Spud Thornhill: Simply the best season ever for Canaries fans
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Heading off to Villa Park on Sunday will be an emotional trip, with a lot of excitement as we say goodbye to another season and my favourite league in the world.
The last nine months have been nothing short of pure excitement nearly ever week and, sadly, I doubt we will have another season like this one.
While I will miss the Championship, I’m so looking forward to seeing our young and exciting team take on the so-called big teams – and why can’t we continue the success?
Under Farke in the last two seasons we’ve beaten Premier League Cardiff, taken Arsenal to extra-time and Chelsea to penalties while also pushing Bournemouth close. They may have only been cup ties, but it’s too much of a coincidence that we matched them all. That is why I’m not majorly worried about competing in the Premier League. We will be okay – and I even think we may follow Wolves and have a top-10 finish.
But before we think about next season I want to thank everybody involved at our club:
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The board for having faith in Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber when some fans were panicking last summer.
The players for giving us some of the best football I’ve seen in my 37 years following Norwich.
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The fans, especially Along Come Norwich and Barclay End Project for giving Carrow Road the best atmosphere since it went all-seater 27 years ago.
All the back room staff, from the kit man to the physio to the tea lady, but most importantly Farke and Webber.
Even since Farke and Webber arrived, they have shown so much honesty and passion to make sure the club goes back to where it belongs – and doing it the right way.
I’ve been to some of the fan forums, with Farke and Webber keen to speak to us fans when sometimes it would’ve been easier to hide – and not once have they shied away.
I’m sure there were some fans who were getting grief, like myself, for saying we could see what they were trying to do and that it would all come good.
And didn’t it just come good this season!
There have been so many good points to talk about.
If we win at Villa Park, we will finish the season on 94 points. Only in our 2009/10 League One season have we finished with more – and that was 95 points.
Only in the 1952/53 season, when we scored 99 league goals, have we scored more than our tally of 91 this season.
Teemu Pukki has scored 28 of them – what an amazing first season for a man who fully deserves his Player of the Season award. And to think Ipswich Town scored a grand total of 33 goals overall – two players shared leading scorer honours... with just six each.
Talking of goals, there is plenty of debate over the best one this season, from Mario Vrancic’s sublime winner last week against Blackburn to superb counter-attacking goals like Pukki’s first-half strike at Bolton. Then there was the fantastic team goal by Jordan Rhodes against Aston Villa, when all outfield players touched the ball in an 18-pass move in space of 54 seconds. Just a joy to watch.
There were some wonderful saves from Tim Krul with his point-blank stop at Brentford on New Year’s Day my favourite. And we had fantastic last-minute dramas – the home games with Millwall and Nottingham Forest stand out for me. This team never knew when they were beaten.
We have had so many wins this season we’ve nearly ended up with as many as Ipswich have points. I am just gutted I have not been to as many away games as I would’ve liked. We’ve had just two away defeats all season, which is amazing. Let’s just hope we avoid defeat just one more time at Villa Park and the title will be ours.
To make the season more memorable, Ipswich have been rock bottom since October in their worst season ever. Enjoy League One, blue fans.
Normally I want the success selfishly for myself and fellow supporters and then the players, but this year I really hope we win the title for the players. But if it’s not to be, it’s not be.
But one thing is for sure – come Monday morning, myself, like many supporters I’m sure, will be painting the city yellow and green with plenty of noise when everybody involved at the club comes onto balcony at City Hall.
We Are Premier League!