April 13, 2012
While Manchester and England's top two clubs have been going back and forth in the playground squabble over whether the title race is finished or not, Norwich have been quietly getting back to form and picking up points. Even this morning, Roberto Mancini has done his best to play mind games with his United Counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, albeit in somewhat broken English/Italian.
However, unlike the last time the two teams met at Carrow Road, when Delia Smith left a famous imprint in the day's events and even less like that painful day in December of last year when Man City took all three points at the Etihad in a 5-1 drubbing against Paul Lambert's men, tomorrow's early Premier League kickoff promises to be a battle of a different nature. Mancini would to well to forget about Manchester United and focus solely on Paul Lambert.
When Manchester United visited in back in February they came up against a resilient and resourceful Norwich side. Had it not been for an excruciating Ryan Giggs volley, the title race could be a great deal closer. Coincidentally, since then, Manchester City have been on a dismal run of away form, having claimed just eight points from the 27 available.
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.
December 20, 2011
I feel jovial. This season of giving seems to have been a rich one thus far in Norfolk. Last weekend, Everton generously allotted us a single shot on target, which yielded a single goal and ultimately one single point. John Ruddy gifted us his best performance in a Norwich shirt and was thoughtful enough to save it for his former employers.
Paul Lambert gave us the most lavish gift of all; a diamond! The midfield four of Andrew Crofts, Andrew Surman, David Fox and Wes Hoolahan that were so consistent in midfield last season have been reunited for the last two matches and to strong effect.
So naturally, all eyes tonight will be focused on Molineux for what we hope will be Norwich’s next present opening ceremony. The Wolves defense were particularly kind in giving ex-Norwich forward Peter Crouch a late winner on Saturday. With that fresh in his mind, Mick McCarthy will be carrying an additional dose of frustration along with his typical misery as he plans to unleash his inner Scrooge and postpone this Canary Christmas.
November 17, 2011
Indulge me, just for a moment; let's go back to a hot August afternoon in North London. It's 1992 and Norwich are beginning their first ever Premier League campaign with an impossible away fixture at Highbury.
Steve Bold opens the scoring and Kevin Campbell doubles Arsenal's halftime advantage. But a Mark Robins debut brace helps city to an astonishing and deserved 4-2 victory, which sets them on their way to their highest ever league finish and European qualification. (OTBC!)
That felt good. Sadly, it stands alone for all the wrong reasons. Not only is it the only Premier League win of which Norwich can boast against the Gunners , home or away, but it is also the only time City have managed to score more than a single goal in a Premier League game against Arsenal.
It gets worse. Norwich's last three league outings against Arsenal have seen them lose 5-1 in 1995 and twice going down 4-1 in that miserable 2004-2005 Premier League season ; the season we do not speak of.
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.