We've turned the corner...
PUBLISHED: 14:08 10 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:09 14 September 2010
Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that I just don't realise. Wood from the trees and all that. I go to the games, cheer the team on, get frustrated about a few things that I see on the pitch and am pleased about others.
Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that I just don't realise. Wood from the trees and all that. I go to the games, cheer the team on, get frustrated about a few things that I see on the pitch and am pleased about others. I curse the ref, and the oppo, and applaud a good pass or groan when the same sort of pass that I applauded goes astray. I judge the game on small incidents that I can recall, conveniently forgetting what the whole ninety minutes were like.
I'm provoked into disagreeing with the post-match analysis if I cannot remember the incident that is reported on and then suddenly I recall what was being written about. “Yes, it was like that”, or “No it wasn't”. A prime example of this was posted on Wrath of the Barclay this week about Dickson Etuhu's performance against Derby.
I recall making a mental note that this seemed to be one of his games, as in the first 10 minutes, he bustled around midfield, showing us the sort of player he could be. As he disappeared from the game, I focused my attention elsewhere and forgot about his promising start to the game. The next day a comment was posted about how good his first 10 minutes were, which was immediately followed by a pithy and acerbic reply, “Yes, but the scout in the crowd left after 10 minutes”. Yes, it was like that.
As I am often accused of missing the obvious, can I raise a hand in a “guilty m'lud” fashion and charge myself with the crime of not realising that at last, we might have actually hit the bottom of the downward spiral that started on the opening day of our Premiership campaign.
It was one of the longest-standing members of the Capital Canaries who pointed this out to me. We were in the Rosary, enjoying a pre match beer when it was mentioned that at last we were back on an upward curve. Yes, Rick's right”, I thought as he talked positively about matters NCFC.
So here a few reasons why I am now feeling optimistic, and confident that after two-and-half seasons of heading downhill, out of the Premiership, and towards the third tier of English football, we have avoided the iceberg that the SS Norwich City was hurtling towards.
Who would have thought that we would have a new hero in our midst. Youth team forwards used to be bench fillers and emergency right wingers, dropped and consigned to the reserves after coming on for ten minutes in the Coca Cola Cup. Peter Grant gave a young player a chance and he grabbed it. Super Chrissy Martin is the player we are all talking about now.
Bargains from teams that only ground hoppers have been to used to be the preserve of every other club in the Championship apart from Norwich. Now we've signed Simon Lappin. At last, a decent player that has not cost us a fortune.
Who would have though we would ever score from a free kick again. Now, after two goals from direct strikes we have players arguing about who is top dog in this department. And at last the ghost of Malky MacKay has been laid to rest as we have Jason Shackell, a centre back who is a genuine threat in the opposition penalty box.
And finally we look a more motivated and better organised side. There is still plenty of work to be done, especially with the defence where some tough decisions will need to be made in the summer, but I get the impression that we are heading in the right direction.
After all my pre-match bullishness, I was not downhearted after our loss against Derby. We played well, competed against a team who are, more than likely, heading for the Premiership, and with a little luck would have won the point we more than deserved. Teams at the top find a way to win these sorts of games, just as we did in our Championship winning season.
We are still not certain of survival, but from what I have seen over the couple of weeks, we have turned that important corner and are back on the way back up.