Author Topic: RAWK Advent Calendar #3. Matches with meaning: Norwich City v Liverpool FC, 2012  (Read 6260 times)

Offline JerseyKloppite

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How naïve.

I assumed that Norwich would be an easy journey, a quick train, at least in comparison to slogging it from London to Liverpool. I was wrong. Sitting nervously with a couple of fellow reds on our way to Norfolk, discussing the game and the (relatively) new boss.

We were optimistic, though looking back I'm not entirely sure why. Rodgers had promised a return to The Liverpool Way; a passing game made of up fluid, attacking football. Our league form suggested however that these new methods were taking their time to settle in. Defeats against West Brom and Arsenal had been uninspiring to say the least (the latter watched surreptitiously in a Montenegrin bar on a very short honeymoon). Draws against Man City and Sunderland had also left us frustrated (the former on my wedding day itself – our contact at the venue subtly updating me as to events unfolding at Anfield during the meal).

Worst of all, the most jarring of experiences, a home defeat against Man United, Shelvey's contentious red card setting the tone for an unpleasant 90 minutes where Liverpool worked hard but were undone, not least by some questionable refereeing. I'd been in the Kop – emotions ran high following remembrance of the 96 before the kick-off (the occasion being the first game at Anfield since the Hillsborough report), but the match made painful watching at times, and the compelling feeling at the final whistle was one of disappointment.

Two points from 15 was not how Brendan Rodgers would have wanted to start his first league campaign with Liverpool, but there were still reasons to be hopeful. We chatted about injustices and bad luck as our train pulled into Cambridge – City's second at Anfield, the Shelvey red card, the Valencia dive – and how we were unlucky not to have had a few more points in a difficult set of fixtuers. We chatted about transfer activity as the carriage filled up on its way through the Fens – happy to see the likes of Adam (and later Cole!) moved on, but wondering (still!) about letting Aquilani, Maxi, Kuyt and Bellamy go. Promising new players though had been woven into the group, namely Borini and Allen, with Sahin added to the line-up after a transfer tussle with Arsenal.

We thought we could win, that's for certain. In April, Suarez had scored a wonderful hat-trick at Carrow Road, and with him in the side anything was possible. After turbulent times, we concurred that this was an opportunity to get the ball rolling.
Having collected our tickets from the Holiday Inn (courtesy of the RAWK exchange – my fellow reds were relieved to say the least that the tickets were accounted for, having relied heavily on my promises of 'a guy from RAWK' and having handed over north of £50), there was only one place to go before the match – The Compleat Angler. Full of reds in full voice, the Dalglish songs still belted out with some hurt after the events of the summer. It was here that I had my first ever real-life encounter with a fellow RAWKite, one Karl aka SirHarvestFields. We were on the way out when we bumped into him, myself quickly identified as 'the speccy one with Lucas on his shirt' and Karl identified… well, it wasn’t hard. After a quick chat we headed for Carrow Road.

Queuing up outside I witnessed a fine example of quick thinking. A fellow red who was 19 if he was a day trying to persuade the groundstaff he was entitled to enter with his child's ticket. Why, they asked, was he holding a pint in a plastic glass if he was under 16? "My dad gave it to me…" he mumbled "… but he's gone now. And I don't have any ID." It's credit to the City staff that they let him in anyway!



The away fans were in fine voice as we settled down before kick off in the afternoon sun. Chants about Suarez, Dalglish, Maggie and, of course, the 96 filled the East Anglian air as the team news was read out. Starts for Wisdom, Sterling and Suso? Wary glances were exchanged at the risky selection, but they were excited ones too, Liverpool fans desperate for a new group of talented players to break through into a first team that hadn't experienced much luck in this regard since Steven Gerrard did so almost 15 years earlier.

And what a start! Liverpool buzzed with a frenetic energy as Suarez opened the scoring after two minutes, drilling in a shot from the edge of the box. The din from the travelling Kop grew as the home fans were momentarily stunned, though to give them their credit they tried hard to cajole their team back into the game. End to end football followed, both teams having fine chances to score, Reina saving wonderfully from Simeon Jackson, who volleyed wide soon after. The temperature rose when Suarez was hauled down by Leon Barnett when clean through on goal – a woeful decision which rightfully earned the ire of Liverpool's supporters.

Suarez was again the centre of attention as he dashed through, clean on goal, only to fire wide. The Norwich fans in full voice now, a chorus of "Luis Suarez – you know what you are!" If it affected him, it was not in the way the Barclay stand had hoped. Fully aware as a poor goal kick caught Michael Turner half asleep, he robbed the centre back and curled a beautiful effort past Ruddy with the outside of his boot, leaping into the air before the elated away fans. "Luis Suarez – you know what you are!" they responded.

2-0 up at half time, a cause for optimism and a game to be enjoyed. Wisdom was moving up and down the line like a tank, Sahin and Allen controlling affairs superbly in the middle, Suso adding flair and Sterling pace, while Suarez looked likely to score whenever he had the ball at his feet. The action continued after the break, Norwich somehow failing to half the deficit from a yard out before Suarez crossed for Sahin to finish, Liverpool three up now and coasting. Soon after, Suarez completed his hat-trick, his second in two seasons, silencing the home fans' abuse once and for all as it was inevitably drowned out by the pocket of away fans telling the Uruguayan that, frankly, they just couldn't get enough of him.

Morison scored a scrappy goal for Norwich before Gerrard added an equally scrappy fifth for the Reds. We barely cared when Holt bagged a late second consolation for the home side. The damage had been done, Liverpool had been truly excellent, and had done so in a way which hinted at the style to come – controlling a game, pass pass pass - with talented youngsters rewarding the new manager's faith.

