Monday, April 9, 2012

Up the City!

Well, I've kept my trap shut concerning Norwich City since the unlikely day of their ascension to the Premier League. Why? Because it has all been too much, too nerve-wracking, despairing, elating, rousing, deflating and inspiring.

We didn't belong here, you see. At the beginning of the campaign we were 8/11 favourites to go straight back down. After all, everyone knows that to shine in the world's most-watched arena you had better avail yourself of a $200M team of silky, experienced, speedy World-Cup Ghanaians, Brazilians and Ukrainians, not a cut-price gaggle of crass, verdant British amateurs uprooted from the lower leagues.

But today we beat Tottenham Hotspurs 2-1 away. Our little team of country yokels stauched the supposedly unstoppable flow of flair and brilliance in London - the vaunted Spurs: Adebayor, Modric, and Gareth Bale, the last of those men himself alone valued at three times the cost of the whole Norwich team. And we didn't simply score 2 to their 1, we robbed them everywhere on the pitch. Throughout the whole match we were first to the ball then quicker thinking when we had it.

Paul Lambert, the gaffer, has mixed in some systematics he learned with Borussia Dortmund in Germany. But perhaps more tellingly he has assembled a kit of hungry lads. Football mirrors life: you can have whatever pedigree you like, whatever past successes, whatever mega-salary, whatever fame, but if, like Spurs, you lose that edge, that hunger, that raw desire and intent, you will lose the game.

And now we're safe, more than safe, we're even perusing a top-half finish, and I can finally breathe, relax, pour a glass of red and enjoy the Summer.

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