I’m very glad to publish an “opposition preview” of the coming weekend’s game at Carrow Road, as Leeds travel to meet the Canaries. In the reverse fixture, we managed a narrow 1-0 win over City via a Pontus Jansson first half header. Despite Saturday’s game being meaningless as far as the league season goes, you’d imagine that Norwich will be keen to end their home season on a high by gaining revenge, especially as they say farewell to a legendary performer (and someone I for one would have liked to have seen playing for United) in Wes Hoolahan. Thanks to Charlie, one of the editors at City of Yellows, for providing this insightful match preview.
Recent defeats to high-flying Cardiff and Fulham forced fans to reflect on what might have been, and how far we still have to go. Now, the final home game of the 2017/18 season will provide a different sort of reminder – a warning. Our opponents, Leeds United, represent what Norwich City must desperately avoid as old legends move on and the ‘Farke-life’ new era continues.
Formerly one of the greatest sides in English football, a couple of uninspiring seasons quickly turned into a stagnant decade of second and third division football for Leeds United. They are now one of the most experienced cellmates currently trapped in the Championship prison; past mistakes have left them tied to mid-table, with nothing to do but remember happier times. for the Canaries symbolises Norwich leaving an exciting time in its own history behind; hopefully, we will not be punished for it as Leeds have been.
On Saturday, Carrow Road will play host to two teams sitting side-by-side in mid-table obscurity; two sets of players who have failed to fill the boots of their predecessors, and two sets of passionate fans who deserve better. Commentators and fans tried their best to put a positive spin on City’s previous 0-0 draw away at Preston, but it is one of countless score lines that reflect the Canaries’ lack of threat in attack. Leeds’ vulnerable defence, having conceded 62 goals this season, could be there for the taking – it is up to City to pleasantly surprise their fans by actually taking advantage.
Bolstered by their retention of tricky attacker Pablo Hernandez, Leeds will be determined to finish their own season on a high – if only to take their minds off a questionable upcoming post-season tour of Myanmar. With more action off the pitch than on it, you may think that Leeds fans see little promise in their future. Just one visit to Elland Road would prove you wrong: every time I have visited Elland Road, I have always admired the Leeds supporters’ refusal to have their spirit and passion quashed by boardroom shenanigans; the atmosphere they create is always palpable whatever dreadful circumstances their team find themselves in.
With Wessi waving his final goodbyes and the presentation of the Player of the Year trophy (can’t think who that’ll go to…), the match is bound to have an ‘end-of-season’ feel to it.
On paper, this result means nothing for either set of players, other than a step closer to their summer holidays. But football, of course, is not played on paper. Leeds will bring their usual spirit and grit to the game, challenging Norwich players to prove that they have the determination and passion that they claim to have whenever they are interviewed!