February 26, 2012
If you want to talk about records and reputations, here are a couple of tasty little figures which will help to paint the picture for Norwich’s home tie against Manchester United on Sunday morning. Ryan Giggs, should he feature, will clock an astonishing 900 appearances for United, while Paul Scholes, with a lowly 685 United appearances, is registering 17 years playing alongside Giggs in the United midfield. Playing together, they’ve each earned 29 winners medals across all competitions, including two Champion’s League Winner’s medals.
So when Sir Alex Ferguson threatens to look to experienced players ahead of the match with Norwich, you can be fairly confident that he knows exactly what he’ll get from his two midfield legends.
February 2, 2012
I've taken some deep breaths, allowed a moment to reflect and treated myself to a replay of the home win against Derby from last season (always brings a smile). I've reminded myself that we're a (twice) newly promoted team on the crest of one of English league football's most impressive stories and I still can't stop my blood from boiling.
It's okay to lose a game. It's one game out of 38 on the back of a six game unbeaten streak, which included a 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea; the second largest bank balance in the country.
In addition, Sunderland deserve credit. They've been unrecognizably transformed from the team we dismantled back in late September, championed by ex-Norwich Player of the Season Steve Bruce. Sunderland's New Manager, ex-Norwich manager (albeit for 20 games) Martin O'Neill, has given them belief, a revitalized work ethic, creativity and huge amounts of defensive pressure.
Nevertheless, the fact stands; we've let ourselves down today in a massive way and while I'm happy to celebrate as we continue this meteoric climb to Premier League safety, there are lessons to be learned from today's indistinguishable contribution by both players and coaching staff.