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Spud Thornhill: Time to dish out my 2017 Norwich City awards

PUBLISHED: 16:53 28 December 2017

James Maddison - we must enioy him while we can. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

James Maddison - we must enioy him while we can. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

Spud’s Teaser: Before our clean sheet at Birmingham, when was the last time we had a clean sheet away from home on Boxing Day?

Brighton's fall guy David Stockdale gets the own goal award. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdBrighton's fall guy David Stockdale gets the own goal award. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Answer at the bottom

I always say, when life’s not the best, football is. But when football is not the best, life is.

Well, if I had to sum up 2017, the latter statement would sum it up a treat.

This year I completed my first ever marathon – the London Marathon in April. I was so proud of myself as I crossed the line after running for 26.2 miles, but that then beaten the following month after the birth of my first child, Amelia.

My life has changed and will never be the same again. But for sure, it’s a great change.

Whilst 2017, personally, has been up there with the best and will be hard to beat, in football terms it will not live long in the memory.

But, nevertheless, I give you my Norwich City awards of 2017

The Derby County Award

The game I left with the best feeling afterwards was against Ipswich when we won 1-0 on October 22. I thought after eight years they might actually beat us. But no. They still can’t.

The Colchester United Award

The game I left so fed up was after was against Brentford last week. I’ve been defending the management, team and club throughout, but how can I when we were so poor?

The Mike Walker team performance Award

The game that was total football with exciting stuff was the 7-1 win over Reading in April. The first half, when we scored six goals, was just phenomenal.

The Darren Eadie Award

The player who has been the most exciting is James Maddison. There has been a lot of expectation of him and it appears there is a lot more of him to come. Let’s enjoy him while we can.

The Raymond De Waard Award

The player who was a waste of time being here was Kyle Laffety. Some may think he was not given a fair chance – maybe a fair comment – but it did appear he didn’t want to be here and he couldn’t even cut it at Birmingham. He may have found his level in Scotland

The Jerry Goss of goals Award

My favourite was Jonny Howson’s in the 5-1 over Nottingham Forest in February. I just wished I was standing in the Barclay to appreciate it even more.

The Bryan Gunn-esque performance award

Goes to Angus Gunn against Middlesbrough in September when we won 1-0 at their place. Like his dad did against Millwall in 1989, whatever was thrown at him that night, he saved.

The Gareth McAuley Own Goal Award

Gareth liked to score own goals for us, but Brighton’s David Stockdale went even better when he scored two in the same game. They came in strange and funny circumstances when Alex Pritchard hit two shots against the woodwork, which hit the keeper and went in.

Now for 2018 – after two uninspiring years (which could be worse, it could be 16 years like a certain team down the road) I believe we may still have some rough times ahead, but if we can build our team around players like Alex Pritchard and James Maddison the good times could still soon return. But I do worry about the goalkeeping situation. Angus Gunn has a bright future and sadly, if we don’t return to the Premier League, I can’t see him being with us.

Today we play Burton, who have lost their last eight home games and on Monday we entertain Millwall, who have yet to win away this season. Let’s hope the ‘Along Came Norwich’ tag is not about to be rolled out again visit before we all return to work on Tuesday. Happy New Year to all readers.

Bravo, Win or Die.

Spud’s teaser answer: 1968 v Hull City (won 1-0)

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