressing, and the noises being made by certain important people are attempting to convey a 'good but could do better' type of message which should ensure complacency is an unwelcome visitor.

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