Where the hell do you start?
There have been some grim days this season, but few as grim as Friday 14th April on Teesside.
The mitigation for such an undiluted catastrophe of course centres on the injury list with which David Wagner is dealing; not so much in terms of numbers but more around how the leaders and experienced pros are the ones who are missing.
That’s no excuse though for getting walloped 5-1 in a game that was supposed to be the first of five cup finals. A game in which City actually started very brightly.
But so fragile is the mentality and so muddled the thinking, the concession of a soft one on seven minutes rendered all of that good early work futile. And pretty much rendered it game over.
The fact that Master Ramsay celebrated with such brass-necked hubris in front of 600 who had backed him to the hilt between August and December last year made it all the more galling.
I was tempted to run with ‘karma is a b*tch’ given that the cocky young thing was to limp off with a rolled ankle just 19 minutes later, but the beloved ‘AJ’ will no doubt consider it a price worth paying given that he’d already been able to give it the big ‘un to the City faithful.
Quite why I have no idea, other than maybe he didn’t like the nasty way we treated his Uncle Dean. Either way, if I were a Boro fan, I’d be getting a little twitchy if he starts talking about returning to Villa for his rehab.
But that was merely the start of one of those awful nights. The type after which you awake the following day thinking ‘Did that really happen?‘
But it did.
It’s painful enough when you watch the team you love implode. When said implosion occurs on national TV it’s even worse. We’re allowed to say they’re useless. Outsiders not so.
But to go from 1-0 down on 41 minutes to 4-1 down at halftime was quite the achievement, even by Norwich City’s exacting standards.
It takes a special kind of fragility to pull that one off. But they did.
Even the faintest glimmer of hope, which arrived in the form of an unlikely Josh Sargent goal that made it 3-1, wasn’t enough to galvanise them ahead of a halftime reset. They conceded again. Every goal conceded either soft or avoidable.
Boro have firepower and are clearly decent, but for Michael Carrick this was Christmas morning all over again.
Boro’s clinical edge in front of goal was the complete antithesis of our own. Before his consolation goal, Sargent had two highly presentable chances – one to give us an early lead, another to make it 1-1.
Both were missed. Both were powder-puff attempts. Both would have been walloped into the back of the net in the months preceding the World Cup break.
But we’re now in a place where we’re bedevilled by the two footballing no-nos: lacking solidity and authority at the back while being toothless and ineffective up front.
A lot of what happens in between is fine and, in addition to that promising opening last night, the 20-minute spell that followed the departure of the lovable ‘AJ’ was not without its moments of promise and quality. But almost all of that good stuff happens in the middle third.
And that’s a problem.
If you still persist in offering little in the attacking third but missing the occasional chance that does come along, while also finding ways of coughing up opportunities for the opposition at the other end, then you’re struggling. And you’re also ill-equipped for an unlikely late-season playoff charge.
While Sky Sports’ finest were determined to still find us a route into the top six, the last two games have all but extinguished that particular dream. The win at Blackburn – as joyful as it was – now appears an outlier in a run-in beset by a paucity of performance.
It doesn’t look a well-balanced side. It doesn’t look like a side that believes in itself. And it doesn’t look like a group that enjoys representing Norwich City.
The summer can’t come soon enough, albeit what happens in those summer months will dictate the future direction of our football club.
That a massive reset is needed is blatantly obvious. Less so whether those charged with it are capable of delivering it. And amid said reset, it would be rather nice to emerge with a chairperson and a CEO.
Some butts need kicking and not just on the pitch.
The first Goal was just a lot of errors and why Gunny was smothering it or try to boot it into row z I don’t understand.
The commentary team said for the second they couldn’t understand why the Ref didn’t see the potential head injury.
Aaron’s was all gamesmanship when Ramsey went to ground yet Middlesbrough played on when they were expected to put the ball out if play when a city player was down.
Play to the whistle and Middlesbrough did that while city twiddled their thumps looking for help from the Ref.
As you say all sift goal and Carricks game plan of closing Pukki and Sargent down early with numbers worked throw in a little dark arts and a Ref with two blind sided assistants and poor weather conditions makes a perfect storm.
What camp are we in the for me it’s Championship next season eve if we make a last gasp dive into the play offs.
If the Smith and Jones are still at the helm come the end of the season the city will be looking like RMS Titanic with Webber convinced he is to far south for the Iceberg that’s about to hole it under the waterline.
None are so blind as those that can’t see they are the reason of all the woes not the paying supporters
Very entertaining first half, second half Boro didnt see reason to humiliate Norwich more. Sara and Pukki have found each other and started to build chemistry, that is a positive thing in Norwich playing.
