I can’t help thinking reading the reactions from some fans to the media’s coverage of our return to the Premier League, that we have become the victims of a targeted media blackout and smear campaign. This of course is not true, the fact is some of our fans have high expectations and thin skin.
Twitter was abuzz with city fans on Saturday complaining about the time our game was given, the way the BBC inaccurately portrayed a game in which we had the (albeit minimal) majority of possession. Recently it seems if the Yellow Army can find something to complain about with regards to Norwich in the media, then we do. We need to stop taking things so personally. It would be very easy for these complaints to come across as ‘Big Club Syndrome’, a terrible affliction the worst documented cases being the terminal ones at Elland Road and St.James’ Park. Let’s not get like that, it really isn’t worth it.
Anybody who has watched Match of the Day over the last few years has seen it dumb down at an alarming rate. Shearer’s introduction as a regular partner to Hansen has only painted an extra layer of beige on what was already a very tired off-white. I do prefer him to Lawrenson though, but I really don’t like Mark Lawrenson.
Shearer gets stick for his simplistic analysis, and rightly so, sometimes he commentates on a video segment rarely elaborating on anything that is already perfectly obvious from the moving pictures. Last week on MotD they even gave him arrows to track a run he was describing with words, whilst we watched the run being made on the screen. When analysis is this poor you wonder what we could see instead, Fox’s booking or Hoolahan’s fluffed chance both of which were left out of the VT or yet another shot of Delia, the possibilities are endless.
Shearer sums up the basic accessible nature of MotD. It is assumed that nobody has heard of Hatem Ben Arfa, and that everyone will learn about the promoted teams by watching Match of the Day, it’s clear the viewer for the most part is more knowledgable than the pundits when it comes to the new boys. It’s not as if they’ve been featured on the show that follows MotD for the last two years or anything like that. Stand back though and take in the dedication of Shearer to the cause. “I’ve seen Swansea a couple of times” dear auntie beeb, we are not worthy of this insight, please increase the pittance of a licence fee at once. I wont care what Shearer says until he confidently claims we will stay up, after his textbook relegation of his beloved Newcastle United it’s clear he’s not really clued up with what a team requires to stay in the top division.
These days you learn nothing, you see the goals from the day, you’re treated to some truly horrific punning and you are left waiting for the sweet release of death, or as it’s more commonly known The Football League Show. Here ends the BBC rant, I don’t like to be too harsh, their coverage of the Carrow Road derby last year will remain for a long time my favorite live football match coverage, and the F1 is great.
There are places you can get football analysis that goes further than Shearer and Hansen still trying to sharpen the toothpick they can barely be bothered to scratch the surface with. The Football Weekly podcast is an absolute godsend, a triumph for football fans everywhere who revel in not being patronised. It would take a while but a movement to get characters like James Richardson and Barry Glendenning onto our screens instead of the Alans would be worth it in the long run. The argument that you must have played the game at the top-level to talk about it with authority is as outdated as the back pass tactic Hansen built most of his honours on.
Also if you want to see a more equal and extensive highlights package Football First on Sky is great and the ESPN Premier League highlights show featured more action than MotD 2 at the weekend.
Leaving behind all that nonsense, we have ANOTHER Premier League game this weekend as Stoke City bring their armored plated brand of football to Fortress Carrow Road (now with added Lotus dugouts and scrolling electronic ad boards).
Stoke have had a far busier week than Norwich, not a supercar in sight. Instead the potters have been in Switzerland taking on FC Thun in a Europa League play-off first leg tie. All this only 5 days after holding Chelsea to a goalless draw at the Britannia. They must be shattered, well here’s hoping.
Stoke beat Thun 1-0 on their own astroturf with a goal from Danny Pugh.
To be fair to them it’s a great result as they did it without Asmir Begovic, Jonathan Woodgate, Glenn Whelan and Jermaine Pennant who were all rested presumably with Sunday’s game in mind, and also Rory Delap and Salif Diao who are both injured. This meant that surprisingly Matt Etherington played, lasting 74 minutes only a day or so after being diagnosed with nerve damage in his arm/shoulder.
It’s difficult to work out Stoke’s line-up for the weekend but it will be a test whoever they turn out. Etherington and Delap’s fitness will be major talking points in the lead up as will the fact they’ve traveled to the continent whilst Norwich have had a week to prepare in their own surroundings. I imagine Lambert will have used this time well and Norwich will know everything about Stoke before Sunday, whether we can act on the preparation and nullify their threats will be fascinating.
Lambert talks to the media tomorrow ahead of the game so we should learn more on the fitness of Zak Whitbread.
More tomorrow evening after the days games.