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Panic

Let me take you back, if you will...

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Let me take you back, if you will...

 

The date: Saturday 9 April 2005 The Time: Approx. 6.30

 

Leon McKenzie has just scored to put Norwich City 2-0 up against Manchester Utd.

Before the match Norwich were stuck to the bottom of the Premiership, having lost away 4-1

to Arsenal the previous week, and (despite a mini resergency; the 4-4 against Middlesbough

et al.) looked condemed to relegation. Man Utd, on the other hand, were chasing the premier

league title which was slowly slipping away from them toward Chelsea.

 

Players in the line-up of for city included the likes of Dean Ashton and Rob Green (who have

played for England), other well-knowns, such as Leon McKenzie and Damien Francis and, of

course, Darren Huckerby. Man Utd had the arrogance to ''rest'' their star players (if I

remember right they were playing a Champions League fixture that week), with Rooney, Ronaldo

 and Van Nistelrooy starting from the bench (although Ronaldo came on pretty early in the

game).

 

The game was on Sky. 25,522 packed into Carrow Road.

 

The result (which the Pink ''Un declared a ''famous win'') set Norwich on a fantastic run that

left them with the final match against Fulham to seal their own Premier League fate.

(Crystal Palace diving board antics aside).

 

Of course, we all know what happened that last day but now as we sit here after a terrible loss

against [insert own hate name here] we''re contemplating relegation or, to be more accurate,

a survival ''hope'' that is out of our own hands.

 

So I ask you a question which I''m sure every single Norwich fan has mulled over.

 

Were did it all go wrong?

 

Now obviously us fans have outed various sources. Many blame the board for the lack of

finacial support over recent years; others, point the blame at the sacking of Worthington,

or other such events, which were due to fan pressure. Some say it''s historical - that the

fact that the club got relegated from the Premier in the 90s, just as the money was pouring

in, ruined it.

 

These are all facts that must be taken into consideration but there is another problem I

think that has gone unnoticed.

 

The Man Utd game showed a passion I believe I haven''t seen Norwich have since then, or that

final run in of the Premier League season (again the Fulham game aside). Back then (well

four years ago) to wear a Norwich shirt meant something. Players like Malky Mackay, Marc

Edworthy and Gary Holt had the passion to play for Norwich which we simply don''t see today.

How many of the players do we have now who we can genuine believe are proud of pulling a

Norwich shirt on? Not as many as those in that team than beat Manchester United I bet.

 

Interested to hear your thoughts on this and if you have any other ''fallen from grace

stories'' (Not just Norwich) thn it''ll be good to hear them.

 

I need a laugh.

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This is what convinces me that we are down.

How many weeks have we seen Forest, Barnsley (and even Saints) pulling off cracking results against tough opponents through guts, grit and commitment? How many times have we half shown up and drifted through matches?

Player for player we are far better than any of the teams above us but too often we have started flat and coasted to draws or defeats.

Is this because so many know that come May 6th they will be back to their parent club or demanding a move to a mid-table/top-half Championship side?

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Is this because so many know that come May 6th they will be back to their parent club or demanding a move to a mid-table/top-half Championship side?

 

Yes that''s exactly my opinion, but it''s not just the loan thing its the whole squad?

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I have watched both Norwich (my team) and Bournemouth ( my other halfs team) this season and have had the misfortune to have had to sit through and endure some god awful games. To the point that I am sorry to say I have refused to go and spend my hard earned money on football for the last three months. And why have I taken such offence? Its not because we have lost at times, or the dodgy refereeing decisions but the way that players for both these teams have failed to play with passion and grit and I resent the fact that I and others work bloody hard to pay good money for their vastly inflated wages so that they can jog on and not even look as if they care!!!!!!!!! To concede a goal should hurt them as much as it does us, and I have to say I don''t think it does in the main whether they are contracted players or loanees. Money has ruined this beloved game of ours

