Norwich City - As You Were
Here we are again then.
Another Sunday morning after a Saturday afternoon loss in some far flung part of the country, in this case Yorkshire.
It`s funny how fickle football fans can be and how quickly optimism can build in just a short space of time. Last weekend, despite being 0-1 down at the break, a spirited second half gave us a glimpse of the Norwich City we want to watch and love.
This week though, it`s another three points lost and as Liam Gallagher might say "as you were." To be fair, Norwich were not out fought and they were not outplayed at Elland Road. It was a very even game and both sides had chances to score goals, the fact that Norwich didn`t has been a long standing problem this season. Along with a poorly conceded header from a set piece.
Getting back to being fickle though, I listened to Canary Call after the game and heard a fan ring in (his name escapes me) and he was in a right old state. He was very down on watching Norwich and predicted a certain relegation to League One this season, you could hear the anger in his voice which is probably because he was in the immediate aftermath of yet another defeat.
Whilst I think that relegation is unlikely, it feels more likely than a promotion push at the moment to me. Another fan rang in to say that he was "done with Norwich City" and that he wasn`t going to renew his season ticket. Rob Butler immediately got on his high horse and suggested that there would`ve been fans listening to that and "shouting at the radio that we don`t want fans like you."
I guess there probably were but support is a subjective thing to football fans. Some are died in the wool, cut me and I bleed yellow and green types, others are more transient in their support and might not fancy wasting their time on watching what is currently being served up and paying handsomely for it either. Not everyone can comfortably afford a season ticket and some people are going to struggle to pay for it if they do have one. Two adult season tickets and an U12 child ticket cost me over £100 per month which is not a small amount of money in these times of rising inflation and household bills.
Football is, it is often said, a results based business and people`s livelihoods depend on success achieved on the pitch at every football club up and down the country. It is also, I believe, an entertainment business because if fans are entertained then they will keep coming back for more and crucially, keep paying for it too.
What Norwich are currently serving up on the pitch doesn`t often reach what I would describe as "entertainment." Looking back at last week`s game against Sheffield Wednesday, the first half was the same dull, boring stuff that we`ve seen time and again this season. The second half by contrast, was what I would like to see on a regular basis. The sad reality is that we`ve seen a lot more performances like the first half than the second.
The number of empty seats around Carrow Road on a cold December afternoon for the Owls` visit showed that more than a few people felt they had better things to do, despite probably having already paid for it. The official attendance flashed up on the screen as being over 25,000 but that apparently took into account season tickets so was perhaps misleading. By my eye, I`d estimate that there were only around 21-22,000 people in the ground. I haven`t seen such a swath of empty seats for years and it even looked as though there were even more empty seats after the half time break.
We`re coming to a crucial point in the season in terms of season ticket renewal and the packs are usually dropping onto doormats in January. I would expect that Norwich will see a lowering in demand for what used to be precious season tickets and that will be a huge worry for the club as revenue will be affected and that then becomes a vicious ever decreasing circle of finance.
Daniel Farke has a lot of pressure on him to get it right on the field, something that he is clearly struggling with at the moment. I vividly remember that before the season started his assistant Eddie Riemer likened Farke`s preferred style of football as similar to that employed by Pep Guardiola and that I remember, excited me.
If you don`t like watching Pep Guardiola`s Manchester City side play then you don`t like watching football. They are sensational and literally head and shoulders above any other team in England. They play with speed, verve and they are direct in attack, everything that Norwich City are not.
Norwich have big problems on the field and those will translate to off the field problems in the near future, if nothing changes soon. I think it`s inevitable that Tom Trybull and Alex Tettey will be reunited in the defensive midfield pairing fairly soon with Mario Vrancic the most likely candidate for a benching initially. I hope I`m not looking at the early stages of a club in decline but fear that could very well be the case.
I won`t be cancelling my season ticket and I`ll be there next season as usual but, I know what those fans on Canary Call are feeling and why they are feeling it - we`re all feeling it Mr Webber.