Top-flight years: When Eurovision was all the rage for City
- Credit: PA
A certain venture into Europe dominated the 1993-94 Premier League season – Chris Lakey takes a look at a season that was anything but ordinary
If Norwich City’s first season in the Premier League was their best ever, then 1993-94 ran it extremely close.
The previous campaign had earned them a place in the Uefa Cup - European football for the first time in the club’s history - and nights that would not only make history, but live long in the memory.
Mike Walker/John Deehan
City’s exploits – and the way they played football – meant Mike Walker being watched from many quarters. All the admirers had to do was wait for their opportunity. It came in January, 1994 when Walker quit for Everton, his long-running feud with chairman Robert Chase coming to a head. The end of the glory days was ahead ... Ruel Fox left a month later, Chris Sutton went in the summer, Efan Ekoku followed later in the year.
John Deehan took over from Walker and in his first game won an FA Cup tie at Wycombe. His reign began with seven consecutive draws, but City won only two other games – at home to Everton and away to Liverpool. Fortunately, there were enough points in the bank and they finished a comfortable 12th place in the table.
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Top scorer and PoTS
A season’s tally of 25 goals in 42 league games, and 28 in all competitions, was a good way to go out. Sutton’s efforts attracted the likes of Blackburn, Manchester United and Arsenal. His summer exit was inevitable.
City lost just four league games before Christmas, which was pretty good going. They won their first two away games, at Blackburn and Leeds, which teed up a derby win over Ipswich, although the Tractor Boys got their revenge with a 2-1 win at Portman Road on December 18. Efan Ekoku scored four goals in a 5-1 win at Everton, the first half of a double. The final away game of the season was a 1-0 win at Liverpool, Jeremy Goss scoring with a terrific strike in front of standing fans in The Kop for the last time.
City’s only foray into European football cannot be dismissed, even when looking at the club’s Premier League years. Having seen off Vitesse Arnhem they then knocked out Bayern Munich, the only British side ever to win in the Germans’ Olympic Stadium - the highlight being a magnificent goal by Goss. The dream was ended by Inter Milan, but Mike Walker summed up the run when he said: “One of the best comments we ever had was from Andreas Möller, one of the German players at the time. He was introduced to us before a game and he said 'Ah, you're the coach of the team that doesn't play like an English team'. And I always thought that was one of the best compliments we had, because we tried to play a bit. We tried to play football, while other teams played the longer ball, or the English style. It was nice that it was recognised by a foreigner.”