Norwich City fans are wrong to bash two of their “good guys”
15th December 2015

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.

20 April 2014 - Barclays Premier League - Norwich City v Liverpool - John Ruddy of Norwich City looks back as Raheem Sterling's deflected shot off of Bradley Johnson of Norwich City hits the back of the net to make it 1-3 - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Ruddy and Martin in action against Liverpool in 2014.

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.

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  1. You lost me here…”but the speed in which Canary fans can turn on their own is rather astounding.” I actually can’t believe you think three season of under performing is speedy! The two you have mentioned have been dreadful for some time. Your view, in my eyes, is the exact reason we haven’t progressed prior to Neil. “Just clap ’em and be ‘appy we ‘have ’em cos we’re lil’ ol’ Naaarwich boyo.” Finally the fans and management are realising we are better than playing guys who have had one or two good seasons (at the very best) and flushing out the dead wood is part of the process. This is a business and these players are paid very healthy wages to take such criticism. I, for one, am more hopeful Rudd and Bennett play even better than Ruddy and Martin and knock them out of the team for good, because that’s what is best for our club (and so should you).

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  2. PS. Your backing of Ruddy attacking someone is lamentable. Provoked? I’m sure, but you don’t know the facts or what he said. It’s a disgraceful act from someone who is supposed to be a role model and represent our club.

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  3. I still cannot see why such anger and nastiness has to prevail though, if a player is not good enough then fair enough end of story. No need to say much more.. Both these players have been outstanding for this club, and had bad times. that’s how it goes.. both have shown some loyality, a commodity that is in such short supply.

    I have not fallen out of love with Football, just the modern Premiership and everything that goes with it.

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  4. I wholeheartedly agree with the above comments by Toad. It is not a knee-jerk reaction to a sudden loss of form with either player and they have been at fault for a large number of goals again this season. Fans can support in whichever way they see fit (whilst adhering to rules and laws, of course) and trying to impress upon the management team any dissatisfaction with team selections is valid and perhaps even constructive in the long run. They may be being picked because they are ‘good guys’ and ‘big characters’ but they are costing us points, form and confidence at the moment. January is going to be a very important time and we need to recruit some new leaders for on the pitch, in my opinion. I like Gary O’Neil as captain but he was out of the team again this week, for whatever reason and may not be available for every game.
    As for backing John Ruddy for hitting somebody, that is absolutely ridiculous! Wait until all the facts have been analysed – what if Ruddy had been doing something to this guy in the first place? Also, when you are 6ft 4 and a professional sportsperson, you have a certain duty to know your own strength and refrain from using it against others, surely?

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  5. It is nearly the whole squad that are not good not just these two. neither were playing against Watford and still goals given away. The fans have been let down yet again by the club in general. I have been following City since 1961. And have seen some dross in my time. But when it comes to buying City are championship rated, but selling maybe lower premiership, if table were made for transfers . So for me it isn’t just Ruddy or Martin it is a vast majority of the squad

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  6. For me, 2nd half against Everton we finally had my preferred back four (though I still feel Elliott Bennett is a better right back). But we still lacked the speed of attack of Everton especially 1st half. Lukaku had support quickly. Jerome chasing long balls alone is never going to score. I suggest 4-3-3 or maybe 4-1-3-2 with say Mbokani as a second up-front, or two nippy men out wide up-front who could be Brady, Redmond or even our very own Murphys. I hope Mulumbu is back soon: Tettey gives away too many free kicks for my liking.

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