Being a Norwich City fan can take its toll. Seen as a bit of a yo-yo club by outsiders of the county, Norwich have been bouncing between the fabled land of the Premier League and the not-so glamorous Championship regularly over the past 9 years.
I’ve had a season ticket for the last four years after finally being able to afford it and have seen my fair share of dismal performances. However, for some reason, this season, the parts of a jigsaw have fallen into place, and Norwich are on the verge of an unlikely return to the premier league with just a point required from the remaining two games to confirm promotion to the Premier League.
Following the loss of the talented Murphy twins and extraordinarily gifted James Maddison last year to the tune of £50 million, I feared the worse for this season. Limping to 14th place last year and with Maddison the only shining light throughout an underwhelming campaign, I suspected a similarly abject season. I’m glad to have been proven wrong.
The promotion of academy graduates Max Aarons, 19, Jamal Lewis, 21, along with 21-year-old converted midfielder-come-centre back Ben Godfrey by reserved manager Daniel Farke has been a revelation. The three young defenders have 117 combined appearances so far this season which has given the team a defensive solidarity as well as a youthful injection of pace and power and allowed the attacking players to flourish. From an attacking point of view, Teemu Pukki will take the plaudits as recently crowed Championship Player of The Season with his 28 league goals and counting, however it is Emi Buendia that has caught my eye the most this season.
Bought for a paltry £1.5 million from struggling Getafe in the Spanish Segunda in June 2018, Buendia has taken time to settle in Norwich, but we are now seeing the fruits of Farke’s faith in the mercurial talent. With 8 goals and 11 assists in 36 league games this season, he has filled the creative hole left by James Maddison. If one statistic can sum up how important he has been to the team, it is that Norwich have not won a game where Buendia has not played, so it is imperative he hits form in tomorrow’s match against Blackburn.
Looking forward, the season defining moments are tomorrow’s game against Blackburn and away at Aston Villa on the las day of the season. If Norwich can secure a draw in either game, then we will clinch promotion that will bring Norwich as a city to the forefront of Football Fans around the world. There will most certainly be promotion parties pencilled in already across the city which could add a much-needed cash injection to the cities’ bars, pubs and clubs, and of course an open top bus parade is always a glorious sight if the weather is kind.
It has been a miracle season for the Canaries so far, and I’ll be praying we secure the all-important point under the floodlights of Carrow Road tomorrow, not just for the club but for the city.
Written by Andrew Prosser