Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Norfolk 'N Good

Does anything quite sap the human spirit like an FA Cup 3rd Round tie with Norwich bleedin' City?

Now that we've spent 18 months away from the Premiership, the 3rd Round draw delivers some interest for me again.

It offers a chance to break up the monotony of a dire Championship season, even if we have virtually no realistic prospect of winning the damned thing. In recent years however, there has been no 'dream tie' for the Addicks, merely degrees of potential humiliation.

In recent years, the draws have been incredibly kind to us but we patently failed to take advantage. Our most recent FA Cup draws have been as follows just to prove the point (not that we took advantage):

2007/8: 3R: WBA (H)
2006/7: 3R: Nottingham Forest (A)
2005/6: 3R: Sheff W (A); 4R: Leyton Orient (H); 5R: Brentford (H); 6R: 'Boro (H)
2004/5: 3R: Rochdale (H); 4R: Yeovil (H); 5R: Leicester (H)
2003/4: 3R: Gillingham (A)
2002/3: 3R: Exeter (H); 4R: Fulham (A)
2001/2: 3R: Blackpool (H); 4R: Walsall (H)
2000/1: 3R: Dagenham & R (H); 4R: Tottenham (H)

So in the last eight seasons, we have been handed an incredible 12 home ties out of 16, and have only faced Premiership opposition three times.

Our record over this period is little short of a disgrace, and surely our 'luck of the draw' will soon run out (although it hasn't seemed to just yet).

It was never entirely clear to me why Curbs had such a poor FA Cup record, whilst we were in the Premiership.

It was only perhaps twice that we exited the Cup having been expected to lose (against Fulham and Spurs), although in the latter case we led 2-0 before conceding three in five minutes. That trend continued under Pardew with a diabolical performance at Forest.

Whilst in the First Division, Curbs oversaw impressive wins over the Premiership likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry. Maybe it subsequently just felt strange that lower-division clubs would arrive at The Valley and treat us like a 'big club'.

With the draws highlighted above, under Curbs we really did perhaps throw away the chance to repeat the heroics of 1947, the high point in our club's history.

As Portsmouth proved last season, mediocre Premiership teams can win the competition, and they even had to beat Manchester United. We only had to overcome the likes of Leicester City.

But enough of nostalgic regrets, and back to the 3rd Round draw. A tie against a big Premiership club would at least have attracted the TV cameras, and from a selfish point of view would have meant I could see it.

A tricky away draw against non-League opposition would finally have brought out the romantic in me (and believe me, the wife has tried). We might even have won a game too (I wouldn't have bet on it - Ed.).

The last thing we needed was the second consecutive home tie against a fellow Championship side, coming just two weeks after we play each other at Carrow Road.

A poor crowd, no atmosphere and two teams desperate to avoid a replay (which might perhaps be the most likely outcome). It's hardly the magic of the Cup is it?

There's a pub on the Upper West Side of Manhattan called George Keeley's which claims to be the official pub of the NY Canaries. Remarkably the pub is still in business.

Its motto is 'Beer is Good' which is a philosophy I can wholeheartedly agree with. After that 3rd Round draw, I needed some.


At 6:19 AM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

Norwich City have big financial problems so I don't supposed they will be pleased either.

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Ketts said...

Unfortunately NYA,the PL has 'branded' every game as an 'event' & the Cup has lost its magic for those in the top echelon.

The one thing you never want is a draw against a team in the same division & its now happened two years on the bounce.

That's the luck of the draw I guess.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger marco said...

I love the 'flaming' Ipswich Town badge - they seem to be a good bunch af fellas at that bar.
Are there any pubs in NYC that are sympathetic to Charlton or other London teams?

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

A few Charlton sympathisers used to convene at the Baker Street pub on First Avenue, though I'd hesitate to call it an official meeting place.

My local pub (the Kinsale on Third Avenue) has a soft spot for Charlton, probably thanks to the barmaids taking pity on me getting up at some ungodly hour to watch the Addicks on my own. The 3:1 bar staff to customers ratio does at least ensure good service however.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish we were Suffolk N' Good rather than Norfolk N' Good!!!

Hopefully we'll survive to see what the 4th round throws at us....


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