Hello, Canaries Supporters! It's been a while since I've written to you. January's always the month I go on a writing hiatus. During the time off from writing, I've been pleased with NCFC performance in both the Premier League and FA Cup.
I've routinely joined the NY Canaries at the Football Factory at Legends here in New York City where we've had a fabulous time interacting with other Canaries Supporters from Norwich City and watched our matches with great enthusiasm.
While the talk of the Premier League may have been about Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Manchester United's Patrice Evra pre-match and post-match encounters, the only thing that really concerned us on Saturday was Norwich City earning three points and moving up to eighth place as a result.
For the first time since 1962, Norwich City rallied to win 3-2 on the road against Swansea. In addition, Norwich joined Manchester United as they became the second the Premier League club to win in Liberty Stadium this season.
Despite the absence of Zak Whitbread and Daniel Ayala, who were both out of Saturday's contest due to hamstring injuries, the Canaries continue to demonstrate the grit and determination necessary in order to compete in the Premier League.
After being down 1-0 in the first half thanks to Swansea's Danny Graham goal in the 23rd minute, Norwich produced two goals in the first six minutes of the second half.
Leading the charge for Norwich City were Grant Holt, Anthony Pilkington and GK John Ruddy. Holt's goal in 47th minute leveled the match and, four minutes later, the Canaries took a 2-1 lead thanks to Anthony Pilkington's goal. Then in the 63rd minute, Holt scored his second goal of the match to give Norwich a 3-1 lead. After allowing a goal, John Ruddy was able to regain his form and play his position in the manner that he's recognized for. While he may not garner the attention of other Premier League goalkeepers, Ruddy is a top-five goalkeeper in saves. Time after time, he has demonstrated his ability to compete against the best clubs in the Premier League.
Despite the lead, Swansea would not go away quietly. Regardless of the three goals allowed by Swansea GK Michel Vorm, he played a tremendous game. By making six critical and well-timed saves, Vorm did everything in his power to prevent Norwich from scoring any more goals.
Complementing him was Danny Graham, who scored two goals and came close to producing a hat trick that would have possibly prevented Swansea from suffering their second home loss of the season.
Unable to equalize the match with five minutes of stoppage, Swansea ultimately fell 3-2 to the Canaries in front of their home crowd.
As a result of Saturday's outcome, the Canaries for the time this season have more wins than draws or losses with their 9-8-8 record. Next up for the Canaries is their FC Cup encounter against Leicester City on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at Carrow Road.
Then on Sunday, February 26, 2012, they will stay at home where they will square off against Manchester United. With Manchester currently holding the top spot (prior to Manchester City's match against Aston Villa), Norwich City will have the opportunity to earn their first win against a top-five club in the Premier League.
While it's obvious that the Canaries will not win the Premier League this season, they will have the opportunity to disrupt Manchester United's chances with a win or tie. It's well documented that Norwich City is a club that is usually at a statistical disadvantage. Even though their style of football may not be as flashy compared to other clubs, it's effective. When it's said and done, Norwich City is one of the few clubs in the Premier League who have the discipline and mental toughness to compete against anyone. Just as important, they're a club who have demonstrated they can score late in tight matches.
What will Paul Lambert have in store against both Leicester City and Manchester United? How many goals will Norwich City be able to produce? How will John Ruddy and Grant Holt play? How will the Canaries match up defensively against the powerhouse Manchester United?
While the questions are here today, the answers will be available in the upcoming weeks.
Other Premier League Results from the Weekend
Manchester United won 2-1 over Liverpool.
Manchester City won 1-0 over Aston Villa.
Cesar Diaz is a freelance copywriter & journalist who specializes in soccer coverage. If there's a soccer topic you believe that needs to be written about, please feel free to contact him. Easily accessible, you may contact him at CoveringSoccer@gmail.com and @CoveringSoccer.