October 22, 2011
When City visited Manchester United, Anthony Pilkington was one of a handful of players to miss very good goal scoring opportunities, including one most notable one-on-one. More than United’s eventual 2-0 victory, it was City’s created chances and missed opportunities that were documented by most neutrals who witnessed the game.
This week, Anthony Pilkington gave a master class on how to keep your name in the headlines by changing the context.
I can just picture him sat at home; reliving the moment over and over again, like a 1996 Gareth Southgate penalty; the sensation of complete exhilaration as he realized he’d robbed Antonio Valencia, was advancing on goal and all that stood between him and Norwich City folklore was Anders Lindergaard in the United goal. Then diving out of the jaws of glory, Pilkington earned himself a healthy dose of misery as he struck the ball wide of the upright.
October 14, 2011
With eight points from six games, sat ninth in the table, Norwich will have gone into their game at Old Trafford with a sense assuredness. After all, boring mid-table mediocrity would go down as one of the club’s greatest successes in decades. Still, away to a Manchester United team who were having one of their best ever Premier League starts, taking anything from the match was a ludicrous thought for the Canaries.
As most expected, when the final whistle blew, United’s points tally increased to 19 and Norwich’s didn’t change. The score sheet will show a comfortable home win for the defending champions against the newcomers, fighting for their lives.
History will not show the look of fury on Alex Ferguson’s face as he moved from his comfortable, elevated, Formula One race driver’s seat to the touchline, whilst watching Norwich devour his defence. Fans who didn’t see the match will not be aware of the excruciating frustration painted on Paul Lambert’s face as he hopped from one foot to the other each time a seemingly simple Norwich attempt on goal was squandered.