Who are you? We’re Norwich City (2)


A good win for each side on Saturday sets us up nicely for tonight’s encounter at Carrow Road. Next up from the ranks of Canaries is Scott Johnson*, again discovered at the Wrath of the Barclay fan site, who maintains the “Delia should stick to the kitchen” theme, thanks Salut! Sunderland for understating the scale of that opening day defeat at home to Colchester and offers an olive branch to Ipswich …

That 6-1 tonking on day one was a real shock. What’s up with Norwich?

It’s been a constant downward ever since we won the Championship really. Our owners were more than happy to portray the club as “little old Norwich” who were simply glad to be there to make up the numbers. It was a mindset that never left us a chance to survive. There’s a story does the rounds here that Bobby Robson (RIP, despite both our two clubs rivalries) was at a dinner just after promotion, and Delia told him our transfer budget for the season. He just laughed, and said ‘no chance’. We spent far too much of our money earned that season on off-field activities, a ploy that as STILL left us £20m in debt. Since then, it’s been a constant case of spending too much on other stuff, selling the good players and replacing them with inferior yet expensive replacements. The final straw was relegation last season.
Bryan Gunn (club legend, unfortunately now permanently tarred with relegation and our heaviest EVER home defeat) was only appointed temporary manager until the end of last season after the departure of Glenn Roeder (boo, hiss ?) and should never had got the job on a permanent basis due to not being good enough to manage. The fact he did so showed a) the ‘cosy’ mentality of our owners and b) the state of our finances. Oh, and c) his daughter set up a Facebook group. That said, he still brought in 12 new players, and we went all pre-season unbeaten, including beating Wigan and Palace.

With regard to our first game this season, gawd love you for keeping it to 6 (a Salut! Sunderland lapse of memory, now correct)- if only our defence had…it was actually 7 ! Unfortunately, as has also been shown in other games, our defence and confidence are so fragile, once we concede one it’s going to be backs against the wall. Too many of our players didn’t perform, the first two goals came from errors, the heads went down and Colchester got their tails up. They looked like scoring every time they attacked….to be fair, they did.

Can Norwich be great again? If so how, and how soon?

I’d love to think so. How ? Delia and her husband need to step aside, and let new investors with deeper pockets take over. The club needs a time of stability; the new man is our eighth manager in ten years. The fans need to realise that things aren’t going to change overnight, and have a little patience, regardless of all that’s gone on. Until Delia goes, we have a poisonous atmosphere around the club. We’ve got nigh-on 20,000 season ticket holders, which is amazing given the state of the club. Us fans also need to remember that numbers don’t equate to success, and 20,000 moaning gits are less supportive than 15,000 getting behind the team. The players ought to be good enough to walk this league; that they’re not producing the goods speaks volumes.

Despite a tumultuous start to the season on and off the pitch, we still need to realise that we’re only eight points behind the leaders, and four points off the play offs. I still expect us to be up there at the end of the season, assuming the new man gets them sorted. We should be back in the Championship by the end of next season. Let’s re-establish ourselves there first before concerning ourselves with promotion back to the Premiership, eh ? It took ten years of mediocrity in the Championship before promotion in 2004, I don’t expect it to be anything different.

Are you old enough to have seen the epic cup games between our clubs – especially the “Friendly” Milk Cup final in 1985?

I was there in 1985. My memories are a little hazy now, but I remember an arduous jouney with very little dual carriageway. We had a luxury coach from my dad’s office – with Fawlty Towers and Ripping Yarns on VHS as entertainment! It was the first time I’d even seen Wembley, let alone been there. The game; I remember being squeezed in so tight my feet didn’t touch the floor. Barham’s flying volley over the bar, the penalty (we were still debating all the way home whether it was a save or Walker hit the post), don’t remember our goal much, just the noise and mayhem. I do remember the friendliness afterwards and being confused as attendance at football matches wasn’t portrayed as being like that.

I last saw you right at the end of the season you went up as champions and we failed in the playoffs.

Were you there and if not, have you ever been to the Stadum of Light or Roker Park?
Yeah I was there. It was a bit weird that season; we won promotion without playing as you lost at Palace, and then won the championship despite losing thanks to West Brom losing at Stoke. It felt at points we’d not actually done anything ourselves. It was an ace atmosphere though; Carl Robinson scored for you (something he rarely did for us), but the overall party atmosphere was superb. Always had respect for Sunderland after 85, but the warmth of you all after that game on the way back to the car spoke volumes. Most Norwich fans were quite disappointed that Palace went up in the PlayOffs and not you.

