100 Comments

Madness At Carrow Road As Debbie Does Dorset

Debbie-debbie-harry-31503962-500-633

After the entertainment of the Tiny Totts featuring Adebayor’s Scooby-Doo impression, and following on from the Meerkat’s tears over Arshavin and his imminent departure, we have a football match to contemplate. Norwich City will be making the journey through the desolate flat Anglian wastelands, down the M11 and into the big smoke. I have mixed Norwichmemories of Norwich, both the city and the football club. A friend of mine went to university there , fell in love, married and never came home. My wife and I went to visit him and his spouse but they made us play Trivial Pursuit so we never went back. To be fair, it is a five hour drive as well, so I think I can be forgiven. A happier memory was my visit to the Coleman’s Mustard museum which really was surprisingly interesting. I strongly suspect a love of mustard is a prerequisite to finding anything at all to fascinate the casual visitor to Norwich’s premier tourist attraction but it is surely better to be famous for a fiery yellow condiment that Sale Of The Century.

More recently I have had occasion to visit Carrow Road, home of this afternoon’s match day visitors. It is a splendid little stadium, really quite chic and situated within sight of the Cathedral rather than in some hideous shopping complex next to a phalanx of roundabouts and bypasses. Yes Reading we’re all looking at you. Unusually I hadn’t made the long and incredible tedious drive from Somerset to the home of Norwich to watch them play. I’d have been bloody disappointed if I had as they were actually away from home that day beating Swansea in what was by all accounts a thrilling seven goal stonker in which Norwich were 0 – 3 up at half time and ended up 3 – 4 winners. This game was the tenth in a very useful unbeaten run and I’m sure none of you will need reminding that in their previous fixture Swansea had beaten us two nil so for the Canaries to go and turn over an in form team in their own back yard was no mean feat.

Included in that run Norwich had racked up victories against us, Man U, The Tiny Totts (league cup), and an away draw at Goodison  so I think it’s fair to suggest that they were in a fine run of form. Things never really got that good again for them and, neatly underlining how important consistency is to any side, they come to the Emirates today after a mish mash of some truly horrible defeats mixed in with some low scoring draws. They are a team that you simply cannot predict.

For me Norwich isn’t just synonymous with Mustard, Nicholas Parsons,Delia and Stephen Fry. It holds, footballistically, some great memories. Does anyone recall their improbable march into Europe in the early days of the Premier League? I’m not saying it was my Kennedy Assassination moment or anything but the unlikely match up of Norwich City and Bayern Munich is one of those non Arsenal football events that has always stayed with me.Of course those were more innocent days. We used to support any British team taking on continental opposition and the more David and Goliath like the encounter the better. Norwich of course didn’t have a hope in hell. Unlike when we went on our own jaunt to Germany recently when I was telling anyone who would listen that we would win, it was just a matter of by how many, I honestly didn’t give the plucky young pretenders from the far East a cats chance. Well they went on to surprise me and just about everyone else except their manager Mike Walker. Matt (or Luke – I forget which) Goss scored a hell of a goal,  Bryan Gunn performed heroics in the Norwich goal and they took a 2 – 1 lead back to blighty for the home leg which they drew and thus booted out one of the favourites to win the competition. Sadly for our visitors that was as good as it got Internatzionale beat them in the next round and went on to win the cup and Norwich were relegated from the Prem the following season.

The other football memory I have of Norwich was a rare televised live match on a beautiful bank holiday weekend which I watched in a caravan on the cliffs above Durdle Door in Dorset. It was that season. Hillsborough was still a raw and shocking news story only two weeks old, and we were three points clear of Liverpool who had a game in hand. Norwich were third and as such this was a vital must win game. That we won with aplomb by five clear goals wasn’t quite as important to me as it ought to have been. The fact was that I was blissfully in love with a young and staggeringly beautiful woman who not only bore more than a passing resemblance to Debby Harry but had agreed to come with me to the Dorset Coast for a weekend of wild romance and caravan based abandon. I don’t think she’d bargained for Arsenal versus Norwich but whenever we play them I am always reminded of lust and love among the surf and pebbles and the tune of Sunday Girl.