On the train home over a few beers, a long and frank discussion with some City fans who admitted that they'd been torn apart, by Liverpool as a team and by Suarez in particular. We wished each other well as we disembarked at King's Cross, our optimism having been entirely justified and reinforced. The journey may be slow and with setbacks and difficulties on the way, but that match gave me every confidence that Rodgers was the right man for Liverpool, and that after difficult times the club were moving in the right direction. A thoroughly entertaining afternoon, and a very important one.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19684133
« Last Edit: December 3, 2013, 04:36:29 PM by JerseyWrapit »

Offline Hinesy

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Here's number 3, a great tale from JersyKopite.
Yep.

Offline 007.lankyguy

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Lovely mate, particularly the point at the end
"Mind you, I've been here during the bad times too - one year we came second." Sir Bob

Offline JerseyKloppite

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Lovely mate, particularly the point at the end

Cheers mate ;D Didn't realise it so nearly synced up with the Norwich fixture, would have asked for it to be on the 4th!
« Last Edit: December 3, 2013, 12:24:03 AM by JerseyWrapit »

Offline Hinesy

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Ach we always planned it that way ;)
Yep.

Offline Djimi Smicer34

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Cracking read and a thoroughly entertaining game, I'd love to see a repeat of this kind of performance on Wednesday. 

Offline Mr Dilkington

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Great piece JK, well in.
You change all the lead, sleeping in my head, as the day grows dim, I hear you sing a golden hymn.

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Brilliant that. Thanks mate - I remember your write up from the day too :)

Offline StrikingMidfield

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Loved that ending sentiment. Makes me excited for Wednesday reading this ;D
Liverpool FC - Seattle Sounders FC

Offline Foregone Concussion

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Brilliant that mate.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

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Brilliant that. Thanks mate - I remember your write up from the day too :)


Was this the game where 'Harvest Fields 666' was spotted?!

Top work Jersey. What a fun game that was and so out of context with the few games before. I reckon that one helped settle a lot of us down. The early promise for no reward replaced by something more tangible.

Offline JerseyKloppite

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Cheers all!

Offline Hellrazor

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just to be picky

Joe Cole was still at the club at the time, he wasnt even loaned out as unfortnately he was back for a while to drain his massive undeserved wages while smoking away on his fat hole at home injured cos someone had the nerve to get him to play 10 minutes on the opening day.

The talk about Agueros second? not sure what thats about

again just being picky, nice story
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just to be picky

The talk about Agueros second? not sure what thats about

again just being picky, nice story

Was Tevez wasn't it - from Skrtel's through ball.

Offline Hellrazor

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Was Tevez wasn't it - from Skrtel's through ball.
yeah, him and toure scored that day, Skrtel scored a rocket of a header but then made that backpass for tevez
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Offline JTK

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I remember how much of relief that win was!

Wish it would have worked out with Sahin. A team with players like Sahin, Suso & Allen in it is the sort of team I hope we can have in the future under Brendan.

When Suso comes back we'll have him, Coutinho, Alberto & Allen.  You can tell what he's trying to do.

Nice write up mate.

Offline Hellrazor

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i think he had scored two that week at West Brom but after this game he didnt do anything apart from moan about not being played in his right position.

i didnt think it was a relief really, i felt all week leading up to that game we were gonna tear them apart. i love it when you get that feeling then on saturday the team does just that.
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Offline JerseyKloppite

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Quite right, Joe was still at Anfield and City's second was scored by Tevez. The price you pay for trying to add colour without a thorough fact check...

Offline Hellrazor

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Quite right, Joe was still at Anfield and City's second was scored by Tevez. The price you pay for trying to add colour without a thorough fact check...
to be honest Joe was that anonymous it could be easily forgiven

good o.post all the same
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Offline JerseyKloppite

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to be honest Joe was that anonymous it could be easily forgiven

good o.post all the same

I think you're forgetting his MOTM performance at.... no, wait, you're right.

Offline Hellrazor

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I think you're forgetting his MOTM performance at.... no, wait, you're right.
:D
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I think you're forgetting his MOTM performance at.... no, wait, you're right.

He kept the Hodge in a job for an extra week, ensuring we suffered those defeats to Wolves and Blackburn so erm, yeah...thanks Joe.

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Good read, thanks JK.

Offline Barneylfc

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Our meeting prior to this doesn't count then?  ;D

Offline JerseyKloppite

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Our meeting prior to this doesn't count then?  ;D

I could have sworn that was after! Which match was that for?

Offline Barneylfc

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I could have sworn that was after! Which match was that for?

Straight after the Man U game. Was I giving you my card for QPR maybe?

Offline JerseyKloppite

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Straight after the Man U game. Was I giving you my card for QPR maybe?

Ha, of course. Think it was for the Newcastle game. In which case, my apologies ;D
« Last Edit: December 3, 2013, 06:16:43 PM by JerseyWrapit »

Offline Hij

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Justice for Anne Williams. Justice for the 96. Justice for the Survivors.

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Offline Harinder

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nice one JK. How many Rawkites do you think you met on this one day?
Just clicked on the main board and my virus scanner came back with this

"When we visited this site, we found it exhibited one or more risky behaviors."


:lmao

Strip his knighthood https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47770

Offline JerseyKloppite

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nice one JK. How many Rawkites do you think you met on this one day?

Maybe more than I know. ;D

Luis has only gone and done it again!

Online BIG DICK NICK

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Maybe more than I know. ;D

Luis has only gone and done it again!

Yeah, you could have at least written about something that wasn't run of the mill...wasn't even in his top two hat tricks v Norwich :D

Offline Hinesy

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Bump for Christmas
Yep.