Spud Thornhill: Greavsie would have played fair with Norwich!
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Last Sunday was a sad day for me.
It wasn't because of the defeat to Watford the previous day. It was because we lost two special TV characters from my childhood.
Being a big Only Fools and Horses fan I was upset to hear of the loss of John Challis, better known as Boycie. Then, a few moments later, came news that a true football legend, Jimmy Greaves, had also passed away.
Sadly, I won’t remember Greavsie for his phenomenal scoring record, but for the entertainment he brought to the TV in the show he had with Ian St John on ITV - Saint & Greavsie.
Every Saturday lunchtime I would look forward to watching them, especially when Norwich were at home - I would watch the show then head off to Carrow Road.
The 1988/89 season was a memorable one, as not only was it successful for Norwich, with us finishing fourth and getting to the FA Cup semi-final, but ITV also gained television rights for the old Division One.
It was great - proper TV footage for Norwich, especially as we were in the top two for most of the season.
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One of my favourite memories from the show that season was the week after we beat Millwall 3-2 at the Old Den on a Sunday live TV game. Bryan Gunn had a superb game and made numerous world class saves.
However, the co-commentator, Ian St John, gave Millwall’s hardman Terry Horlock the man of the match award, as he felt too scared to give it to a Norwich player!
The following week Greavsie ridiculed his TV partner Saint for not giving it to Gunny. He accused Saint of not giving it to Gunny to make sure he got out of Millwall alive.
Greavsie was a proper football man and always gave respect to all clubs, especially us during that season.
With all the criticism the club has received this season from some of the national media, I’m sure he would’ve believed in the way we try to do things to compete.
At same time I think he might have questioned some of the things that happened this week - or should I say all season - like the lack of physicality at times.
Last week, yet again, we allowed another team to bully us. Some people questioned why Watford’s Danny Rose was allowed to get away without receiving a booking during the game. I agree. He should have been cautioned after his fourth or fifth foul. Yes, you can question why he wasn't, but maybe with his experience he knew he was not going to be sent off. But most importantly, he, like all Watford players, made sure we didn’t play our normal game.
But we were the opposite. No tough challenges to let our opponents know we are about. Our first booking was not until the 95th minute. We’ve got to be more street wise. Stop being a soft touch - which we showed yet again on Tuesday night against Liverpool.
Or is it a lack of confidence? Possibly. It might be why so many heads are dropping so quickly. But with a lot of players who do have a lot of experience at this level they need to start leading. And that needs to start this weekend - not an easy game away, at Goodison Park.
I’ve been speaking to a couple of Everton fans this week, who also were disappointed about our defeat to Watford. Because of our bad run of defeats they fear that sequence will come to an end in true Everton style. I did say to them they really didn’t need to have any concerns with the way it is going for us at the moment, but you never know, we might, just might, pull off a result.
As someone once said: "Football, it’s a funny old game!"