Things we sort of learned: Chelsea (H)

Q: Can Chelsea win at Carrow Road? A: No, they Conte. They came, they saw, they drawdered. Clare Thomas and Rich Jeffery love a Nordic crime thriller, so can’t wait to see The Bridge sequel. In the meantime, here’s what they thought of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup 3rd round tie between Norwich City and Chelsea.

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Never in doubt

Shame on you all you negative Nellies, oh ye of little faith. I don't like to brag* but I predicted a draw, and was #buzzing to be proved right. After seeing City's competent  performance at Arsenal it was clear they were not fazed by their superior opposition, and given the likelihood of multiple changes in the Chelsea team, a repeat performance was more than possible. And so it proved. It was pleasing to see Farke take the game seriously, putting virtually his strongest team out, aside from BigFoot Oliveira.

Chelsea took things less seriously, Conte even turned up in his leisurewear. Perhaps his lackadaisical attitude seeped into the psyche of the players as they seemed half asleep in the first half. That is to take nothing away from Norwich. Farke’s prefered style is perfectly geared for the Premier League - if only we could get there. The back three/five/seven were magnificent throughout. The front three also, albeit with no end product. Some of the link up play between Madders and Pritchard was seamless. They clearly enjoy playing together so let's enjoy it while it lasts. Which probably won't be long.

Chelsea, understandably, upped their game in the second half, but our defence remained resolute. So off to Stamford Bridge it is. A nice little pay day for the club. A nice little ‘home’ away game for me. I've no doubt we will get tonked this time, but if Conte turns up in his trackies again who knows? Anything is possible. CT

*this is a lie.

Three’s Company

We were treated to a back three yesterday with Timm, Zimm & Han (not) Solo. In which they were all immense, none more so than Zimm, though I thought Hanley looked like the natural leader out of the trio.

It worked very well, allowing Pinto & Lewis to bomb on and give us the natural width we often lack and also covered for Pinto’s weakness. Defending.

It was odd to see the big lads out on the touchline at times but it worked, we were very hard to get through and one feels that we may well see this formation again before very long. Possibly even as soon as Bristol City away.

With Franke out on loan, it may also mean that Raggett will stay with us.

It was great to see a clearly conceived and worked on plan come together against a top team. RJ

Forced atmosphere

Funny isn't it? Put the Champions of England on the pitch, watch our team put in a spirited performance...and the atmosphere raises. It's hardly surprising Carrow Road is a bit flat these days. We have gone from virtually ten years of fighting for promotions and against relegations every season, to mid-table of the Championship for the last two.

Many fans started attending during the heady days of Lambert, Holt and Premier League opposition. It was exciting. Fighting for 13th place in the Championship is not. We are human beings, and our emotions reflect what is happening on the pitch.

And yesterday it was good. CT

Alexander Banor Tettey

The Tettey-Tommy Trybull tandem is a thing of wonder, and not just for its alliterative potential.

They were both immense yesterday and Tettey deservedly got the man of the match award. Tommy did actually give the ball away, the startling exception that proves the rule.

I love Tettey, I always have from the day he walked in and I always will. From his smile, to his perky hair and the way he bounces around the pitch he puts me in mind of an eager puppy gamboling around the garden.

I know his contract is up at the end of this season, that our finances may dictate he has to go, and we have Godfrey and Thompson to compete for his role.

But he seems to be in his very best form again at the moment, and I’d love us to somehow manage to hang on to him for another couple of seasons.

If not at least give us one more long range thunderbastard Alex, please. RJ

Jamazing Jamal

Back in the hazy days of summer, when we were all in a flap about the fact we had no left back, it was mooted that the coaches had identified an academy player to fill that role. Let's be honest, it was probably the first time many of us had heard Jamal Lewis’ name - I know I was guilty of a ‘who?!’ - but we most certainly know it now. It's just a shame injury meant we had to wait this long to find out.

His performance against Chelsea was immaculate; not only was his football impressive, but his mentality also. Seeing a 19 year old with just four professional games to his name, having the confidence to organise an experienced defence, shouting orders and waving them into positions, was just splendid. We've some talent on our hands. Let's keep a tight grasp. CT

New Faces

There were only a handful of our regular match day compadres in our vicinity yesterday. Our usual neighbours may of course have just sat elsewhere, though I doubt it, I’m fairly sure they gave the game a swerve.

Instead we were surrounded, and surrounded we were, by lots of new faces. A lot of them were Mums and Dads, with their half-and-half scarf sporting kids. There was lots of selfie taking going on, it was clear that this was the first live game for many of these kids.

It was nice to see a lot of potential future fans in attendance. There were a few Chelsea fans dotted around I’m sure, but for us to achieve a crowd of 23,000+ with a great many season ticket holders not going and the game being live on Jake TV™ is a positive thing.

A great many of those kids were, I’m sure, more familiar with Hazard and Luiz than Pritchard and Lewis but that’s OK, that’s modern football and will change over time.

The fact that the atmosphere was half decent also just goes to show that a rousing performance will have the desired effect and it’s encouraging that a crowd with so many non-regular attendees made some noise.

Are some of these people priced out normally? Was it partly also down to there being longer to sup a few liveners than usual? I don’t know.

Whatever, Saturday was great and it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.

Apart from the half-and-half scarves, they can get to fuck. RJ