Like the woodworm-infested, mud-sunken crackhouse down the road, I had noted this fixture down as a shithouser before a ball had even been kicked. After witnessing the tedium of the Norwich Way at Bramall Lane earlier in the season, I had presumed the away fixture would be, well, the same…but it wasn’t, it was different.
For as long as I can remember, the eternal shithouses of the football league, Norwich City, have gone by the name The Canneries. This was changed by a crap TV chef at some point (I don’t remember when) but I am prepared to lift the lid on the sad history of the Canneries
The city and the football club of Norwich were synonymous with the canning industry, like DEM BLADES and steel. Laying on the river Wensum, west of Lowestoft and slap-bang in the middle of nowhere, the city’s location was ideal for UK canning companies. Both the geography and the dearth of local labour willing to eat what they canned made Norwich the canning hub of the world (that’s why they were called the Canneries). But one day, the canning conveyor belt stopped.
Down the can?
The question – where did it go wrong for canning? – is answered quite simply: in Norwich. The reason? Delia Smith. The can-hating stalwart of quite boring British cuisine decided to meddle in the city’s fortunes and the club’s history.
Fresh fruit and fresh vegetables that were, hitherto, dirty words in Norwich, suddenly grew in popularity thanks to Mrs Smith. As the popularity of Delia rose throughout the UK, in the opposite way to her for Yorkshire Pudding recipe, the canning industry bottomed out.
(The offending new and unusual food items included, but weren’t limited to, uncanned bolognese, uncanned full English breakfast (including cereal), uncanned soups of all kinds, uncanned marrowfat peas, uncanned ravioli and uncanned Fray Bentos.)
Not only had Delia single-handedly ruined the canning industry, she soon went on to buy a stake in the football club that she had always despised. Like a butterscotch Angel Delight, she quickly moulded the Canneries into the Canaries in a PR stunt that stuck two-fingers up to the jobless ex-canners. The new name stuck and that was that…the rest, as they say in Norwich, ezz hizzere (unintelligible).
Back to the future; can they beat DEM BLADES?
Canaries or Canneries, F*rke or fuck, football or the Norwich Way: the answer is no.
DEM 90 MINUTES
The opening goal came as something of a surprise insofar as it came from a corner. James Wilson found the ball at his feet and drilled it ball through a body of players, like a sharp knife through a tin can when you can’t find the tin-opener. A solid start.
After that DEM BLADES happened to spring more surprises; a shot from outside the box, not since Paul Coutts have I seen such a thing. Enda Stevens fizzed one wide, whilst new signing Ryan Leonard had a couple of long shots saved.
For the opposition, floor-to-floor midfielder James Maddison couldn’t really pick himself up. Lewis and Reed had a familiarity about them that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But it was Alex Tettey, not-quite-a-cuppa, that really shone.
It was another long shot that would ultimately seal the game. A long shot at a short pass back by Tettey, which rolled perfectly into the path of Clayton Donaldson. He coolly slotted home for 0-2 and that should have been that. But we are DEM BLADES.
Barely a minute after establishing a two-goal advantage, DEM BLADES made light work of some poor defending. A corner was swept in, Ivo Pinto was allowed to leap highest and he steered a header into the back of the net. Pinto by name, the oft canned pinto bean by nature; he and the entire Norwich team looked pretty fried. Even the moaning Canneries fans were reminiscent of the pinto bean in their, they were bitter and certainly a bit salty.
Ultimately, the Canneries couldn’t bottle the shithousing tactics that they had employed in the reverse fixture. But DEM BLADES could can it. In the latter stages of the game, the ring was pulled off and DEM BLADES unleashed the Norwich Way upon the Canneries by wasting time over a freekick. It was an uncanny impression of the worst type of football, but it was enough to seal the deal.
Can he say IQ? No
Chris Wilder overcame his “tiny e.q” by steering DEM BLADES back on course in the hunt for promotion. The choppy waters of the play-off places had proven difficult to navigate, but a strong wind caught the sails against at Cannery Row and now those same waters look a little calmer.
In other news:
- I am looking forward to writing ‘sweated on the fitness of Lee Evans’ so please forget I ever mentioned it before I write it down.
- This chant was fucking amazing
- Farke is actually pronounced ‘bitter’
- Norwich is actually pronounced ‘shithole’
- And finally… despite being bottom-of-midtable, DEM PIGS appear to have stopped shopping at Primark and started shopping in C&A:
Man of the Match
Paul Coutts. You had to be there to see it.