When I saw the teamsheet for Ashton Gate I must admit to feeling a modicum of excitement as, at last, some issues were made abundantly clear as head coach David Wagner made his selection.
The goalkeeping pecking order is now firmly established and to my surprise the one left out in the cold is American-Chilean youngster Vicente Reyes, who until very recently looked nailed on for the No.3 spot. But the arrival of George ‘I kept a clean sheet on my debut‘ Long and the departure of Tim Krul has changed all that. Yes, that was our Tim looking a bit nervy between the sticks against Gillingham last night!
Angus Gunn. George Long. Jon McCracken. That’s the 1-2-3 for the season.
It bodes well that Adam Forshaw came off the bench to get a few minutes under his belt. It looks like Wagner and coaching colleagues will be specifically working on his fitness from hereon in, so we can consider him an active part of the squad as of now.
Tom Dickson-Peters was nowhere to be seen and that seems to tell a sad story to me, leading on to major question marks about why none of the strikers in the academy were considered suitable for the bench.
And the best news of the night is a contest between progression to Round Three and Wagner’s declaration that everybody emerged from Ashton Gate fit, unscathed, and ready to go again against Rotherham on Saturday.
“Tonight, I’m really proud – we picked quite a young team against a very strong Bristol City side, and the guys played very mature and how brave they were on the ball.
“It was great to see, they had a very good idea of how they wanted to play and they worked their socks off. There’s no question that we deserved this win.
“We were clinical against Huddersfield, but we weren’t clinical tonight. We had two, maybe three, top chances that we didn’t take. As I said, it was a very good night and I’m over the moon and we got the win as well.”
Wagner made nine changes to the side that were 4-0 winners away to Huddersfield, and the head coach is pleased with the players who came in.
“We made a lot of changes. New starters, and they all deserved it. They have shown today why they deserve it. It was an overall top team performance, and individual performances were on a very high level too.
“To have a clean sheet in George Long’s first game is great, and to have Adam Forshaw for the first time in a Norwich shirt too. Everyone is healthy after this game, which is great. It was a very good evening for us.”
Robins’ boss Nigel Pearson was predictably less than impressed with his side’s showing against City, saying that poor on-field decision-making did his side no favours, particularly in the second half.
“Things like recognising who is having joy on the pitch and giving them the ball!
“Norwich are a decent side. I thought we played with positive intent but didn’t create enough goalscoring opportunities.”
PRZEMYSLAW PLACHETA – ‘Now we’ve got to recover quickly and prepare for Saturday’s game’
Przemysław Płacheta started top left and was rewarded with the match-winning goal, making him our seventh separate scorer in the six games played so far. The only Polish footballer to so far grace the turf of Carrow Road in the Yellow and Green agreed with his Head Coach that the Carabao Cup win was a great night for the team and that being in the hat for Round Three is pleasing.
“I think we did what the boss expected of us. Especially as we got a clean sheet. Of course, creating chances and scoring goals. I enjoyed to score the goal as well, so we’ll look forward to playing in the next round.
“I did the work and think how can I do better. I did my best, and what the boss was expecting of me. It was a great run and pass from Sam McCallum, and I try to do my best. Hopefully in the next few games, we can score some more goals.
“Now we’ve got to recover quickly and prepare ourselves for Saturday’s game. We don’t have too much time, but we will be prepared.”
I’d never heard or read Przemyslaw interviewed before so I’ll make a couple of observations. Firstly he seems very focused and likeable and, secondly, I kind of picked up a feeling he knows he is going to have a large part to play in Norwich City’s on-field adventures this season.
It’s worth saying that a fly always seems to appear in the ointment after a satisfying victory.
After the demolition of Huddersfield, it was the injury to Josh Sergeant, with Wagner’s post-match comments last night not offering much in the way of further clarity, simply saying that it will be a matter of “months rather than weeks” and that further investigation is in the pipeline.
No, the spoiler this time was provided by Sky TV.
Normally friends and I have banter-loaded inboxes during every away match but this time we were stuck with Radio Norfolk or that well-known descendant of the teleprinter, the EFL website that displays and updates all the scores simultaneously.
We were all disappointed with Sky’s decision to block Canaries TV and other official club outlets from broadcasting a live feed.
The teams lose out on a few bob in broadcast income, nobody can watch anything but Salford v Leeds [whatever floats your boat] and I’m not even sure precisely what Sky’s gain is either. Ho hum, as my Posse colleague Bernie said and the rest of us agreed with.
There is absolutely nothing any of us can do about it, so ho-hum is as good as anything.
Even more kudos to the 900 travelling Canaries. There won’t be many people who will be able to claim they saw this particular match unless they were beside you on the terraces that night in late August.
So it’s on to Rotherham followed by a rest for both players and supporters alike.
I know I didn’t fool you good readers there – rest will be minimal with two clear weeks at Colney available to Wagner and I don’t think the current, rejuvenated squad we now have will mind that one tiny iota
Since the substitute is playing an ever-increasingly important role in the modern game, this is dedicated to all those who will pull on the Yellow shirt to feature in the role this season.
It’s a tasty slice of The Who casting off their pop band label as well – they were never hippies in the first place so the venue itself is quite ironic: