Spud Thornhill: Keep the faith, Norwich fans
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
There was a gap of 104 days between our defeat to Sheffield United and our return to football against Southampton.
In that time, there were a lot of opinions on whether we should start playing again or not.
Rightly or wrongly, I was of the opinion that we would start playing because of the amount of money involved, something that never sat right with me considering the effect this epidemic has had. And I always said it was nothing to do with the position we were in.
One of the few positive things to come out of this awful virus was that everyone was together. The focus was making sure that everyone was together. It got people closer. Even on social media we had so many Norwich City supporters groups and local media doing their bit to keep us together, via podcasts, zoom quizzes and old match videos. That stuff was heaven for us fans.
Football returned on June 19 and for me I might have felt uncomfortable about returning, like many other Norwich fans, but at the same time, I, like many other Canaries, was feeling so much optimism and joy. Social media was showing a lot good stuff. There was plenty of positivity.
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Despite Norwich fans not being allowed in the ground, we accepted we had to carry on. We were going to show our colours in our lounges and online.
Two weeks and four defeats later the doom and gloom merchants are out with a vengeance. Normally, I think I can easily defend our players and club. But this time I have struggled.
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Okay, let’s get it out of the way. I am sure a lot of people, mostly the ones who actually follow City and appear to excel in our struggles, will be pleased to hear me say it: Yes, I’m resigned to relegation back to the Championship again. See – I’ve said it now.
Shortly after the final whistle on Wednesday and yet another defeat without scoring, I saw on social media some bizarre comments, which I’ve got used to. There was a lot I couldn’t argue with.
Don’t think I believe there shouldn’t be any criticism of what we’ve had this season because I don’t. There have been far too many gutless performances, too many average performances and the stats are not looking good. It was our fourth consecutive league game without scoring. We have scored one goal in our last eight league games. With just 24 goals in our 32 league games, we actually still need to score five goals to avoid our worst scoring record, just 28 league goals under Chris Houghton during the 2013/14 season. Nine of our goals this season were scored in the first five games. Away from home, it has been nothing short of embarrassing – just six goals scored. The current record for least away goals in a season is 10, it makes for more depressing reading.
Even at the other end it is looking just as bleak – 64 goals conceded. Our record of goals conceded in the Premier League is 77. Do I fear we will break another unwanted record? Well, actually, yes – even if I do think Tim Krul has been our most consistent player who will get my vote for Player of the Season.
We actually need eight more points to avoid our lowest ever points record. Twice we have finished the season with just 28 points – in the 1930/31 and 1946/47 seasons. Sadly it was two points for a win. If it was three points for a win, we would’ve got 38 points. Our current record for lowest points tally under three points for a win is 33 in 2004/05 and 2013/14.
Least amount of wins in one season is just seven. We still need two wins just to equal that record.
Normally, I would be the one to defend the club, but even I’m struggling.
But one thing is for sure: despite this being the most depressing article I have ever written, we must stick together. We must stick with Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke. Our first season under this current regime was very similar. We had to be patient considering all the problems we had. And we definitely got our rewards in 2018/19.
I’m confident that it will improve. We must keep the faith. Too many changes, especially high up, will put us back a lot further than when we made so many changes in 2017.
Keep the faith, fellow Canaries. That is what makes us strong – a loyal club and one to be admired by other supporters.