Chris Goreham: What it feels like to be man-marked by Timm Klose
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It was a relief that Norwich City continued their recent dominance of the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road on Sunday not least because I spent much of the afternoon being man marked by Timm Klose.
The broadcast gantry high in the South Stand provides a wonderful view of the game but since the heady days of being in the Premier League ended, when Norwich City matches were being screened around the world, the BBC Radio Norfolk commentary team has often had plenty of space to spread out up there. This wasn’t the case on Sunday.
With spare seats in the ground few and far between Timm Klose, who is currently out injured, decided to sample the atmosphere from our lofty vantage point. He was with a familiar looking man who I later realised was the former City striker Gaetano Giallanza who works as Klose’s agent. The duo stood so close to my left shoulder that I knew they would be able to hear everything I was saying.
The idea that a radio commentator should be worried about people actually being able to hear him may seem like a strange one but one of the great advantages of my chosen profession is that the audience is invisible and it’s impossible to be thrown off course by an immediate reaction to something that’s said on air. Or at least that used to be the case before social media made all of us accessible all of the time.
I am sure that Klose was trying to read my commentary notes at one stage so I made sure that I mentioned his famous stoppage time equaliser against Ipswich on their previous visit to Carrow Road just to build-up a bit of goodwill in case the need arose to say something less complimentary about the Canaries later in the broadcast.
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The last gasp 1-1 draw against Town was one of just a handful of highlights during last season.
The two East Anglian rivals would finish level on 60 points with Ipswich claiming a slightly higher mid-table position by virtue of a better goal difference.
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City have already matched that points tally for this season thanks to the three they pocketed at the weekend and the gap between the two sides now stands at 42 points.
The size of the chasm is best illustrated by the fact that Blackburn Rovers, who until recently looked like a decent outside bet for the play-offs, have a total points tally for the season that currently stands at 43.
The differing fortunes of Norwich City and Ipswich Town get more remarkable by the week especially as the two clubs ended last season on an equal footing and had similar rebuilding jobs to carry out in the summer after losing their top three goal scorers.
It’s not an exact science but the difference in the recruitment policies at the two clubs was brutally highlighted in the derby.
City scored with all three of their shots on target with Teemu Pukki, a free transfer remember, netting his 20th and 21st goals of the season to add to his burgeoning reputation as one of the most efficient strikers around.
Ipswich were better than their bottom-of-the-table position suggested they would be for long periods of the match but were toothless in the final third and this was one derby where the form book stayed well and truly indoors and never looked like being thrown out of the window.
Perhaps the South Stand gantry will be busy every week next season.
At least we can be sure that Timm Klose will be back in first team contention for Norwich City soon.
There’s no greater fitness test than climbing up those stairs.