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[quote user="diabolicalmastermind"]I have watched both Norwich (my team) and Bournemouth ( my other halfs team) this season and have had the misfortune to have had to sit through and endure some god awful games. To the point that I am sorry to say I have refused to go and spend my hard earned money on football for the last three months. And why have I taken such offence? Its not because we have lost at times, or the dodgy refereeing decisions but the way that players for both these teams have failed to play with passion and grit and I resent the fact that I and others work bloody hard to pay good money for their vastly inflated wages so that they can jog on and not even look as if they care!!!!!!!!! To concede a goal should hurt them as much as it does us, and I have to say I don''t think it does in the main whether they are contracted players or loanees. Money has ruined this beloved game of ours[/quote]

Agree with you on refusing to spend had earned money. I am a season ticket holder but have not been for several  weeks preferring to watch Lowestoft play. Next season I will  watch Lowestoft play. Grass roots football is far better than watching a bunch of over paid wan*** play. 

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[quote user="Konstantin Pobedonostsev"]

This is what convinces me that we are down.

How many weeks have we seen Forest, Barnsley (and even Saints) pulling off cracking results against tough opponents through guts, grit and commitment? How many times have we half shown up and drifted through matches?

Player for player we are far better than any of the teams above us but too often we have started flat and coasted to draws or defeats.

Is this because so many know that come May 6th they will be back to their parent club or demanding a move to a mid-table/top-half Championship side?

[/quote]

 

As a Forest fan (who isnt here to gloat by the way, for the record I think Plymouth will go down or failing that Barnsley.) Id just like to say that pretty much all the teams down here think thir plays are "far better" man for man than anyone in the teams above us. Sadly it just isnt true. We''ve got some excellent players in Earnshaw, Gunter, Anderson and Blackstock (only one of which isnt on loan) and some very hard working players in Morgan, Cohen and Perch. But, like yourselves we''ve got some deadwood too and they are the ones that drag the rest down. On paper means nothing its about getting the right combination and playing them in the right places at the right time. Im very relieved we finally got rid of Calderdud (so he can help relegate Newcastle)and brought in Billy Davies because he has something a lot of managers dont and thats the understanding of people. Thats his players, his staff, the fans and the press. He knows what to say and when and IF he keeps us up then he deserves a medal. If he doesnt then Id hope he stays with us.

You could well stay up as long as you dont lose to an out of sorts Reading next week but believe me your players, like ours, are nothing like far better than the teams above us. Some will be, some will be much worse and the proof of that is in the pudding. I have to say I still cant work out why your board appointed Gunn though [:^)]

Out of interest what are your thoughts on Clingan? Some of you seem to think he will be off in the Summer, I wasnt at all disappointed when he left us, too many sideways passes, very little bottle and just didnt really make anything happen IMHO. Will you be sad to see him go if he does? And can you left us have Croft in return please, whatever happens [;)]

Good luck the last couple of games because I know exactly how you are all feeling, I dont think my heart rate has been under 150bpm in the last 3 weeks [:)] I think you will be OK, just. But if its you that keeps us up then obviously thats something Id just have to live with [:P]

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It''s  rubbish to say are players are better than most other teams around us. Look at the table..we are where we are because of poor managment and players who just are not good enough, or don''t want to win enough.

Even more galling when you see them driving around in flash Range Rovers and Aston Martins cos they certainly have not earned them!

 

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[quote user="EarnieTHEred"][quote user="Konstantin Pobedonostsev"]

This is what convinces me that we are down.

How many weeks have we seen Forest, Barnsley (and even Saints) pulling off cracking results against tough opponents through guts, grit and commitment? How many times have we half shown up and drifted through matches?

Player for player we are far better than any of the teams above us but too often we have started flat and coasted to draws or defeats.

Is this because so many know that come May 6th they will be back to their parent club or demanding a move to a mid-table/top-half Championship side?

