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norwich 1000x500Norwich City are our visitors tomorrow. They arrive at Burnley having beaten current Premier League champions Manchester City last week and below, ahead of tomorrow’s game, we’ve got the views of Richard from Norwich blog City of Yellows.

 

 

The two-season journey with Sporting Director Stuart Webber and Manager Daniel Farke has been extraordinary on many levels. Removing the deadwood, introducing academy players, double training sessions, dropping established professionals, acquiring unknown players far and wide and above all creating a ‘team ethos’ through the entire club. No one expected promotion let alone the Championship title.

The 3-2 win over the Citizens was incredible and Norwich City fans have been dining out on the result ever since. Many are classing the achievement and intense atmosphere at the game as the best ever. The media and Norwich City fans had written the game off and most publicly wished to avoid an embarrassing hiding from the Premier League Champions.

We started the season with a couple of key players missing, both from falling down steps – Onel Hernandez and Christoph Zimmerman. By the time the Manchester City game had come round, we had nine first-team players injured and one ineligible. The only positive being that back-up players can simply step up and replace teammates based on well-drilled systems.

It is well documented that the Canaries can score goals for fun. To date, this has continued in the Premier League. The attacking approach, of course, leaves gaps. The commitment to defending last Saturday was nothing short of phenomenal. Amadou, a defensive midfielder was centre back, Sam Byram was making his first full appearance and marking Sterling, Alex Tettey was playing his first game since 35 minutes during the last game of the season when we clinched the title at Villa.

Let’s not forget that a £6 million outfit outwitted a £401 million team!

The key Burnley encounter I remember, from a negative perspective, was a lunchtime kick-off in October 2006, the final game for manager Nigel Worthington, Norwich City 17th and underperforming lost to the 3rd placed Clarets 4-1 in what was a poisonous atmosphere amongst the 24,717 supporters. Andy Gray twice scored, along with James O’Connor and Alan Mahon with Robert Earnshaw replying for City.

On a far happier note, in April 2004 Norwich stunned Burnley at Turf Moor and also their own fans by scoring five away! A 5-3 victory was secured with strikes from Mathias Svensson, the jet-heeled Darren Huckerby and boxer Leon McKenzie. Neil Wood, David May and Robbie Blake replied. Roles were reversed with Burnley 20th and Norwich Champions elect in pole position.

I am an admirer of what Burnley have achieved in establishing themselves in the Premier League and especially in their manager Sean Dyche who always appears a straight talker and makes a lot of sense in his interviews.

He appears to have gone for more experience with Jay Rodriguez 29, Erik Peters 30 and Danny Drinkwater 29. He certainly has a far different approach to Norwich who cannot afford experienced Premier League players on high salaries and instead employ youth who are likely to increase in value. With no European distractions, I expect Burnley to finish mid-table or slightly higher.

How will Norwich cope after the Lord Mayor’s show in Manchester City? I hope that injuries aside, the same 11 are given another chance. Daniel Farke has a habit of rewarding performance with retention of the shirt regardless of who is waiting in the wings.

Norwich are more than capable of pulling off another result this weekend. I must try and calm down from the euphoria… It could be a first draw of the season, 2-2.

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