It's now time for the derby after the Derby. That's right, it's the second leg of the derby. Not the one against Derby, but the one against Ipswich. Confused? Fear not, the LYBP team explain all ahead of the big, scary match that Ipswich will surely finally win.
Here we go again. Derby time. The stomach churning-heart pumping-will it be this time-we’re going to thrash them-please God let it be over-Mind the Gap derby.
Except there is no gap. None. The table dictates there is nothing to separate the Pride of Anglia from the pretenders; 31 games gone and locked together in mid-table averageness, though the journey to get to this utopia has been a rather different experience for each side. City’s season so far has gone in cycles of form, with several great runs interspersed with backward steps, and they arrive at this point having found a good rhythm at the right time. Ipswich, however, have been consistently inconsistent. After giving Town fans fans false hope - and Norwich fans false horror - with a five game winning streak at the start of the season, Ipswich have reverted to type and managed to get back to back wins just once since, unable to gather any momentum, in any direction.
After a solid win away at Sunderland, last weekend’s bore draw with rock bottom Burton was described by Mick McCarthy as Ipswich’s worst performance of the season. The home team were incapable of getting a shot on target until the 85th minute, and the small gathering of fans united with their neighbouring blue seats in aiming their despair towards Big Mick.
But for all our quips at their dwindling crowds and struggles, their despair is hardly surprising when being served up Championship averageness for the 16th year; Norwich fans can’t even cope with it for two. With the budget Multi-Millionaire Marcus allows Mick McCarthy, it is an achievement in itself that they have maintained some sort of equilibrium. And yes, that is faint praise for our dear neighbours. Barely a penny has been spent on bringing in new players yet they continue to win enough games to be ‘ok’. Ipswich are a battle-hardened Championship team, possibly the most experienced Championship team in history. And for all Norwich’s thrilling roller coaster rides through the leagues and nine years of POA joy, we are currently equals.
The fact that Ipswich come into this after their worst performance, and we arrive off the back of one of our best against a high flying Derby, should mean City go into this with confidence. But, of course, it is difficult to feel anything other than fear. Although younger Norwich fans may find it a little perplexing (any under the age of nine have no comprehension of it whatsoever), form is supposed to go out the window in a derby. Many of us are old enough to remember the pain of defeat. Memories linger long in our minds; of bobbles on pitches, of John Wark’s stupid mustachioed smile, of ‘their’ demolition derby. Ipswich really are due one. Please God don’t let it be this time. And please, just hurry up and be over.
Fun. Ipswich? I’m sorry; I have no idea what this concept is.
CT: Cold hard statistics dictate that Norwich are in much finer form than Ipswich. But in derby times this matters little. Carrow Road has been less than fortressey this season, and Ipswich seem fairly decent on the road. I hope statistics win out, and the A140 road trip is less than decent, but the truth is none of us really know, and don’t particularly want to guess. I’m going to sit on the fence because my superstitious tendencies will not allow frivolous optimism in such times as these.
Clare Calculates: A draw (by which I mean I hope we thrash the blue and white pants off them) The North-folk 1-1 The South-folk.
RJ: Big Mick has never won an East Anglian derby and this seems like this will be his last chance. Despite his current job, I can’t bring myself to dislike the man. And despite most Town fans’ feelings towards him, he’s done a good job with what he’s had to work with I reckon. It will be interesting to see what happens to them when he goes. That said, my feelings towards him don’t extend to hoping he gets that elusive win. The bent-nosed scum twat can fuck right off. Only joking Mick m8. x
Rich Reckons: Too close to call, so I’m not going to. Stadtmensch 1 - Traktor jungen 1.
ZW: I’ll tell you now, there’s no chance I could predict that we won’t beat them. It’s against my DNA, or something like that. Don’t think I’m not terrified though, especially of the notion that they’re ‘due one’ and that ‘it has to happen sometime’. The thing is though guys, we’re playing well, the players seem to be enjoying each others’ company and we appear to have a squad of smart and emotionally intelligent blokes who understand the importance of this fixture. We’re definitely going to do them, apart from if we don’t.
Zoe Assumes: Pride of Anglia 2-0 Shame of Anglia
SW: The East Anglian derby is a bloody scary sight. Nothing like the ease and comfort of sinking into the sofa and watching some lycra-clad athletes hurtle down the side of a mountain. I hope to see Maddison doing his usual 360 spins and Hanley to be dominant in the air. We’ll be swapping icy chutes for cries of shoot and hoping our Shaun White-esque domination can continue.
Feel The Rhythm, Feel The Rhyme, Come On Norwich, It’s Derby Time! Cool Runnings!
Seb Foresees: Farke's Figure Skaters 2, Icey Ipswich 0.