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  1. 49 points
    Hi all, This is Wooster’s daughter. I’m not too sure if I’m posting this in the correct place but I know my Dad had some friends on here and I just wanted to let you all know of his sad passing on Sunday morning. It has been a shock to all of us as we hoped he would have many more years left. I just thought I should let you all know how much he enjoyed the forum and hearing from all of you. He’d always tell me of the fundraisers you’d do together and the laughs he had with you all. I know he’ll be celebrating Norwich’s win up there. All the best to you all
  2. 34 points
    Sorry folks, I posted my report at 11pm last night but it got eaten by the 502 Gateway problem and is lost somewhere in the ether. Suffice to say it was a wonderful night of raw emotion. We have only ever clinched promotion in a home match once before. In 1960 I stood in the old Barclay stand with my dear old dad. Last night i was at the other end of the ground with my son. Neat bookends to a lifetime of supporting our beloved club. At the end I didn't want to leave the ground and watching the players on their lap of honour I couldn't help but think of what a wonderful roller coaster ride its been, so many ups and downs, despair and elation in fairly equal measure. What a time to have been alive and experienced it all, I am indeed blessed. What a night, what a team and what a very special club we support. On the ball City, never mind the danger. Hopefully more to come next year if I'm still in the land of the living
  3. 28 points
    Hi chaps Im a season ticket holder at Leicester and felt that you guys needed some praise today. Naturally im disappointed we didnt win considering our form and your league position (no disrespect) but we didn't do enough to win and more importantly i was really surprised/impressed with Norwich. That's the poorest we've played at home this season and these sorts of games happen but take nothing away from Norwich Defensively superb, particularly the full backs Aarons and byram, not to mention being very creative going forward. You guys always looked dangerous and have some talent in the attacking area's. Pukki constantly a threat plus really like Cantwell, quality player. Ive 100% seen a number of worse sides than you guys this season and playing like that you'll stay up for sure. Great support and i really like farke. Massively hope you do stay up
  4. 23 points
    In the normal course of events I am never very lucky when it comes to Lotteries, draws or raffles, but when I made my application for tickets on Thursday I was absolutely confident that I was going to be a winner. Call it confirmation bias if you like but fate does seem to have a habit of playing out in strange ways. In the course of a long supporting lifetime you get to witness a whole raft of odd events. Bunny Larkins torn shorts, Kevin Keelans left hook that laid Tom Robson low and the night the fog came down in the League Cup semi final with just five minutes left are just a few of those unexpected little nuggets that immediately spring to mind. Weird events do happen but being present on a fine September afternoon in an almost empty stadium in the midst of a world wide epidemic is probably the weirdest of all. i have not done much cycling during the lockdown so we took it easy on the way down so as not to overheat. Thankfully I passed the temperature check o.k. and didn't get sent to the Covid Lounge. I was there ninety minutes before kick off but it didn't really seem necessary with only 1K attendance and there were plenty who arrived much later. In any event we had a good seat on the halfway line and gave the boys a big cheer when they came out to run through the warm ups. Buendia, absent again was a disappointment but the team looked strong enough on paper and when we kicked off towards the River End there was a nice blue sky but quite a blustery cool wind. The visitors looked quick and strong in the opening exchanges and probably edged the opening quarter with City seeming to find difficulty getting into any sort of rythym. Skipp caught my eye with some snappy tackling but McDowell took an early knock which saw him limp off mid way through the half. It didn't surprise me when Preston went ahead and although it was a soft penalty, players should know better than clatter into someone from behind when the ball is in the air. Davies went down rather easily but you couldn't really argue when the ref pointed to the spot. After this it didn't really get much better and I was bemoaning our lack of efforts on goal in the opening half hour when City finally exerted a bit of sustained pressure with crosses into the area. It looked like Preston had survived when it was hacked clear on the City right but when the ball was returned Declan Rudd could only fumble Pukki's flying header in off the post. This seemed to wake the home team up as the ball was now being pinged around in fine style and Pukki might well