Anyway before I’m crippled by nostalgia, I ought maybe to explain just why I was at Carrow Road last December. My band had been hired to play at a surprise 40untitled shoot-328th birthday party for a Norwich season ticket holder and we were set up in one of their swanky and frankly over priced bars. It wasn’t Delia’s restaurant but for a boy brought up on the piss soaked terraces of Eastville it was still an eye opener. I suppose I’d spontaneously combust on entering the Emirates, how you lucky people who go there regularly cope with it I’ll never know. The mistake the very nice people at Carrow Road made was giving us a directors box to use as a changing room. You just don’t let musicians anywhere other than on the stage, and certainly not in any area out of your eyesight. We of course made full use of the facilities and had a good wander around the stadium, easily accessed from our lofty vantage point.

untitled shoot-347

That’s me at the back buggering the sax player. Well it turned out to be our last ever gig together for reasons into which I shall not go, but suffice it to say having a Spud as lead singer didn’t help. Arsenal beat West Brom 2 – 0 on that December day and went on to win their following three league matches adding 13 to their ‘goals for’ column in the process. A repeat over the next three matches would be very welcome.

Anyhow, as we look forward to Cup Final Number Four, I’m going to go and stick on a Blondie album and remember past glories. I might even think about football.

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

100 comments on “Madness At Carrow Road As Debbie Does Dorset

  1. Shotta, another Arsenal hater, that gale. He was putting the boys down from jump.

    Like

  2. Paul N @ 5.30 pm, not from where I was sitting. The referee gave Norwich more than one phantom free kick today.

    Like

  3. That is what I thought, Passenal.

    Like

  4. great 3 points ….and for those who complain konscielny saw red plus penalty for less against djeco…want the same linesman in every game.

    Like

  5. When you think that Man U, with Vidic and Ferdinand in defence, haven’t had a penalty called against them all season, the last thing one needs is officials being bullied into letting shit go.

    Like

  6. I made my vote at the dot com for Aaron Ramsey. Come on Positivistas.

    Like

  7. Linesman obviously didn’t get the memo! ha ha

    Fantastic three points which is all that matters. Come on you Gunners! 6 more cup finals.

    Like

  8. Gainsbourg69
    “Young Gervinho had a mare today. If he doesn’t tighten up he’ll have to make way for the Ox or another young winger.”
    I am afraid you are right. 8 years without a trophy…the regular fan at and away from the Emirates have no patience with inconsistency. See Arshavin. There are a bunch of hungry yutes waiting in the wings, some of them British. The boss will have little choice. He is under pressure as well.

    Like

  9. Well done the Arse!
    Felt Jack was the missing link today.
    Had little problem with Gerv. Would not have taken him out @ the time.
    Rambo was less fluent but he always seems to redeem himself over the course of a game.
    Once I saw Gibbs was starting, knew we’d definitely see Poldi.
    Not too psyched seeing AW emoting on the sidelines but hey, its MONEY TIME.

    Did what we needed to do.
    Hope Rosicky’s fit enough for Everton.
    His non-presence was felt today.

    RASERS!

    Like

  10. Oh & Giroud was my MOTM

    Like

  11. Ah, Aaron. That’s my boy! What a game he had today. MOTM, no question for me. Did you know that you can vote multiple times if you use different browsers and devices? I’m stacking votes as fast as I can. Vote from every computer, phone, or iPad you have!

    Oh, and Tony Gale is a twat. A right, fucking twat. (Excuse my language…)

    Like

  12. We’re fighting for a CL spot, I don’t think we can afford to be patient with out of form players at this point. I love Gervinho, but if he can’t get his shit together because the fans are moaning, then give the Ox a chance.

    Like

  13. Gervinho was not the guy bringing us down in the match. We generally were not at our fluent level and Norwich nullified our attack. Our defence was generally good. It was a good sight to see koscielny and Vermalen nicking balls and feeding it to the midfielders.

    The commentator gail was going on about Gervinho from minute one and was calling for Walcott and Chamberlain all the time. Walcott didnt convince me that Gervinho should be replaced by him for next match.

    Lots of passion from the players in trying to win us the match.

    6 more heart attacks to go.

    Like

  14. And our goal difference is higher than Chelski’s now. Just seen the BBC site btw and apparently possession was 51% 49% in Norwich’s favour. Yeah. Right. Are these people for real?

    Like

  15. @FG
    Seems about right. Though I am confident that out of those 51% possession Norwich had, probably only one percent was with the ball actually in play. The rest was their keeper trying to find the prettiest spot on the turf to take his goal kick or Holt using his “experience” in delaying any throw-ins.

