I have been so obsessed with food of late that I have forgotten my responsibility to mock my resident ‘grieving fan‘ on their local team hitting rock bottom in the Premier League. What makes matters worse for the poor soul is the clash of sports, with Cardiff City at home to Norwich City at the same time as the rugby international at the Millenium Stadium with Wales hosting Italy. From what I can see the wallet has triumphed over the heart, as the use of a pre-paid season ticket to watch the tedium of two teams who can hardly score a goal, yet both seem happy to let them in (surely a nailed-on 0-0) triumphs over the possibility of watching pure passion for free on the TV.
The Cardiff City Stadium prepares to ramp up the levels of boredom to new heights, with Norwich taking about 30 attempts on goal without scoring, in the corresponding match at their ground earlier in the season. Though they did get the ball in the net by cheating, which was fortunately disallowed. The match promises as much excitement as watching a canary slowly choking to death in a coalmine… a fitting analogy, as Norwich City are known as the Canaries, though God only knows why (actually it is after 16th century European refugees); and South Wales is known for its coalmines, though finding one these days is a bit like witnessing goalscoring chances for the Bluebirds.
Tantalisingly for me, it’s yet another footballing ‘battle of the birds’, and all I get is to comment from afar. Let me at them and there just might be some excitement at the match today. But for now it is 3.00pm on a damp February Saturday afternoon, and the Bluebirds are wondering where to find any Canaries, whilst the disguised canaries stare perilously into the coalmine:
The Bluebirds have new faces from the January transfer window are flocking all over the place without seemingly working as a team.
The Canaries celebrate with a simple goal against a ragged Bluebirds defence. An inconsequential first half ends CARDIFF CITY 0 NORWICH CITY 1.
The home birds start the second half with a Norwegian flea in the ear (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the new manager), and the proverbial ‘game of two halves’ is about to unfold.
You can’t miss from there, and on 49 minutes local boy Craig Bellamy obliges with an equalising goal.
Nice goal celebration Craig. Yet a mere minute later and it’s new boy Kenwyne Jones showing the fans a different perspective on the Cardiff City Stadium:
As the match enters the final 20 minutes an all-too-familiar pattern emerges for the home fans as their team sits back and invites the opposition to launch wave after wave of attacks.
With the help of a tiring home team, the Canaries seem to have found renewed energy from somewhere.
My resident ‘panic merchant‘ tells me it only takes a short memory in these parts to remember Bluebirds on course for a nasty collision if they don’t sustain their need to attack. But on this occasion they desperately hold out, and with great home sighs of relief…
… it is the away team that has to look at its frequent inability to take their chances. As the final whistle blows, it is a time for Bluebird celebrations, and for Canaries to hang their heads in defeat.
2 v. 1
So much for my prediction of 0-0. Until we speak again my ‘desperate optimist‘ will hang on to any morsels of success, but I have been a frustrated Juno… so many birds on display and all I can do is observe from a distance. In the meantime, my ‘anti-stereotyping consultant‘ just congratulated me on a post about Norwich City with not a single mention of Delia Smith, Colman’s Mustard or that everyone looked the same… oops!
[Some of the images in this post just might have been copied from google images (and BBC Sport)… many thanks to those of you posting images that support my stories].