September 20 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Norwich City fan columnist David Powles gives the view from the stands at the Canaries’ final Premier League game of the season against Arsenal.
Sad and emotional day! Ipswich Town we’re coming #ncfc @NorwichCityFC
Well that season stunk. Remember that home game against Derby #ncfc fans? Remember how good you felt? That means nothing now.
As for now, time to rebuild and move on. Bad season but you get them. New manager is priority now - need the right appointment. #NCFC
Genuinely feel sorry for @RvWolfswinkel9 things haven’t worked out, team should of been built around him in my opinion, hope he stays #ncfc
Bye RvW, Fer, Turner, Hoolahan, Garrido, Pilks, Bassong, probably Ruddy, Becchio, Snoddy and Hooper too #ncfc
Sad to have gone down but we will bounce back at first attempt next season I’m sure of it #ncfc
“Is it possible the weather gods have managed to tap into my inner conscience and are using that to control the forecast?”
That’s exactly what I’m thinking as I and hundreds of fellow city supporters trudge down to Carrow Road for the club’s one last hurrah in the Premier League.
For the dark clouds throwing upon us rain showers the like of which we rarely see in this fine city typify exactly the mood I’m in - and that is the case throughout the 90 minutes about to unfold.
It’s been three days since Norwich’s relegation to the Championship was all but sealed, but still the wound feels fresh - and the prospect of watching another 90 minutes against one of the best teams in the country is not helping.
There has been talk on social media of today being a ‘relegation party’, but to me that feels like it would be letting the players off too easily.
Why make them think Norwich fans are as uncaring about relegation as some of them have looked at various points in the season?
At this moment in time the feelings of disappointment, frustration and anger at relegation remain too strong to give way to any joie de vivre.
But that’s at odds with the type of Norwich fan I normally am - a glass half-full kind of guy - and once the football starts my mood is as fickle as the views we often hear on the terraces week in and week out.
And as it turns out, as changeable as the weather which unfolds too.
As the players prepare to kick off, the rain has stopped but the grey clouds remain, everything feels so dull, flat and lifeless. A couple of inflatable balls fly past, I can’t bring myself to whack them. Some party.
But then a hint (just a small one) of blue sky emerges. Paraded on to the pitch are the young player of the season winners from the various age groups of the club.
It serves a reminder that one positive of next season is the prospect of seeing a few youngsters come through the ranks - two of them on the bench today.
The game begins and for its first minutes the rain holds off and it isn’t too bad. A disallowed Norwich goal leads to ironic chants of ‘easy, easy’ from the home fans. Perhaps this could be fun after all.
By the time chants of ‘We’re coming for you, we’re coming for you, oh Ipswich Town, we’re coming for you’ break out, I’m almost looking forward to the prospect of the Championship. There’s some sun peeking through as well.
I begin to run through the players in the team who might stay - that’s not too bad a starting point, I think to myself.
But then comes the realisation this might be a negative. If those remaining players were any good perhaps Norwich wouldn’t be in this position in the first place.
The rain starts to pour down. Norwich’s bench begins to warm-up. There’s Leroy Fer, there’s Gary Hooper - millions spent for little reward.
Is it possible thoughts of just how much these players have failed to perform makes it rain even harder?
Then comes the moment that pretty much personifies this dreadful season. A goal bound Robert Snodgrass shot hits hapless striker Johan Elmander full on the backside, sending the ball flying away from the goal.
It’s impossible not to see the funny side and it breaks me away from my own depressing inner monologue. The sun finally comes out - and remains.
Arsenal score not once, but twice - it matters little. News emerges that West Brom have conceded a goal, I join in the chants of ‘16, we only need 16’. The second half sees youth introduced in the shape of Jamar Loza and the welcome return of Elliott Bennett after a crippling injury. He looks lively - some hope for next season at least.
As a cool but bright May evening begins to unfold, Canary fans erupt into a chant of ‘City ‘til I die’. Indeed we are - and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
There’s danger of a party breaking out here - I might even bring myself to smile.