Then others…..their decision making and technical abilities are bad. Sara passed the ball to Pukki and Pukki then opened Boro defense with his pass to Aarons. So what Aarons do? Instead of timing his pass back to Pukki, who would have gone through he runs with the ball in the corner and then crosses the low pass. Pukki had to move backwards to get a ball and then Boro had already got their defence to cover everything. A few minutes later Sara makes a very nice high pass to Pukki, who passes the ball perfectly to Sargent who shoots wide. Later Sargent gets even better scoring change when Boro keeper for some reason pushes the ball to him but then saves Sargents shot. Later Sargent happened to score, but his decision making does not make any sense. There was not many games a go when Sargent and Pukki had 2 against goalkeeper and instead of passing a ball to Pukki he tried himself and no goal. This was an almost similar situation. It does not make sense! Sargent has so much problems with the ball so he has to concentrate to handle it even when its basics.
Boro attack gave Norwich a lesson. It was like a typical premier league lesson. Very pleased how Marcus Forss performed. His back heel pass opened Norwich defense in their first goal, he assisted 1 goal and caused freekick which gave Boro 1 goal more. 3 goals which he was involved in, very good effort. Cameron Archer was the man of the match, only hat trick was missing. Boros attack is the best in this league, Chris Wilder likely spoiled their direct promotion and now he is spoiling Watfords chances to get to the playoffs.
Think you’re a bit biased towards Pukki,he was dire last night and shouldn’t start anymore games!
MYSTIC KEV says
Agree been poor since xmas
martin penney says
While you’re here, an Australian friend has a new Finnish sporting hero and sent me this the other day – he seems a real character, and Mrs P thinks his hairstyle is comical!
Alfa Romeo F1 star Valtteri Bottas anointed a true blue Australian bogan with VB longneck | Daily Mail Online
As for yesterday’s football, yes we were humiliated in the first half and that effectively ends the season for Norwich – it is surely impossible to come back from a performance like that with only the same personnel available for the last four matches.
Martin, “wingman” Bottas has not been anymore in sports headlines here. An interesting haircut really! The whole formula 1 scene kind of died here after other finnish driver Kimi Raikkönen ended his career. Bottas was known here as Lewis Hamiltons wingman, team mate who was surely second best always. Räikkönen who had huge fan base, his fans didnt never appreciate Bottas and basically he was despised. He and Räikkönen battled a couple of times against each other in a short period and crashed. It became heated between them. Räikkönen has commented that he dont know Bottas at all and dont see any reason why he should get to know him? I suppose Räikkönen is still the last Ferrari world champion and because of that he is a kind of legend. Finland has 3 world champions in formula 1 history. Keke Rosberg, Mika Häkkinen, Kimi Räikkönen also Nico Rosberg has won and he is son of Keke Rosberg but represented Germany. I know only the basics about formula 1. I would say that Bottas has always been a victim of Kimi Räikkönen existence, there is hero and zero. I know that Räikkönens idol was british James Hunt. Räikkönen can be called a mysterious sports figure in Finland.
martin penney says
Thanks for that 1×2 – insightful as always and I’ll pass your comments on to my mate in Oz!
I’m not much into F1 myself – not since the technology largely began to upstage the drivers anyway.
James Hunt is very much remembered as a hero in the UK, where he was known as *Hunt the Shunt* because of his aggressive style on the track.
We have much respect for Raikkonen, Hakkinen and both Rosbergs, particularly Keke for those of us old enough to remember him race.
Martin, this might interest your aussie friend if he is having formula 1 interest. Keke Rosberg was selected and sportsperson of the year in Finland 1982 after he won the formula 1 world championship. His selection started a huge verbal fight and the question was “is car driving a sport?”. That pissed off Keke very much and already his surprising victory was not much appreciated. Keke was also a smoker and gave interviews with cigarettes in his hand. Keke has avoided Finland and also finnish media quite a lot , you could say almost completely.
Mika Häkkinen has told some very strange happenings during his formula 1 career in a program where all participants were finnish ex -pro athletes. 1994 Imola grand prix when Ayrton Senna crashed and died during the grand prix, Häkkinen didnt know that. He was told that Senna was ok and should concentrate only on driving. He was third and celebrating his first podium place very happy and hard, of course people thought that Häkkinen is such a complete moron. Senna died and he only cares about his podium place. Häkkinen told that he will be forever pissed off because of that. Overall Häkkinen seems as very nice person who has good sense of humor. He has commented that he dislikes visiting Finland, because negativity there kills him mentally. He is absolutely right, if you have lived abroad and go back to live in Finland then people have a certain attitude towards you. If some finn has achieved something in sports, 100 first viewers comments are surely negative here.
martin penney says
Fascinating stuff 1×2, Sometimes we in the UK have no idea about how things work in other countries!
