Don’t worry about a thing - it’s easier said than done for Norwich City fans
- Credit: PA
I was out in my garden watering my plants as I was putting the finishing touches to this column in my mind.
Lots of things were going through my head as I mulled over Tuesday’s dramatic victory by Swansea over Wigan and thought about the visit by the Baggies to Carrow Road this Sunday.
I drifted ahead to the following week’s trip to the Ethiad.
Sadly the Canaries have a really poor record at home to West Brom and even worse in the blue half of Manchester.
Other cogs in my mind were going over who all our rivals had in their last two games.
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Would their opponents be up for it? Do we want Sunderland to beat Southampton or vice versa or prefer a draw?
What about cheering on Spurs to beat Chelsea last night, so they still have something to play for when they travel to the Stadium of Light on the final day?
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You getting the picture about what was going on as the roses and new grass seed were getting a thorough soaking?
The chaos at Spaghetti Junction at rush hour was nothing compared to all that was going on in my brain.
And to think that was all after Swansea had done City a massive favour. Imagine what it had been like if Wigan had won?
I’m not a real worrier by nature. My glass is pretty much always half full and despite the problems of this term, I have remained fairly positive.
However, I have caught the bug which seems to have taken over every other Canaries fan. Fearofthedrop-itis, it could be called.
Back to my watering and as the brain activity reached its peak, Chris Evans pressed play on another tune on his breakfast show which came over my ear phones.
The unmistakable beat of Bob Marley kicked in and I chuckled to myself as I listened to the words.
“Don’t worry about a thing, cos every little thing gonna be alright....”
Bob – who died 32 years ago this Saturday – clearly wasn’t a City fan!
Come off it Mr Marley, I know you were a music legend but didn’t you foresee what we are going through?!
After Tuesday, was he right? Are we safe?
I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone the various connotations over the next 10 days.
However, to me three things are crystal clear.
Firstly, Norwich’s future in the top flight is firmly back in Norwich’s hands. You can’t ask for more than that.
A win on Sunday and it will take a pretty unlikely series of results to send us down.
A draw may be good enough but then we are looking over our shoulders again.
A third defeat on the trot and the bums are getting mighty squeaky once more.
Secondly, I feel CH has just got to be really positive against the Baggies.
His team has looked its best “going for it” this season.
Think back to the victories over Man Utd and Arsenal and the draw which felt like a win over Spurs. When there is positivity, it produces results.
Thirdly, the prospect of relegation is more and more unpalatable every time I think about it.
With the tens of millions at stake from the new TV deal, there has never been a worse time to drop out of the top flight.
I also think, despite the parachute payments, it is harder than ever for clubs to get straight back to the Premier League.
Look at last season’s relegated teams for instance.
Wolves have gone down again. Blackburn had a torrid year and only survived by four points.
Bolton were the pick of the trio, but still missed out on getting in the play-offs.
A report out this week has revealed the difficulty teams have in bouncing back after going through the trap door.
The average time a club spends in the lower leagues is four seasons. The last time City were relegated it took six years to get up again.
So let’s go for it against West Brom, wait for the others to slip up – and start singing some Marley tunes.
• SHRIMPERS WILL REMAIN AS THE SCOURGE OF SIR ALEX
There are some things in football you think will never happen.
Surely top of the list for many, many years has been the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
My mind had been firmly on the DW Stadium on Tuesday evening, when all of a sudden the talk of the unthinkable becoming a real possibility turned from whisper to torrent.
And so after 26 years at the helm of the biggest club side in the world and with 38 trophies in the Old Trafford cabinet, Sir Alex is calling time.
His haul includes 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.
I have never really loved the Scot but his achievements are nothing short of phenomenal and unrivalled.
Fergie’s last game in charge will be his 1,500th. Wow.
So far he has won 894, drawn 337 and lost 267.
Who can rival that win ratio? Yes he has had all the financial backing he has needed and he has had so many great players at his disposal.
However, there are plenty of other clubs who are in similar positions but have not seen anywhere near the consistent levels of performance.
How about these for amazing statistics.
While Fergie has been the single manager in the Old Trafford hot seat since 1986, other clubs have had considerably more.
Real Madrid (24), Inter Milan (19), Chelsea (18), Bayern Munch (14), Juventus (14), Man City (14) and AC Milan (13).
The Canaries match AC Milan in the managerial numbers.
So without looking, how many of the 13 can you name off the top of your head?
And want one more stat about Sir Alex?
The only team he has played against but not beaten is Southend.
Surely it will be his biggest regret....
• Hero of the week: Dwight Tiendalli – you are a lovely, lovely man. You gained cult status from Norwich to Newcastle and Sunderland to Southampton. We would have forgiven you for packing your suitcase for a summer holiday miles away and seeing out a Tuesday night trip to Wigan in early May. But you did the business and helped us all sleep easier – and you will be forever in our hearts.
• Villain of the week: David Luiz scored a fantastic goal for Chelsea in the Europa League. I think he is a terrific footballer, especially when he plays further forward than the defensive role he has been given for so long. So why did he have to blot his copy book and roll around like he had been shot after a tackle by Rafael at the weekend? I really don’t like players trying to get other pros sent off nor do I like them feigning the extent of injuries. And the smirk afterwards really took the biscuit.
• Highlight of the week: It’s a pretty easy decision. After the catalogue of nightmares including our late defeat on Saturday, Wigan’s triumph at WBA, Sunderland’s comeback to go above us on Monday and the growing unease among City fans, everything seemed to be conspiring against us. When Roberto Martinez’s men took the lead just before half-time on Tuesday and then quickly re-gained control after Swansea equalised, we all feared we would be within a single goal of the drop zone. Then finally the tide turned and our Welsh friends did the business. The nine minutes of added time at the DW seemed to drag on for ever and the final whistle brought such relief and was a clear high point of the week.
• Funniest moment of the week: Players kissing cameras has become a lot more common since Sky and the other broadcasters started putting them in every possible place around the ground. However, the Hull players took intimacy with a camera to a new level after they earned promotion at the weekend. Very amusing footage – and a very smeary lens!
• Prediction of the week: While I feel a lot more confident after Tuesday night and feel we will survive now, I still sense some more twists and turns before 6pm on Sunday, May 19. Don’t relax just yet.....