Let's savour a Norwich match without the spectre of VAR for one last time. Here's Nick Hayhoe to review the season finale at Oakwell.
On top of everything. On top of everything. There, right at the end of the season in a complete dead rubber of game against the division’s other in form team was: the build up to Adam Idah’s goal.
Max Aarons’ Pele move around the Barnsley player, knocking the ball forward and leaving him for dead, was such a thing of exquisite beauty, GIFs of it are on there way to the Colman Gallery at the Castle Museum and NFTs of it are being traded on shady Bitcoin exchanges for £1000s. Then for Idah, Norwich’s present and future, and who scored he first goal of our season to book end it all, to smash it in like that?
I hope to god we do click next season, like we threatened to in fits and starts last time up there, and force humble pie down several throats. It would be delicious.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Moment of the Match
The moment of this match was, of course, the moments after the match. While the promotion celebrations were an anarchic release of months of tension and pent up excitement, held back only by an attempt to hold themselves down in case it all went to shit at the last moment; this was an altogether more sober affair. An empty stadium somewhere in Yorkshire was never going to be the best place for Norwich to lift yet another Division Two title, but there was still not a dry eye in the house, and all of everyone else’s houses when Tetts and Hanley lifted that trophy.
What a club.
Random Star Performer
Of course it is.
It’s him. It’s Tettey.
Another star, by the way, was Division Two. Nationwide Division One. The SkyBet Championship. Whatever you want to call it, the league to end all leagues gave us another of its classic rollercoasters as, as it so often does, chucked up some craziness at the bottom of the league that saw Derby inexplicably somehow get away with it all after a 3-3 draw with the team they relegated. It was a great 10 minutes if your broadband could handle three different streams at once.
After the Burton Albion game in 2018, having just witnessed one of the poorest 0-0s I have ever seen, I tentatively added my voice to an increasingly vocal number of skeptics over Daniel Farke and what direction we were going in. While never going as far as calling for his head (honest!), I just wasn’t sure if his attempt at out from the back, high press, quick passing football was actually possible at a club like Norwich and in a division like the Championship. Was this actually going to work? I had my doubts at that time.
Yet there was something about the side. Impossible to put your finger on, but something. A connection to the team that I have never had before. Was it tiny green shoots or was it confirmation bias about the fact I was probably making it up? In my head I wasn’t sure.
Even so, this indescribable force somehow made me purchase a season ticket for the following year. The rest, as they say, as Farke drives off in his yellow Quattro with two Championship trophies tucked under his arm, was history…
And so the season ends and so start the black and white season montages and the opening beats of Born Slippy to squawk in our ears. Promotion and the title. 97 points and glorious football.
Football is about collective and about community. We all know this. It’s also about memories. Where we were and what we did when that happened or this happened or when that goal went in, or how far down the steps you were falling as you were celebrating it.
It’s gutting we weren’t there to witness any of it. And it’s gutting we weren’t all making these memories together as the community we are. Gutting that in the pub in ten years time, instead of laughing about who was hungover or who got you lost on the M6 on the way to St Andrews, it will be “that was the Covid title” and there’ll be a pause, an awkward sup of the pints a quick “that goal was great and that goal was good”, but otherwise it is just that. Football on the telly and nothing else that actually makes us go in the first place.
Remember the gutted feeling, and remember how big the show must be on our return because of it. Jump, sing, protest, scream, cheer, boo, chant and cry bigger, fuller and louder than ever before. That day will return and, for the love of god, we will tell them how much we missed them.