Gary Lineker was a pioneer when he played at Barcelona for Venables and he got a lot of stick because of the £££ he was getting but there are more UK players abroad now, Bellingham currently and Hargreaves and others before him to name just a couple.
A mass clearout is needed in the summer,from top to bottom,starting with Webber,Smith and Jones need to retire and i would go as far as to say Wagner can do one!As for the players,i wouldnt worry on anyone leaving,none have much quality.But for the rest of the season can we leave Pukki on the bench and give sargent ago up top,if (god help us)thats what we go with next season..
Shocking performance from us tonight. Had we taken our chances we should have been 2 up in 6 minutes and it’s quite possible that Boro would have fallen apart. We felt aggrieved at Boro ‘s failure of sportsmanship and the refs failure to check our injured back for their 2nd goal but we didn’t play to the whistle (after we had twice kicked the ball out so Ramsey could get treatment) and of course it beggars belief how the ref didn’t give a penalty for the foul on Aaron’s – right in front of him but we were 5-1 down by then. They gave us a lesson in clinical finishing. We gave them a lesson in comedy defending – and how good was Howson?
Something is rotten in the state of Norwich. We have a director of football who wants to climb Everest this May…that’s where his head is, not in setting the tone for our club and planning for the future. He should have been told to do it in his own time and replaced or given leave. He’s the man who should have made sure the team was fit after the Covid interruption when Farke got us up – he’s somehow escaped criticism for that. He’s the man who panicked and brought us Dean Smith on the rebound from Villa. Smith may not be a bad manager but to take the job so soon was a mistake. Who were we aiming to get before he became available?
We have players like Nunez, a man who’s captained Chile who the club has failed to get the best out of, probably by playing him out of position. There’s a malaise there – a lack of leadership, of setting a tone. Webber’s wife is on the board- it all seems a little too cosy.
There’s the feeling among fans of what’s the point if we do go up – we’ll come straight back down again and any way we’re not good enough. But there’s no excuse for the lack of fight, organisation and professionalism we saw last night. I’ve heard that Wagner’s contract is only till June – so what’s next? It’s a mess and yet like 20,000 others I’ve renewed my season ticket (well, it’s clever you don’t have to do anything about it to renew it) I’m beginning to wonder why.
Well if Wagner’s contract is only to june i would give him the boot,and if Derby dont get promoted go and get Paul Warne in.
While Delia and Webber remain any replacement is a waste of time.
That is the nail on the head.
It was drudgery to watch but it’s our drudgery and we seem to be stuck in it. Ever since 6th Nov 2021 and our PL win away at Brentford saw DF sacked the footballing gods have turned against us.
Last night could easily have been 5 – 5 some of our play was decent, we missed the footballing nouse of Hanley and The Mayor.
Have we had a worse forward clock up as many appearances as A Idah? The poor lad is so far out of his depth.
At least there was one lighter moment, Ramsey turned his ankle🤣🤣
A performance to match the filthy conditions last night. Cold, wet and miserable.
Gary’s point regarding the players apparent antipathy to the club is pertinent. Shambolic, spineless and on several occasions simply not trying.
The free kick passed directly to an opponent while the intended recipient was in a daydream looking the other way leading to a goal was simply outrageous. Disgusting.
The easy oasy, never mind, careless little old norwich attitude, the soft centre, the lack of interest and professional pride is indicative of the way the club is run. No blame, no accountability, no oversight, no drive to improve. Just fulfil the fixtures and have a jolly happy chappy day out.
The weak pathetic ownership has allowed a situation to develop, either by design.or incompetence, where webber is directly answerable to his own wife for his performance, hence his performance is shag poor.
In addition, and with the obvious blessing of waldorf and statler at thw top table, he has engineered a situation whereby the local media, an obvious organ for information and possible criticism has been shut out of the loop. Effectively reducing further his accountability. Machiavelli has nothing on this.
This circus needs to come to an end. There are too many clowns and no ringmaster. The owners, board, the webbers and the bulk of the playing staff care not one shiny shite about the sporting reputation of Norwich City as long as they take whatever it is they wish to gain from their association with the club.
Swansea City next week. Perhaps it’s high time for the aforementioned individuals to be made fully aware of how we value their “efforts” this season.
A combination of a woeful owner and a Director of Sport long past their sell by date were solely responsible for last nights disgraceful showing.
When you look back we complained about Chase selling players, despite ten years of top flight football qualifying us for Europe on several occasions, only to be replaced by this disaster!
Delia you do not have the know how or finance to run a championship team.
As for Webber, since Kieran Scott left, the recruitment has been a financial and playing disaster that warrants your replacement as soon as possible.
Whether the above will happen is very doubtful as I feel our American friend is starting to have second thoughts or his valuation of the club is a long way off Delia’s asking price.