Who have been the spectacular success or failures with links to both clubs – Chris Brown, Shaun Elliott, Lee Clark spring to mind (for some reason Steve Brice didn’t and I’ll have overlooked others).

Chris Brown scored once for us, which I believe was less prolific than his ten minute tape ! The ones above are all players who did well for you but not us. Lee Clark will be remembered here as the man who jumped ship when he saw the Glenn Roeder reign going to ratshit. Of course, the man who got us to that 1985 final scoring the semifinal winner v Ipswich was a Mr S. Bruce. He’s now not well thought of here, thanks to moving to Manchester United when they were shite. David Hodgson and Gary Rowell also passed our way in the 1980s – both were injured more often than not, so never got a chance to impress. And don’t forget the crablike (why bother with all that forward passing lark ?) Robinson who was the man personally bought by Delia as the club who couldn’t afford him that highlighted how skint we were.

Keano is now an enemy. Was he always?

To be fair, unless one is a Manc or a Forest fan, or admires his managerial tenure with you, Roy Keane has always been an enemy. I liked what he did you with you, I get the feeling he’s not going to suffer Ipswich gladly and it will all end in tears. Shame.

Tell me what you really think about Ipswich.

Whisper this quietly, and I’m sure it’s the same with you guys and the car crash up the road, but most Norwich fans get on with Ipswich fans, apart from three days either side of any derby. I’ve got Ipswich fans in my family, I’ve worked with Ipswich fans and some of my friends are Ipswich fans. Most of the time it’s just gentle banter. Mind you, they don’t like being reminded that they stitched up local businesses, including the local St John Ambulance service, when they paid 5p in the pound going into administration.

Delia Smith’ has always seemed to a me a decent sort. What do you say?

She IS a decent sort. And that’s the problem. Thanks to her image as the nation’s favourite cuddly, friendly, inoffensive TV chef, she’s taken that and our Norfolk outlook on life and moulded the club in that image. Cuddly, friendly and inoffensive doesn’t work in today’s modern footballing world. She’s been too nice, and too loyal, hence Nigel Worthington being kept on too long and Bryan Gunn getting the job in the first place. The restaurant food isn’t bad though.

How will Norwich and Sunderland fare this season? Name the Premier top four, the teams to be promoted to the Championship and the Premier relegation trio.

You guys will be safe, I’d expect 13th for you this year. The Premiership top four will be the Premiership top four, regardless of Man City and Spurs. The order is open for debate though. Leaving the Premiership will be Stoke, Portsmouth and, alas cos I admire the way they’ve done it, Burnley. Going up from our league, it’s still too early to say, as every team can beat every other team. That’s the beauty of the Championship too. One would still have to expect clubs such as Leeds, MK Dons and Huddersfield up there. As per previously, we CAN be there, when / if we get our season into gear.

Will you be there on Monday? Predict the outcome.

Sadly I won’t be there on Monday. I’ve just moved back to the UK having been living in France. I’ve got to back to pick up all our belongings, so will be watching on Sky. As for the outcome, are you sending your first team or reserves ? A lot depends on Saturday, and our first home game since Paul Lambert took over yesterday. A win, and a good performance, and we might have a bit more confidence. An early goal for you guys and we might have to use the Oval scoreboard that won’t be needed after the Aussies have thrashed us.

Ask yourself the question I forgot to put!

As a long-time Wrather there are several I could choose from, from “How many are we taking to Palace” through “What did you have for lunch ?” via a Friday pun-based XI to a moral dilemma posed by regular poster malkybarkid, the quality of which I couldn’t do justice by trying to repeat here. Wrath even has it’s own Wikipage, to not only ask these questions but to answer them too. So I shall answer by directing you to http://wotb.wikispaces.com/ to let you try and make head or tail of us Naarfuk waredoos yourselves, and then finish by saying you are always welcome on WOTB.
All the best for after Monday !
On The Ball City and Haway the Lads !

* Scott Johnson on Scott Johnson:
I first went to a Norwich game in 1979, and I was there in 85, 92 and 04. Have been a season ticket holder for many years until moving to France three years ago, although I’ve just returned. Despite the dross of the last few years, the regular trips to Carrow Road has been one of the few things I really missed; I’m just waiting for us not to be crap again so I can start to take my kids before they get too young and impressionable and start supporting Man Utd or worse, following rugby. I’m a regular contributor to Wrath of the Barclay (WOTB), the best NCFC related message board at http://www.wrathofthebarclay.co.uk/interactive/board/index.php.

Colin Randall

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