A Tale of Two Cities!
Feature by John Maiden
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2012
"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times."
This profound statement was used by Charles Dickens to set the scene for “A Tale of Two Cities” and it seems equally appropriate when describing the mixed fortunes of Norwich City in Easter Week.
On Easter Monday the Canaries beat Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane, despite the fact that referee, Michael Oliver failed to award a penalty when it was clear to everyone in the stadium, or watching on television, that first Grant Holt, then Aaron Wilbraham were on the receiving end of blatant foul play.
This was clearly the best of times for Norwich City, but six days later Manchester City came to Carrow Road and inflicted a 6-1 defeat on the Canaries.
This might have been the worst of times had it not been for the Canary fans applauding their team off the pitch at the final whistle in appreciation of the effort put in by the players, not just in the game they had just witnessed, but throughout the season.
Perhaps they also called to mind the 7-1 defeat inflicted by Colchester United at Carrow Road on the opening day of the 2009/10 season and reflected on just how far the club has progressed since that time.
Within days of that setback – which may be seen as a blessing in disguise – Paul Lambert had left Colchester to become manager of Norwich. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. His achievement in taking Norwich from League One to mid-table in the Premier League is made all the more remarkable when one compares the vast sums of money available to Roberto Mancini for transfers and wages, with the modest budget at the disposal of Paul Lambert.
At the time of compiling these notes there are still four games to play, but while Canary fans enjoy the best of times, by simply surviving in the top flight for another season; it will probably feel like the worst of times for Manchester City fans if they finish second in the title race behind Manchester United!