Finally is the above grounds for asking for a refund on your season ticket under the sale of goods implied terms act?
Re your last comment….I’m totally amazed by how many supporters/mugs blindly renewed their tickets given what’s transpired over the past couple of seasons.
For me, 2 big mistakes…keeping Webber on when he obviously hasn’t had a clue since Kieran Scott’s removal. And why, oh why did he sack Farke?? If Farke had been kept on, we could not be any worse, and would be much more financially secure.
O T B C
I think the finances would still be bad as this lies entirely at Webbers door. The one saving grace is that he only loaned Marquinhos!
MYSTIC KEV says
Yellow shirts and yellow bellys on show weak minded when under pressure so easy to play against that after seargent should had matchball in first half poor finishing from him .could have driven coach and horses through us so big were the gaps in our formation can’t name missing players been like this for ages.
Went out for 10 mins turned radio on in van 4 bloody 1
Something is wrong internally roll on May and no football for 2 mths maybe time for a totally re set!
Yes, it seems a big reset will be necessary.
No guarantee he can do it again, of course, but the specialist in engineering a successful squad overhaul for his Head Coach while making a financial surplus is a certain Stuart Webber. Did it at Huddersfield for David Wagner, then at Norwich for Daniel Farke.
Mic Corbs says
None are so blind that focus on individual cogs in the system and fail to see the wider picture.
Is the happy clapper to be replaced by the happy chapper, I hope not, being the former.
My WBA mate commented to me at half time that ‘we’ appeared lacking in the street wise arts of the game, and later said that stats wise the games was relatively even. By that time is was in a fugue state.
I’ve been to 3 away games this season, against 3 teams above us, and we have taken 7 pts from 3 good performances, so yesterday was a mystery, except to say their goal did seem to demoralise us.
I’ve felt for a while we probably need to prepare for a few seasons of mid 2nd Tier football. Many of my favourite seasons were of that ilk. Once again, I did wonder if the club could do more to ‘support’ the 600 or so who made the trip. Perhaps some type of subsidized season tickets for those fans who attend more than 10 awau games. By the way I voted for the Government pay offer for Nurses so maybe my policies are questionable.
I watched until just after that little sh*t scored and then took the big un in front of City following. the amount of mis-placed passes and fouls given away. I turned off forecasting 3-0 , got that wrong. I am about as good as those running this sh**show at score guessing. not got one yet.
I honestly cannot see the major changes happening, I said in another comment, That not for one minute do I think the Cook would sanctioned any investment into the club and onto the board, if she was in danger of losing her control. She has seen relegations, even to League One and 4 from premiership. and she is still here in control The debt been allowed to grow to double it once was. Still in control. If there will be any change it will be Webber or someone else as the scapegoat ie Doncaster, and Mr Munby (who was a massive fan, he loved the club)
We are were we were 25 years ago but worse off, a extremely poor squad , no saleable asserts coming through with Aarons, Sara and Big Andy, hardly enough generated for what is needed, plus who in their right mind would trust Webber with a purse again. Funny how Keiran Scott moved on with the doorway possibly blocked to his promotion here in Norfolk, Now at Middlesbrough as Head of Football, for sure he is doing an better job than the man who was more than likely in his way here in Norfolk.
It has been crying out loud for a long while that major changes are needed to the running of this club, and has always gone unheeded , the best we have been given have been minor tweaks. But of course the end results are always the same, there is an insanity of doing it all over again, which beggars belief. But that is what we have seen for ages now. Nothing will change
If the stowmarket duo love the club as they proclaim, sell up and stand aside.
Minor point, she’s seen 5 relegations from the PL.
I missed the Neil one. thanks David .
The footballing Establish that is NCFC is like entering a cat into Cruft’s and saying “I’m different!” Facical recruitment! Farcical ownership!
The only thing that has remained true in 25 years of Smith and Jones ownership is FAN FUNDING!
Woeful managerial and staff appointments have resulted in disappointment albeit Paul Lambert!
The new branding of Self funding, buying players who any passionate NCFC fan wouldn’t recruit after seeing on YouTube, unbelievable?
Do the hierarchy at Norwich city believe the fans truly want them at the club?
What chance do we have now?
It’s race to the bottom I am afraid, no new ideas the inability to find a proven goal scorer from a lower league?
Lower league International players take 2 years to break in? Mr Webber doesn’t seem to be able to learn from his mistakes?
Hopefully the high Altitude of Everest will be able to give him Some Clarity????
Disgusting behaviour from Ramsey, it was a tap in. What is happening to the game?
And the ref starting play when we have put the ball out to get treatment for McCallum?
Argentina winning the World Cup has set the standard for bad sportsmanship and cheating. I’d already given up on promotion but, result aside, games are getting painful to watch.