Spud Thornhill: No need for Del Boy – Norwich City might be able to unearth their own gems
Spud’s teaser: Who did Norwich play when they appeared on Match of the Day for the first time?
(Answer at bottom)
We travel to Ashton Gate today to face Bristol City – and just round the corner from the Robins ground is the tower block where the hit BBC comedy show Only Fools And Horses was filmed, the famous Nelson Mandela House.
Del Boy liked a bargain or two to try to get to the top with a profit and for him it was always a case of ‘He who dares, wins’.
Now I’m not saying we are the Trotter family of football, but as there are no signs of any potential new investors coming in or any famous pocket watches that will make us rich like the Trotter family, we really need to carry on what we are doing by getting young players who will hopefully play their part in a successful future for the club.
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Last week I sat not far from the Chelsea dug-out watching my beloved Norwich taking on Chelsea. I went to the game to watch one team and one team only, and they wore the famous yellow and green. Not being interested in Chelsea and their so-called superstars, I had to rely on my friend Jon Taylor, who sat next to me, to tell me the who’s who of Chelsea and how much they cost.
After repeatedly asking ‘Who?’ and ‘How much?’ throughout the game, I came home after seeing us match these so-called superstars and wondered how much the Chelsea team was worth last week.
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I was amazed ... or should I have been? I worked it out that the starting XI cost £259.5m plus £60m for striker Alvaro Morato, who was sitting on the bench before coming on to try and do what £33m Michy Batshuayi couldn’t do – get the better of our defence and score. But he failed as well.
Despite not getting a shot on target I thought we more than matched them in every other department – and our starting XI cost roughly £28m.
In the past – some ‘Delia Out’ people may not agree with this – the club have spent fortunes on what have turned out to be failures, Ricky van Wolfswinkel being a prime example.
After wasting so much money in the past, we have had to resort to bringing footballers in like those I was brought up with – during the 80s we signed young, upcoming players like Steve Bruce and Ian Crook to name but two. Whilst we had many successes there was the odd one who didn’t actually make it.
We will have to accept that not every player is going to be a success, but I honestly believe, like in the 80s, there are going to be some class acts coming through. A prime example is Ben Godfrey.
When we signed Godfrey from York there was a lot expectation about the lad. Last Sunday, like many other Canaries, I tuned in to watch Shrewsbury against West Ham to see Godfrey and fellow Canary loanee Carlton Morris, and both put in fantastic performances, especially Godfrey who was named man of the match.
Godfrey, who will be 20 years old on Monday, showed maturity beyond his years and was not overawed by the game. If Alex Tettey does go in the summer, Godfrey is more than ready to replace him.
Another player who impressed me last week was Jamal Lewis. I must confess I don’t watch as many U23 games or Academy games as I used to, but since Lewis made his debut against Brentford, he’s looked like he has been playing first team football for a long time. Lewis, like Godfrey, was not overawed by Chelsea; his work-rate and link-up play with Josh Murphy was superb.
With so many other players like Remi Matthews, Todd Cantwell, Adam Phillips, Glenn Middleton, Pierre Fonkeu and a few more, with a little bit of time we could have a bright Canary future.
It really could be a case of ‘Lovely Jubbly’!
Teaser answer: Sheffield Wednesday on March 11, 1967. City lost 2-1.