David Hannant: Eight alternative reasons Norwich City will finish the promotion job
PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:32 25 March 2019
This column is brought to you by the number eight.
Why eight you ask? Well, simply this magic number is all that stands between Norwich City and promotion back to the promised land,
With no game to react to this weekend, it’s given me a chance to get thinking about what is to come. Eight games remain, eight opportunities.
So to accompany this, I’ve come up with eight reasons I can’t see City slipping up now.
Obviously I could fill these eight in a heartbeat by pointing out, say, the unity in the squad, the team spirit, the quality in the ranks, the fearless nature of the squad, Daniel Farke’s inspirational man management, our momentum, Leeds’ deflating defeat to Sheffield United and a comparatively favourable run-in on paper.
However,these have all been said at least eight times before.
So instead, here are eight alternative reasons Norwich City WILL get the job done. Starting with a fairly unexpected one...
1. Beware a wounded animal
I never thought I would be nailing my flags to a blue and white mast, but that’s exactly what I’m doing here.
One of the few things looking more likely than us going up at the moment is Ipswich going down. And I take no pleasure in pointing this out at all - honestly I don’t...
With their gaping 13-point gap it looks pretty likely that they will be dead and buried by Easter.
So how does that help us? Often with teams fighting uphill battles, once the battle is lost a weight is somehow lifted and they remember how to actually win.
I can see this happening down the A140. And who are their last two games against? You guessed it – Sheffield United and Leeds.
2. The Hannant effect
As was eloquently pointed out by one Chris Lakey earlier this season, I would struggle to predict Tuesday on a Monday.
At the start of the campaign, I (optimistically) predicted City would finish in the play-offs.
With a 21-point gap and 24 points to play for it would take a collapse of epic proportions for City not to finish in the play-offs.
Therefore, pretty much the only way I cannot be right in my prediction is for City to finish top two – and I’m never right, so...
3. The eyes of Sky
There was a time when Sky cameras rocking up at a Norwich City game was as good as a death sentence for our hopes of getting three points. However, somewhere down the line Murdoch’s merry men showing up turned into a blessing, rather than a curse.
In fact, Daniel Farke has never lost on Sky.
Clearly we like playing on Sky and equally clearly, Sky like watching us as they’ll be at City’s next five fixtures. And probably the three after that too.
4. Pukki’s goal drought
Teemu Pukki has not scored in three games – remarkable.
I know what you’re thinking, how can our top scorer forgetting how to score be a good thing?
Well, this isn’t a case of what has been, it’s what’s to come.
Since becoming a City player, the Finn has not gone four league games without finding the net.
After drawing a blank at Rotherham, he completed his third three-game drought for City.
After the previous two, he’s gone goal mad. Seven goals in six after his first, eight in six after the next.
I see a pattern forming here, which means surely he’ll be scoring nine in his next six after this three-game drought. Meaning we won’t lose many of them.
5. Teams off the beach
We’re getting to that time of year where people start rolling out the old cliche about it being better to play teams on the beach.
However, with this Norwich City side, I contest that. Because invariably, teams that have to take the game to City, generally get picked apart. Boro, Wednesday, Reading, Wigan and Villa will all be in desperate need of a win and will have to lay it all on the line against us. Ripe for the picking.
6. The Brum factor
News of Birmingham City being deducted nine points could work in our favour for contrasting reasons to reason five.
While teams having something to fight for plays into our hands, I’m not sure the same can be said about Sheffield United and Leeds - both of who still have Brum to play.
They’ll now have an enormous chip on their shoulder and will now be fighting for their lives too.
7. Wes v Russ
Monday, May 6 is Wes v Russ at Carrow Road, the big game.
If City finish the job, it will be one of the biggest party atmospheres a showcase match has ever seen. If we end up in the play-offs, perhaps it’ll be slightly less so.
For two club legends, would the boys really let this happen? Of course not!
8. Emi Buendia.