What a night.
If you went, this is the sort of memory that you will always have. Years from now, I’ll be able to look back on the time in March 2020 when I went with my wife and my son to see Norwich City beat Tottenham at their impressive stadium via a penalty shootout.
Norwich are now into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time in 28 years and I’d say it was thoroughly deserved. Yes, we rode our luck at times and Tim Krul made four or five very good saves to keep us in the game but, he’s our goalkeeper and he’s just doing his job, at least that’s what he’d probably tell you.
Krul was terrific last night. In the actual game, he was superb and when he was finally beaten, he had the excellent Ben Godfrey to bail him out with that incredible sliding block on the line to keep things level. It was in the penalty shootout though when he really came into his own with two saves and some top-class sh*thousery towards the Spurs penalty takers. Tim had all the penalty info handed to him on a water bottle by his goalkeeping coach, proving once again that time spent on research is seldom wasted and with his reputation as the Premier League’s number one penalty saver, I always fancied him to make at least one save.
Poor old Troy Parrot, for example, took the long walk from the half-way line and was met by Krul at the edge of the area, where the City number one had a few encouraging words for the 18-year-old striker. It did the trick and despite Parrot quickly putting his hand up to take a penalty, which was admirable, he looks petrified in the below video as he stepped up, with Krul guessing the right way and stopping his spot-kick.
Tim Krul knows a thing or two about winning a penalty shootout!
The Norwich keeper had the Spurs player's preferred penos written on his bottle 🧠
Preparation is key! pic.twitter.com/xDwiFqONXT
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 4, 2020
When Krul saved for the second time from Gedson, who took a terrible penalty, Tim looked like he was smiling as he made the dive. He was, and has been, absolutely brilliant this season.
It wasn’t all about the keeper though, all of the back four were terrific and Godfrey and Aarons in particular stood out on the night for me. The atmosphere was better than when I went to Tottenham six weeks ago but City did have three times the support, although there were obviously some day trippers amongst us.
For example, behind us were three men with Mancunian accents who didn’t talk about the football all night. One in particular just talked about his work for the whole 120 minutes. I learned that he’s 27 and he intends to be “the next Bill Gates.” He knows what he needs to do to become a billionaire and if only he had £5m now then he could triple it in a year. A total bore off and get this, he was on his phone texting when Drmic equalised, missing the goal and, incredibly, they all left before the penalty shootout – I kid you not.
Why do these people even bother coming?
I’m not going to bang on about the game itself because you probably all watched it either in the stadium or on iPlayer, it’s the experience of this that made it all worthwhile for me, including the ridiculous roadworks on the way home, a 1.30 am arrival at Tuckster Towers and an 8 am start at work today.
Coffee is keeping me going as I write but I’ve got a smile on my face
UP THE NORWICH!!!