I am in full agreement with assistant manager Lee Clark in his assessment of the Norwich team that faced Fulham on the last day of the season in 2005.
For those who do not know, if Norwich had won the game that day they would have stayed in the Premier League. Instead a spineless Norwich team lost 6-0 to a Fulham team who had absolutely nothing to play for except their pride.
Lee Clark, who was playing his final game for Fulham that day explained
“It was my last game for Fulham, after I had been there seven years as captain. We couldn't move any higher in the league. If we won we couldn't change our position, no matter what."
“Our preparation that week was that this would be the toughest game of the season - they are fighting for their lives, we could be getting kicked from pillar to post come Sunday. Dean Ashton missed a chance after about 12, 15 minutes to make it 1-0 and it was goodnight, Vienna. The towels were thrown in, the white flags were out. It was the easiest Premiership match I have ever played in."
“There were so-called superstars in the team that day who actually went on to do not bad, but they didn't do the fans justice that day. I can guarantee that. That was a pathetic effort to try and keep the club in the Premiership.You go down with a fight and that didn't happen that day. It was an unbelievable turnout and they let the club down.”
As someone who went to the game with my wife (then still my girlfriend - one wonders why she accepted my offer of marriage a fortnight later), as people who turned down offers of £250 each for our tickets by the many hundreds of Norwich fans who travelled down to London just to support the team on from outside the ground where there were probably a good 6,000 Norwich fans present, it is difficult to explain how let down we were by some Norwich players.
For many fans, people like Damien Francis, Thomas Helveg, Mattias Jonnson, Dean Ashton and several others all looked like they had their minds on their next transfer move, a signing on fee and perhaps larger wages, and the fans were the last of their concerns.
It is good though to read how seeing this capitulation has helped motivate Lee Clark now he is at Norwich. Hopefully this attitude from Lee will help us next time we are in the same position.
For anyone wanting to suffer the pain again, the YouTube clip below shows the 6-0 defeat.