Seeing Tractor boys doing so well really gives me the blues
- Credit: SNS Group
While Neil Adams didn’t fulfil his dreams as City manager, he will at least remain in the elite group of bosses who have overseen a victory at Portman Road.
It’s just over 100 days since Norwich went top with that 1-0 win.
At that time everything was so rosy in the yellow and green garden - and pretty dull down the A140 in the early stages of their 13th season in the second tier of English football.
So why have things changed so dramatically since that Old Farm Derby?
Town now sit 10 points ahead of City and they are still very much in the FA Cup after a decent bus parking exercise at Southampton.
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Rest assured I take absolutely no pleasure in highlighting the achievements of the Tractor Boys - and feel somewhat ashamed to admit that I would happily lead a dawn swoop to prise Big Mick away.
He is just four games short of 800 in charge as a manager and has a 39,7pc win rate.
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I was staggered when I discovered the only player in the ITFC squad who cost any money is Tyrone Mings - who cost £10,000 from Chippenham.
All the others - including 17-goal striker Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick and Christophe Berra - were either free signings, youth products or are on loan.
I repeat that I hate to say it - but MM has worked wonders to get that pick and mix, bargain bucket of players into second place.
We have to hope that Alex Neil has that same ability to get so much out of his squad. And if all the City players are performing to their best, we will romp home at the top.
On paper, the Canaries should be miles ahead of their old rivals. On grass, things are proving very different.
The new boss must instill team spirit, hunger and get his men prepared to run through those metaphorical walls for him.
Assuming he goes back to youth development, Adams has a key role to play in helping his successor bring through the starlets of the future, We have far two few locally grown players in our squad.
We have to get back to consistency. In the 20 games since losing to City, Ipswich have won 12, drawn seven and lost just one game. The Canaries, on the other hand, have only won seven, drawn seven and lost six.
Expectations are understandably high at Norwich and that hasn’t helped, nor has the approach of several teams who have set up very negatively.
By the time Ipswich head to Carrow Road on March 1 the grass must be greener at this end of the A140.
Heard the one about the dodgy tea bag?
FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Call it black humour but sometimes football fans just have to laugh at their own plight. So as depressing as it is, this gagmade me laugh. “I heard City have scrapped plans for a club tea bag. The problem is it won’t stay in the cup long enough.”
Jonno’s screamer is a straw for us to clutch at
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: I’m fairly sure that if a player of the season vote was taken now, Bradley Johnson would win. While too many Canaries haven’t been consistently good enough, Jonno has been excellent. That fantastic strike at Reading was the icing on the cake of his recent revival.
Charitable Harry is a fine example
HERO OF THE WEEK: Footballers often get a bad name for what they get off to off the pitch (and often the criticism is justified), Norwich midfielder Harry Toffolo has deservedly been praised for bucking the trend and doing terrific charity work while on loan at Swindon. Top lad.
Surely there has to be a ticket price freeze?
PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: There’s lots of talk about the impending season ticket renewals. I have no inside knowledge about prices for next year - but I guess the club will have to announce a freeze. I can’t see how they have any option and even with no change there will be a tough challenge to ensure numbers stay as they are.
FA Cup flops deserve to face the criticism
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK: It was the chance to get some momentum going, progress in the FA Cup and reward the loyalty of the 1200 fans who headed to Deepdale. Sadly the City players failed on all three counts and have to hold their hands up and be collectively responsible for the weak exit. There’s only way to pay the supporters back - get a result at Bournemouth on Saturday.