Fate has managed to deal City a kind hand
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries A month ago to the day we were finished. As I trudged out of Carrow Road towards Morrisons, having watched City lose 2-1 to Coventry, I bumped into a friend and we tried to put the world to rights.
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries
A month ago to the day we were finished. As I trudged out of Carrow Road towards Morrisons, having watched City lose 2-1 to Coventry, I bumped into a friend and we tried to put the world to rights.
He had a face like thunder, and looked even more depressed and miserable than me, which was quite an achievement, given how I felt at 5pm.
We exchanged pleasantries, blamed anyone and everyone for the defeat and parted company as we continued our journeys home.
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That day was the low point of the season for me, even lower than the depressing “no-subs” game at Watford, the first without Lee Clark, which is where City's season really started to unravel.
This was worse though; after the euphoria of the Barnsley victory, and a couple of good away performances Norwich had reverted back to the ways of old. Slow play, no punch up front and a defence that looked like it would concede two a game. The crowd were restless, the players nervous, and Carrow Road was becoming a difficult place to enjoy a game of football.
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With 10 minutes remaining in the Coventry game, came one of the moments that changed the season, when the skipper stormed off down the tunnel. Perhaps we should thank him for his actions.
Perhaps we should thank the crowd for the reaction to his substitution, or maybe we should applaud Gunny for finally losing patience with him. In any team, the example should come from the skipper. He should set the tone and the standard to which the players should aspire to. Against Coventry, the skipper lost the ball needlessly three times in the first 10 minutes or so, he started sluggishly, the team followed his example, the crowd didn't get into the game, and we were on the way to getting beaten inside the first 20 minutes.
I was not at all sad to see him dropped. The same could not have been said of Jamie Cureton who I wanted to score more than any other player in the team, but it just wasn't happening for him.
His culling from the first team squad was more an act of mercy from Gunny than anything else, and I hope that he re-finds his touch in front of goal next season, at whatever club that may be.
Fast forward to the Cardiff game two weeks later; a new skipper leading by example, with a superb defensive performance that saw us gain a fantastic victory against one of the better sides in the Championship.
We snapped into tackles early on, and the dominance of the midfield, absent in the Coventry game, was back, and this allowed the more creative players that were brought into the team to express themselves. The crowd got into the game, and were behind the team for 90 minutes.
A week later the skipper and his defensive partner put in another solid performance, and the following Saturday at Birmingham. They were inspired by the fantastic away support, the whole team played superbly and Norwich gained a more than creditable draw, and in truth, should have wrapped the game up in the first half.
In the last few weeks Gunny has made some big decisions that have given us a real chance of staying up. I'm just praying that by the time we get to play at Charlton it will all be over, and City will be safe for next season.
We all know what happened when we last played in London on the final day of the season needing a result to survive don't we?