Saturday, 11 May 2019 00:00

The Canaries: Onwards and upwards

Written by  Colin Chapman
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
The Canaries: Onwards and upwards

Colin Chapman has followed Norwich City for almost six decades and this is also in the blood of his granddaughter Jess and his son Simon who are also season ticket holders. Watching the Canaries’ celebrations last Monday, he looks ahead at the team and its tactics for the coming season in the Premiership.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur – by results Europe’s top teams this year – will all be at Carrow Road next season. The Canaries will also face huge crowds the Emirates, Stamford Bridge, Anfield and White Hart Lane. Most, if not all, the matches will be shown on television across the world.

This is the real and just  reward for the players, owners, supporters and staff of Norwich City Football Club, celebrated in fine style on the May 6 bank holiday. Our boys will be mixing it with the best Europe currently has on offer, providing fans the kind of stylish football all four play, and that has also been the hallmark of City’s title-winning success.

We are talking of fluid football, pleasing to watch, not the bruising style of many Championship teams ,in a league hard to get out of and where the standard of refereeing leaves much to be desired.

Thanks to an excellent article in The Times, we know the building bricks of the Canaries’s success were laid at a crucial meeting in last summer, when the board and the management had to face up to mounting debt and the threat of going into administration. Immediate decisive action was agreed. As we know, this involved the lucrative sale of valuable assets like Maddison and Murphy, and parking overpaid misfits (Naismith and Oliviera come to mind) out on loan. Then came the rebuilding of the time, under the daily stewardship of head coach Daniel Farke, who bravely mixed experience with young men from Colney and unknowns from abroad.

This squad gelled into a team not seen at Carrow Road for many years. An estimated 50,000 fans, most garbed in yellow and green, swarmed in front of City Hall to watch the players come on to the balcony, in groups of two or three, to relate their experiences of an amazing year. They had partied together the previous night, and quaffed champagne for breakfast.mixing with backroom staff at City Hall, who had all been invited by joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and husband Michael Wynn-Jones. The couple received many deserved tributes from those present, including talented BBC broadcaster Chris Goreham, whose live two hour commentary was streamed on the internet. 

As fans sang in unison the club song “On the Ball, City, with more than a little scrimmsge in the packed market place, they really needed no reminder that Delia and Michael rescued the club 21 years ago from the perilous position it found itself in . They not only risked their own personal fortunes; there was a huge emotional commitment.

 ‘I’ve supported Norwich for over 60 years”, explained Wynn-Jones proudly from the City Hall balcony, “but I can honestly say this is the best squad and the best football I’ve ever seen”.

Delia thanked the supporters for sticking by Norwich through good times and bad.When we went down to League One we sold the same amount of tickets.This is really outstanding. Everyone feels like they've gelled together as one and I think this year the supporters are in on that. We are all one.”

Then it was Farke’s turn, again to acclaim not seen before across Britain’s most famous market. Television presenter Jake Humphrey, conducting the balcony proceedings, exchanged views with Farke about his success, but then turned to the future, and the challenge of life in the Premiership.  A smiling but guarded  Farke refused to be drawn, insisting it was a time for celebration and that the future hard task would come soon enough.

He is right. Farke is known to be a friend and admirer of his fellow German Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, who is widely credited with the introduction of gegenpressing into professional football. For the uninitiated this is broadly the system whereby a team, on losing possession of the ball, immedialy seeks to get it back, rather than seeking to regroup. One theory behind gegenpressing, which is also followed by Spurs, is that you can concdede goals but hope to score many more. Farke’s team has done this, along with speeding up City’s possession and passing game that has served them well, even when falling behind.

It does not look as if our head coach will be joining his players and having much of a vacation in coming weeks. He will no doubt be watching the conclusion of the Premier League season and then the Europa and Champion's League final with four teams who he will be pitting his wits against next season.  Oh, and there is the little matter of working with sporting director Stuart Webber in agreeing half a dozen reinforcements to strengthen the squad for the tougher days ahead. These will include a new deputy for goalkeeper Tim Krull and Striker Temmu Pukki,  an additional, fast winger, defensive midfielder and one or two defenders.  

We should not forget the benefits to our fine city, Norwich. The Premier league has a worldwide TV audience of 47.5 million, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to attract more tourists to find out what one of Britain’s oldest cities is like, and that it has many other attractions than the football club.

IMG_7540.JPG

Read 294 times Last modified on Saturday, 11 May 2019 10:34

Visit the following businesses

cache/resized/4a12f9f8d425cbab0d085f4404e62c11.jpg
Keith Osborn Photography
Probably the best way to describe my wedding photography style is modern traditional. I look for those spontaneous and distinctive – sometimes even quirky – expressions of love, joy, and happiness which spark photos into glorious life. I want ...
Explore
cache/resized/f6f00aa949bcec20be62bdf2627d5b2d.jpg
Keith Osborn Photography
I provide commercial photography services at competitive prices for all types and styles of businesses. Whether your requirement is for corporate profile shots, photography of your products and services, photos for corporate events or press releases ...
Explore
cache/resized/637490b9dd89f440d7d32eb17ea41d0f.jpg
M Shepherd Optometrist
Your local, family run opticians are here to provide you with the utmost in quality care for your eyes; a friendly, helpful and truly personal service and the latest in dispensing technology. For straightforward advice, comprehensive eye ...
Explore
cache/resized/053a74a42dc5b94765cf846d632b64c8.jpg
VTS Event Medical Services Limited
VTS Event Medical Services Limited are a provider of Event First Aid & Medical cover along with First Aid Training at competitive prices. No matter how big or small your event you should consider the health & welfare of your ...
Explore
cache/resized/e6a38c542bd0a493d955da8c4921db17.jpg
The Oak Circus Centre
We believe in inspiring and empowering our local community through circus.Our classes are delivered by resident company Lost in Translation Circus: an active company of experienced performers and tutors. We tailor classes for all ages and abilities ...
Explore
cache/resized/eeb042381c08d9e4947f1fe18ebb5314.jpg
Fido's Pet Bazaar
Fidos Pet Bazaar is a double award winning Pet Shop started by Alan and Lorna Raven in 1977 and still going strong. We are a large authentic pet shop combining the best of the old with the best of the new and an alternative to boring old pet ...
Explore
benefits banner

