It will take an admirable amount of loyalty for any Norwich City fan to travel to a Tuesday night match at Sunderland with nothing left to play for. But a certain fanatical section of the Canary faithful will be there, casting a yellow glow within the Stadium of Light as they cheer on the Canaries once again. One question will undoubtedly be sitting in the back of their minds as they do so: what are our prospects for next season?
Norwich City have not made this question easy to answer. Their recent response to a 4-1 demolition at the hands of QPR – a flying 3-1 victory over promotion-chasing Aston Villa - has mildly stunned casuals and fanatics alike. By scoring multiple goals and showing resilience after a negative result, the Canaries re-discovered qualities against Villa that many fans assumed to be lost and forgotten.
Sunderland vs City represents a chance for Daniel Farke’s men to prove that they are made of stronger, more consistent stuff than their critics suggest. Sunderland, having lost 5 of their last 6 home matches by a 2+ goal margin, look doomed to relegation – a tragic conclusion to another dismal season for the Black Cats. Their defence should provide bait for the Norwich attack to devour: helping to set up a positive end to this Canary season, while providing momentum to take into the next. But as all Norwich fans know far too well by now, football is never quite that simple. Sunderland have plenty of incentive to fuel a rapid change in form: the faint possibility of escaping relegation has spurred the Black Cats to achieve near-miracles in the past. To get anything from the game, Norwich will need to show they can free themselves from something they have previously found difficult to avoid, even while festering in mid-table: complacency.
Also on the City of Yellows Blog:
- Have the wheels come off?
I now have serious concerns. Not that we just don't look anything like a team capable of attacking the play-offs next season, worse than that, Norwich City have every chance of finishing lower than our neighbours down the road.
- A Yellow Army 5,045 miles away
I do love absorbing the differing football cultures when travelling on holiday and most of them have been witnessed in Eastern Europe. A chance not be be missed occurred for me in February with a trip to energise the all my senses in every footballing way possible, Kerala in southern India.
- So just what is my club?
Trying to explain to a non football fan just why we do it is hard, you either seem to get it or you don’t. We all know a club is not it’s players, players come and go, hero’s are made...
Norwich may need to fish into the depths of their squad to form their starting 11 on Tuesday. Many of City’s usual first-team regulars – Alex Tettey, Ivo Pinto and Harrison Reed among them – have been deemed ‘doubtful’ for the Sunderland clash by manager Farke (they are too tired, if you’re wondering why). Absent for Sunderland will be Paddy McNair and Marc Wilson, both having picked up knocks in their previous 1-1 draw at Leeds.
It promises to be a feisty affair at the Stadium of Light, as Norwich attempt to throw another wrench into an opposition’s endeavour to achieve their ultimate goal for the season. Sunderland, predictably, will strive to flatten Norwich’s recent spark with some of the Championship’s most notorious steel – in the form of Lee Cattermole and John O’Shea. The game offers City the opportunity to prove that they can defeat the strugglers as well as surprise the promotion chasers, painting a more hopeful picture for next season.