It’s crunch time for the Canaries
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 15, 2016
The moment of truth, sink or swim, do or die. Call it what you please but let it be known that the next month is crunch time for Norwich City.
A loss to Villa, a loss to Swansea, leads thrown away to both the Hammers and Liverpool too – it is hard to reassure yourself that Norwich can stay up, that they can pick up points where need be. But I’m confident that they will.
Recent performances against the likes of Leicester, Chelsea and more recently Manchester City suggest that we are getting better. Manchester City could be the turning point. We’ve finally found a somewhat solid defence as well as a balance in our game between defence and attack. All the signs were there for a few weeks, par Swansea, and the clash with City spoke volumes – Alex Neil is finally bloody learning!
A good point on the board taken from City, let’s not make that hard work count for nothing through our upcoming fixtures. Let’s stick with that team, that style too, and kick on.
The first encounter is a trip to the Midlands, West Brom. A team with secured Premier League status for another year of whom can only now achieve a higher league position and nothing more. The Baggies have little to play for, advantage Norwich. Being the first of the big four fixtures, it’s a must win. Three points and all rises: Confidence, league position and hope – taking these into the remainder of the season will increase chances drastically.
Then, the big one. Newcastle, at home. Rafa’s revolution has yet to swing into play, so please Norwich, please, don’t allow it to kickstart at Carrow Road. It’s bloody ‘hooge’ as Norfolk folk would say.
The tougher of the four games follows. Palace away. A trip to Selhurst. Pardew’s men are yet to pick up a win this calendar year, no doubt they see Norwich as an opportunity to end that! I’d settle for a point here, the Palace players know that they could still get dragged down into the scrap if they fail to get something out of the games so they will be fighting hard.
This leaves us with one game of the fate-deciding month to tackle; with one of the Tyne down, there is one to go. Sunderland and Big Sam. Yet to engrave a relegation into his CV, let us be the ones to do it! If, and it is a massive IF, we get something at Palace and manage to win to both West Brom and Newcastle we go into the game on cloud nine, potentially giving us the upper hand. But hey, we will see what happens…
Norwich need to get at least ten points between now and the end of the season to have any chance of staying up. The survival mark could be as low as 36 this season with lots of teams in the bottom five playing one another.
So, with ten points needed, you look at those four fixtures and say that it is season defining. If we win to West Brom, Newcastle and Sunderland and manage to pick up a point to Palace we not only knock points of fellow scrappers but we also accelerate away from the bottom three on a total of 35 points! What a ‘hooge’ month.
We can stay up, it is in our own hands and that is the key.
If we play a consistent eleven and only make changes when they are forced by injury or suspension and stick to a similar game plan each week, we can turn over all four of these teams and pick up the points. If you can perform against the former champions of England and League Cup winners and come out with a point then I am all but sure you can thump a lacklustre Newcastle side managed by a Real Madrid reject. Alright I’m a tad jealous of Benitez but he isn’t that bloody good, he done nothing but lose at Napoli and Real! I’d rather a feisty and tiny-Scotsman with an appetite for success in a relegation scrap. Who’d want a manager that inputs a clause to say that he’s buggering off if they do fall down? Not me!
It would be excellent if we do manage to get at least six points from these four, preferably those coming against Newcastle and Sunderland foremost as opposed to Palace or West Brom. But, we then would need to get say four or five from our last four games.
Arsenal away, United at home, Watford at home and then Everton away. They are games we must look to if we fail to get all ten from our next four. We have a lifeline. United, that could be three points. Watford, again, could be three. Both sides could be in the FA Cup final and have nothing other than that to play for, a possibility that they could rest their better players. So, we are lucky in the fact that that we do get a second life if we stuff up our first one.
Survival is a real possibility, given our recent performances I am convinced that we can turn it around and start churning out results. We are showing fight, heart and quality! So let’s get behind the boys and aim to get these points early across the next month. If not, there is a second chance. A late one, but at least it is there.
Don’t give up hope yet, we could still do it! OTBC.