Poll: Need a reason to be cheerful on a Monday morning? Read what people said about Norwich City’s weekend victory against Arsenal
Norwich fans are still in a chirpy Canary dreamland today after their team’s landmark victory over the multi-million pound superstars Arsenal.
City’s first over the Gunners in the league in two decades – not only brought the season’s first win, but also the feelgood factor back to the city.
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Arsene Wenger’s men in front of more than 26,000 fans at Carrow Road was new boss Chris Hughton’s first league win as City boss since taking over from Paul Lambert.
Lambert, whose new team, Aston Villa play the Canaries in a live TV clash on Saturday, had guided the club to successive promotions and a 12th place finish in the Premier League last season.
With just three draws and four defeats – including three heavy reverses against Fulham, Chelsea and Liverpool – there were concerns from some about Norwich’s poor start to the season. But Grant Holt’s 19th minute strike – his third in three games – has fired City up to 15th and out of the bottom three to the delight of Hughton and the rest of the city.
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Hughton said: “Getting a victory here at Carrow Road against a quality team and getting the supporters as they were today is a very good feeling.
“I think we have deserved that by our play this season so far. I’m really delighted for this group of players.
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“We’ll have a good week. It’s certainly good to have an enjoyable Sunday.
“We will enjoy this one, but that is today out of the way now and it’s about the next game and the next game. We need to start showing that form more regularly.”
Hughton’s delight was mirrored by Canaries’ fans who now believe the club can set about the business of establishing themselves as a Premier League club.
The Yellow Army was in dominant singing form at Carrow Road, drowning out the Arsenal contingent and adding the “extra man” element to proceedings – considered vital by manager and fans.
Robin Sainty, a member of the Independent Norwich City Supporters Club (INCSC) which as previously reported is set to fold, said it was a “wonderful” win. He said: “It was wonderful, it was just incredible. To hear all four sides of Carrow Road belting out on the Ball City in the last five minutes made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. It’s a long time since we’ve had that happen in a game and long may it continue.
“Supporters shouldn’t underestimate the part they have to play – there’s no doubt it gave the team a lift in the last five minutes. It was fantastic.”
Mr Sainty, a columnist in Evening News’s sister paper the EDP, said he hoped the win might ease some of the pressure off the new bosses shoulders.
Kathy Blake, former secretary of INCSC, said she was delighted with Saturday’s win. She said: “Saturday was the type of game which makes it all worth while and makes up for all the down days and that’s why you go really.
“Everyone was absolutely delighted. I think everyone was feeling a bit down and the pressure had been on, but it’s like it was released on Saturday.”
Phil Cutter, landlord of the Murderers pub in TimberHill, was one of dozens of licensees throughout Norwich delighted with the win – and the feelgood factor the victory has brought.
He said: “It was perfect timing for us. People come into the city and have a couple of beers before the match and come and celebrate with a couple of pints afterwards.
“It’s all good news. I think it’s like anything, that feelgood factor filters through and optimism that Norwich can start getting the ball rolling for the rest of the season now.”
TO READ WHAT TV PRESENTER JAKE HUMPHREY, CANARY LEGEND JEREMY GOSS AND FORMER NORWICH AND ARSENAL MANAGER BRUCE RIOCH THOUGHT OF THE WIN SEE TODAY’S EVENING NEWS, WHICH INCLUDES NINE PAGES OF REACTION, REPORTS AND ANALYSIS.
What did you think of Saturday’s match? Was it a turning point in Norwich’s season? Leave your comments below.