Let me ask you a question. At this moment in time, would you rather be a Norwich City fan or a Burnley fan? Considering one has just been relegated after achieving just seven wins so far this season and the other has just been promoted as Champions with 28 wins, it is certainly easy to see who the happiest are.
This goes to show that, in football, it is all about succeeding in the level you are playing in. Yes, the Premier League is the place to be, but compare the feeling at the end of this season with the one after the 6-0 defeat at Fulham which condemned Norwich to relegation from the top flight in 2005.
There is no doubt that Norwich had a better team back then with Ashton, Bentley and Huckerby in their ranks, but it is with Holt, Hoolahan and Martin that the Norwich fans have enjoyed more success. It is all about winning football matches. It makes going to the game enjoyable and makes you proud to support your team.
The same can be said for Leeds. If they manage to secure promotion from League One in the last couple of games of this season, they will celebrate as much (if not more) than they did when they won the top flight back in 1992.
Anyway, back to Norwich. It has been a bizarre season hasn’t it? From THAT first day of the season, to the title celebrations at Carrow Road on Saturday. What a remarkable turnaround.
The key factors in the success? To run through the main ones quickly – a decisive new board, Paul Lambert, the signing of Fraser Forster, Grant Holt’s leadership, Wes Hoolahan’s creativity, the 5-0 at Colchester, strength in depth and fantastic fans. It has been one big effort from everyone.
Like a lot of people inside Carrow Road on Saturday, it was hard not to make comparisons with the opening day of the campaign. Myself, friends and family were sat outside the same part of Lloyds before kick-off as back in August, we had the same feeling of complaceny about the game ahead and we were talking about winning the League One title again.
Things on the pitch, although a damn sight better than the Colchester game, weren’t exactly spectacular. Everyone had a sense of ‘job done’ about them, but we were never going to lose the game. Then, after Darrel Russell’s goal in the second half, it was party time.
There was one moment I enjoyed more than any other during the 90 minutes. Spillane, to Smith, to Russell, to Martin – all academy products and all helping Norwich City win some silverware. That’s enough to make you proud!
The celebrations were then of course enjoyed by all. The players deserved to enjoy the moment and after several barren years, the fans knew every second had to be cherished.
With the exception of a couple of the big guns, it isn’t that often that your team wins a league title, so this is a big moment in the club’s history. It is even rarer that a club gets to lift a trophy, on the final game of the season in front of their own fans.
For that reason alone, make sure you are at Carrow Road for the visit of Carlisle on 8th May. See you there…!