With eleven games played, this season is no longer in its infancy as we enter the Oktoberfest period of the Championship.
Nobody of a Yellow and Green persuasion is unaware of how crucial this month may prove to be with regard to our promotion credentials as the matches keep coming thick and fast. We must face Sheffield United, Burnley and Watford in this period, but I for one don’t see that factoid in quite the same daunting manner as quite a few of my fellow Canaries.
Disjointed? Flat track bullies? Or a side that has simply found a way to win with whatever is available at the time in terms of manpower?
We’re about to discover some answers, and quick.
I remember replying to an MFW comment on this topic just a few days ago by saying that, on paper at least, the first week of October looks the easiest. We started it in the best possible way on Saturday with the win against Blackpool on the North West coast and strung some tasty stuff together between Teemu Pukki’s 21st-minute strike and halftime.
Pukki’s goal was of a vintage. A crazy attempted backpass from Dom Thompson let the Goat in and he strode forward before beating the venerable Chris Maxwell with consummate ease. The unfortunate Thompson felt compelled to demonstrably acknowledge his guilt to the Tangerines’ fans at the final whistle.
Yes, we could and probably should have had one or even a couple more goals in order to see the game out in more comfort than we did but we still remained firm and took the three crucial points.
Dean Smith once more used his substitutions to great effect and one thing that makes me think we need not be scared of the Blades, Clarets, and Hornets is that even with a good few players still out injured we were able to bring on quality subs such as Kieran Dowell, Danel Sinani, Gabriel Sara and most significantly in this instance Liam Gibbs, who I think will have a strong influence on our fortunes during the remainder of the season.
There was a strong sense of an entirely committed set of players working for each other on display, and Dean Smith said afterwards that “our spell before half time is what we have been seaching for”.
Aaron Ramsey chipped in with “the club is amazing and so are the fans” and that’s exactly what we like to hear, Aaron.
While we continue to grind out the results there is still of course the underlying feeling that although we’ve yet to truly click things aren’t looking too bad.
Andrew Omobamidele and Grant Hanley are back and Angus Gunn slipped under the radar to return to the bench. Dimi Giannoulis isn’t far away from a return and coupled with the clear-headed presence of young Gibbs we are becoming ever closer to fielding a truly balanced side.
Securing 18 points from the “big three” clubs I have singled out would be fantastic but it ain’t a prerequisite and that’s for sure. Deep down most of us would much appreciate 12 on the board and nine wouldn’t be a disaster so honestly folks, it’s not all about nabbing points from the big fish.
Reading [away] will not be an easy game tomorrow night but another win would create a nice little cushion between ourselves and fourth place in the table.
I firmly believe that in the long run it doesn’t matter exactly where the points come from. It’s the acquisition of enough of them alone that counts.
And in the meantime all of us supporters will have to do as Noel, Liam and crew did back in the day.
Morning Mr P. that’s past my 10-game mark, I would be stupid and mindless to start calling for Smith head. Ok the football hasn’t been what we crave, but that isn’t saying it will not come. There have been flashes in matches which point to it being there. Also, I haveee thought we may not see what we desire. But we see wins with points being added, and what is wrong with winning?
I said in Gary’s post yesterday, I bet the Wombles followers of years back cared not one dot how they won or that Jones was after anyone he could kick lumps out of, or long balls which broke necks to follow, having suffered the Roeder & Hughton eras I know which I would rather have .
Smith praised his players for the turn round the fall out of the relegation, something which was as clear as the nose on your face. The players appear to be happy at the way things are progressing. I get that feeling somebody is going to get a tonking , when it really clicks into place.
Really great to have Master Gibbs back, he will be a very important cog as it looks ever-increasing Hayden will not make much of an impact this side of November, perhaps a return to sender come the next window with another earmarked may look the best option. I think we need to enjoy Nunez while we still have him, as see him being the next money move away along with an outstanding young centre-back.
The dreaded P word is being seen a little more, far too early, I sincerely cannot say the thought appeals, the only saving thought I have is, gaining a place once again at the feet of the lords may entice a few Dollars to find there way over to the coffers, but then do we trust the spending of it to Webber.
martin penney says
Did the original Wombles actually have that many supporters – if they did they never turned up at the same time at the Carra!
I’m afraid I’m not contemplating what might happen if we go up yet again – as lots of folks are saying, let’s all enjoy what we can when we can.
The future is unwritten.
The team is together, as shown by the photo of the two subs in the picture of Pukki’s little goal celebration. Both could reasonably expect to play but appear ‘ right chuffed ‘ that Teemu has put another one away.
No doubt they will all be needed between now and the daftest international break ever.
