Liverpool tendencies, QPR and Norwich City’s points currency
It almost came out last week and it's going to this – my one-time Liverpool wobble…
Firstly, I was young. Say 14. At that age protests aimed at City chairman Robert Chase and a football club losing its way after Martin O'Neill's dramatic exit were galling enough to at least evoke some curiosity of what lay away from Carrow Road.
I remember buying a Liverpool shirt. A horrible gold and black number, with Robbie Fowler's name on the back – my rather troubled history with names on shirts rearing its ugly head again.
I also had a Newcastle United away shirt I bought from JJB for a fiver, but that was a little different.
The first game I watched with any particular attempt at support for the Reds was highlights of the incredible 4-3 win over the Magpies in the 1995-96 season.
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And, as memory serves, that was it. For some reason, I got it all out of my system in one go.
I imagine for any boy or girl there is at least one moment spent backing Liverpool in some way or other. That is just the club it is. Every player that signs for them is always quoted saying they supported the Reds as a child.
- 1 Brother and sister found dead in their home are named
- 2 Neighbours' horror after two people found dead in 'peaceful close'
- 3 Why is it so difficult to buy bottled water?
- 4 Parts of busy Norwich road to be shut for three days for repairs
- 5 Norwich pub to temporarily close this summer because of 'pingdemic'
- 6 Twin Bakes sell out of treats during first pop-up sale
- 7 Every Norfolk primary school rated as 'Outstanding'
- 8 Man and woman found dead in home
- 9 See artist's fascinating pictures of Norwich's Castle Mall construction
- 10 £800k roadworks branded 'waste of time and effort'
So to be at Anfield for the first time on Saturday made for an interesting evening. None of the wide-eyed glares across the vast interior that Old Trafford draws. Anfield is more its modest cousin.
But it is a proper ground. A football cathedral, as one of my sportsdesk colleagues would say.
But in a way, Anfield's modesty is a wink to the Canaries. It helps back up those theories and quotes that were bandied around for seasons on end in the Championship and League One.
You know the ones, about Premier League facilities etc.
In truth, Saturday was a great experience for instilling in the fans and players – not that the latter currently needs it – the fact there is no need for an inferiority complex these days.
Maybe that is one of the biggest differences to the class and atmosphere of 2004-05.
There is no much-maligned 'Little Norwich'. Chelsea manager Andr� Villas-Boas didn't big up his defeated opponents – he got annoyed at them. And Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish could only manage some grudging praise after Saturday's draw.
Much better than kind words from 'awe-inspiring' football managers, off the back of rolling over to 3-0 defeats.
City continue to adapt to their new surroundings. You could look at Saturday and feel it was just City's day – on any other Luis Suarez would have had a hat-trick and that would have been that.
But to do so would do disservice to the effort and ability of Paul Lambert's men on the day.
They are building a body of work that suggests they are coming to terms with the Premier League – and be assured, people are starting to take notice.
One final point – which also comes with a final caveat: I hate the City and Blackpool comparisons. In reality they are irrelevant. Still… I saw a Liverpool fan tweet over the weekend how he could take being battered at home to the Seasiders last season and losing – but battering Norwich and drawing was far more upsetting.
The respective performances by Liverpool in those two matches say far more than the results either City or Blackpool achieved.
And then there is Seasiders boss Ian Holloway, who had this to say in his Independent column: 'It is Norwich who I have been impressed with the most.
'I'm envious because they are able to play an attacking game yet look secure at the back. We didn't master that last year. It's not easy to get both ends right, yet Norwich are doing it. I've thoroughly enjoyed the rise and rise of the Canaries; I don't want them to fall.'
Rest assured Olly, that goes for all of us.
• Grant Holt's equaliser on Saturday was so sweet it knocked out ESPN's little in-goal camera – and the next task for City will be to do likewise to Blackburn Rovers' boss Steve Kean this weekend.
That's assuming the Scot has not already gone by then.
Rovers' Indian owners sounded delightfully naive in interviews during the club's tour to the Sub-continent earlier this month – and quite simply, the longer he is in that job the better it is for City.