[/quote]

 

As a Forest fan (who isnt here to gloat by the way, for the record I think Plymouth will go down or failing that Barnsley.) Id just like to say that pretty much all the teams down here think thir plays are "far better" man for man than anyone in the teams above us. Sadly it just isnt true. We''ve got some excellent players in Earnshaw, Gunter, Anderson and Blackstock (only one of which isnt on loan) and some very hard working players in Morgan, Cohen and Perch. But, like yourselves we''ve got some deadwood too and they are the ones that drag the rest down. On paper means nothing its about getting the right combination and playing them in the right places at the right time. Im very relieved we finally got rid of Calderdud (so he can help relegate Newcastle)and brought in Billy Davies because he has something a lot of managers dont and thats the understanding of people. Thats his players, his staff, the fans and the press. He knows what to say and when and IF he keeps us up then he deserves a medal. If he doesnt then Id hope he stays with us.

You could well stay up as long as you dont lose to an out of sorts Reading next week but believe me your players, like ours, are nothing like far better than the teams above us. Some will be, some will be much worse and the proof of that is in the pudding. I have to say I still cant work out why your board appointed Gunn though [:^)]

Out of interest what are your thoughts on Clingan? Some of you seem to think he will be off in the Summer, I wasnt at all disappointed when he left us, too many sideways passes, very little bottle and just didnt really make anything happen IMHO. Will you be sad to see him go if he does? And can you left us have Croft in return please, whatever happens [;)]

Good luck the last couple of games because I know exactly how you are all feeling, I dont think my heart rate has been under 150bpm in the last 3 weeks [:)] I think you will be OK, just. But if its you that keeps us up then obviously thats something Id just have to live with [:P]

[/quote]

 

Buy we have not got that much "deadwood" anymore, they have been left out of the squad for the last few games. They all have ability but it only seems to turn up once every few games.

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[quote user="EarnieTHEred"][quote user="Konstantin Pobedonostsev"]

This is what convinces me that we are down.

How many weeks have we seen Forest, Barnsley (and even Saints) pulling off cracking results against tough opponents through guts, grit and commitment? How many times have we half shown up and drifted through matches?

Player for player we are far better than any of the teams above us but too often we have started flat and coasted to draws or defeats.

Is this because so many know that come May 6th they will be back to their parent club or demanding a move to a mid-table/top-half Championship side?

[/quote]

 

As a Forest fan (who isnt here to gloat by the way, for the record I think Plymouth will go down or failing that Barnsley.) Id just like to say that pretty much all the teams down here think thir plays are "far better" man for man than anyone in the teams above us. Sadly it just isnt true. We''ve got some excellent players in Earnshaw, Gunter, Anderson and Blackstock (only one of which isnt on loan) and some very hard working players in Morgan, Cohen and Perch. But, like yourselves we''ve got some deadwood too and they are the ones that drag the rest down. On paper means nothing its about getting the right combination and playing them in the right places at the right time. Im very relieved we finally got rid of Calderdud (so he can help relegate Newcastle)and brought in Billy Davies because he has something a lot of managers dont and thats the understanding of people. Thats his players, his staff, the fans and the press. He knows what to say and when and IF he keeps us up then he deserves a medal. If he doesnt then Id hope he stays with us.

You could well stay up as long as you dont lose to an out of sorts Reading next week but believe me your players, like ours, are nothing like far better than the teams above us. Some will be, some will be much worse and the proof of that is in the pudding. I have to say I still cant work out why your board appointed Gunn though [:^)]

Out of interest what are your thoughts on Clingan? Some of you seem to think he will be off in the Summer, I wasnt at all disappointed when he left us, too many sideways passes, very little bottle and just didnt really make anything happen IMHO. Will you be sad to see him go if he does? And can you left us have Croft in return please, whatever happens [;)]

Good luck the last couple of games because I know exactly how you are all feeling, I dont think my heart rate has been under 150bpm in the last 3 weeks [:)] I think you will be OK, just. But if its you that keeps us up then obviously thats something Id just have to live with [:P]

[/quote]

 

Thanks for your comments. Very interesting.

