If current form continues and entertainment level stays high, City could yet have a good oneFri 22 Aug 14 by James Kent
I read with interest comments after the Wolves defeat that suggested how poor the performance was and how Neil Adams was simply not up to the job.
Of course, every fan’s view is different but some were saying such things. I haven’t written on MyFootballWriter for some time, so I responded to some fans via social media saying we need to give it more time and evaluate after 10-12 games.
Well, we have not reached that point yet but after two consecutive home wins things are certainly looking a lot better. Of course the jury remains out on Neil Adams – especially until he can deliver our first away win of the season – but his team is now in the top six and the signs are more positive than negative.
The games against Watford and Blackburn were good tests because they are two good sides in this league and we emerged with wins in games that we mostly dominated.
The transfer business thus far seems sensible enough – although it’s too early to evaluate the acquisitions of Gary O’Neil, Cameron Jerome and Carlos Cuéllar – but the front two of Kyle Lafferty and Lewis Grabban look like they have the top quality that we need.
The fact we haven’t spent the earth on them shows that you can still find value in the transfer market even in these times. We can expect some more ins and outs before the transfer window slams shut but I think the core of our team looks good.
And it’s also some achievement by Adams to slip Wes Hoolahan, Nathan Redmond and the two strikers into the same team – that in itself is no easy task.
But he has done it and the team seems to be functioning as an efficient attacking force. The big test will be to get it to work as well away from home, particularly since we lost the Wolves game.
Defensively there are still some question marks, especially on whether Russell Martin is best suited as a central defender. Many fans think it would be better to use him at right back with Ryan Bennett slotting in alongside Michael Turner. Cuéllar also now comes into the equation.
We have also coped fairly well thus far with the absence of Martin Olsson. I admit to having some concerns over Javier Garrido but he seems to have done well in the role. It will be interesting to see if he retains his place after Olsson returns from suspension.
There have been some criticism of Nathan Redmond’s final ball or shot, and these are certainly views that we heard last season. I’m not a big fan of criticising individual players – especially when the team is performing well as a unit – but the argument is along the lines of Redmond not deserving his place in the team if he isn’t providing direct assists and scoring goals.
The main point here is he is still young with massive potential. If he was providing those goals and assists he would be playing at a top Premier League team and for England.
The comparison with Theo Walcott comes to mind here. Earlier on in his career the exact same criticism was levied at him. However, he now has a much better end product, is more composed and has learned better decision marking.
In my opinion, the same thing will happen to Redmond. Furthermore, if we want him to get better then the best thing is he is playing games with us in the Championship. I would also add that no-one likes playing against him and he makes things happen – so don’t think that he doesn’t make an influence. For instance, the runs he makes can open up space for other people.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating to some extent. As long as we are playing well, scoring goals and winning games I don’t see the need to criticise individual players. Sure, if something isn’t working in the team then we can look at it again – but that’s not the case right now.
Let’s now turn our attention to the action coming up on Saturday. Of course, I’m talking about the return of the East Anglian Derby. The Canaries have enjoyed a very good recent record against Ipswich and previous victories helped to propel the team up the table and into the Premier League.
Adams will certainly be hoping he can keep that record going and secure a third win on the bounce. However, it should be a competitive game with both sides eyeing a place in the play-offs at least.
We are obviously biased, but I feel that our squad is a fair bit stronger than what Ipswich have at their disposal. So, I’m hoping that our added quality can shine through especially if Grabban can keep his goal-scoring record going.
James Kent is Head of Marketing and Social Media at Fitcial.com; a fitness start-up aiming to make fitness and exercise more accessible and most importantly fun. If you are interested in finding out more, then please check the website or reach out to James on Twitter via @jimlk2007.