Related items

  • Norfolk Black History Month – Young Gifted and Black
    Norfolk Black History Month returns in October with the theme, Young Gifted and Black, celebrating youth, culture and identity. There are more than 80 events across the county featuring a packed programme of art, literature, film, music, theatre, talks, exhibitions and workshops. 
     
    A portrait of Norwich actor, Roger Nsengiyumva by Jamaican artist, Danny Keen will be unveiled in the foyer at Norwich City Hall, 10am on Monday, October 7 and will be on display until the end of the month. 
     
    Roger epitomises the Young Gifted and Black theme. Born in Rwanda, during the Genocide against the Tutsis (1994), he came to Norwich with his mother, Illuminée Nganemariya in 1996 and grew up in the city. He had his first acting break in the 2010 feature film  Africa United and is currently in a production of Blood Wedding at the Young Vic in London.
     
  • Anglian Annals by Peter Sargent
    Anglian Annals, Norwich writer Peter Sargent's new East Anglian history book was launched at Jarrold Book Department Norwich on Saturday, September 21, along with Peter Sargent's Moments in Time, a box set featuring his three local history books, A Moment in Time (2017), A Place in History (2018) and Anglian Annals.
     
    Peter Sargent presents 50 more short history stories, in Anglian Annals, which both entertain and inform. Peter explained his research and selection process: "Ideas come to me for stories from all sorts of sources. It can be an item on the news, a random conversation, often a reference in a book or film. In the case of Sir John Hawkwood, who features in Anglian Annals, I came across him while planning a trip to Florence. When I discovered he was born in Essex and was a celebrated mercenary soldier, I decided he had to go in the book. Hawkwood's impressively large memorial is indeed in the Florence Duomo, and it was worth queuing up to get in and see it.”
    "There are a lot of different sources of information, from the internet to works of history,” continued Peter. “I find the main Norwich library in the Forum very useful for original material, and also like to head out in search of obscure memorials in churches and suchlike throughout the region.”
     
  • Win tickets to "Norwich on the Dark Side" tour with Paul Dickson Tours

    All Things Norfolk have teamed up with Paul Dickson Tours for a chance of winning one of two pairs of tickets to "Norwich on the Dark Side" Tour on either Tuesday 29th or Wednesday 30th October.

    This 1½ hour guided tour with Norwich guide, Paul Dickson, looks at the darker side of Norwich, crime, punishment, filth and misery! The tour starts outside the Erpingham Gate of Norwich Cathedral and finishes in the Market Place. Hear about grizzly tales of the plague, the ups and downs of Kett’s Rebellion, the horror of Lollards Pit, drunken 17th century antics, celebrated Victorian murders and executions, floods, filth and grime – all stories from the darker side of Norwich.

  • ‘Matthew Shardlake Stayed Here’ – Maids Head Hotel Celebrates CJ Sansom’s Tombland
    ‘Matthew Shardlake’ (Paul Dickson) and Maids Head Hotel General Manager, Christine Malcolm unveiled a plaque outside the hotel on Friday, August 2 to celebrate the Maids Head appearing in CJ Sansom’s best-selling novel Tombland.
     
    Tombland is the seventh in CJ Sansom’s series of historical novels featuring Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake. In the book, he heads to Norwich to look into the circumstances of a horrific murder and stays at the Maids Head, before getting engulfed in Kett’s Rebellion in the summer of 1549.     
     
    “We have been offering a special Shardlake’s Norwich package since February,” said Christine Malcolm. “Guests on the package are given a copy of Tombland and have the option of booking a Shardlake tour with our resident tour guide, Paul Dickson.”
     
    “The package has proved very popular, with Shardlake fans heading to Norwich from all over the UK, “ continued Christine. “We have even had visitors from Norway who love the series. It’s the first visit to Norwich for many of our Shardlake guests and the feedback that we get is that they love the city and can’t wait to return.”
  • Maids Head Hotel Sous Chef in Norfolk Chef of the Year Final

    Maids Head Hotel Sous Chef, Elliott Winson, is a finalist in the Norfolk Food and Drink Awards Chef of the Year 2019 competition.

    Eight chefs will compete in the live cook off, at City College Norwich, on the morning of Tuesday, July 9. This will be followed by a technical skills challenge in the afternoon.

    To enter the competition chefs had to submit a main course, with a budget of no more than £4.50 a portion, featuring local, sustainable and seasonal Norfolk produce.

    Elliott’s main course features Gressingham Duck: confit duck leg with potato rosti, smoked carrot purée, heritage carrots, pickled elderflower and duck jus split with elderflower oil.