Goss is still flying the flag for Norwich City
Jeremy Goss is still flying the flag for Norwich City – nearly two decades after featuring in the club’s most successful top-flight season.
Goss was in the side that finished third in the first FA Premier League campaign under Mike Walker in 1992-93, leading to the European run that thrust him into the national football spotlight.
And the former midfielder was back at Carrow Road yesterday, one month ahead of the start of the 20th Premier League season, for the symbolic handover that marked the Canaries’ return to the big time.
Simon Smith, Barclays regional manager for East Anglia, presented Goss with the Premier League flag that will fly high above the City Stand next season.
The 46-year-old ex-Canary reflected on the remarkable two-year transformation under Paul Lambert that has put his old club back among the elite.
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“Two years ago we were in League One. It was desperate, it was sad, the fans were going crazy and rightly so,” he said.
“And here we are now, two years later, as if by magic in the Barclays Premier League. It’s unbelievable, a brilliant achievement.
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“I’m so pleased for all the fans, people working behind the scenes, but most of all pleased for the players who have gone out there and achieved it.
“There isn’t one what we used call ‘big-time Charlie’ in the team. They’ve got a real collective atmosphere and a team spirit that is second to none. Mix that with good quality players, a winning mentality that the manager instils in everybody and you create success. That’s where it’s come from.”
Goss detects the same spirit and philosophy behind City’s success under Lambert that made them the surprise package nearly 20 years ago.
“I was lucky enough to help Ian Crook with the reserves a while ago and I got to know Paul Lambert a little bit better.
“He’s an absolute winner, a man who’s driven for success and that mentality drip-feeds on to the staff and the players below,” he said.
“He’ll have a bigger squad and it will be a big challenge to keep everyone happy but I think we can make huge impact.
“Success for us all will be fourth from bottom – staying in the Premier League will be the ultimate objection – but I wouldn’t be surprised to see us head into the top 10 for the reasons that have got us here over the past two seasons.”
Goss admitted vast sums of money had made the Premier League of today very different to the inaugural season he experienced.
He said: “There are huge differences. In the early 90s at the start of the Premier League it was new, creative, brash, extravagant with the dancing girls in the centre circle as we ran out to play. It was the introduction of huge money as well.
“Money has taken over dramatically in the past 18 years where clubs are owned by billionaires and we see players who are on 50, 60, 70 thousand pounds a week, which is not abnormal for a salary in that league.
“The players are looked upon as big superstars like boy bands, pop stars and film stars. The hype surrounding football is extreme. What we’re about to experience next season is the best it’s ever been.”