Chris Goreham: It’s not just the players that must get used to the Premier League again
PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:02 12 August 2019
It was always going to happen.
There was an inevitability about those brave young boys from Norfolk feeling somewhat star struck as Norwich City provided the opposition for Liverpool's triumphant Champions League homecoming and that's just in the press box.
Ok, so the words 'brave' and 'young' may be stretching it but as I arrived at Anfield on Friday night alongside my BBC Radio Norfolk colleague Rob Butler there was no doubt that we had landed in the Premier League.
After queuing behind the actual real life Mark 'Lawro' Lawrenson to collect our passes we were allowed into the luxurious Liverpool press room.
It was a who's who of British football broadcasting with Rob and I very much providing the 'who?'.
Like competition winners at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party in the 1990s we sat quietly in the corner of the room and marvelled as three of the finest commentators of our time Martin Tyler, John Murray and Peter Drury exchanged pleasantries around one table and Jan Molby bantered with Jason McAteer at another.
Rob and I joked about what might happen if one of us were to creep up behind Martin Tyler and shout his catchphrase "And it's live!" just as he took a sip of tea but we didn't dare to actually do it. We just made ourselves feel better by remarking that we hadn't seen any of these people when Norwich played Bolton or Wigan away last season.
This is the butterfly effect of the Canaries' tremendous Championship winning campaign.
It would have been incredible for Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis, Ben Godfrey and Todd Cantwell to pit their wits against Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk given that a year or so ago they could only have dreamed of doing so during a successful game of FIFA on their Playstations.
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The big difference is that those admirable academy products have every right to be sharing a pitch with some of the best players in the world because they have actually earned it.
Fortunately when they do well thousands of others get pulled along in their slipstream without having to do anything.
Norwich City supporters are now Premier League fans, I get to be a Premier League commentator and Match of the Day becomes a relevant show to all of us once more.
The novelty of these top flight trappings will wear off in time and even more quickly if City struggle to find a win but a few gruelling seasons in the Championship certainly restores a sense of wonder when the opportunity comes to mix it with the famous names on and off the Premier League pitch.
Reality checks aren't just reserved for the players either. The queue for post-match interviews is much longer at Anfield than it was at any ground Norwich played at last season. With television companies and radio stations around the world broadcasting live and paying plenty for the privilege it was quite a while before Daniel Farke got round to conducting our usual interview.
His first answer was in full flow when a man in a baseball cap muscled in, gave Farke a big bear hug and then started speaking to him in German. I suppose when you have recently managed your team to a famous Champions League victory then you probably have every right to interrupt local radio interviews at will so I thought better of challenging Jurgen Klopp.
It would be quite nice to be allowed back inside Anfield again next season if all goes to plan. Perhaps by then I might even feel brave enough to talk to Martin Tyler or ask Jan Molby about his loan spell with the Canaries.
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