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Ian Clarke: Pants streaker just about summed up City’s season

PUBLISHED: 13:05 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:24 08 March 2018

A Notts Forest fan invades the pitch and is ejected by stewards during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich (
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

A Notts Forest fan invades the pitch and is ejected by stewards during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich ( Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

When probably the worst pitch invasion of all time is one of the big talking points of the game, you know it wasn’t 90 minutes to savour.

Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke will speak to the media at Colney this lunchtime. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke will speak to the media at Colney this lunchtime. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

In case you weren’t at Tuesday’s Carrow Road Nil Classico or haven’t seen the footage, here’s a brief summary.

Just after the hour mark, a bloke emerged from the away corner. He was completely unchallenged and started with purpose towards the River End before heading back.

Twice his trousers were pulled down and twice they were pulled up.

He slipped over at one point, waved his arms around before being unceremoniously flattened by stewards and led away for an early exit (well at least he beat the traffic).

Nelson Oliveira is one of Daniel Farke's squad who has not enjoyed the arctic blast. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Nelson Oliveira is one of Daniel Farke's squad who has not enjoyed the arctic blast. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Pants.

Yes, he showed them off a couple of times. But he was no Erica Roe (By the way it’s 36 years since she took to the field at Twickenham!)

More to the point pants pretty much sums up another blank night at NR1.

My mate tweeted me just after the invasion to say the attention seeker was like City’s midfield instincts – got to halfway and turned backwards. It made me chuckle – but was so true.

Even City’s head coach used the streaker to express his frustrations with yet another blank night.

“When I saw the guy running on the pitch with so much speed I hoped he would score us a goal,” said Daniel Farke.

After all his one-liners about the players and the snow, Farke is clearly looking at a sideline in stand-up comedy (£1 off for season ticket holders).

The link between the streaker and striker was funny, but also at the heart of why we left so flat again.

The one proven frontman we have got (albeit not in recent weeks) was on the naughty step after showing poor attitude in training.

I 100pc back Farke for taking the action he did to leave Nelson Oliveira out of the squad and then being so open with fans. Supporters will forgive an off-day if they see passion, commitment and a desire to wear the shirt with pride.

Grant Hanley is fast becoming a Norwich hero and possesses all the attributes we want to see. “You’ll never beat the Hanley,” is going to top the City singles chart this month for sure.

I suggest NO watches a playback of the Forest game and gets in that zone. If he is not totally up for being here, then he needs to leave.

I’m sounding like a broken record talking about the poor decision not to bring in another striker in the summer or in January. Dennis Srbeny is still finding his feet but had very little impact on Tuesday. Marley Watkins isn’t the answer up top, neither is Josh Murphy.

On Tuesday we had 15 shots, 66pc possession and an 84pc passing accuracy.

But only one stat really matters and 34 goals in 35 games is woeful. Just three teams have scored fewer.

Norwich have now drawn eight of their 18 home league games, the most since 1998-99.

The Canaries have failed to net five times and scored more than once just three times in those matches.

I’m desperate that the campaign doesn’t just disappear with a whimper.

Play-off hopes are now gone but there has to be a collective desire to make the most of the final 11 games.

The higher City can finish, the more positivity there will be going into next season.

A good end to the season would give fans more belief about this “work in progress”.

It could also be a lure to get the badly needed extra troops in for next year,

I think we’re all convinced James Maddison will go in a big money deal and no one could blame him.

Others who may be tempted away – such as Jamal Lewis and Timm Klose – may feel more like staying if some late momentum can be achieved.

This summer may be the end for Wes Hoolahan.

I still believe he has another campaign in him and showed in his late cameo on Tuesday that he maintains the ability to make things happen.

Finally, I make no apologies for giving my life-time City supporting Mum a mention for the second column running.

She has been poorly so has missed the last two home games (yes I know you’re saying she’s the lucky one).

It’s Mum’s birthday on Sunday and of course it’s Mother’s Day too.

So I wish her a lovely day and please lads find the net at Hull on Saturday to give her something to cheer about. OTBC.

Good luck Carlton and Ben

Norwich striker’s header seals trip to Wembley.

It’s a headline we all dream of, and actually came true as we were bemoaning another stalemate for the Canaries.

City’s Carlton Morris scored for Shrewsbury to ensure a Checkatrade Trophy final place against Lincoln. Fellow loanee Ben Godfrey also played for the Shrews.

Of course there is a massive irony in Norwich’s woeful lack of goals coinciding with a 22-year-old 6ft2 frontman doing the business for another club.

If Morris had been on the Carrow Road pitch on Tuesday, would he have had any more impact than Dennis Srbeny or Marley Watkins? We’ll never know. He would certainly have given us another option. Anyway, all the very best to Morris and Godfrey and it’s a day they will never forget.

I feel a bit sorry for Sean Raggett who will miss out on his own trip to Wembley as his loan spell with The Imps was ended and yet he hasn’t been able to really break into the City team.

The cost of footballing haves and have nots

I was saddened to hear about the serious financial problems at Lowestoft Town.

I’m a big fan of non-league football and was delighted to see the Blues get into the National League set-up four years ago, which rightly sparked huge celebrations in the town.

It seemed like a huge opportunity for the club to establish itself in a higher level and become East Anglia’s most successful team outside the professional set-up. Unfortunately things have gone the other way.

Those who know much more about the club than I do had seen the difficulties coming. The extent of Sunday’s announcement about the “critical” situation was shocking, however. I wish the club well and really hope that the community gets behind them.

What this does shine a light on is the potential there is for clubs at all levels to be hit by a financial crisis. There has never been more money in the game but there is clearly an increasing imbalance between the haves and have nots.

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