The club is coming together and Norwich City fans can help Carrow Road come alive again
PUBLISHED: 20:00 07 August 2017
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It's upon us once more.
For those of us that weren’t lucky enough to make the trip to Craven Cottage to see Daniel Farke’s men make their first competitive outing under his tutelage, the Championship rollercoaster starts here. Bring on Sunday. Bring on Sunderland. But most of all, bring on being part of the Norwich City family on the terraces once more.
Football as a spectator sport is relatively unique in that as a supporter you can feel like you’re playing a role in proceedings.
Whether its through chanting, encouraging or clapping your team on through thick and thin, the sense is we as fans make a difference.
Maybe we didn’t do that enough last season.
Apathy, ambivalence and resentment set in rapidly as Jez Moxey, then Alex Neil, became caricatured figureheads of incompetence.
The Canaries’ relatively positive home form meant the atmosphere never became fully toxic, but the general malaise was deeply entrenched. Expectation levels meant the bar was set so high only promotion would suffice, anything else and heads had to roll.
It’s different this time out. Webber’s thickly bristled broom of change has seen players and coaching staff come and go, while Daniel Farke has settled into Norfolk’s distinctive way of life quickly.
It seems apparent the German’s soft, firm dulcet tones, coupled with his obvious footballing intelligence will have quickly eradicated the ongoing sense of entitlement in the dressing room.
Within this ongoing transition the club have decided upon a more transparent way in which to conduct their business, which ultimately is helping to communicate to the Yellow Army things will take time.
The team, backroom staff and board need to be afforded patience while the foundations are built for a new era where everyone is presenting a united front and the apparent disconnect between supporters and the Carrow Road hierarchy is addressed.
That work has started. Stuart Webber, Steve Stone and Daniel Farke have all made themselves publicly visible and accessible to fans through a number of forums. This, couple with a summer of common sense summer of ins and outs, has done much to foster a sense of optimism and hope among the masses. It now needs to manifest itself in the stands on Sunday.
The club have played their part, they recognise there was an issue which required their attention. They’ve been honest, engaged with a number of supporter groups and individual fans during consultation events and plans are in place to palpably improve the atmosphere on match days. The long term vision is for the support to be there for the team regardless of whether Norwich are winning or losing. Football matches are often defined by fine margins, if fans can feel like we’re all pulling in the same direction it will go a long way towards them helping to pick the team up when they’re down or roaring them over the line when things are going well.
It starts in earnest on Sunday. The supporters group Barclay End Norwich, whose primary goal is to create a more vocal fanbase, will be leading the way.
Flags and banners will adorn the Barclay to provide a more carnival-esque feel. New songs, potentially celebrating our future heroes will be sung loud and proud by some. Everyone one is encouraged to get involved, make yourself heard and transform Carrow Road into the intimidating environment for opposing teams to play in that it once used to be.
The club can’t bring about change instantaneously though.
There are longer term plans in place which may transform peoples’ match day experience but they’re for another day. For some supporters the usual internal behaviours required to help back their side fully come 3pm on a Saturday afternoon may take some time to return.
So for now, it might be worth remembering a couple of Paul Lambert’s old adages, “we go with what we’ve got” and “the lads need a hand”.
This could be the start of something very special at Carrow Road, both on and off the pitch. Let’s make sure we play our small part.
Never mind the danger.