So there we have it. The script delivered. Daniel Farke triumphant. Norwich City victorious. The status quo retained. The Norfolk bragging rights intact. This was the East Anglian derby that threatened to end City’s superiority. And the one that saw Town’s inferiority continue.
It’s a familiar story. Ipswich give their all against a superior Norwich side. But Town came up short. Norwich come away with 3 points.
One Ipswich fan on their little message board described it thus: ‘We’re just an annoying little fly when it comes to that lot up the road. Twice a year we buzz around them making a bit of a nuisance, but they just swat us away and walk off with 3 points.‘
It’s a well-worn pattern and one City supporters will hope continues longer than the nine matches it already spans.
Quality wins the day, but City are better to a man
Despite being a matchup between a team on the up and a team in freefall after some early optimism, this was a match that was settled by a moment of quality from the best player on the pitch – James Maddison.
It’s already been discussed on this blog just how good Maddison is, and how good he can be. He’s a player heading for the very top. But, as Nelson Oliveira said in the pre-match sparring, the young Coventrian is not the only player in this City side who has talent.
We ARE better than them. We DO have better players than them. And we ARE a better club than them.
Angus Gunn is following in his father’s footsteps and like Gunn Snr is well on his way to becoming a Norwich legend. Whatever league City are in next season, their goalkeeper will have big boots to fill if Gunn’s loan is not made permanent.
Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann have formed a great partnership, with Ivo Pinto settling into the Captain’s role as if he were made for the position.
In midfield, Tom Trybull has become a fan’s favourite, while Harrison Reed’s improving form has meant the loss of Alex Tettey is not proving as difficult as first feared. Yanic Wildschut and Josh Murphy provide pace, if dubious end product; Wes Hoolahan the same quality he’s served the Carrow Road faithful for the past decade.
Up front, Nelson Oliveira is star quality, but the work of Cameron Jerome is vastly underrated. He put in another tireless shift yesterday, constantly running the Ipswich back line, keeping them honest.
He may not have fitted perfectly into Daniel Farke’s preferred initial game plan. But he’s become an essential cog in its latest incarnation. Yes, he may miss chances. But he’s a player that would be the standout performer in this Ipswich Town side. And in many other Championship XIs too.
We’re lucky to have him, and like Russell Martin, who sat with the away fans at Portman Road, should treat him with the respect his efforts deserve.
A moment of magic from Madders
For all City’s superiority in terms of quality, there was only one man who could be Man of the Match on Sunday. Their Jewel in the crown. Their midfield magician. Their number 23.
Sometimes words just can’t do an action justice. So here’s James Maddison’s wand of a right foot in action again.
Is that a tinge of sympathy?..
Perhaps it’s because, being born in Newmarket, I could’ve just as easily been a Binner than a Canary. Or perhaps the lack of a real challenge makes these challenges a tinge boring nowadays. But I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Town fans. Having to watch that brand of football is one thing. Knowing they need to play that way to survive in this division another. Debating the merits of relegation just for a change of scenery after 16 years in the Championship kind of tragic. Still believing they’re a bigger club than City despite not beating us since 2009. Pitiful.
Nah, fuck that. I loved every bit of yesterday. I’ve loved every bit of bettering them for the past eight years. And I loved that stupid flag they held up before the game.
Shadow? Whose shadow. Ipswich Town is it dark in there?..