Why every Norwich City fan will be boing boinging the Baggies and supporting the Swans for the next few days
09:44 07 May 2014
Archant © 2013
In recent seasons, they have been among the Canaries’ fiercest rivals.
But Norwich City fans will be backing the Baggies and supporting the Swans - at least for the rest of the week – in the hope that the two teams can throw the Carrow Road side an unlikely Premier League lifeline.
West Brom kick off against precariously-placed Sunderland at 7.45pm tonight, with the Black Cats just two points clear of the drop zone - and of Norwich.
Anything less than a Sunderland defeat would in all likelihood spell the end of Norwich City’s three years in the top flight.
And a clutch of pubs across the Fine City - including The Murderers - will be showing the match for Canaries fans who dare to watch.
Robin Sainty, a columnist for this newspaper and former chairman of the Independent Norwich City Supporters’ Club, said: “You will obviously dream and hope until the end, but I would be absolutely amazed if we got out of it.
“I suppose the cynic in me says that with a point a piece Sunderland and West Brom are both safe, with the goal difference.
“Part of me thinks they’re going to play out a nice low-key draw, then the other side thinks the danger of playing for a draw is you need one thing to go wrong and suddenly you’ve lost.”
A victory for Gus Poyet’s Sunderland would put them five points clear of Norwich, and out of reach with just one game to go.
Holding the Throstles to a draw would mean Norwich need to beat Arsenal with a double-figure scoreline to stay up - and need Swansea to beat Sunderland on Sunday.
“We’re all concerned about this game tonight, but regardless of what happens we have to beat Arsenal which is far from a given,” added Mr Sainty.
Nev Townsend, chairman of the Forces2Canaries supporters group, said: “Can I see West Brom getting much at Sunderland? No, not really.
“West Brom are already safe and Sunderland need a point.”
But he said the Canaries’ season was defined much earlier in the season, and Chris Hughton should have been replaced in January.
“It was a gutsy decision [to get Adams in], but it was too late and we’re now paying the price,” he said. “I think West Brom and Sunderland will play out a draw and we will be relegated tonight.
“It’s not me being negative; I’m just being a realist. We are where we are.”
Swansea will play Sunderland at 3pm on Sunday.
Iwan Roberts, Norwich City striker from 1997 to 2004 and now a regular BBC Wales commentator for Swansea matches.
I fear it could all be over for Norwich by the time Sunderland play Swansea at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
I saw Swansea on Saturday against Southampton and they were very disappointing. They looked like they had already packed their bags and were on the beach.
It is never encouraging when you have got a team fighting for its life and another that hasn’t got as much to play for.
Having said that, Swansea, on their day, are a very good side. We’re not sure if Garry Monk will be named the full-time manager this week, but he will want to use the Sunderland game to show he is the man to take the club into next season. Also, players have got contracts to play for.
Nevertheless, Sunderland have put an unbelievable run together and at the moment they don’t look like dropping points.
I’ll be working at the Stadium of Light, so will have first-hand experience of all the emotions with what’s happening at Carrow Road. You just get the feeling it will be all done and dusted by then.
Paul Durrant, former senior content editor for Archant, and West Bromwich Albion supporter of many years’ standing
As a lifelong Baggies’ fan an odd experience greeted me when I ventured into the EDP/EN office yesterday.
Instead of the grudging grunt of recognition that normally awaits me, it was all smiley faces and “Hiya, Paul, how’s it going?” “Good to see you, mate”.
At first, I thought I was being mistaken for someone else, until it dawned on me these outpourings of niceness were in fact the plaintiff cries of cling-to-the lifeboat Canary fans in the belief that by some means of mystical osmosis being pleasant to me could influence our match with Sunderland tonight.
If it’s come to that, lads and lassies, you really are clutching at straws.
Supporting West Brom has never been an easy ride, so I feel your pain.
Can we do you a favour and tame the Black Cats? Given we’re not mathematically safe, I’d like to think so. But, trust me, it all depends on which Albion side turns up.
Sunderland, despite their run of form are not a good side, and if we play to our potential, we can win it and throw you a slender lifeline.
So I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll promise to have a word with Baggies’ boss Pepe Mel if you promise not to mimic my Black Country accent and not go on about whippets and black pudding.