Norwich City: The People's Club
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Norwich City: The People's Club

The Canaries concluded a remarkable season with promotion to the Premier League.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

"Hiya, how are you?"

"Not bad thanks, yourself?"

"Yeh, that was good wasn't it? Premier League, hey?"

"Premier League".

That was the conversation taking place between two Norwich City fans as they departed from Carrow Road on Saturday evening, less than an hour after their unlikely promotion back to the Premier League.

Whether the momentous achievement had still not sunk in or the late evening was beginning to take its toll, such a reserved and calm conversation underpinned the entire feeling around the club.

There was no shouting from the rooftops, instead a side certainly proud of what they had achieved but a side content in their belief that this is just the start of what could be.

A club ready to make their mark on the top-flight. A club that will pick up plenty of respect along their way.

A kindred spirit

Before kick-off there was a sense of disbelief combined with that calm aura. There was no loud chanting or drunk followers pounding the streets. Instead, thousands of knowledgable spectators, discussing what they were expecting to unfold in front of them.

Fans of all ages nurturing the family feel of the club, it was quite a spectacle to see the yellow and green shirts line the streets beneath a backdrop of Norwich flags hanging from nearby houses and flats. This was about more than a squad of 25 players, it was about a community.

Around the ground, you would be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming set of staff. The warm nature was as bright as the colour Norwich play in.

Real fans

Yet the noise inside Carrow Road was incredible. The vocal support from the singing corner of the ground never dwindled throughout the 90 minutes.

A series of Norwich flags combined with larger ones depicting each country their foreign imports had arrived from added to the atmosphere.

This was about supporting, not following your club - a big difference between the two in modern football. Even substitutes Jordan Rhodes and Timm Klose were sucked into the atmosphere, playing to the crowd as they danced around the corner flag whilst warming up with 70 minutes on the clock.

Football Heaven

The crowd feed off what they see in front of them and Norwich have played 'cheerful' football all season. In Emi Buendia they have a wizard with the ball. At Carrow Road they describe him as 'football heaven' and you can see why. The former Getafe midfielder ran the show but his touch was exquisite. One dribble forward was particularly eye-catching, the ball glued to his feet, as was a cheeky nutmeg that the Argentine disguised as the most natural thing in the world.

The workrate in the squad is unquestionable. Teemu Pukki is the league's top goalscorer with 28 goals but he chases down every single ball. The Finn was an unknown free transfer before joining the Canaries. Pukki is supported by Marco Stiepermann, an unlikely number ten at 6 foot 3 but a master with the ball at his feet. He is also one of very few attacking midfielders willing to do the ugly part of the game.

Full-backs Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons look like seasoned pros despite only recently graduating from the Academy. Their energy and flair on the ball is incredible and they are both capable of becoming international regulars for years to come. The way Lewis links up with Onel Hernandez on the left is exquisite, a frightening sight for any Premier League right-back.

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Organised at the back

Defensive midfielders Tom Trybull and Kenny McLean hold it altogether. Even when the former was injured on Saturday, Mario Vrancic stepped in for just his 13th start of the season...and scored his ninth goal. An absolute wonder strike from range.

And at the back, captain and man mountain Christoph Zimmerman alongside Ben Godfrey, not so long ago playing non-league football for York City, two of the most organised central defenders you will find anywhere in England.

Yet this team that seems to have the perfect set of ingredients was formulated with minimal expenditure. This time, last year, Norwich had severe financial difficulties, resulting in the sale of their best player, James Maddison. Their starting eleven on Saturday cost just £4.1 million with ever-present goalkeeper Tim Krul the only player with Premier League experience.

Improved business model

An impressive business model put together in recent months was the baby of Sporting Director, Stuart Webber, a major factor in the success of Huddersfield Town two years ago.

Combined with the tactical nous of Daniel Farke, they are a recruitment match made in heaven. Farke himself personifies likeability and could easily pass as a Hollywood hero.

Up in the stands, joint majority shareholder Delia Smith is another much loved character. She will forever be remembered for that "let's be having you moment" but she breeds positivity in a club that sweats it.

Norwich City are a club of the people. A club that will make an impact on the Premier League in 2019/20. A club on the rise.

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