On Saturday, Norwich travelled to Colchester looking to avenge an opening day 7-1 defeat inflicted at Carrow Road. And boy did the Canaries get their revenge: they ran out comprehensive 5-0 winners, and could even afford to miss a penalty. Some Colchester fans may claim that they technically won 7-6 on aggregate – that missed penalty denied them the chance to bring it to 7-7 – but this was a big statement from the men in yellow.
Colchester are certainly no pushovers at home. They lie fourth in the table, and had previously lost just once at home all season. But the combination of fired-up Norwich players wanting to exact payback, combined with manager Paul Lambert not wanting to slip-up at his former club, meant for a bad day for U’s fans. It’s not often you turn up to watch your play-off chasing team on their own patch, and see them beaten 5-0.
Not so long ago Leeds and Charlton looked shoe-ins for the top two. Now, Norwich lie second in the table, boast the best goal difference in the league, and are a mere three points away from Leeds. The appointment of Lambert as manager looks a smart move indeed, stabilising a club rattled by that season opener and turning them into a side who look to play neat, attacking football.
During that 7-1 defeat back on the 8th August, two fans ran on to the pitch to show their disgust by throwing their season tickets at then-manager Bryan Gunn. Undoubtedly a stupid thing to do – regardless of the score-line, it was just one defeat, and on the opening day at that – they are no doubt regretting that decision now. In the twelve league games since Norwich have won 10, drawn 2 and lost 0, scoring a glut of goals in the process. Maybe the club picked up those tickets and posted them back to those supporters in question; maybe they’re confined to watching the results on Ceefax for the rest of the season. If the latter they’ll be kicking themselves.
In Wes Hoolahan, Chris Martin and Grant Holt, Norwich possesses arguably the best attacking triumvirate in League One. Leeds fans may argue with that, but in terms of goal-scoring ability they don’t compete with Norwich’s front trio. In all competitions, the three have 52 goals between them; compare that to the Leeds front three of Beckford/Becchio/Snodgrass, with 32 combined.
A joy to watch, and always looking capable of goals, Norwich look a very dangerous team indeed. Many of their fans will have expected them to go straight back up; the Canaries look on course to achieve that.
And, after Saturday’s impressive result, they can finally lay that opening day massacre to rest.
Written By Michael Pilcher