Norwich City fans crank up the volume as ‘disconnect’ begins to fade
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation when it comes to asking football fans to make a bit more noise during a game.
The theory is that loud, vocal support helps the team perform better.
The issue is who sets the ball rolling? It is tough to make a lot of noise if your team are playing like a bunch of donkeys; much easier when you’re at Wembley for a play-off final and 2-0 up before you’ve had time to get used to your view.
What you need is a compromise, an understanding that you are in it together – and that’s where Norwich City appear to be at the moment. The vast changes at Carrow Road are not to be underestimated, but one thing has been made clear: the matchday atmosphere has to be improved.
On Wednesday night, as City recorded their first win of the season by beating Queens Park Rangers, there was proof the message has got across. Very rarely will you see all four sides of Carrow Road joining in the singing of the anthem, On The Ball City... during the game.
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“There is a little bit of belief, a bit of hope,” said a friend who sat in the Snake Pit on Wednesday.
That’s probably because the dynamic of the club has changed, the coalition is more open between the club and the supporters. The walls have come tumbling down to some extent.
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If you want an example of how things have changed, take the sale of Jonny Howson to Middlesbrough. A bit off topic, maybe, but sporting director Stuart Webber broke the mould when he explained the circumstances surrounding the deal. It was forthright, honest, behind-the-scenes stuff. It told the story, rather than allowing social media to form its own interpretation of events - and City fans felt included in the whole debate. As a tactical ploy, it worked brilliantly.
Suddenly, fans are starting to feel a bit more connected with the club. The optimism has encouraged better support: the Barclay End Norwich organising marched processions to the ground and a carnival atmosphere inside it. The minute’s applause for a fallen fellow fan.
Daniel Farke has inadvertently helped - the great song by Blur, Park Life, has been reprised as Farke Life. It sounds simple, but it all adds to the mix of fans enjoying themselves at matches. As they should.
Getting it right on the field helps, of course...