Andrew Lawn and Jon Punt get all misty eyed about a team that doesn't know when they're beaten. Shades of a Lansbury winner in THAT promotion season?
Where do we begin with this? What an afternoon that was. We could go with the ‘never-know-when-we’re-beaten’ attitude, or the composure to keep playing football the Farke way, or the fact that we’re still winning games even when everything else is ‘one-of-those-days’, or even the amusement of watching the away support go from mocking, to silent, to mocking to silent. In the words of Ffion Thomas; “I can’t read and I can’t write, but that don’t really matter, ‘cos I’m a Norwich City fan and I can count to 90+7”.
We could go with all of those things, but we won’t. Instead we’re plumping for the camaraderie in the team. The fact that after every single moment, good or bad, at least a couple of the team go and encourage each other. You can see it before the winning goal, when on conceding the Millwall corner, Zimmerman goes over to Krul, a man who moments earlier had cost us a goal with a howler, and fist-bumped him. No recriminations, no moaning, just a togetherness that is sweeping across the City. To sum up in a chant;
“One shirt, one football team, two colours, yellow and green, one City strong, we will march on”
Random star performer
There were solid performances throughout, but if you had to pick a single person that isn’t Teemu, or Mo, or Emi, then step-forward (again) Max Aarons. In a back four that looked shakier than it has in a while, the teenager was immense. His reading of the game is exceptional and he has a willingness and confidence to burst forward that gives us width and an outlet to break down teams stubbornly camped in a narrow low-block on the edge of their box. Exceptional again. We need a chant for the young man (that isn’t the generic “He’s one of our own...”) both to sing now and for us to wrap up each paragraph with in reviews.
Spare a thought for the official NCFC photographer too, arrested for (we think) taunting the Millwall fans and snapping their glum faces. Crowdfunder for his fine/bail incoming.
Moment of the match
There's something very special about surfing the Barclay E block wave when a last minute winner is scored. Hugging strangers, shouting until you're hoarse, ending up rows from where you started, not knowing where to look or who to high five, it was all here. LAOTS. Shades of a Lansbury winner against the same opposition or Simeon's hat-trick against Derby.
Teemu Pukki's last gasp strike delivered all of that and more. It's the kind of result which suggests City have found a magic formula which could take us much further than we ever dared to dream. The cherry on top was a jigging Tettey in front of the Snake Pit.
"E-I-E-I-E-I-O......up the football league we go...."
We conceded 3, all eminently avoidable goals and missed another penalty, which if we’re not careful could become a mental block that costs us.
Didn’t cost us this time (or the last two times), so really this is another sneaky positive.
“We score when we want, we score when we want, we’re Norwich City, we score when we want”
His joy at the end as he approached a rapturous Barclay was heartwarming and following a difficult first campaign, very well deserved. He deserved his ovation too, making positive changes which affected the game as one substitute scored the equaliser and another teed up the winner with a sublime reverse ball. A new contract surely awaits. They'll have plenty of time to sort that in the Tampa sun, right?
“Daniel Farke, do do do do do, Daniel Farke, do do do do do”.
The post match celebrations were something to behold, Daniel Farke receiving a rapturous reception from all four stands. There is no more talk of happy clappers or pant wetters, we are all one united force. And we're all Farke-lytes, worshiping at the altar of Daniel.
During the game the noise is coming back too. There were times in the second half that the atmosphere wasn’t something you could hear, but something you could feel, which is exactly what we’re hoping to achieve week-in, week-out. The Barclay was crackling and you could sense the belief on the pitch was flowing into the crowd and back again. By the time Teemu rolled in the fourth it was carnage. Andy personally went from the back row of E block to midway down the stand, via 50 different hugs, 4 bruises and a cut. Just lovely.
“Teemu Pukki baby, Teemu Pukki ohhhhwhheyyyooohhh”.
The kind of day when being a football fan makes sense. When all the money, time, effort, frustration and disappointment, is made up for in a moment of pure, euphoric joy. Plus, there’s a perfectly timed international break, giving us all 2 whole weeks to savour it. Just lovely.
On a final note, spare a thought for Andy's Dad, who as a steward at the back of the away fans watched all of that as a lifelong City fan, unable to react in anyway.
“We are top of the league, say we are top of the league"