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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Norwich fans feeling sick as a Canary

Norwich City 1-7 Colchester United

It's one thing to get a bit angry and shout abuse onto the field of play, but Bryan Gunn must be feeling rock bottom after one of Norwich City's 19,000 season ticket holders ran onto the pitch and threw his expensive ticket in the manager's face on the very first day of the season.

Mind you, for Canaries fans it can't have been very palatable to lose in such convincing style at home to local rivals Colchester. You just wonder whether the taste of this match is going to come back and haunt them all season or provide a wake-up call to the side that they have to pull their socks up. I know what my money's on.

Norwich fans are unhappy with manager Gunn

So often when teams try to adapt to life in a new division they make lots of changes. Since being appointed Bryan Gunn has brought in 11 players on permanent deals, perhaps with the effect of completely ruining any cohesion the East Anglian side had.

Bringing in players with questionable motivation like Simon Whaley certainly won't help their workrate, but you have to say that the core of the Norwich side looks good - at least on paper. So what happened? Was it all Norwich's fault or were Colchester simply too good? It's hard to say.

The verve and efficiency that Colchester demonstrated in eradicating their opposition suggests they're going to be a force to be reckoned with - but then again, I remember Preston being beaten at home by Gillingham on the first day of the season a few years ago by five goals to one.

That was a season in which we ultimately went on to just miss out on the play-offs under the departing boss David Moyes. My point being, you have to be careful how much you read into these games.

Leagues have a tendency to look a little upside-down at the start of the season, when the big names have trouble getting up to speed and the opportunistic tighter-knitted squads prove they can gel more effectively.

But when you look at two teams like Norwich and Colchester, you wouldn't expect to see that much between them. Certainly you wouldn't expect a 7-1 scoreline. Norwich have to get their act together and fast, otherwise they're going to stay right down there at the bottom of League One.

And if that happens, God knows what will happen to what were once a great English side.


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