There’s no point pretending it was anything other than awful – Hughton admitted as much in conversation with BBC Radio Norfolk’s Chris Goreham – and the fifteen minute interval was wholly insufficient to dissect all the wrongs…
Archives for January 2014
For while a point against a side of Newcastle’s ilk – who would clip the woodwork three times in the course of the evening – is hardly to be sniffed at and still left City a good six points clear of the danger zone, it is the entertainment value that the punters are coming to question…
It must have broken John Bond’s cultured footballing heart to part with Paddon as part of the deal that took Ted MacDougall to Norwich from West Ham in November 1973. Yet it was only a means to an end. Bond needed MacDougall to score goals
Perhaps Dion Dublin’s pre-match speech on the pitch, in which he stated that the players owe the supporters, was a contributory factor in making us sit back and talk amongst ourselves while waiting to see what happened
I understand that the only circumstances in which they might be prepared to part with Hoolahan in this transfer window is if they could sign someone better at his sort of role – operating centrally just behind the main striker.
Walker’s team simply did not give up and would have headed to Goodison confident of another success, ever more so with media and bookies alike predicting a relatively straight forward three points pending for Everton.
In the aftermath of the Fulham debacle I questioned the technical ability of a few to deliver at the highest level and, while the question marks remain, there was no questioning the grit and determination on display yesterday from one to eleven when the chips were down.
The critics would argue that the classic centre-half’s header from a deep corner merely papered over the cracks left by a woefully under-performing strike department. Others would suggest it is a results business; and Norwich got the result their overall performance deserved…
For the sake of balance – and in a week that has seen the clamour for change taken to a whole new level – another of our regular ‘commenters’, Russell Saunders, has provided us with some data that supports the opposite view of caution and restraint.
I wrote at the weekend of the need for a spark. Something or someone to re-ignite a season that is currently in freefall. After watching the latest chapter of ‘the Craven Cottage massacre’ I underestimated. A single spark, as things stand, looks unlikely to be sufficient.
Times have changed. We, the supporters, always used to tell ourselves that we were the most important part of any club, the core of its existence, the loyal and mostly unquestioning army that gave it life. We were, after all, with our attendance every week, “paying the players wages”.
Throwing one up front from the start will also have got the arm-chair tacticians going. But for a bright opening ten minutes, Norwich were ponderous and predictable up front and duly reaped what they sowed…
In many ways the two moves are not dissimilar – both managers are turning to players they know and trust to help dig them out of a hole…
From here on in games like Hull, Stoke and Sunderland at home have to be won, but not at the expense of away-days at Stamford Bridge and the like. As from now they have to be tackled head-on too. No more luxury ‘bonus’ games.
With the January transfer window now open for business and with the board showing little immediate inclination to swap managers mid-season, that is where the attention will now have to focus – finding someone to find the net on a more consistent basis…
With Elliott Bennett unlikely to feature too much between now and the end of the season, and Anthony Pilkington still to return from his hamstring injury, the game time afforded to youngsters Nathan Redmond and Josh Murphy is clearly more than Hughton perceives as ideal.
Step forward Ian Crook. A sublime freekick that was, in all honesty, destined to beat Mark Crossley as soon as he stepped up to take it, let alone struck it. In celebration, Crook wagged a finger at persons unknown
‘Privately, Norwich insiders regard the Hoolahan bid as almost insulting and have no wish to do business with either Lambert or Villa because of bad blood over the way the Scot manager left them after lifting them 54 places in three seasons,’ Mick wrote.
City got the best “value per point” in the entire Premier League last season under Hughton. Finishing 11th cost just over £500,000 per point. Compare that with Chelsea, who blew £5m a point!
As Gary rightly points out, you put a Fox in against a first choice Fulham with a Parker or a Sidwell in yer face for 90 minutes and he hasn’t the muscularity to shrug one or either off and then play the telling ball.