Optimism, frustration, elation and superstition
At the beginning of the season I was full of optimism. After the Canaries’ stellar performances over the last two seasons, and their meteoric rise through the lower echelons of the Football League, surely our galaxy of international stars would shine brightly in the new firmament of the Premier League.
I spent all my meagre savings and booked my train and match tickets to Wigan and Chelsea. I travelled from London to the Fine City to watch the home games against Stoke and WBA.
On each occasion Norwich played well, but that vital first victory, so crucial for self confidence, points accumulation in the fight against relegation, and for supporters’ morale, remained frustratingly elusive.
The Sunderland match was a late kick off on a Monday night. I couldn’t escape work in time to drive, and there were no trains back to London after the game. So I had to settle for watching the game on the box. In my absence City duly recorded a great win.
“When you go and watch them” observed my young daughter “they do not win. But when you don’t go, they win.” “Nonsense” I replied. “It was just a coincidence.”
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Work commitments prevented me from going to Bolton too. So what happened? Another win, another three points. “Told you so” piped up my daughter “when you go to watch them they don’t win. But when you don’t, they do.” I was so elated that City had won that I paid but scant attention to her words, until…
This week I was on a business trip. In Nigeria. So I could not make the Swansea game and had to make do with watching the Canaries win on Sky TV. A great performance. A well deserved victory. Three more invaluable points. Pilks took his chances brilliantly. Russell Martin played a blinder. The whole team were, to use Mr Lambert’s favourite word, “excellent.”
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Being a dutiful Dad, I phoned my daughter to share the good tidings. “Yes” she said. ”I watched the game on the television. Norwich played well. And again they won because you didn’t go.”
I watched the Liverpool match in the bar of the Radisson Blu hotel in Lagos. I leapt up at supersub Holty’s bullet header and also a few minutes later when he almost added a second from Pilkington’s cross.
So there it is then. City won three out of their last five games. And I missed all three victories and five brilliant performances. Now I am not paranoid. Nor superstitious. I do not walk around ladders, fear black cats, Friday 13th, lone magpies, broken mirrors, or spilt salt. And my name is not Jonah. But her words are beginning to worry me. You see I shall be back in the UK for the home game against Blackburn. And I am planning to be at Carrow Road for the match. But I am beset with doubts. Am I becoming a jinx? If I attend will City’s recent run of good results come to an end? Should I deliberately stay away and watch the game on television?
I have been a fan of East Anglia’s Premier League team for many years now and have seen some great victories. But lf I have somehow and unknowingly been hexed or cursed by some dark witch or wizard so that the team I support always loses then perhaps I’ll change my season ticket and sit with the away fans in the Jarrold stand. I might even go to Poorman Road and cheer for Ipswich. Not that they really need any help in not winning these days…