have had a second when a combination of Placheta, who had replaced McDowell, and Cantwell got him through with just Rudd to beat. The City Talisman tried to dink it past the Preston keeper but Rudd just got fingers to it to save the day. After a bout on the back foot Preston came forward again just before the break and picked apart the home defence with worrying ease. Sinclair had time and space to beat Krul but Godfrey did wonders to block it on the line. Unfortunately there were two Preston players waiting for the rebound and Fisher netted with relative ease. After a disappointing half there was much to ponder as we sat in the sun and having forgotten to bring my usual halftime livener I had to don an extra layer as the temperature started to drop. City began the second half with a little more zest and Max Aarons was unlucky when he curled a shot a foot over the bar after a sustained period of pressure. Preston however still looked very lively on the break and the home defence had to be on it's toes to defend a series of dangerous corners. A surging fifty yard run by Skipp almost got Pukki in again and Godfrey was a yard to high with a shot struck from twenty-five yards. Placheta was looking very dangerous with neat footwork and lightening speed down the left but he wasted a glorious chance When Rudd could only beat away a Pukki effort into his path. From six or seven yards the goal appeared to be at his mercy but a snatched effort sailed well over. Idah came on for Hernandez just after the hour markand was unlucky to see a deft header blocked in the six yard box. Again it was Placheta supplying the cross. Time was ticking away quite quickly and the visitors took every opportunity to milk the clock, much to the annoyance of the home crowd. I think those of us in the stands did our best to lift the boys and were generally as noisey as it is possible to be with only a thousand in the ground. It was great to be back but I am sure all would agree that it's not quite the same as having a full house. With only five minutes left more sustained pressure in the box found Placheta with a chance. The first was blocked but the second was volleyed beautifully into the far corner for the equaliser and from there on I was convinced we would get a winner. Preston still had plenty of fight and pushed us back on the break but in the final minute of added time I thought we had done it. A great ball out to the left found Placheta going at speed and his low cross was met perfectly by Pukki on the corner of the six yard box. I was up out of my seat but somehow Rudd got a hand to it and turned it over the bar. So near yet so far. So honours even and it would be churlish to say Preston didn't deserve their point. It is going to be a long season and we always knew it wouldn't be easy so I am relatively content tonight. At the very least I can now claim to have attended both the highest and the lowest ever first team gates at Carrow Road.
  5. 23 points
    Stuart Webber knows instinctively what is coming. “Every expert on TV before the Liverpool game will be writing us off,” Norwich City’s sporting director says. “It’ll be, ‘They have spent no money, it is a disgrace, what are the owners doing, they are stitching the manager up’ . . . blah blah blah. “Internally, as staff and players, we have to utilise that, ‘The whole world thinks you are not good enough because they think we should sign ten new players — what does that say about you?’ That is pretty disrespectful to some of our players.” The coming months will reveal whether Norwich can defy expectations and remain in the Premier League but, in the meantime, other preconceptions can be challenged with rather more haste. The insinuation lingers that this is a club that has lacked ambition in readying itself for a first return to the top flight since 2016, particularly given that a trip to Anfield lies in wait on Friday, yet that depends entirely on the barometer by which City are to be measured. If the gauge is spending £100 million à la Fulham last summer, a spree that ended in a speedy return to the Sky Bet Championship, or Aston Villa this time around — £134 million and counting — then Webber makes no apologies for not meeting that criterion. Alternatively, scratch below the surface and a cluster of young talents have signed new contracts rather than being sold, Daniel Farke, the manager, has committed his future and there is a revamped, state-of-the-art training ground that cost £6 million and replaced the 49 Portakabins that had previously constituted their base. The wage bill will rise to £65 million and Norwich hope the four signings they have made — Josip Drmic and Sam Byram plus Ralf Fährmann and Patrick Roberts on loan — can become the latest examples of how to manipulate the market. Just as Teemu Pukki’s arrival on a free transfer from Brondby a year ago resulted in 29 goals and proved a catalyst for progress. They are backing youth, players such as Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey, placing