Let’s hope Norwich City don’t suffer more heartache
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It’s now time for the players at Norwich City Football Club to start helping themselves and stop relying on other teams to drop points in the battle to stay in the Premier League.
On Sunday afternoon they know exactly what they have to do. They simply have to pick up three points against WBA and in doing so should guarantee Premier League football next season. They really don’t need to be going up to the Etihad next weekend needing a point to survive: I don’t think anybody’s nerves could stand that.
This is a huge game for all concerned with the club. It has to be one of the biggest game’s this club has ever had.
The game I’d compare Sunday’s with is the very last game of the 2004-05 season when Norwich travelled down to Craven Cottage knowing that avoiding defeat would have assured Premier League survival.
We all know what happened that fateful Sunday afternoon with Norwich City getting hammered 6-0 and, therefore, suffering relegation.
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Another hugely important game for the club was the 2002 play-off final against Birmingham. Winning that game would have propelled the club to another lever, both in playing terms and financially, but once again it was failure for the Canaries.
I’m just hoping this squad of players can avoid a third such disappointment, not just for themselves but for the magnificent supporters this fine club has.
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This is a club that should be in the Premier League, and victory on Sunday will all but assure that.
With Swansea beating Wigan on Tuesday night the Latics are now firm favourites to go down. It was a big result for Norwich City and the six other clubs involved in the relegation dog fight, but as I said at the beginning of this column, there’s no point of other clubs doing you a favour if you can’t take care of your own business.
West Brom have had a very good season under Steve Clarke and were never going to be looking over their shoulders at the teams bellow them after the tremendous first half of the season they had.
However, of late they have gone off the boil slightly, losing four of their last six games including losing their previous two. Are they already on their summer break?
That was an accusation levelled at the Swans as well up until that Wigan game in midweek! At the end of the day it’s down to Chris Hughton and his players. Of course you the fans will have your part to play Sunday afternoon, but it’s Chris who will pick the starting eleven, it’s Chris and his staff who will have prepared his squad for this huge game, and then it’s down to the players to go out and fight for this great club and get the positive result that they need.
• KEI WILL BE REMEMBERED
After Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa Kei Kamara was told that his loan deal would not be made permanent by the club and he’s returned to the USA to carry on with his career with Sporting Kansas City.
As I said a few weeks ago, I loved his enthusiasm and the way he put himself about, but at 28 was he going to improve anymore? He did lack technique and a bit of know-how, something that you learn from playing on a regular basis in the English League.
If the club was in the Championship I think they might have signed Kei, but I don’t think he was the answer to the goal scoring problem that the club has had this season, especially with Ricky Van Wolfswinkel joins in the summer.
However, I think we will all remember that towering header he scored against Everton a couple of months back, the only goal of his loan spell but what an important one it was, and one that be remembered fondly by Norwich City fans for many years to come if it contributes towards securing the club’s Premier League status.
• OLD TRAFFORD FAREWELL WILL BE AN EMOTIONAL OCCASION
I suppose all good things must come to an end, but I’m sure it came as a big shock to everyone that Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to retire at the end of this season.
At the ripe old age of 71 he’s decided that it’s time somebody else take the reigns at his beloved Manchester United. In my opinion he is quite simply the best manager these shores have ever seen.
To be at one club for 27 years is an unbelievable achievement, one we will never see again. He’s turned the club into the biggest in the world and the most successful in the history of the English game.
In his 27 years he’s won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.
He’s signed and sold world class players in his time at Old Trafford, and every player who’s ever played under him has known who the boss is.
He was a no nonsense manager and wouldn’t tolerate a player trying to be bigger than the club he helped build, and if they did they were simply shipped out, as David Beckham and other big stars found out.
I’ll be working at Old Trafford on Sunday as Swansea are the visitors in what will now be Sir Alex’s last home game.
It promises to be a very memorable, emotional day, not only for Manchester United fans, but football fans in general as he is going to leave a massive hole in the British game.
Love him or hate him you have to have so much admiration for what he’s done, and he will be sadly missed from our beautiful game.
I’d like to wish his successor all the luck in the world; he’s going to need it in order to follow that act!