Oh my God-frey! Brilliant Ben proving his doubters wrong (@WilliamThomasJ)
Put simply, some footballers just seem to get it.
In an age of disloyalty and economic rapacity, some players rise above the seemingly pervasive player apathy in the modern game and demonstrate the sort of passion, commitment and dedication that fans love to see. What the last few weeks have revealed – among many things – is that City’s Ben Godfrey is one of those players.
It is well-documented that Godfrey’s performances have been superb, revealing a refreshing sense of precocity that has seen him form a formidable partnership with Christoph Zimmerman.
What has been less visible, however – but nevertheless equally important – has been his unwavering commitment to the City cause, celebrating each goal, win and magical moment with the passion of a supporter and simultaneously antagonising opposition players and fans.
Following City’s win at Leeds, Godfrey’s location for his Instagram post read ‘3 Point Garden Cafe’, a humorous jibe that reveled in that historic result in Yorkshire. The content of the post revealed him hushing and fist-pumping – take note, Luke Chambers – in front of the home end, invariably even further serving to bolster his reputation as a fan favourite in City circles.
As expected, Godfrey’s provocative antics were visible once again on derby day.
Godfrey himself represents a microcosm of everything that City are doing so well at the moment: shrewdly recruited, nurtured on the fields of Colney and now churning out performance after performance to help his side rise to the Championship summit.
He connects with the fans. He helps forge that unity that has become such a marked feature of this memorable season. In so many ways, he is such an asset to this wonderful football club. Long may that continue.
Lamb-ert to the slaughter (@CJSouthwell1902)
That vivid image of Paul Lambert being restrained by a policeman will be savoured for a generation by both sets of supporters, albeit for contrasting reasons.
Yet, what it depicted was his careers downward spiral since opting to leave Norwich City for Aston Villa. For someone who was confidently uttering that he knew what was going to be placed at his doorstep, the ex-Norwich boss opted for hostility over class. City fans will remember that day at Colchester United where Lambert confidently waved to the U’s supporters. His Carrow Road reunion was one of anger and hostility rather than confidence and swagger.
Lambert has always been a colourful character, you only need to recall his spell in charge of the Canaries as a reference of that statement. He is a man whose achievements should be celebrated by all who hold a yellow and green persuasion.
The Scot speaks of short memories Norwich supporters supposedly possess, yet his memory can’t be what it once was, for all of his appointments post Norwich have been based on the unbelievable job he did at Carrow Road.
If Sunday posed as evidence of anything, it’s that any respect supporters held towards Lambert has diminished.
His comments show his disdain and bitterness at his lack of special treatment. Seemingly he fails to recall the manner in which he departed, his reaction in celebration of his then Aston Villa’s sides victory in NR1 and his pre-game comments that were only going to heighten the dislike for him in these parts.
That’s prior to considering he now manages their arch rivals and involved himself in a needless fracas where his ego was the only thing, he wanted to place centre stage.
Perhaps he should revise Alex Neil’s maganiomous comments towards his ex-employers. Especially considering Neil was sacked as opposed to jumping ship in search of significantly greener grass.
Once the King of Carrow Road, Lambert’s monarchy has long-since fallen. Now, Norwich are led by a man who personifies class. One who stands on the periphery of altercations rather ensuring he is centre stage. Some define it as passion but those who know Lambert will recognise that his behaviour is only self-serving.
Credit to the man with the whistle, Mr Bankes. (@J_M_Messenger)
It isn’t very often that one of the main talking points coming out of derby day is the performance of the referee, but Peter Bankes certainly needs to be commended for the way that he handled such a passionate game.
When tempers flared, the man in the middle remained composed. When players scuffled and argued, he simply took a step back, didn’t make any rash decisions and remained calm and composed throughout.
Not even the touchline shenanigans of the Norwich City coaching staff and a rattled Ipswich bench, led by the incandescent former King of Carrow Road Paul Lambert, knocked the referee of his stride. More officials in the Championship need to show the same level-headedness as Bankes did on Sunday afternoon.
Too often, we sit after games lambasting referees for the decisions that they make, rightly or wrongly, so it makes a change when we can talk about a referee who let the game flow, made the right calls at the right time and kept a lid on a derby that was in danger of boiling over on many occasions.
All in all, a job well done, Mr Bankes.
Die Machine – Captain Christoph leading the Canaries charge (@JoeHinchliffe93)
I get the impression that Christoph Zimmermann would play five times a week, if you asked him to. The man is a machine.
But there is more to the man than just brawn. In the heat of one of the more impassioned East Anglian Derbies of recent years, Zimm put in one of his best performances in a City shirt, a real captain’s performance.
Daniel Farke said in the build-up to the game that Norwich City required ‘A flame in the heart but be cool in the head.’ Christoph Zimmermann clearly listened because his display epitomised Farke’s pre-match rhetoric.
Ipswich didn’t break with regularity but, when they did Zimmermann was in the way. Winning his aerial duels, blocking shots with last-ditch slide tackles and generally putting his body on the line to prevent Ipswich encroaching on Tim Krul’ goal.
Statistically, Zimmermann won all his aerial duels (2), made two interceptions, six clearances, a couple of which were key, blocked four shots and even managed to draw a foul, earning himself Sky Sports Man of the Match. City’s captain provided not only an astute performance but a display in game management and professionalism.
During the more fractious moments of the game, of which there were a couple, Zimm acted as peacemaker, ensuring Norwich kept their heads and more importantly kept eleven men on the field.
Let’s talk about levels… (@CJSouthwell1902)
Some of the discussion in the aftermath of the Derby has been regarding who dominated proceedings for the most part.
South of the border, some arguments have been presented that include descriptions of their sides performance as commanding and controlling. Ipswich possessed a lot of endeavour and went toe-to-toe with their arch rivals who now lead the way at the summit of the Championship table.
The Blues recovered from an early sucker punch to pin City back, all whilst tempers flared, and frustrations grew. Simply, this served as a microcosm of their season. Often their manager raves about his side despite them losing, on this evidence, context proves him to be right. They lack punch but rolled with the punches in prolonged spells of possession.
Ultimately, a lack of cohesion and quality in the final third coupled with a lack of game intelligence in terms of the runs made by their offensive players.
Yet, talk of their dominance in this fixture simply displays where these sides lay currently.
This felt like an Ipswich side at the peak of their powers, attempting to master the dark arts whilst opting an emphasis on passion rather than footballing ability to keep them in the contest.
Contrast and compare this to their Norfolk counterparts.
By their own omission, this wasn’t one of their finest displays. They operated comfortably in lower gears whilst still possessing the only moments of quality in the tie. Levels and fine margins dictate the outcome of football matches. That’s why Norwich are in the hunt for promotion why Ipswich are destitute defensively and offensively inept. That’s why they are heading for relegation to League One.