faith in a squad that scored 93 goals in winning the Championship with 94 points, trusting a manager Webber believes could become world class to eke out more improvement and putting foundations in place that will ensure that, were the worst to happen, relegation is not a disaster. “We might not be able to buy superstars, but we can create them,” Webber says in a neat precis of the club’s mantra. “Coming up has enabled us to get back on a financial footing which will last a long time for this club. It has allowed us to tie down assets which, otherwise, we might have had to sell and it has allowed us to invest massively in an infrastructure which will be here for ever. “We could have sold a Max Aarons for a considerable sum to then help us build the squad but we spoke about keeping this group together because we still think there is a lot of growth in the current players. “Whether they are good enough to stay in the Premier League we are going to find out. We don’t know. But we could spend £100 million and not know. “We cannot talk about the harmony of the group being a major strength and then panic. We actually don’t think we need a major rebuild. We didn’t think we had massive gaps.” History is on their side. No side winning the Championship have been relegated immediately since Cardiff in 2014, while the past has also helped to point the way forward. The reality is that Norwich tried spending big on previous flirtations with the elite only to flatline, and it has taken promotion to resolve the financial mess that came with that flawed splurge. This summer, a bonus payment was made to Everton relating to a promotion clause in Steven Naismith’s contract when he joined for £8.5 million in January 2016. Naismith’s last game for the club was in August 2017 and he spent the last 18 months of his three-year deal on loan at Heart of Midlothian. The sales of James Maddison and the Murphys, Josh and Jacob, in recent years were not with a view to reinvestment but borne out of necessity. “The biggest problem in my time here is that we have made nearly £70 million net in transfers and 95 per cent of it has gone to pay off misdemeanours, not improving things,” Webber says. “If we get to next summer and decide to sell a player for a considerable sum of money then, whatever league we are in, that money can be reinvested.” Webber has been entrusted with pulling a fresh blueprint together by the owners Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones, with success in East Anglia adding depth to the work previously undertaken at Huddersfield Town where he was behind the recruitment of David Wagner. The 35-year-old, who spent three years in Liverpool’s recruitment department earlier in his career, moved to Norwich in 2017, repeating the model of hiring a German coach — as with Wagner — from Borussia Dortmund’s second team. One of the attractions was Farke’s work ethic. Cameras have been installed at Norwich’s training ground to film every session, which can be followed live by a team of analysts. A case study of Farke’s ability to nurture talent would be Godfrey, the 21-year-old who was signed from York City aged 18 and has been transformed from defensive midfielder to centre back. Webber thinks he will play for England. “Daniel has the potential to be a world class coach and he has the potential to one day be stood in Liverpool’s dugout, managing them, not managing against them,” Webber says. “When I was appointed here or when I appointed Daniel, or David at Huddersfield, it was very clear — this is what this club is. If you want a club that is going to spend £40 million on a striker then don’t come. “We are not saying to Daniel, ‘You must keep us up.’ He should be protected in his job, not be the fall guy. We will either be successful or we will fail but we are not going to fail by doing a popularity contest of ‘we must spend £40 million because there is £40 million to spend’. “Our fans are educated enough to know we have spent a lot of money before and it didn’t work. They know the money isn’t being siphoned off into owners’ pockets. Every penny stays within the club and they know we will spend it wisely so that they have a better club at the end of it. We want to become sustainable, really healthy and successful. It would be great if, in five years, we are seen as a club that people want to be like and think, ‘We need to visit Norwich to see what they are doing.’ ”
  6. 22 points
