Casualty list at City is one for the fiction writers

Michael McGovern at Stoke

Michael McGovern grabs a cross during the game against Stoke City in midweek - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Back in 1996, Norwich City fan and BBC writer Lilie Ferrari was writing for a popular Saturday night TV show called Casualty.  

In one storyline, she added characters based on players from the Norwich team around at the time. Characters names were (Ade) Akinbiyi, Arthur (Robert) Fleck, Mr (John) Polston and a whole family of (Rob) Newmans. 

If Lilie was writing for the show today,  I’m sure she could fit a few of the current players who are sidelined with injuries into a storyline - and it probably wouldn't be far from fact, rather than fiction. 

The only problem is, come tonight, with our luck, with there will probably be another injury to add to the list.  

I would like to think I’m not like some supporters who cry about injuries - unlike some Liverpool supporters who have been moaning a lot of late . It’s part and parcel of the game. You get them. 

But even I’m now getting frustrated with our continuous injury problems and I’m now worried I might sound like a Liverpool fan by moaning about our luck - or lack of it.

Following last season's bad luck with injuries, you would've thought Lady Luck would be kinder to us this season. But obviously not.  

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Before each pre-match press conference, I daren't look at my Twitter feed as I’m dreading the latest news to come out of the Colney physio room.

Some fans have questioned the training sessions we are doing and if they could be causing these injuries. In my opinion it’s not. It’s the modern game. Football fitness has drastically changed since the day when training was a lot less scientific. Sports science has changed not just football but all sports and fitness.  

With the gym I have been going to for the last seven years, the training has changed compared to what I was doing at previous gyms. My gym may be on a smaller scale than Norwich City's, but the style is very similar. My fitness levels are at a higher level now than maybe 15-20 years ago. 

I honestly believe it has to be the workload on the pitch that the players have had to put up with. There is no one more than me who loves all this football at the moment, but is it at a cost? At the moment it just seems there’s football every day with players having only three or four days between games. I don’t think the body can cope with it.  

At the start of season, I was, like many Norwich fans, wondering how Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber were going to keep our big squad happy. Well I didn’t need to worry, did I? It was like they knew it was going to happen!

But we are not the only team in the Championship who have suffered this season with injuries. I know both Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City, to name just two, have had their problems with injuries. And I am sure they don’t have the depth of quality signings we have.  

Michael McGovern

Daniel Farke gives Michael McGovern a hug after the win at Stoke - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

On Tuesday, my heart did sink when I saw Tim Krul going off injured. Whilst he is the best keeper at our club as well as in the Championship, we are lucky to have an experienced goalkeeper in Michael McGovern. I think there are a lot of clubs who would like to have someone of his experience as their back-up keeper.  

You only have to look at Stoke’s goalkeeper situation. With the loss of their two keepers they are now relying on 20-year-old Josef Bursik, who only made his Stoke debut last Saturday.  

So if you are concerned about McGovern being in goal whilst Krul is injured, don’t be. His experience,  the players in front of him and the faith Farke has shown will be good enough whilst Krul is out. 

But can we wrap Teemu Pukki up in cotton wool for the time being please? 


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