In Teemus goal the most impressive thing was his instinct and way he took a ball in control. He won that game for Norwich individually. Before that game he had played 2 tough games, first vs Romania and after that away game vs Montenegro. The away game in Montenegro was extremely hard, there was heavy rain so it was kind of a surprise that the game was played. Montenegro players fouled Teemu 3 times in early minutes, first yellow, second yellow and last one was red. The game was brutal and hostile, Montenegro coach commented after the game that their players were not able to handle the pressure. The game included an obvious racist insult towards Glen Kamara, Kamara dropped the case knowing that UEFA will not take racism seriously enough. Especially away games in so called eastern Europe are all the time very hostile, very different games compared to any league games. Of course it makes players tougher, but its also mentally hard. So, im little bit surprised that he recovered so well after those 2 games + he has not been fully fit, he has suffered long time flu symptoms and cant play full 90 minutes games. Yesterday something happened that gave him a big smile and happiness, his KTP got promoted back to finnish highest level. Hopefully this time they are able to build a squad which can realistically compete at the highest level.
martin penney says
Thanks for the background info on Teemu Pukki – appreciated.
The Kamara incident made our news pages but I did not know that he had dropped the case with UEFA. As you say they do not always seem to take this issue as seriously as they might.
Nobody truly wins a match on his own but Teemu’s goal was typical of the Pukki we know and have grown to love.
You make 2 very good points ‘Lad’!!
1. I heartily agree that promotion is looking possible at the moment and as Mr P points out, we don’t need to get maximum points from the remaining games this month.
I’m not sure that I really want promotion, only to most likely be relegated AGAIN!! Mind you – I would love to see Haaland in the flesh at CR!!
2. I’m sure I’m not alone in joining you in expecting SW to squander any $$$ that may come out way. OK, he hit the jackpot with Buendia, but that was with DF as head coach – I’m not convinced that DS would have turned him around so brilliantly.
martin penney says
On #2 I’m afraid I agree with Lad and yourself, which makes at least three of us and I bet there are a few more around like us!
Marty, as you say a win is a win, I was hoping for a goal fest to put a smile on my face but the wife will have to settle for my ‘that’ll do’ look, which is better than my MOG face. Reading will have to be on top form to get anything from Tuesday’s match we no longer play ‘if you get one we’ll get two’, a much steadier approach under Smudger.
martin penney says
Funny you should mention the “that’ll do” look – Sue says mine can appear incredibly smug at times, especially on non football-related issues.
From what I can gather Reading have an injury list to match our own unless Paul Ince is up to smoke and mirrors antics in the Berks press.
It should be a good game.
An unexpected article after he week you have had hope all is going well for you.
Breaking News Wilder got the boot at Middlesbrough that’s an unexpected happening after last season, Bilic said that he had been in conversation with the Pozo family for months as he was their original choice for this season but other things stopped it happening so was Edwards just a stop gap, With the Wilder decision today has Gibson already ear marked who he was to and will it be a lighting appointment and can he have the same effect that Bilic had over Stoke yesterday.
Yesterday in Gary’s article there were a few that sadly thought Blackpool were there just to make up the numbers and prior to kick off I was of the same mind but from the first minute they gave it a go.
Appleton set up not to give city space and to fight for every ball and they did that but then the Ref allowed them to use the dark arts without flashing the cards early to warn them off.
Players seem to think they get 3 fouls before being booked that has to stop, once a Blackpool player got booked the niggling fouls dropped off and both teams played some good stuff.
I was happy with all three points but The Tangerines could so easily have won a point and I would have been disappointed.
Tuesday will be interesting with Ince saying Reading have nothing to fear from Norwich.
martin penney says
Same personal circs to follow after Reading I’m afraid 🙁
Blackpool were certainly not there just to make up the numbers. I didn’t see enough on the highlights to pick up their use of the dark arts but agree with you that referees should catch it early with an appropriate card or two.
Mind you we did a lot of $hithousing of our own!
I’ve read the Ince comments but to me it’s a case of “he would say that, wouldn’t he” as I reckon he must be a bit concerned.
We will need to play very well to beat them.
martin penney says
I hadn’t seen that pic before writing this – Gary picks the illustrations and he came up trumps with this one for sure – as you say “right chuffed” it is and there’s no faking that type of picture!
Don Harold says
Great Oasis song-I bet the Gallagher brothers had a good day yesterday, although not together.
Great that Gibbs looks as though he’s about to be a starter again, what a steal he is (wherever he came from, their fan must be sick!). I’m looking forward to seeing Giannoulis return; we really need some left footed balance at the back.
I know some Norwich fans are worried about the upcoming games, but I think the fans of the other teams will be at least as worried about facing us.
martin penney says
Gibbs came from a little team down the road called Ipswich, I understand. I think he’s an Ipswich boy too, although I’m not absolutely sure about that so it would be rude to hold it against him.
As for the other Liam and Noel I think you’re right 🙂
Gibbs is a Bury St Edmunds lads Martin and like most follow the Blues, I did read that his family are all season tickets holders but have started to attend games when he’s been in the squad so just maybe they might get converted to the Yellow side