Thomas Markham-Uden on the words today, appealing to the Lower Barclay (and other parts of the ground) to get involved on Saturday.
Two words define our season thus far: learning and togetherness.
When I think back to the summer and expectation for this season, many of us were cautiously optimistic, but also wary. As Tom said on last week’s Along Come Norwich podcast, we as fans have had to learn how to watch this Norwich side; to grasp some of the more intricate aspects of Farke’s ideology. Recent weeks have been the equivalent to a lightbulb moment, as for fans and apparently players, everything has clicked. It feels liberating and bloody enjoyable.
A sense of learning has also characterised our work in the past few months, both from our perspective and, I would add, in terms of others’ expectations of us. When a scheme to raise money for your match day efforts achieves well beyond what you anticipated, it’s hard not to perhaps not get a little ahead of oneself in terms of what can be effectively achieved. Likewise, if you invested in our crowd funder scheme then you more than likely had some idealised vision of what you’d like to see that money spent on. While we’re sorry that we’ve not transformed the Lower Barclay into our version of the Red Star end during the Eternal derby, I do hope that since August we’ve been able to convey some of our ideas and brought into reality plans which have been many weeks in the making.
The reason I mention togetherness as the second defining adjective our season is because, quite frankly, it’s been some time since I’ve felt it to such a degree around the stands of the Carra. Due to the fact that our patience and learning have been rewarded with such sumptuous football, the sense of investment that Norwich fans currently feel towards this team, our club, has absolutely sky rocketed since our run in with The Championship’s ‘Big Man on Campus’, Leeds United.
And while I’m loathed to describe any of our displays thus far as sumptuous - although we are really fucking proud of the Justin Fashanu banner - we have noticed a warming of relations from other fans. There’s always going to be people who bemoan what we do, just like there’ll always be someone who spends half time bemoaning a teenager from Dereham’s apparent lack of ability, before having humble pie shoved down their throat with all the glee to match young Cantwell’s goal celebrations in front of the Barclay. However, because our fellow fans have tried to invest in what we do, whether that be financially, with physical assistance, or simply by messaging us to say how much they like what we’re doing, we feel emboldened to keep this thing of ours growing to the next level. Our display against Rotherham exemplified that football is for everyone and what can be achieved when we work together.
So to Bolton this weekend, with a call for as many people as possible to help us out with our flags and banners. We’ll be in the ground from turnstiles opening and would love to have as many of the banners on show as we can. We need people to literally hold them up, though, so come and find us in the stand, at the back of E Block, and let’s carry this forward together.
That’s not all though. We’re aware that lots of fans in other parts of the stand (and the ground) would like to be involved in creating a more colourful atmosphere as the teams come out. With this in mind - until we take possession of a few hundred more flags - we would like EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. in the Barclay to bring a Norwich themed scarf (i.e. yellow and/or green) and hold it up as the teams come out of the tunnel. If you have some spare scarves at home, bring them along, because, well togetherness yeah? We’re all about big, eye-catching choreographies, but sometimes the most effective displays can be the most simple. Three thousand scarves held aloft as our table-topping team take the field fits that bill if you ask me. One city strong.