Wolves v Norwich City (aka Portugal vs Germany)

Wolves v Norwich City (aka Portugal vs Germany)

Two completely different football styles meet up again this Wednesday at Molinaex with the free flowing, direct, fast overlapping Portuguese taking on the processed, structured, passing and possession Germans who mascarade at Norwich City. Who will come out on top this time?

Unlike the large majority of City fans who seem to take a dislike to WWFC, created I believe by the agricultural, infamous Kevin Muscat tackle on a young flamboyant Craig Bellamy a number of years ago, I personally have a long standing soft spot for the Wanderers. 

Like the Canaries, Wolves are blessed with unique kits as the canary yellow is not dissimilar to the famous old gold colours and thus creating the bygone tradition of wearing the second kit for each contest rather than the modern phenomena of multiple kits being changed annually to cater for the club shop tills.

As a 70's teenager I was influenced by the great striker John Richards (385 games, 155 goals) everything you would expect from a number nine. Having family in Northern Ireland, another Wolves legend I was interested in was Derek Dougan (255 games, 95 goals).

I also have memories as a 10 year old watching Wolves play in the UEFA Cup and getting to the final, they are strong recollections as 1972 coincided with Norwich having their first ever season in the top flight. In that historic season, it finished 1-1 at Carrow Road with City losing 3-0 at Molineux.

Also on the City of Yellows Blog:

Norwich having generally gone home empty handed when travelling back from the Black Country, the record so far shows only 13 wins, 15 draws and an unpleasant 30 defeats. 

On a recent wet Sunday afternoon, I fancied some more City nostalgia and visited YouTube to watch grainy, vintage City games. I came across seven minutes of the Anglia Sunday football highlights 'Match of the Week' and relived a 4-0 home defeat to Wanderers which included top players including Andy Gray, Jon Parkin, Kenny Hibbitt and Richards. At that time my all-time favourite City player and World Cup winner Martin Peters (206 games, 44 goals) was strutting about in midfield and ghosting into goal scoring positions… just not in that particular match. The footage is more significant for me as it shows me pushing a sweets trolley complete with Tea Urn around the touch line - see if you can spot me when City get a corner up the old River End terrace. 

There are many connections with players who have turned out for both clubs, current examples are John Ruddy who had played two awful seasons at City and was also on Premier wages, he seems to have got his mojo back this season. The bighearted Ryan Bennett was unlucky at City in never appearing to hold down a shirt for any length of time and also having to deal with the injustice of not being selected in front of a very average, weak, non tackling defender in Russell Martin. I hope he succeeds at Wolves.

Other standouts for me are Matt Jarvis who has been a total sick note at City, the goal scoring Ade Akinbiyi, defender and ex player of the year Seb Bassong, Neil Emblem and the gap toothed finisher Iwan Roberts… a true City legend.

A more recent intense battle place in 2002 when both sides were battling for a play off final. A 3-1 win for Norwich City in Norfolk set up a 1-0 defeat in the return leg. Of course nether team went up as City lost to Birmingham in the Cardiff final on penalties.

Fast forward this season, Wolves are by a country mile the best side to play at Carrow Road. We were well and truly beaten. The pace of movement, the directness and the way Wanderers attacked in numbers helped to produce an easy win. City were still finding their way under new management, a new playing style and with many new recruits.

The current Norwich way is a very slow build up with three at the back, two holding midfielders, the roving Maddison and Murphy and Oliveria trying hard with little reward up front. On the form guide, both sides are level with 11 points from the last six outings - three wins, two draws and one defeat. One goal a game is currently the best we can hope for. Therefore unless Wolves can contour up the same performance as earlier in the season, expect a 0-0 or a 1-0 which could go either way.

If City can hold out, we get stronger as the game progresses which is built on double training sessions and lots of running. The defence is far stronger than the one which travelling Wolves fans witnessed at the Carra. The challenge of having played the 'Old Farm Derby' against 1p5wich on Sunday may have taken its toll on the lads?

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