It's East Anglian Derby Day in Norfolk this Coming Sunday
Published date: February 2019
Sunday 10th February 2019 is Derby Day, one of the biggest and most important dates in the footballing calendar for Norwich City and Ipswich Town players and supporters. Having drawn 1-1 at Ipswich in September 2018, the Canaries are hoping for a win when they welcome their biggest rivals this coming weekend.
The gap between the two teams couldn’t be bigger, with Norwich City sitting proudly at the top of the Championship table and Ipswich Town in relegation position at rock bottom. On paper the Canaries look certain to beat their struggling rivals, but league placing goes out of the window on derby day; the team most hungry for the win will be victorious.
This sell out game at Carrow Road is sure to be entertaining and the travelling Tractor Boys will be treated to a packed stadium, something they are not used to experiencing at Portman Road. The Barclay and Snake Pit will be in fine voice as always; hopefully the rest of the ground will also join in, as long as they are given something to cheer about on the pitch.
In recent years Norwich City have won the lion’s share of East Anglian derby games, both at home and at Portman Road. City are odds on favourites to win - 9:2 and taking into account their current form, a 9-2 win to Norwich isn’t impossible. Imagine that!
Daniel Farke, Norwich City’s head coach, has demonstrated his leadership abilities and has a young team of players who are hungry, talented and proud to play under his guidance. The cost of the team in footballing terms is very low, with players coming on free transfers, from the German leagues and through the academy. Farke has shown that you don’t need expensive players to be a successful club, but unity, hard work and a desire to succeed as a team can get you to the top of the table.
Paul Lambert will no doubt feel the wrath of the Barclay this coming Sunday. Once a Norwich City hero, leading Norwich to Premiere League promotion in 2011, Lambert has fallen from grace with a bump. Some don’t blame him for taking on the role of Ipswich Town manager, a struggling club that was seeking a replacement for Paul Hurst. Lambert’s career had nosedived in recent years with below average stints at Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Wolves, and Stoke before joining Ipswich Town. Cynics amongst us could say they were a good fit, both lacking quality, good performances and with plenty of room for improvement. Sadly, for club and manager, nothing has improved since his appointment.
There have been several articles written in the local press about whether it’s right to boo Paul Lambert on Sunday, a man who did so much for the club during his time as Norwich City manager. Unfortunately for him, supporters have short memories and at 12pm on Sunday 10th February 2019 Paul Lambert will be in charge of the team NCFC supporters loathe the most. A hostile reception from the home crowd is inevitable but maybe we should be thanking Paul Lambert for keeping the Tractor Boys at the bottom end of the table? Since taking on the role in October 2018, Ipswich Town remain in relegation position, with a drop to the lower tier looking unavoidable. Maybe Paul Lambert does in fact deserve praise on Sunday from the City faithful for his sterling efforts?
Some Norwich City fans say it’s too early to dream of playing in the Premier League, but what’s the harm in dreaming? This season has been amazing for Canary fans and a win against Ipswich Town would be the icing on the cake. However, if NCFC were to get promoted and the current team were to remain largely intact, playing in the Premier League could be a whole different ball game from what has been witnessed this season. Unfortunately, Norwich City FC is a relatively small club, with limited financial resources and surviving in the Premier League without largescale investment seems unlikely. Whilst Delia and Michael have served the club well, have invested what they can and been stalwart supporters come rain or shine, a large investor could be the answer to Norwich City’s top flight survival. If Norwich City’s future is in the Premier League, it seems impossible to think they could survive there for long without considerable investment. Sadly, a bounce back down to the Championship would seem inevitable without an injection of cash to build on and improve what is a first-class Championship squad. It’s a great club with a loyal following of fans but unfortunately that alone may not keep them in the Premier League for long. Anyone know of any billionaires looking to invest in a football club?
The talent within the Norwich City team is immense, their quality, unity and determination against Leeds United was at times like watching Barcelona v Real Madrid. If they play like that on Sunday, Paul Lambert and Town’s supporters will be wanting to catch the early train home. However, both teams are sure to bring their A-game, playing for history, pride and bragging rights. Daniel Farke and Paul Lambert along with both sets of teams and supporters will want to be victorious. League positions become insignificant, it is sure to be a hard-fought battle full of rivalry, passion, tears and sweat.
Norwich City supporters can purchase a limited-edition scarf ahead of the East Anglian derby game on Sunday. The “All Together Now” scarves are priced at £5, with £1 going directly to the fan-driven crowd funder which is raising money for flags and banners inside the ground. Fans are encouraged to hold these and all other Norwich City scarves and flags high in the air prior to kick-off and during the rendition of the oldest football song in the world "On The Ball City". Also £1 from each 116-page matchday NCFC programme will be donated to the crowd funder.
May the best team win - COYY!