I went away, but I have returned with an arsenal of shotgun verdicts. So if you’re in the forgiving mood why not peruse my library of bite size match reports from the period where Little Norwich was a tweeter and a poor excuse for a blogger.
Swansea (h) Sat in the Wensum corner and watched us comfortably turn the swans over. We were at it; they never properly recovered from being 2-0 down so quickly. Morison was berated by the guy behind me for putting in the kind of shift that made him impossible to drop. The reaction from said normal when Morison was announced as man of the match made it even sweeter.
Liverpool (a) Back when Luis Suarez was only an alleged racist, I sat eagerly awaiting our ESPN debut. We didn’t disappoint the only negative being the late first half goal by Bellamy which I still couldn’t hate him for. Suarez’ determination to try and get someone sent off eventually subsided and we found our confidence. Holt’s goal in front of the kop and Ruddy’s last gasp save made a statement. It was testament that more people were talking about our performance than Liverpool’s.
Blackburn (h) A vital but perhaps fortunate point. I joined my stream at 1-1 and within moments we were 1-3 down. Bad defending nearly cost us but we had far more in the latter stages than Blackburn, the two points taken off them perhaps more valuable than one gained ourselves. Morison’s goal was a piece of brilliance.
Aston Villa (a) We were susceptible to pace all day and unfortunately gave Darren Bent the freedom and opportunities he relies on. Pilks’ Free-Kick and Holt’s cross for Morison’s late consolation were of premier league quality, every other ball into the box was poor.
Arsenal (h) A landmark game. I sat in the Jarrold in a seat worth £53 whilst my brother the Gooner sat 30 yards to my right paying marginally less. Our goal angered Arsenal into action and they showed serious class in the way they took us apart. 1-2 flattered us in the end. Seeing Van Persie play in the form he was in was an honour. Against a team of pass-masters we never seemed to get our foot on the ball.
QPR (h) Another game that work forced me into joining only half way through. I felt we deserved all three points and Neil Warnock’s post-match seethe made the three vital points even more pleasing.
Man City (a) They were very, very good. My stream froze just before Morison’s header crept in the corner.
Newcastle (h) The Paul Lambert show, he dictated the game with his selection, Holt was in his element. For all Newcastle’s excuses I thought they rolled over and died far too easily.
Everton (a) Christmas commitments meant I didn’t see it. Holt’s goal showed the watching world a side of him many haven’t seen. The comparisons at this point with Carroll and Torres entirely justified.
Wolves (a) Our first half performance was some of the best football I have seen from a Norwich side in recent times. Set up perfectly to frustrate Wolves we could’ve had the game won by half-time. Very entertaining, especially Simeon Jackson’s attempt to deny himself his tap-in.
Tottenham (h) ‘Men Against Boys’ is a phrase that has been used often to describe this game, mainly because it’s very accurate. I felt Lambert left us a bit open but we were no match for Spurs.
Fulham (h) Not our finest outing, I wasn’t overly impressed but nowhere near as frustrated as the idiots who booed at half time when we went in 0-1 down. Simeon’s last second header was the perfect way to sum up 2011. The year when Norwich never knew they were beaten.
QPR (a) We got him the sack, We got him the saaaaaaaack. That boy Neil Warnock, we got him the sack! Anyone watching that game knew who the man in charge was, Lambert’s adjustments following Joey Barton’s red card were nothing short of genius. I went on 606 to talk about Barton who from my stream certainly appeared to head butt Johnson. This may have proved to be debatable but one thing will remain undeniable. He gave the referee a decision to make and may well have cost his team points. Still it was very, very funny.
Burnley (h) FA Cup I went to watch Doncaster and Notts County for a friend’s birthday. We should never forget how fortunate we are. I braved itv’s highlights show to find that Lambert’s Norwich takes the FA Cup seriously, a brilliant performance and another example of how far we have come.
WBA (a) Another classic away performance, players were earning their premier league stripes all over the pitch. Surman and Morison could both be proud of their finishes, whilst the assists from Hoolahan and Holt were of the highest class. Whitbread, Ayala and Jackson all looked comfortable and at home playing against a West Brom side who looked frustrated for long periods.
Chelsea (h) I hope this isn’t our big team scalp for the season, the equivalent of 2-0 over Man United in 2005, and I’ll tell you for why, Chelsea were average. Despite Vilas Boas preaching high tempo pressing football we looked as comfortable on the ball as we have all season. Contrast this with the Arsenal home game and I know who I’m backing for fourth. Yes Torres missed some gilt edged chances and our attacking threat was limited, but we matched Chelsea for long periods. A team that features an out of form striker who cost around 5 times the cost of our entire squad. I wasn’t overly bothered about the clean sheet record but Ruddy deserved it, and it gained me Fantasy Football points.
WBA (a) FA Cup We’re only going on a bloody cup run. I didn’t see the game but I saw Holty standing motionless in their goal net, how can you not love that man? Great confidence boost for Simeon as well adding another goal.
Sunderland (a) The job O’Neill has done at Sunderland is quite remarkable, he is doing more damage to Steve Bruce’s CV by the week. We were never really at the races, too many people were well below par, it’s also worth mentioning that Sunderland’s pitch is not really fit for football. One to forget, credit though to the 810 travelling fans who deserved better.
Bolton (h) Triumph through adversity, I must admit I feared the worst when we lost Whitbread and Ayala. I had made the assumption though that Bolton wanted to stay in the Premier League, they showed no evidence of this. Our makeshift defence and goal scoring midfielders had their praises sang from all angles, but for me Holt and Jackson’s two very different yet equally brilliant performances up front were a joy to watch.
Swansea (a) I can’t stress enough how enjoyable this was. The performance, the result, the media reaction. We toppled Swanselona and we did it playing in the style hey have almost taken ownership of. I won’t even try to explain how as it’s been covered brilliantly already by Michael Cox from Zonal Marking on the Guardian and #ncfc’s very own Holtamania. National media outlets have even started talking about us for a Europa league place, and while this is probably crazy, playing the way e did at the Liberty we would cause a lot of team’s problems. Personally I was overjoyed for Elliot Ward who had almost become the forgotten man, his performance after so long out was nothing short of gladiatorial. It’s only the fact he’s been out for so long that makes it fair to single him out. Naughton and Bennett were both incredible whilst Holt ran the show.
So my four months off the blog have seen us all but guarantee our Premier League status for 2012/13 and end up two games from a Wembley FA Cup semi final. The glory hunters all come back eventually.