GROUNDHOG DAY IS GETTING BORING

15/01/17

Sunday mornings as a Norwich fan are quickly becoming as welcome as a red hot poker in the anus. Duncan Edwards has a little look at if ANY football fans are happy. Poor old Cam, gets blamed for nearly everything.

Sunday mornings at work are hardly something to look forward to, especially when it will undoubtedly involve me having to have multiple conversations regarding yet another Canary defeat.

Groundhog Day. I can predict the exchanges before anyone sets foot in the door. I know who'll be blaming who, I know who'll say he/she/they "ha'gotta goo" and I know who'll inexplicably find a reason to blame Cameron Jerome.

Groundhog Day. Alex Neil still in a job, the board still crooning Tammy Wynette and fans falling out with each other in the stands, in the street and all over social media.

So, there I am, feeling a bit sorry for myself, pondering "why us?", seething at our lack of backbone and fuming that any momentum built via Derby and Southampton has been halted by the mighty brick wall that is Rotherham; then Trevor Harris pipes up.

The ITV commentator does a bit on the side for my company as a tipster, while analysing Man City's fixture he made reference to their fans being unhappy with their position and Guardiola seemingly conceding that they won't catch Chelsea.

Are you joking?

Of course, there may be a bit of "licence" being used, maybe it was just one guy in a pub but even so, City fans unhappy? I'd swap!

Seriously though, less than two decades ago they were in League One and their neighbours were winning the European Cup and domestic doubles.

They're now better than United, they have billionaire owners that have not only provided them with world class players but have redeveloped the surrounding area and pumped money into local infrastructure too. They've won trophies, for Gods sake they get to watch Aguero every week. I'm not one for pining after other clubs fortunes or of the whole "I wish we were.." attitude but it's hard not to be impressed by what the Mansours have done. What on earth is there not to be "happy" about?

This isn't meant to detract from our own awful state of affairs; we have every right to be unhappy with our lot at present, but are there ANY happy football fans?

I guess there are, Chelsea fans are probably satisfied, Spurs fans have an exciting team to watch but Arsenal fans change more regularly than the Boundary traffic lights and United fans have (until recently) been nearly as depressed as us.

We're often reminded how much football has changed, how it has evolved, but the support has changed too.

Norwich are nowhere near as crap as they were a few short years ago but for some this is our lowest ebb. Folk that braved the relegation to League One, stayed until the end of "that" Colchester game are walking away, not renewing their season tickets.

Has their support waned? No. But their expectations have changed. Where sitting mid-table in the Championship with a shout of the play offs used to represent a decent season, not now. Just as Man City fans would have been falling over themselves to be chasing the leaders of the top flight a few years ago; not now.

We used to say that the beauty of the Championship was that anyone could beat anyone, now we believe we should beat everyone.

I'm not sure if it's the increase in accessibility to football footage making us all experts, the immediacy of social media making us all impatient or even if constantly being told that the EPL is the "best league in the world" has made us all over-expectant but something has changed.

Looking at the EPL, many fans of Manchester United and City, Arsenal, Chelsea and probably Liverpool all expect to win the league every season. Spurs fans expect to at least challenge. Every teams fans expect to stay up and the annual mid-tablers expect to challenge for Europe.

On the one hand, there's nothing wrong in striving to be the best you can be, we ALL want that, right?
On the other hand, shouldn't that be tempered by a realisation that we can't ALL be the best?

Is that accepting mediocrity or is it acknowledging that everyone else is trying just as hard as we are and that sometimes they'll get it right better than we do? For some that probably equates to the same thing.
We say things so we don't sound shallow, to demonstrate its not all about winning.

"I wouldn't mind going down if we at least played attacking football"
"Losing is one thing but at least have a go."
"If you felt they were leaving it all on the pitch you could accept it"
And so on.

I've uttered such things. It's bollocks though. I'm not pissed off because of anything beyond we haven't won a game I expected us to. And there it is. Expectation. Fans of virtually every club are guilty of it. We all expect our club to play to its absolute capacity at all (near as damn it) times. To be the best it possibly can be - all the time. I understand that, it would be brilliant.

As football fans, I don't know why we do it to ourselves though; there'll always be so many more of us disgruntled, miserable and suffering Groundhog Day than happy.

Masochists, every single one of us. But I'd urge those considering jacking it all in to stick with it. With raised expectations we set ourselves up for disappointment yet never seem prepared for it, if there is a positive it does make the increasingly rare good times so much sweeter.

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