Last Time We Met...Norwich City
Norwich City had a hard time in 2008/9 the club were relegated to League One with Burnley of course going in the opposite direction to face a season in the Premier League. In just one season though, Norwich had been promoted back to the Championship as League One champions, despite a terrible start to their campaign. The Clarets sadly did it the other way round; they started well in the Premier League even beating Manchester United 1-0 at home before running out of steam after the Coyle debacle and being relegated after just one season in the top flight.
So now the two clubs face up to each other again in a Championship clash at Carrow Road this Saturday but we recall the matches we played against the Canaries during 2008/9.
Our first fixture against them that season was at Turf Moor played just over two years ago on Saturday 1st November 2008 in front of just 11,353 fans. Only about two mini-bus loads of Canaries fans made the long trek from East Anglia. That was probably mainly due to the distance but the club were also struggling in the bottom half of the table under manager, Glenn Roeder and his days were numbered. Norwich were 18th going into this match and Glen Roeder`s men had only won one game away all season.
Owen Coyle decided to drop Martin Paterson to the bench despite a 100% record in the starting eleven up until then.
We lined up as follows:
Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, Gudjonsson, McCann, Blake, Thompson
Subs: Penny, Duff, McDonald, Paterson, Rodriguez
A brace of goals by the preying Chris Eagles in the second half were enough to secure an easy victory. The Clarets dominance was so great, it could easily have been 3-0 at half-time and a rugby score by the end but Clarets fans had to be content with just the two, and generally were!
Goal Number One-54 Minutes: After what had seemed an eternity to get the lead.Blake found McCann with some clever play and the midfielder went on a mazy run getting in a neat through pass to Eagles. He made no mistake scoring; slotting the ball through the Canaries keeper`s legs
Goal Number Two-60 Minutes: A few minutes later and Eagles had his brace after Alexander was on the ball taking a quick free kick to find Blake with Norwich sleep-walking. Robbie found Eagles who had run a full 60 yards to slot home from just inside the box.
The result left the Clarets looking good in 4th place and by the time we played Norwich City again this time at Carrow Road, we were still well-placed for a play-offs spot in 7th but by now things had got a lot tighter with points far more critical.
The match at Carrow Road took place on Saturday 21st February 2009 and there were high expectations of a Clarets victory with Norwich still struggling third from bottom. Roeder had been sacked in January to be replaced by Bryan Gunn but there had been no significant improvement in their form.
This game though proved to be a total shocker for the Clarets despite earning a point in a 1-1 draw. We were simply woeful. So bad in fact Coyle said after the match:
'I thought it would have been a travesty if we had won.'
We lined up as follows for this clash:
Jensen, Williams, Duff, Caldwell, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Paterson, Thompson, Blake
Subs: Penny, Gudjonsson, McDonald, Eagles, Rodriguez
It was the Clarets too who started the brighter.
The home side though got their first opportunity after 15 minutes when Wes Hoolahan involved in a clever one-two on the edge of the box was advancing towards Jensen before Elliott cut out the danger. Six minutes later however and the Canaries were ahead. The Clarets defence was at fault for not handling the danger posed by Fotheringham charging down the right wing and has he pulled the ball back, Cureton was in the right place ten yards out to get in a right footed shot to beat Jensen and put Norwich 1-0 up.
The Canaries now had their tails up looking to double their lead with John Otsemobor in midfield causing all sorts of problems for the Clarets.
Burnley though eventually showed some signs of recovery and in the 36th minute their efforts were rewarded with an equaliser. Blake got in a crafty reverse pass to set up Paterson homing in on goal. Paterson let rip but his shot could only be parried away by the Canaries keeper and the ball fell nicely to Thompson to get one of his infamous poacher`s goals.
Now was the time we should have punished Norwich, the equaliser had knocked the stuffing out of them but we just could not seem to make the pressure count with our midfield wasting so many chances in the build-up. Chris McCann in particular was having a poor game, Blake was having an off-day and Pato`s first touch had deserted him. 1-1 then at half-time
In the second half, our play just got worse. We looked jaded and lacklustre and if anybody was going to score it was the Canaries. They probably would have had they not been a side staring relegation in the face. Luckily for the Clarets, Norwich looked a very poor side to be honest. Their only ammunition appeared to be lobbed balls into the box with most easily dealt with by Jensen and the back four.
A point in the end then but a Clarets performance that simply just was not good enough
You can read more about these games if you want to by clicking these links from our Match Report archive:
Eagles 2, Canaries 0
Just Not Good Enough Burnley