Norwich City Review Of The Season

Norwich City 2010-2011

Playing Record : 

Full        P46  W23  D15  L8  F83  A58  PTS 84

Home     P23  W13  D6  L4  F47  A30  PTS 45

Away     P23  W10  D9  L4  F36  A28  PTS 39

Championship Final Position :  2nd
FA Cup :  3rd Round
League Cup :  2nd Round

Most Appearances (all comps) :  Russell Martin 49, Grant Holt 46, John Ruddy 46, Andrew Crofts 44

Most Goals (all comps) :  Grant Holt 23, Simeon Jackson 13, Wes Hoolahan 10

Career Appearances :  Adam Drury 345, Wes Hoolahan 121, Simon Lappin 118, Chris Martin 96

Career Goals :  Grant Holt 53, Chris Martin 34, Wes Hoolahan 26

Player Of The Year :  Grant Holt

Highest Attendance :  26,532 v Ipswich Town 28th November 2010

Biggest Win :  6-0 v Scunthorpe United  Championship  2nd April 2011

Biggest Defeat :  0-3 v Swansea  Championship  9th April 2011

Five Days That Shaped The Season

Saturday 28th August 2010  -  Nottingham Forest 1 Norwich City 1

Though this game was only the fourth match in Norwich City's Championship campaign, I remember it as significant at the time, for the simple reason that it showed very early on that we would not be pushovers away from home. The Canaries fell behind to a penalty at the City Ground after 35 minutes and the worst was feared against a Nottingham Forest side that were amongst the favourites for promotion having lost out in the play-offs the previous season. But an Andrew Crofts goal just before half time secured a point, though of greater importance was a fantastic display against a side many considered to be superior to City. A sign of things to come maybe - though just how big a sign was not appreciated at the time.

Sunday 28th November 2010  -  Norwich City 4 Ipswich Town 1

After a season without an East Anglian Derby, this one was eagerly anticipated by Norwich fans. But with manager Paul Lambert serving a touchline ban and therefore watching from the stands, plus national TV coverage on the BBC, City fans faced a nervous build up to the game. But on the day, it was the team in yellow that rose to the occasion, with skipper and talisman Grant Holt bagging a hat-trick before Wes Hoolahan came on to rub salt into Ipswich wounds. It was the Canaries first win in six games (four of the previous five matches had ended in draws) and significantly moved them up to 5th place in the table. For many Norwich fans, the beating of Ipswich so convincingly ensured it was going to be a happy season, whatever the next six months had in store. But only once more (two weeks later to be exact after a home defeat to Portsmouth) would City be out of the top five. It was a glorious afternoon to be a Canary, and maybe the first time that this campaign had the feel of being just a bit special.

Saturday 1st January 2011  -  Norwich City 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Few would argue that QPR were a class act for most of the season, and their appearance at Carrow Road on the first day of 2011 gave Norwich City the opportunity to make a statement on their own promotion credentials. It was not the most incident packed match of the campaign - and the season had so many crazy episodes it would almost be churlish to put them into any order of importance. No, this was a tight, absorbing affair, settled unusually for City, by a goal as early as the tenth minute, by Russell Martin. But the win gave further evidence that Norwich were justifiably towards the top of the Championship and given the fact that QPR had also failed to beat them at Loftus Road earlier in the season, City fans knew that on their day, this team of Canaries were as good as any other in the division. In fact, only a Wes Hoolahan penalty miss in the away game prevented a Norwich double.

Thursday 21st April 2011  -  Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 5

Just four games left, and Norwich now elevated from a mere play-off side and into a genuine contender for automatic promotion. So Portman Road was not the easiest place to have to go to - a local derby, and revenge predicted by a Suffolk team under new management since their November bashing at Carrow Road. And a clutch of clubs feeling confident that this would be the night the Canaries would finally crack, leaving the door slightly ajar for them to sneak through into second spot themselves. Never. Not in a million years. This City side soared to a clinical and majestic performance. Ipswich were disdainfully brushed aside with Norwich netting five times - through Andrew Surman, Simeon Jackson, Russell Martin, Dani Pacheco and an own goal. 5-1 on the night. 9-2 on seasonal aggregate. Rarely had City fans had so much to smile about. Ipswich were left stunned and distraught. And the promotion chasing clubs knew that this was a humdinger of a result at this late stage of the season. Norwich City had their fate firmly in their own hands.

Monday 25th April 2011  -  Norwich City 3 Derby County 2

There were so many sensational moments in 2010-11. Moments that will take their place in Norwich City folklore and legend. The most compelling feature of this particular group of Canaries was their ability to play every minute of every match. 'Norwich Time' - the time added on after the end of ninety minutes - produced equalisers and winners all campaign. But I think Simeon Jackson's 96th minute strike is likely to still be talked about in fifty years time. A good City performance looked likely to be spoilt by a stubborn Derby County team. Anti climax filled the air. Norwich kept going as usual. But no, not today. It could not happen again, and the control of destiny gained at Portman Road looked to be slipping away. The scenes at Carrow Road as Jackson completed his hat-trick and pinched the points have known no equal. The place went mental. Kids looked on open mouthed. Adults shed a tear. Simeon Jackson was in the history books forever. A special player, in a very special season.

and finally...............

the real significance of any season is often not really measurable for a few years to come. But for the Canaries, there need be no such period of assessment. The prize of entry into the English Premier League is said to be worth £90 million. For a club that has been in steady financial decline since the mid nineties, the chance to secure an exceptional future awaits. But putting money aside for a moment, 2010-11 was in itself, a magnificent campaign. For those that got to the games, home or away. For those that live and breathe the affairs of the club from a distance. Because, it was a season to be proud. Not just proud of results, but also the way in which those results were achieved. The players and staff quietly went about their business week after week, heads down in remorseless pursuit of a dream. And throughout it all they gave us more to shout about than could reasonably be expected in half a dozen seasons put together. Everyone involved, including the fans, have done themselves proud. Take a bow, you good people.

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