The Premier League is all it’s cracked up to be

I was reminded this week by my long suffering Leeds supporting best mate that this time last year I proclaimed “I don’t want us to be promoted, I’m happy enough to be a high to mid table Championship team.”

At the time, we were sitting pretty in the table and play-offs were a distinct possibility - I never imagined we would be promoted automatically.

So it was with great pleasure that while I was rejoicing about being in the top half of the Premier League recently, he reminded me of my bold statement.

What made me make such a statement? Well, the past few years had been dismal. A Premier League relegation followed by the worst period in the club’s recent history culminating in relegation to League One had left me quite happy to think we would continue to be a “successful” Championship club. I had no desire to be a supporter of relegation certs again in the Premier League, watching the fancy dan nancy boy footballers that I had come to believe existed in the upper echelons of our sport.

I had become content with success after a great season in League One and then an above expectation performance in the Championship. I had not watched a single Premier League game or episode of Match of the Day since our relegation at Fulham that fateful day, nor had any desire to.

So what changed? I guess I bought into the belief that Mr McNally and Mr Lambert have instilled into the club. Trips to Wigan and Bolton made me think we could survive in at least 17th place. Watching MOTD and the live Sky games too (not just the ones we feature in) have made me appreciate the talent we have in this league. Sure, there are a couple of the aforementioned fancy dans and players we love to hate, but on the whole there is a bunch of talented players.

I had fallen foul of believing the 24 hour sports channel and red top back pages hype, but after watching the games myself realised there is more to the league than a handful of headline grabbers and attention seekers. After the trip to Everton, I was gutted we didn’t win! It’s been such a good season that I’m now disappointed when we don’t win.

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I now find myself watching any Premier League game on TV. It’s a product I think we can be proud of, certainly proud of Norwich City being part of it. Dare I suggest we’ll still be there next season? All indications seem to point that way. Heck, people are now talking about a cup run and a trip to Wembley. And European football! I never dreamt of such days even last year! The players and staff at Carrow Road have done a magnificent job so far. Lets hope the momentum stays and Paul Lambert can establish us as one of the top teams in the country and the board can give us a few more seats in the stadium!

So the Premier League – all it’s cracked up to be? Absolutely.