“Where are you!?” Those were the words that rattled around Carrow Road back in 2005 from TV chef and City shareholder Delia Smith. So, where is the Norfolk club now, exactly? Back in the Premier League, that’s where.
Despite years spent yo-yoing between England’s top three tiers, the Canaries are once again mixing it with the best of them in the top tier, having gained promotion from the Championship in just one short season after suffering relegation back in 2014.
History in the Premier League
Norwich’s history has been anything but settled, always suffering the disappointment of relegation or the joy of promotion; life in Norfolk may be full of ups and downs, but no one can say it’s dull.
Finishing above expectations in third place in the inaugural Premier League season, their form quickly slid south over the seasons that followed, leading them to a prolonged stay in the old Division One (now the Championship) through the rest of the nineties and early noughties.
After a quick spell in the Premier League in 2004 (in which Delia issued her infamous rallying cry to fans), it was quickly back down for Norwich, and subsequently down once again into League One.
However, successive promotions followed, and the Canaries would spend three straight seasons in the top flight, before a quick pop back down to the Championship, and then back to the Premier League once more… phew.
The manager: From player to gaffer
After both playing for and managing Hamilton Academical from 2013 to January 2015, Alex Neil crossed the border into England to take over the reins at Norwich City, at the tender age of just 33 years old.
Considering most managers hit their stride in their 50s and 60s, Neil is a wee bairn in comparison. Despite his relatively limited experience in the dugout, the Scottish manager did more than enough at his former club to convince the Canaries that he was worth a punt.
With Norwich finding life in the Premier League just as challenging as it was last time around, Neil’s team have enough about them to fend off other relegation contenders, but at such a young age, it remains to be seen how Neil can cope with the rigours of modern-day management.
From the likes of Bryan Gunn and Ruel Fox – the players on Norwich’s books when they first graced the English Premier League – to strikers such as Darren Huckerby and Grant Holt, the club’s hall of fame list is never-ending.
But who amongst the current Canaries could happily sit alongside Gunn at future Norwich reunions? The team might be destined for a relegation dogfight, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the players to win the battle.
An Irish import of the highest quality, Wes has been with Norwich through thick and thin, from the depths of League One to the heights of the Premier League.
While he might now be at a ripe old footballing age, he’s still a permanent fixture in City’s matchday squad.
This tricky winger has shown he can cut the mustard in both the Championship and the top flight. Great on the ball and at his best when delivering crosses or set pieces, it’s only a matter of time before he gets the call-up from the England boss.