Director Max Bell provides a behind-the-scenes look at the latest episode of Tunnel Cam.
Hard to beat at home. Such has been the theme for most of City’s 2013-14 campaign, and certainly the case since the turn of the year.
The idea of ‘home-turf advantage’ is prevalent across all sports - and although a quick glance at the subject might provide some superficial conclusions - it is a topic that has long captured my attention as a student of the game.
The arguments are simple enough: that a boisterous home crowd can help to drive on a team at pivotal moments in a game; that the comforts of a home routine help to put the mind at rest and allow elite athletes to focus on their performances; and even that the rigours of travel, be they physical or psychological, can play a part in preventing visiting opponents from producing their best form.
Having travelled to away grounds from Preston to Panama (click here for a look at what the local fans in Panama City will get up to to intimidate the opposition), I can certainly appreciate that all of these factors play a part in giving home sides worldwide a statistical advantage in football, but I have yet to come across a piece of work that really shines light onto the core of the matter.
How can players performances between the white lines, where the rules and patterns of play should remain relatively unaffected, no matter the fuss going on around them, be so drastically affected by the notion of ‘home’ or ‘away’?
Regardless of the reasoning, there is firm evidence that a spirited crowd often translates to an inspired performance and that was certainly the case at Carrow Road against Sunderland.
The TUNNEL CAM footage of the teams walking out ahead of kick-off zooms in tightly on Sunderland captain John O’Shea as he intensifies his pre-match focus moments ahead of battle. As the thumping sounds of Queen’s We Will Rock You filters into the tunnel, along with the growing crescendo of noise from City’s supporters - you really can’t help but wonder whether the atmosphere did manage to intimidate the Sunderland players ahead of a high-stakes relegation battle.
City started on the front foot in what opposing manager Gus Poyet described in TUNNEL CAM as a ‘brave’ first-half performance, and the damage was done before the Black Cats could stem the tide of the Canaries early attack.
Screamer-scoring hero, Alex Tettey, speaking to Norwich City TV in his post-match interview, added credence to the theory that the high-octane pre-match atmosphere helped to inspire the home team.
“When I came out for warm-up and saw the (clap banners) I had the feeling, that like last season, we would have the crowd behind us. (I) got a good feeling.”
It is often said in football that confidence and self-belief are they key ingredients to good form, and if the sight of ramped-up home support can inspire Tettey to score a goal of such quality - then I say roll on to West Brom, clap banners in hand, and let’s all come together again in support of our club as the season reaches its climax.