    Like

  16. 4 cup finals down, 6 to go…. who knows, 2nd may yet beckon…

    Like

  17. I don’t think Gervinho was responsible for bringing us down, but for an established international who has been to the world cup and plays with one of the best NTs in the world, one would expect him to show a bit of steel in circumstances such as these. All I want from him is to show the same amount of gumption that players such as Fabianski and Ramsey have shown. He’s got all the tools to become a legend at this club, but he seems to lose confidence entirely too easily.

    Like

  18. Evil, The comment about the keeper trying to find the prettiest spot was hilarious!

    Like

  19. Wonderful write up Stew – put me right in the mood as I read en route to the match.

    Norwich not a great side but no pushovers. With a ref bending over backwards and beyond to avoid giving any home advantage, a draw and defeat at one point looked the most likely outcome.

    Fabulously, the Norwich goalie’s pointless time-wasting tactics contributed to his team leaving without any points. The anger of the crowd towards him and the appalling ref transmitted itself to the players who just kept raising their game and refused to give up.

    Very proud of all of them, showing real grit now.

    Spuds watch on and weep; you’re history.

    Like

  20. Evil, Gale celebrating Holt’s time wasting said all anyone needed to know about where his heart was throughout the match. When Jack was floored by Snodgrass he waved it off as accidental.

    Like

  21. I was sat a few yards behind that Lino.
    In the first half he was getting a healthy amount of jip *coughs* for some poor calls.
    This only increased in frequency and intensity after he didn’t give the first pen on Theo. So when Giroud’s shirt stretched for a fair few seconds people were basically jumping up and down on the linesman’s head demanding the penalty.
    Support, it matters, and it does make a difference.

    Like

  22. So Arsenal supporters supported Arsenal and won us the penalty? Hear that you negative ignorant fools???

    Like

  23. Gains I think you are being a little unfair singling out Gervinho, when Santi, Gibbs and Especially Jack were well off the pace too. This is a squad game, so if one combo is not working, you rightly throw something else into the mix.

    Like

  24. FunGunner at 6:32 pm
    BBC’c match stats are very unreliable. They make them up. Orbinho, Squawka, WhoScored are superior by a country mile.

    Like

  25. Fins & Passenal – great points; 100% agree.

    Like

  26. Jack was coming back from a lay off, Pass. And I’m not singling out Gervinho, I just think that he needs to buck the F up and play up to his immense talent. To see him play the way he did today is incredibly frustrating. He could barely control the ball, his touch was way off and he was shot of the confidence which made him our form player for the last few weeks. If he had played half as well as he did against Swansea, I would have nothing to say.

    Like

  27. I’m watching a repeat of the Villa v Fulham game. I’d rather watch this ten times over than watch a match up between mid to low table teams in Italy or Spain.

    Like

  28. “We were pretty poor .
    But good spirit at the end and a great 3 points’

    We can’t always be at our best George, but isn’t that ‘the mark of champions’? Isn’t that what manure do every week? Winning occasionally without playing classic Wengerball is something to celebrate not apologise for.

    Like

  29. Brilliant stew, great win today,I just made the game, now Stew tell us the story about your fall out with the spud mugs Chas & Dave!

    Like

  30. Gains, I’m not saying he played well but he was not alone. I know Jack is just back from injury, which is why I’m not having a go, just stating my opinion that playing in a pivotal role in the team and him being off his game also had an impact on our flow. I was not surprised that both Gervinho and Jack were substituted. With hindsight, perhaps Santi in the middle would have been a better call as Norwich seemed to target Jack.

    Like

  31. “i was on the phone yesterday with ticket sales at emirates…50 pound deposit and 2825 the chepaest seson ticket ( corner seating) for club level memebership…..first i book the flat in hoxton/barbican/angel and second action will be that ticket…unless anyone knows a cheaper way..much appreciated..”

    Get a red membership for £30 hunter,then you can buy a ticket when games go on sale to red members – usually a month before the game. Just be prepared for the fact that if it’s a Cat A match, you’ll have to be quick to get one. But it’s generally easy to get a ticket for the less glamourous games. There were still a few tickets left for the Wigan game when I looked yesterday.

