David Hannant: Talk of the town or under the radar? As Jordan Rhodes would say...it don’t matter!
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Shocking confession alert - I probably spend far too much time following what people are saying on social media about Norwich City.
Obviously part of this is down to the fact I am - first and foremost - a fan. Being a Norwich City fan is as much a part of my make up as my family is, as my profession is, even as my cat is...
Because of this, I have a natural interest in what my fellow City fans have to say about the club, which often influences what I decide to write about here.
This week is no exception - as I’ve started to notice a recurring trend among City fans on social media is resurfacing for the umpteenth time.
This trend is a funny one - talking about being talked about.
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One way or another, whether Norwich City are a hot topic, always seems to be a hot topic. Now more than ever.
And like is generally the case with these types of debate, there is a real plethora of reactions, and a real plethora of questions.
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Are we being ignored or overlooked? Or are we flying under the radar?
Are we unfashionable? Or are we just less fashionable than certain others?
Are we underestimated? Or are we over-achieving?
To answer each and everyone one of these, I’m going to ‘borrow’ one of the newest catchphrases being championed by our friends over on the Scrimmage.
You guessed it - as Jordan Rhodes would say - it don’t matter!
It’s a disappointing, but, ultimately pretty meaningless fact of football that we’re probably never destined to be a national media darling like Leeds or Villa.
We’ll always have Munich, but aren’t ‘sleeping giants’.
Our head coach, while probably the best in the league right now, didn’t have a glittering playing career, laden with silverware and celebrity romance off the field.
We haven’t done a Leicester (yet) and won the Premier League in the most unlikely of fashions.
All these factors mean that we will never be the first team the national media wants to natter about - certainly not at this stage of the season either.
The fact of the matter is, mass appeal is exactly that - appealing to the masses.
The ‘fashionable’ clubs hogging the spotlight, the Leeds, the Villas, do have larger fanbases and as such their names drop with a louder clangs than Norwich City.
However, personally I’m totally fine with this. Obviously it is nice to get plaudits, particularly when they are deserved, however, it does not matter one iota whether or not we are on telly every week, or if we’re first on the highlights.
In some ways, it’s nice not to be the one everybody talks about.
I keep bringing Leeds and Villa back into it, and Frank Lampard’s Derby County. I have no ill feelings towards any of this trio.
Nor other sleeping giants like Nottingham Forest et al.
These sides will always be talked about, because they have always have been.
Let’s be honest, we all love the romantic story of the sleeping giant stirring, like Lazarus from the dead. So the minute someone like this starts to do well, we leap.
We all also love the plucky underdog tale. Which is why when an overachiever does so, it’s another one to cling to.
We don’t really fall into that category either. So what does this mean for us?
It means, when Norwich City are being talked about, we can damn well be sure it is because we are doing something right.
After that breathless, stunning, remarkable, outrageous, berserk, and every superlative under the sun win against Millwall, who topped the bill that day?
I suspect if Daniel Farke’s lads continue to deliver on this scale, we will see our name dropped far more often than it has been.
We’ve already seen glimmers of this - such as unwelcome gossip and speculation around Stuart Webber and Teemu Pukki.
No doubt if the form continues, these won’t be the only people being linked with life after Norwich City. No doubt at all.
So, in a way, we can probably be thankful we don’t fall under the ‘fashionable club’ umbrella.
While on one hand it is nice to be spoken about, it also has its drawbacks, as we may well see.
As with this City side it is really starting to feel like we could be turning to the unlikely source of Morrissey for a mantra - the more you ignore us, the closer we get.
But while the City talk remains at a whisper’s level outside of Norfolk, there’s no use getting upset about it or having inferiority complexes.
Instead, let’s just continue to enjoy the quiet while it last - we all know how good we are.
Whether we are talk of the town, flavour of the month, or forgotten sons, as Jordan Rhodes would say - it don’t matter!
Great attitude, Grant
When Grant Hanley fell victim to a lengthy injury lay-off we all feared the worst.
We all know what happened next and where City are now.
This week, we heard the first noises from the big man in a while, as he nears full fitness once more.
In his chat with esteemed Norwich journalist Michael Bailey (sorry MB, I had to) he provided a true glimpse into the man he is.
It’s so encouraging to hear that even while injured, he feels part of the set up, wants to be part of the dressing room and is looking to contribute in any way he can.
His words also oozed of pride in what has been achieved in his absence and the job that has been done by the two men whose shirts he no doubt wants to snatch.
But that speaks volumes to me about the spirit Daniel Farke has created in the dressing room. Every man in there feels part of what is happening - whether they’re in the starting eleven, on the fringes, or in the treatment room. And that’s what it’s all about.
Lay off Jarvo
While we are on the subject of the treatment room, I read a great piece from Connor Southwell on Matt Jarvis.
In his piece - which is well worth looking up - Connor made some excellent points about the former England international - ones I couldn’t have made better myself.
Taking swipes at Matt Jarvis has almost become as much of a trend on social media for City fans as the one I addressed in my main piece.
Yes, it may be frustrating to see a player plagued by injury, but I can tell you without a shadow of uncertainty who the man most frustrated by this is: I’ll give you a clue, his initials are MJ and he didn’t record Thriller.
If it were up to Matt Jarvis, he would be ripping it up on the pitch. His injury troubles are not his fault.
Nor is it his fault he was given a long-term contract - one many of us were pretty chuffed with at the time having seen him become a key player while on loan.
So, as Connor so excellently put, let’s show a bit of compassion to the man.