‘Feel sick’ - City players feeling the pain of relegation
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Max Aarons has thanked Norwich City fans for their support this season, after the youngster was left fighting back the tears as Norwich City’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a phenomenal breakthrough season in 2018-19, being included in the Championship Team of the Season alongside Jamal Lewis and Teemu Pukki, as well as being named EFL Young Player of the Season.
He has since earned five England Under-21 caps and been linked with transfer interest from a host of other top-flight clubs, including Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham and Everton.
He has also started and finished all but two league games for City this season, missing two games in September due to an ankle injury picked up while on U21 international duty.
Yet he suffered the first major setback of his senior career on Saturday as relegation was sealed by a 4-0 home thrashing at the hands of West Ham, leaving him on his haunches at full-time and covering his face with his shirt as TV footage appeared to show him fighting back tears.
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Aarons has since posted on his Instagram account: “After what this group achieved last season it was a dream to bring the club back to the Premier League and it’s so disappointing that it has ended like this.
“We knew how much of a test it would be this season but always felt we had enough to stay in the league however we have paid the price over the course of the season.
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“While fans could attend games, regardless of results the support this year had always been unbelievable, thank you for the continued support Canaries.”
City defender Timm Klose, who has been with the club since joining from Wolfsburg in January 2016, has been straight in at the deep end since the season resumed in June having recovered from a knee ligament injury in August.
“After fighting my way back after the injury, this is another hard knock for me this season,” the Switzerland international wrote on Instagram. “Feeling really disappointed and sad about this season’s outcome.
“I want to thank all the Norwich fans out there for supporting the team and me this season, I know it wasn’t easy. We will stand up again, analyse, reflect and learn from our mistakes ... because NCFC isn’t just a club, it’s family!
“One final thing: We’ll be back!”
Canaries keeper Tim Krul was also feeling down after suffering the first proper relegation of his career.
The Dutchman saw Newcastle relegated twice during his lengthy stint in the north-east but the first, in 2009, was as a youngster when he had only featured as an unused substitute and had spent time on loan in League One with Carlisle.
The second, in 2016, came after a knee ligament injury had finished his season in October while on international duty with Holland.
The 32-year-old posted on his Instagram: “Feel sick and disappointed that we haven’t been able to achieve our target to stay up this season and give the fans and everyone involved with @NorwichCityFC more performances to be proud of.”
England U21 defender Godfrey was keen to stress that he had believed survival was possible during the season.
“Very disappointing day all round yesterday,” wrote the defender.
“Our results throughout the season haven’t allowed us to achieve our goal of staying in the Premier League which we truly believed we could do.”
Young midfielder Josh Martin, 18, came on with 20 minutes remaining against the Hammers as he made just his third appearance for City.
With a picture of him being consoled by head coach Daniel Farke, Martin simply pledged: “We will be back.”