    Like

  32. That’s good advice, H13 – that corner seating in Club Level will almost certainly be located above the away fans. Imagine that, week in, week out …

    Like

  33. I want to hear the Chas & Dave story. Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit…

    Great post btw Steww (Debbie Harry was my first real crush. Sigh). And a great result, even though I missed the game today, three points is all I care about at this stage. Job done.

    Like

  34. Unless you are mad keen to have a season ticket Red Membership will get you a ticket to any home game either by getting online sharp when they go on sale, or through ticket exchange as Passenal says – tickets usually go on at 10 am on a Tuesday or Thursday a month before the game – get on line and in queue about 9.45

    Like

  35. I thought we had a half empty stadium ?
    Is that a scurrilous lie as well?

    Like

  36. Is Tony Gale really such a moron? Cannot linesmen help the referee make a decision? It was a clear penalty. I think we should have had one much earlier on Theo.

    Earlier, he was commenting on Arsenal’s poor defending when at least 4 Noriwich players were caught off side. He’s an idiot!

    Like

  37. Gale needs to watch “The Referees”. It’s an excellent documentary about teams of officials at the Euopean Championships. You hear the dialogue between
    Referee and linesmen during the game. There is a constant exchange. Referees demand help for decisions. It also features Howard Webb. You get to see how the teams is officials are interrogated after games. How their performance determines their candidature for further more crucial games on the way to the final.

    Like

  38. Pedantic is being provocative again

    Like

  39. Gervs seemed unsure today but i think he has been our most dangerous player for the past few matches. He deserves a little grace.

    Like

  40. and – re tickets – if you want to take your chances on the ticket exchange, they often have season ticket-holders’ seats costing LESS than the tickets which are released to red members.

    Like

  41. Blimey, why is that in moderation? No-one home? Gone out for a pizza?

    Like

  42. I was at the match today. I had a ticket right behind the goal at the clock end, normally am up high at the other end. It’s amazing what a different perspective you get lower down. I thought it was a pretty dull game until late on and most of the highlights were the banter between the Arsenal and Norwich supporters. They made a big mistake when they started singing about the library!!l!

    A number of players were off the pace today, Jack wasn’t his usual self and Santi didn’t have one of his better days. Gervinho seems to have such fragile confidence, Difficult to pick up all the details at the other end, but from where I was Podolski was awful for his first 10 minutes..

    On the plus side, theo lifted the crowd when he came on. Aaron was all over the place and put in some great tackles and Fabianski looked very assured.

    Sometimes you have to grind out results and today was one of them. Well done lads bring on Everton

    Like

  43. Stew had a ‘fall out’ with Chas,it kind off finished him off as a legend in my book!

    Like

  44. Finished him off means completed him as a legend I mean-sorry,still celebrating the win!

    Like

  45. Paulie, I’ll give him that he had to run from deeper, thanks to the absence of Rosicky, but where was the drunken master today? He looked timid, out of sorts and couldn’t seem to shake the first few mistakes he made. Given how Wenger relied on him to give us speed upfront, it was his moment to shine. Instead he let Theo and the Ox show him up. I have a soft spot for Gervinho because he’s a sensitive sort, but he can’t go on disappearing like this or he’s going to get Chamakhed/Arshavined. It’s sad to watch him play like this when he is such an awesome player for Cote d’Ivoire.

    Like

  46. I feel you Gains. when Gervs is on his game, he really cannot be defended. I am hoping that this tough season will toughen him up emotionally. It is possible that once he makes one mistake he gets tense due to how he has been treated by the support? When he plays for Ivory Coast he does not have that to worry about.

    Like

  47. Mel, who is chas?

    Like

  48. @Paul
    I’d say that is probably a pretty accurate guess. I think Gervinho was having some good time on the ball early in the game but then came the moment where we were overloading them on a counter attack and Jack was screaming for the ball but Gervinho wanted to try to have a go himself and we lost the ball. Some groaning commenced and after that moment, it was like he was completely drained of confidence.

    Like

  49. jack wilshere did not have a particularly good game.

    that is obviously not a concern though.

    good win

    Like

  50. I thought the crowd overall was okay yesterday but hugely disappointed with the handful of boos I heard for Gerv when he was subbed.

    What exactly is going through the vacuum of these people’s minds?

    In what way do they feel they are serving the best interests of the club when they start acting like spoilt 10 year olds?

    Like

Comment navigation

Newer Comments →

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: