2 February 2013

Concentrating on the league

Well carry me away, Luton. Etch memories of Carrow Road onto the bare chest of János Kovács and file them with the ball-tingliest of ball-tingling moments following The Town... and then concentrate on the league.

Did you go to Norwich? That’s a question that I and plenty of others will have been asked last week. Not only by Luton fans, but by civilians too. A woman in my office / friends with less interest in The Town than Esther Ranzen, everyone seemed to know about what our excellent squad had achieved on that most hate-free of Norfolk afternoons.

We were big news. The illustrious and thoughtful Sunday Star did a front page splash, ITV spelled our 4th choice striker’s name almost 100% correctly and the New York Times compared JJ O’Donnell to Rudyard Kipling. Luton may not be back yet, but we’d nudged our way to 30 words in the back of the Metro.

Sadly, the drink got good to me on the day and I let myself down a bit, starting “you can stick your Alan Partridge up your arse” in the pub before and calling Stephen Fry a “patronising old cunt” on twitter being low points. Both things I didn’t mean and wish I could un-say, Norwich. I really do.

But this was no ordinary Saturday afternoon. Well, not recently anyway.

Once upon a time, not very long ago, Norwich away would have dredged the kind of frenzy normally reserved for games at the likes of Peterborough or Cambridge. Alright not quite, but you know what I mean. But more used to Barrow than Carrow Road these days, we were over 4000 strong and we were going to enjoy this day regardless of the result.

I have no idea what the game would have been like for a neutral. Probably not a classic, but to those of us shouting for the boys in navy blue it was a wonderful spectacle.

Players who looked so lost against teams like Telford and Dartford, suddenly appeared comfortable and composed in possession. The ball stuck upfront and the back four defended like they didn’t trust the keeper to make a save, so quick were they to a challenge. Tyler himself had one of those games that beggar’s belief that a Conference club is at the top of his CV.

They proved that many are good enough to play in the League, but in the BSBP a few more McNulty’s than O’Donnells may serve us well it seems.

I remember having a drink beneath the Jarrold Stand at half time and laughing deliriously at the fact we were still at nil-nil and that we actually looked pretty comfortable. Some even joked that we might win it. “HAHAHA” we all said. And quite right too.

But win it we did.

I got home just in time for the highlights. In a trick of the edit, ITV managed to conjure up some close-ups of the ball crossing our goal line and a stick-on penalty. They must really fucking hate us.

Success is a lovely time for the cynics who will lay in wait for more results like the absurdly popular FA Trophy exit and no doubt some more league dismay to follow the inevitable Barrow hangover (who, incidentally if it was such a ‘tough place to go’ wouldn’t have only won once at home before beating us...)

Yes the league is our bread and butter, and yes we probably won’t win the FA Cup. But no matter what division we are in, it’s those big days out that we’ll remember. They are the games we tell our mates, our kids and the Norwich fan who plays in goal for my 6-a-side team about for weeks and years to come.

Concentrating on the league is a noble pursuit alright, but it’s always been the romance of the Cup that captures the imagination. And if you can't enjoy that for a while longer, then you might as well give up now. 

Millwall next then? They might even bring some away fans...

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff as ever Kevin. Concentrating on the league is for freaks and bores, give me winning at Norwich over losing at Barrow any day.

    Janos Kovacs being dropped today after his chiseled torso adorned every back page in the land last week, and Greg Taylor getting slated by his manager 7 days after making Premier League wingers look like lumbering idiots, seem like major human rights violations that ought to be referred to the UN. This club makes me ill sometimes.

    Brko's Bicycle