I do believe that our players man for man are largely better than the teams above us (as I think they would prove in different colour shirts!) despite a few exceptions. The main reason that you will stay up and we won''t is because at the crucial moment you switched your failing manager with a tried and tested warhorse and we emotionally slotted an ex-keeper with no managerial experience into place at the helm. Davies has, as you say, placed the players that he has into the best system and got the most out of them. If he had come here we would be mid table now.

Clingan ... considering that many are pushing him forward as man of the season perhaps shows how dreadful we''ve been. Influential in flashes but mostly average and predictable if not reliable.

Good luck to you too - if we go down I will be thinking of Forest as an example of a strong club who bounced back!

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We did bounce back eventually but it took a long time. Thats why we are so desperate not to go down again. I emailed our chairman on an almost daily basis until he finally realised Calderwood couldnt keep us up. In fact Id emailed him several times in the seasons in league 1 to say he wasnt good enough to get us up and keep us there. Whatever happens, like us, you need to find a manager with some balls and some knowhow to give the players a kick up the arse. There is an article in the local rag about how Davies gave one of our players a bollocking at half time in the toilets and hey presto he scored 45 seconds into the 2nd half! Mr Niceguy only works part of the time, and I think sentimental appointments are a big mistake, I think Derby will find that out too!

 

Its going to be a very interesting fortnight. Bit of a pigsear with us playing saturday dinner and you not playing until monday night. Isnt really fair on either club, but thats TV for you! Heads up chaps, believe that it will be Plymouth and not you!

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our problems lie in not having a decent captain for years, and no consistent leadership off of the pitch. it''s also lack of depth in the squad, which hasn''t been helped by misguided loan signings - take Otsemobor as a classic example - he plays like he couldn''t give a toss and that''s probably because he doesn''t. but why should he? there is no one to replace him so he can do what he likes (which turns out to be very little)

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Whilst I agree we haven''t had a strong captain since Malky left but I still believe it is our midfield that is the problem most of the time we only have two genuine midfielders on the pitch. Take yesterday Clingan and Russell in midfield also Croft and Gow, Croft bless him does an awful lot of huffing and puffing and if he gets himself into a decent position normally fluffs his cross , Gow was a one man team yesterday he is not a midfielder and not a team player. It wasn''t long ago that Gunn said you ask him to play on the left and you look up and he is on the right he drives you mad and what does he do plays him wide left in the most important game of the season.

Other factors are we have no one to deliver a decent cross into the danger zone and we are now far to predictable at set pieces everything is aimed at Doherty stop him and everything else falls into place.

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The trouble is that players signed following relegation were poor. They came along for a ride to the Premiership with one of the favourites for promotion back to the Premiership.

The Players that got us promotion (Roberts, Holt, Rivers, McVeigh, MacKay, Fleming, Easton) had been through the previous years with Norwich and were a TEAM. On the first day no one expexted Norwich to walk through to the Championship like they did.

The Players we Signed (Huckerby, Crouch, Harper, Cooper, Mckenzie, Svensson) were all hungry players either looking to make the step up to the Championship (Mckenzie) or looking to Reignite their careers (Huckerby, Harper, Cooper, Crouch)

Throw in to the mix the youngsters (Henderson, Jarvis) had to prove themselves to keep their contracts.

None of these players could have expected promotion at the begining of the season and had to continually perform to keep themselves on top.

The players that came in when we came down never gave the same feel as the previous squad and never looked like repeating the feat of 2 years previous. 

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All of these comments sound very familiar to how we have been over the last few years and are slowly addressing and working through. If your situation does mirror ours then I would be very concerned. I was at the ground the last time we went down and the only consolation was taking Gillingham with us. I hope you dont have to witness that with Charlton [:(]

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