Here’s hoping young Lions roar at Carrow Road

I’m off to Carrow Road to watch England versus Romania next Friday night.

This will be my first England international since 1975 when I saw them beat Scotland 5-1, a result spoilt by my unaccountably ended up standing amongst hundreds of drunken Scottish fans, who considered the walk down to the gents much too far when they wanted to relieve themselves, if you get my meaning. I am expecting a vastly different experience this time around in my very own seat in the Snakepit.


I was so pleased when the FA announced this match would be held at Carrow Road. I am nowhere near as passionate about my national team as I am about Norwich City. In fact I have to hold up my hands and admit that if Korey Smith getting picked for the under-21s would mean him being poached by a Premier League team, then I’d rather he didn’t get selected. But I do like to see England win in all sports, particularly football, and I am therefore delighted that the FA has recognised the potential of this area in football terms, and picked us again, when we have been considered a soccer backwater so much in the past.


I’m sure our fantastic gates must have been a factor in the decision. This is a crucial fixture for the young England team in their quest to reach next summer’s tournament in Denmark, and if they can milk a typical Carrow Road style atmosphere it can only help. If you were playing for England the wide empty spaces in the stands at places like Middlesbrough and Wigan are hardly going to inspire you are they?


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Another factor may well be the terrific playing surface at Carrow Road (take a bow Gary Kemp). ‘Carpet’ is an overused word when describing football pitches, but is very close to the truth in our case and City’s is second to none in the country. I have no idea how many tickets have been sold for the match at this stage but I’m guessing there will be a good attendance. I know not everyone who goes to watch City wants to see England but I suspect this will be balanced by lots of England fans who don’t follow Norwich. I know several people who I regularly bore to tears with my tales of the Canaries, but who follow other clubs and have purchased tickets for this game.


I see that England in their bid to host the 2018 world cup finals have nominated London (three stadiums), Manchester (two stadiums), Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland. I’m not quite sure of the criteria on which these selections were based, but there’s not much in the east is there? They could have done worse than come to Carrow Road.


Let’s hope they regret it after next Friday.