Thank you for the music – but it had to go
Saturday nights last season, there it was on Match of the Day. During the usual 20 seconds the programme allowed Norwich City, a goal from the home side at Carrow Road was followed by a burst of Bellini's Samba De Janeiro, but this season it is – thankfully – no more.
September 18th, 2013
Like many clubs, the Canaries adopted the trend of goal music from Stateside more than a decade ago, but these days they are one of the few clubs in the top flight that still plays it – and it shows.
A football crowd doesn’t need an orchestrated atmosphere, especially when celebrating a goal. It would appear that the issue of goal music at The Carra is a Marmite topic – polls conducted by both the football club and the local newspaper has seen opinion split right down the middle – just as many people that are happy it’s gone want to see it return.
The fact that this is one of few burning issues at Norwich City does show that fans are at least happy with life at the club. Far better for the Yellow Army to moan about goal music than to worry about debt, the manager, league position or players. Personally, I’m glad the track is no more and hope that the club doesn’t go back on its decision to ditch it.
There is, however, one area of concern for City fans. Despite it being early days, so far this season it’s been a tale of two Cities for Chris Hughton’s side. There’s the Norwich City that put two past Everton (the only goals that the unbeaten Toffees have conceded so far this season) and saw off a Southampton side that has splashed the cash alongside England’s latest goalscorer Rickie Lambert; then there’s the Norwich City side on the road. The Canaries’ first away trip was to Hull – the home side played an hour with 10 men but held on to their 1-0 lead against a toothless Norwich City. On Saturday Hughton’s men travelled to White Hart Lane to face a Spurs side looking to finish in the top four, but one that faced no threat from the boys in yellow and green.
Following his abject performance for the national side against Ukraine, City fans were looking forward to Kyle Walker being given the runaround by wing sensation Nathan Redmond but both he and his team mate on the opposite side, Robert Snodgrass, spent the majority of the Spurs game camped in their own half.
So how can a team so strong at home perform like a side happy to settle for a draw on the road with the emphasis on damage limitation?
Fingers have been pointed at a cautious management team of Chris Hughton, Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope – both Hughton and Calderwood were defenders during their playing career. But not one of this trio crosses that line come kick-off so just as much blame can be placed at the feet of the players. In Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Gary Hooper, Johan Elmander and Nathan Redmond the club have invested heavily over the summer in attacking options in the squad. But so far these players have found themselves isolated as their team mates sit back in an attempt to soak up the pressure from the home side – a tactic that has failed every time it has been deployed.
Norwich City’s next away game is against Stoke – never a place to see flowing, attacking football (although Sky Sports seem to have deemed it worthy of moving to a Sunday for their viewers) but a perfect place to stop the current malaise. Go into that game looking for a point and Norwich City may soon find their impressive away following dwindling in numbers.