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Norwich City 2 Watford 3 (06/08/2010) 06/08/2010

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from my sofa. Yes, I have small children… brownie points carefully spent, and this one was on the telly…

1- On a whim, I experimented with a bottle of Chianti, a break from the regular diet of bottled lager or diet coke, depending on whether I’m “on duty” or not. The Chianti experiment proved successful and will be repeated, although not sure whether I’ll get a bottle into the ground next Saturday.

2- And who saw that coming, frankly, because I have to say I didn’t. No, Norwich weren’t perfect; even at nil-nil in what emerged as an open start to a very open first half, City were leaving all sorts of gaps as they attacked… Elliott Ward looked pretty much just as I’d remembered him playing for Coventry. And they were slow to the ball, ponderous. But stuff it, we won 3-2 away from home on the opening day against a team who should have been flying, you take it any way it comes.

3- Plenty of plusses for the Golden boys, not least what looks a pretty convincing spine of Mariappa, Eustace, Graham, all superb on the night. The departure of erstwhile captain Demerit may turn out not to do Mariappa any harm at all. Despite Taylor’s stature and experience, Mariappa is the leader at the back now, and played like it.

4- Bold substitutions from Malky, almost impetuous at the time but ultimately effective. It’s questionable whether an outlet in Buckley would have been more useful than the destructive job done by Jenkins, but he made the decision early and we didn’t suffer for it. Bloody hell though, what a young bench… Gilmartin the veteran at 23?

5- It’s still going to be difficult. One win, however impressive, doesn’t change that. But bloody hell, bring it on. Football’s back, and the ‘orns are top of my league ladders, if only until tomorrow afternoon…. 🙂


1. DW - 06/08/2010

I’m tempted to say we only need another 47 points but I won’t. Bloody fantastic.

2. Paul Caruso - 06/08/2010

He He Heeee!!! Tremendous start! Even if Super Dan can’t pronounce his rr’s Cawwow Woad!!!

3. NickB - 07/08/2010

Buckley looked to have taken a knock. He had an ice pack on his ankle in the dugout. Still maybe Malky watched last seasons games and thought the timing of his substitutions was a little late.Brilliant win but why do I still get too nervous even when 2 up.

4. SwindonDave - 07/08/2010

Four times I’ve seen us live at Norwich (on tele last night admittedly) and we’ve won them all!. Not quite up to the dominance of 2 years ago but bearing in mind the relative expectations this was a fantastic result and we’ve already won an away game as well.

5. Jeremy Clarkson - 07/08/2010

JC here

MR, I do hope it was a good vintage and not quashed down in one sitting. These need to be savoured like the performance at Na’rich. plummy chocolate bouquet a hint of cherries with a good lasting taste on the pallette, and a hint of the best vintage of 1983…more please.

6. ME - 07/08/2010

Fantastic result although I had a feeling, having been lured by a Norwich supporting ‘friend’ to watch it in a a pub in Islington only to find out it was the London branch of the Norwich Supporters club that this was going to be a bad evening. Thought Eustace was superb as was Danny Boy…. Have a funny feeling about this season…..

7. DM - 07/08/2010

Massively encouraging. The older players stood up to be counted, Mariappa, Eustace and Graham rightly take the plaudits, but a word for young Sordell, who ran that back-line ragged in the first half and McGinn.. First start in his strongest position and a very convicing display. A great foil for the skipper in the middle of the park.. not to mention great awareness to set Graham on his way for the 3rd.

And I’ll be the one that says it… 47 more points to go !!

8. Joons - 07/08/2010

Stunning performance in the first half and solid in the second. Most importantly, we look awesome in our new away kit. Johnny Eustace rightly in place as skipper. Has Jay signed anywhere yet?

9. JohnF - 08/08/2010

The media were really surprised and the BBC TV pundits seemed quite disappointed as the boys wrecked the party. We look good going forward and Danny has started like last year, but I still have concerns about the defending and that doesn’t just mean the back line. If we can sort that out then I would think we can have a pretty decent season. I think Buckley was injured in that dreadful challenge that didn’t even rate a free kick according to the ref. But Cowie really deserved the only yellow card for what was obviously the worst offence of the evening!!!!

Matt you must have a way with your youngsters if you actually managed to see the game as comprehensively as your blog indicated. Now what was the next bit to your comment in the previous blog about disrupted viewing and only 45 minutes of which more to follow?

10. Hal Berstram - 08/08/2010

The chianti – great choice. Any “Silence of the Lambs” influence there?

Matt Rowson - 08/08/2010

I checked the fridge for liver and fava beans, but we were out…

11. Kris - 09/08/2010

A fantastic start to the campaign. Cue the hordes proclaiming we’ll be in the playoff picture come may.

I’ll echo a few others here in stating that we’re still 47 points short of safety and to get 47 more points is a massive tasks with our current squad.

I think Malky and the club has done well with very limited means. But we are still painfully thin in most areas of the pitch. I hope Malky’s dip into the loan pool will be successful – I expect to see lots of 22yo’s being loaned out this season so let’s hope Malky can find Cleverlys rather than Cathcarts.

Anyhow – 3 points in the bag and proper football is back to replace the media mayhem that is the World Cup. Thank GT for that.

12. Old Git - 09/08/2010

A happily timed work appointment in Norwich means that I can vouch for the air of wild expectation that seemed to have taken over the whole city. The amount of green and yellow on show during the day- taxi drivers, shop assistants, kids on holiday etc etc – plus a similarly bedecked Delia beaming on every TV screen I saw gave me a grim sense of foreboding and fears of a thrashing. There was a real sense of unstoppable momentum about the place which is why, after all, the game was selected for TV coverage with us as the fall guys.
An unexpected win and great performance were made all the sweeter by the close proximity of the stunned Norwich fans demonstrating their best gormless expressions. Total joy.
And…message for John S…great to see you after all these years!

13. Harefield Hornet - 09/08/2010

Due also to being in charge of small children, having a wife who works late-shifts and the lack of Sky TV in my household, I found myself forced to listen to BBC 3CR. A couple of bottles of Fullers ESB calmed the nerves but I think in terms of anxiety, listening to games on the radio particularly with seemingly unbiased commentators, is as about as bad as it gets. The most encouraging aspect of this game was not crumbling after Norwich pulled one back early in the 2nd half. Stating the obvious, if we could keep this side for the entire season we would probably be OK, however we all know the two games a week slog will be on us soon and we definitely need additions from wherever. Fantastic result though, which will do wonders for their confidence. Aidy next!

14. rookerythoughts - 13/08/2010

A great performance, the confidence and organisation with which we began the game was a joy to behold.

After his brace against Aldershot on Tuesday Danny Graham has now scored 2 goals in each of his last 4 appearances. He’s in a rich vein and looks like he is enjoying his football. Great to see.

Hanging on to eustace was always going to be important and I think this game highlighted that. His goal and all round contribution was immense. He was also seen to be having the odd quiet word with the referee. I’m not one for bleating in officials ears, but I think it does show we have a worldly-wise captain in JE and considering the lack of experience elsewhere in the squad, this will be invaluable.

Buckley and mcGinn showed huge promise as did Sordell. The defence got pulled out of position a few times and the goals seemed to come a bit easily, but, hey, this is Watford…

All in all a great night, made all the better by Jacqui Oatley mentioning the ‘From the Rookery End’ podcast on her Radio 5 live commentary!

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