I’m not entirely sure if it’s true of all fans, or it’s just something we seem to have at Norwich, but the speed in which Canary fans can turn on their own is rather astounding. One day you’re a hero, you’re a favourite and the next? Well… You’re the opposite, to say the least.
Russell Martin has been bearing the brunt of it of late. But there’s another, goalkeeper John Ruddy. Criticising performances is fine, and in fairness, in both cases, it’s been pretty fair stuff. Yet, I don’t know if it’s just me but I find myself really struggling to understand why some are on the end of a pretty harsh bashing. It’s not constructive stuff. I’ve seen the sorts of things which I’d best describe as born from caveman intellect.
Ruddy has been a terrific, terrific servant for Norwich City Football Club. Prior to his injury in the 2012/13 season, Ruddy was the most on-form keeper in the Premier League. I firmly believe that. The guy was on fire. Though, it’s true, it hasn’t really been the same since for the big man. He’s now out of the side, replaced by Declan Rudd and again, Rudd is now there on merit after a couple of impressive performances. Things hit a new low for Ruddy on Monday, with a video appearing online of the keeper seemingly throwing punches at some guy on a night out.
Norwich fans know John Ruddy. He’s not a bad guy. He’s a good one. Is what he seemingly did wrong? Yeah, it is. Do I have any sympathy for the so called ‘victim’? Nope. Not one iota. I don’t believe for a second there wasn’t provocation. Ruddy shouldn’t have reacted but I’ve lost no respect at all for the guy over the incident. I’m certainly not going to get caught up in tabloid hyperbole.
The chips are down for a loyal, top shot-stopper. It’s not been his season. He deserves better though. He’s been a fantastic servant for Norwich City. He’s got a fight on his hands to get his spot back, but I’ve been backing the guy since his first ever season here and I really wouldn’t bet against Norwich fans chanting his name before the end of the season.
Form is temporary. Class is permanent. But, regardless of that, Ruddy deserves a little better than some of the things I’ve seen floating about. This has been a season I’ve grown a little tired of football, one I’ve fallen a little out of love with it, the bashing of good guys who have served this club well is certainly one of those causes.