Unique blend represents all that is great about Norwich City
What do get if you cross Hucks, Dion Dublin, Darren Eadie, the City Under-18s, Chris Hughton’s first teamers, more 25,000 City fans and a mountain of clappers?
No, it’s not a long-winded joke, it is a semi-serious question.
There are lots of things which I love about our club.
And the Canary pick and mix I’ve highlighted above demonstrate several of them and give me a spring in my step as we head towards the end of the campaign.
Norwich City has a very proud heritage and history. We are fortunate to have had many great players over the years, with a healthy number still associated with the club.
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What a great move it was to bring that trio together as pre-match cheerleaders.
They represent the past and also the link with the present with their involvement and support of the Canaries.
- 1 MATCHDAY RECAP: Hornets frustrate City in title tussle
- 2 City ace Krul reflects on Premier League interest
- 3 Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 1-0 defeat against Watford
- 4 'Blown away' - Gibson reveals how City wooed him for Premier League push
- 5 Paddy Davitt: Player ratings after Canaries' 1-0 Watford defeat
- 6 Farke laments 'average' City display in Watford defeat
- 7 Webber reveals he turned down 'massive job' to stay at City
- 8 City lose Giannoulis appeal; three-game ban stands
- 9 QPR forced to deny manager is leaving ahead of City clash
- 10 Norwich City v Watford: everything you need to know
The current squad is by no means perfect and there need to be improvements before autumn comes. I will make some suggestions on how that should be done next time.
However, let no-one underestimate the bottom line achievement – assuming it happens – of surviving the second season syndrome and keeping in the top flight.
The present and future (and indeed another taste of the past) coalesced as we cheered the marvellous Under-18s during their lap of honour on Saturday.
Whatever happens against Chelsea, they have done brilliantly this year.
Neil Adams – surely a contender for a future Norwich manager – has gelled the promising youngsters into a really dynamic unit which brings together raw pace and flair with a togetherness and a great spirit.
I defy anyone to show me five penalties which have been better taken during any shoot-out.
There have been calls for some of the lads to be drafted in to the squad this year. Maybe? Maybe not?
Certainly they wouldn’t be harmed by being part of the Premier League experience but I sense they be carefully managed. And there is a lot to be said for not rushing them through and over-hyping expectations.
And so to the 25,000-strong Yellarmy.
There is very little which is better about NCFC than its fans.
We exemplify the past, present and future.
There are supporters who have graced the terraces for decade after decade after decade.
From the depths of League One to the heights of beating the champions, the backing has been consistently amazing.
Saturday managed to bring those elements together in a really great way.
My hope is that no-one takes the foot off the pedal and the momentum is stepped up for the final four games.
A decent run in – rather than an early trip to the beach – will set things up well for 2013/14.
Finally, the clappers! Some people love them. Others hate them.
I think they were great and helped create a terrific atmosphere and played a crucial part in the must win match.
• PROUD TO BE A PART OF DEREHAM SUCCESS STORY
When I was at school there were plenty of kids who I’d describe as “soccer success tourists.”
You know the sort I’m talking about. One week they wear a Chelsea shirt and then they are dyed in the wool Man City fans and all of a sudden they are lifelong Gooners.
Funnily enough their supporting journey tends to mirror the relative achievements of their current “team.”
I’m proud to say I was a Canary from the moment I first showed any interest in the great game.
My parents brought me up very well and there was never any doubt that I have yellow and green blood.
Having spent 41 of my (almost) 43 years in Dereham, I am clearly a Magpie as well. That goes without saying.
Apart from the friendlies between the clubs, there is never a conflict of interest. Even on those occasions I’m relaxed about it and just enjoy the good football which is usually served up.
So while I have obviously been sweating over the survival of the Canaries, I have been delighted that Matty Henman’s boys are just one win away from lifting the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
When I was a lad I remember watching Dereham on the Rec in the old Anglian Combination league.
There can be very few clubs who can boast such an amazing rise and rise than the Magpies.
The quality of football they play, the standard of facilities at Aldiss Park and the level they are competing at are all a world away from those old days.
It was a shame that Wisbech spoiled the championship party on Tuesday night – but I am very confident the bubbly will be flowing by 5pm on Saturday.
• Hero of the week: It was a day for everyone to take a bow and share the plaudits – and the City fans were magnificent against Reading. The clappers helped but there were times when frustration could have crept in. But all 25,000 stayed behind the team.
• Villain of the week: Of course there is only one winner of the boo boy gong this week. You may recall he has already lifted it this season – and if I recall it may be actually more than once. He certainly got in my bad books for banging in far too many goals as he got a real taste for the Canaries. For some unimaginable reason Luis Suarez got a taste for Ivanovic’s arm and sunk his gnashers in. The 10-game ban seems about right – as long as our match with the Reds is one of the six he misses early next season.
• Highlight of the week: There have been some big wins this season. Clearly getting the first three points on the board back in the autumn against Arsenal,the fantastic achievement of being one of only four teams to beat the champions and the amazing comeback at home to Everton take some beating. But I have to to say that when the final whistle sounded on Saturday, it was most relieved I had felt all campaign.
• Funniest moment of the week: There were all sorts of emotions at the end of Saturday’s game. Relief was an over-riding one – but also a sense of real amusement watching Holty wind down the clock as well as winding up the opposition. Being in the top of the N & P, I got a perfect view of him at his best winning fouls and getting rid of those vital seconds. He was loving it!
• Prediction of the week: I’m really looking forward to Monday’s FA Youth Cup final first leg. It will be really tough for the fledgling Canaries, although having watched them recently, I feel they have got the spirit to give it a really good go. The crowd of almost 10,000 against Forest was terrific – and I expect a lot more next week. So my prediction is that it will better Ipswich’s average of just over 17,000 for their league games this term. Yellarmy.