John Gregory’s assertion that the ‘best side lost’ may have a semblance of truth if stats are anything to go by, but – as Mr G knows only too well – the ‘in the hat for the next round’ cliche remains king in cup competitions; Norwich’s reward being an away tie at Shrewsbury.
For City it was a job well done and with a liberal sprinkling of FA Youth Cup winning heroes and other assorted youngsters on view it was one of those that left the faithful feeling a little warm and fuzzy.
Crawley played their part of course and Gregory’s post-match rant was likely borne of pride in their performance – Neil Adams was equally complimentary of the test they provided – but it was those two exquisite finishes by Josh Murphy that ultimately proved the difference between the two sides.
Many of us questioned the benefit Josh would gain from those few futile cameos last season – particularly the one at The Etihad – but from what we’ve seen this season the school of hard knocks has stood him in good stead for facing the challenge of whizzing past Football League defenders. He makes the task of beating the first man appear a breeze.
And the stock of Neil Adams continues to rise. Four wins in a row is impressive by any standards, but with the fourth of those being achieved by an XI that comprised youth with a smattering of experience was doubly pleasing.
The faith shown in persisting with the youngsters even in the face of Crawley pressure was laudable, and confirmed to them, and us, that the boss will indeed stick to his guns when it comes to blooding youth when the time is right.
Some young men will have metaphorically departed Carrow Road a few inches taller on Tuesday night. And good for them.
With only five days left in the summer transfer window the wind of change shows no sign in abating at Carrow Road with Falkirk’s 18 year-old winger Conor McGrandles being the latest through the door.
The Scotland Under-19 international arrives courtesy of an undisclosed fee and the blessing of his former club who have received what has been rumoured to be a club record fee. He joins up with Gary Holt – the former Falkirk manager – who he described as a ‘big factor’ in his move south.
Also heading to Norfolk, if reports emanating from Belgium (and some grainy images on Twitter) are finally confirmed, will be Belgian midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe. The 25-year-old, who has won five caps with the national side, will reportedly sign a three-year deal with City having agreed a fee of around £4million with Club Brugge.
While things in the real world are ticking along very nicely thank you, in the virtual world of the Football Manager Parallel Championship things are going *even* better, if that’s possible.
So far a combination of Martin Emerson’s shrewd management and some equally astute team selections from the MyFootballWriter readers have seen City go top of the table with four straight wins.
Can we make it five in a row? We need your help again folks.
You know the routine now… please give us, based on those players available, your starting XI with your preferred formation and Martin and I (mainly Martin) will do the rest.
Over to you. All opinions and thoughts welcome.
“ON THE BALL CITY…”