The departures of Michael Turner, Carlos Cuellar and Ignasi Miquel mean we have a ‘situation vacant’ at centre-half. The Southampton result will have left many fans hoping for a big money signing to shore up a defence that has yet to keep a clean sheet.
Archives for August 2015
That Whittaker’s dismissal made life difficult goes without saying. Having been shown yellow for ‘ungentlemanly conduct’ the Scot desperately needed to keep his head down and clear of the thoughts of Jon Moss. Alas getting entwined with Dusan Tadic was sufficient for some Serbian histrionics and card brandishing. The rest is history.
If his desired move doesn’t materialise, then it’s hard to see him even warming the bench regularly for the rest of the season. A dose of ‘working with the development squad’ could well be in store for him – a sticky fate suffered by Grant Holt at Wigan last season.
Joe Cole didn’t perform a flounce at Villa Park after being told he would be one of Villa’s subs against Notts County, whilst Jason Puncheon took the same decision on the chin at Selhurst Park after being left out of Palace’s starting line-up against Shrewsbury. Same stoical approach applied to Andrew Surman.
It was an odd night in many respects, not least because the biggest story emerging between 7:45 and 9:45 didn’t occur on the Rotherham turf. Instead, if the Daily Mail is to be believed, it was occurring at Rotherham Central.
When the draw was made it was clear that the balls had not been kind to us. While the big boys sit out the early rounds, the rest of us Premier League mortals face tasks of varying trickiness. Possibly only Watford – who play Preston away – came out of the hat with a tougher opener than ourselves.
Why did good players choose to stay at City when our wages were severely cut after relegation? For some, such as Bradley Johnson, there was an admirable element of loyalty. But I guarantee they only stayed because we promised major bonuses if we got promoted.
That City’s only reward was Russell Martin’s equaliser was obviously a cause of frustration and disappointment but nothing should detract from a performance level that was right up there with the best they have produced in 2015.
The noise and expectation on the day were so high that Kennon went on to admit that Barry Butler, directly behind him in the Norwich line-up as they ran out for kick-off, had to forcibly shove him onto the pitch.
Brady looks well worth the wait, while Dorrans is beginning to seriously challenge Jonny Howson as my favourite player. His ability was never in doubt, but I heard reservations about his workrate and commitment at previous clubs.
The best form of defence was certainly offence and long may it continue. It worked under Paul Lambert with some great away-day results, while Chris Hughton paid for his adherence to the over-cautious alternative. He’s doing a good job in the Championship though.
To have dominated possession at home on opening day, still buoyed my the bounce of Wembley, was one thing. To then do the same in the Stadium of Light when faced with opponents who were smarting from an opening day walloping is another.
On Planet Football, Norwich is seen as such an unfashionable place to be that you take the first offer to get out and get out while you can. And if the one and only offer at the time comes from Middlesbrough then that’s where you’ll happily end up.
The preparation will be meticulous. The players will be as mentally and physically prepared as is humanly possible, and the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses laid bare for everyone’s consumption. No stone left unturned.
We were given a tough opener. Palace’s form in the second half of last season was sensational, especially away from home. Their 10th place finish reflected much better than 10th place form after bringing in Alan Pardew.
Little over two months ago we were celebrating one of the greatest days in Norwich City’s recent history, a day that may never have happened if Alex Neil wasn’t appointed when he was and 90 minutes into the new season there are fans willing to throw him out? Unbelievable.
It began with Glenn Murray cleaning out Graham Dorrans with studs showing, for which he earned a light-hearted slap on the wrist, only for minutes later Alex Tettey to earn a yellow card for something that, from the River End at least, looked no worse.
My main concerns are to do with our defenders. City conceded 48 goals in the Championship last season and I expect that figure to be far greater this coming season.
Ed: “My major fear is that the teams’ progress this season might not match the expectations of some sections of the clubs support, resulting in early and potentially morale sapping criticism of the club’s owners and pressure on both the players and manager.”
What I love about Fash’s goal is not the touch and turn or even the way the ball loops over Ray Clemence. It’s the celebration, or lack of. Despite the goal bringing the sides level at 3-3, he has a swagger and nonchalance that suggests it’s no big deal and that he could pull one that off whenever he wanted.