    I have had several posters ask me recently to write a piece about my early supporting days back in the early 1950’s and as we are in the fairly quiet time between seasons I thought I would give it a go. This part I call "How it all started" My Grand parents lived in King Street and many years it was the family meeting place before going off to the match. I must have been six or seven years old when I first became curious about “The Canaries” or “Carrow Road”. I think it all started while listening to bits of excited conversation between my dad and my uncles on Saturday lunchtimes in the early 1950’s. The excited tones must have got through to me because I soon began to pester my dad to take me to a match. My dad was an engraver and sign writer and couldn’t leave the shop on Saturdays so my first trip down to Carrow Road was with my uncle Bert and my cousin Mike. Now many people say they have vivid recollections of their first game but in all honestly I can’t recall very much other than I think it was a pre-season game which they used to call Possibles v Probables. I can’t remember the score or anything other than the surge of noise and excitement every time the ball got near the goalmouth and I was pretty much hooked on it from that first moment. This was in the decade following WW2 and apart from the football, the cinema and radio there wasn’t a great deal in the way of entertainment. Not that many could afford it anyway, the country was skint and food rationing was only now coming to an end. I think this was the 1953/54 season and although I was taken to three or four league matches I have very little recollection of them now. What I can remember are the names, Tom Johnstone, Alfy Ackerman, Johnny Gavin and Bobby Brennan. I have no visual memories of the first two but the latter two were to become my earliest hero’s. In the early 1950’s the kick off time was 3.15pm while it was light enough and then 2.15pm once the clocks went back. Floodlit matches didn’t start until the latter part of the decade. We used to head off down King St, past innumerable pubs, shops and factories, the vast majority which have passed into memory. Rouen Road didn’t exist at that time, just a multitude of little lanes and alleys that ran all the way down from Ber St. The whole area was a maze of Victorian terraces, interspersed with the odd open space still evidencing the scale of the bombing that had scarred our City a decade before. As a small boy I found enormous pleasure in exploring those narrow alleys with their flights of steps going up to different levels and with shops and pubs on every corner. The crowds would stream down them on match days and at each junction with King St. hundreds more were added to the ever increasing throng headed for Carrow Bridge, for there was no other way across the Wensum, except at Thorpe Station. There seemed to be a pub every fifty yards or so, The Builders Arms, The Tuns, The Ship, The Old Barge, The Wherry, The Ferry Boat, The Kingsway and probably a few more that I’ve forgotten. The abiding smell was of beer from the pubs and Breweries and tobacco smoke because virtually every man had a fag or a pipe on the go and everyone seemed to wear a hat or a cap and a gabardine raincoat. Nowadays it’s fashionable to turn up in the latest replica kit or during inclement weather, a woolly NCFC hat with matching gloves and scarf. Back in the 50’s most fans just came in their ordinary daily clothes and just occasionally you would see somebody with a home knitted yellow and green scarf. For FA Cup games you might see a few rosettes and of course wooden clackers that seem now to have largely passed into history. The bright modern stadium we see today bares little resemblance to the Carrow Road of the 1950’s. It was then a fairly drab looking structure with dark painted fencing and wooden turnstiles. It looked exactly what it was, something that had been knocked together in double quick time without thought for any long term utility. What will always remain in the memory are the huge green painted iron gates that used to be swung open by groundsman Russell Alison just after halftime. There were always a few who couldn’t afford it and would creep in and see part of the game for free. The terraces were just large earth mounds covered in grass at the rear with two or three sets of concrete steps leading up to the summit. The fencing at the back of the terracing was simply a line of elongated railway sleepers set on end with the occasional bit of advertising hoarding on top. It wasn’t permitted but at big matches people would climb on these for a better view. We usually entered from Carrow Road into the ground ( I think it was either nine pence or maybe a shilling for boys) and then went up the side steps onto the River End terrace. This was only partially concreted and for many years a large potion of the standing terracing consisted of railway sleepers. We called it the River End for obvious reasons but in reality it was part of “The Ground” as you could stand anywhere right round as far as the corner of the Barclay for the same price. It was all open terracing; the only cover was the Barclay and Main stand. In the corner where they built the Disabled stand was a curved bit of terracing that stood beneath the old Pinkun Score-board. It was a large black painted structure with letters from A to Z painted on it. At halftime a man would come out of a little door and hang numbers on hooks underneath each letter. If you had a programme you could match up the games with the letters on the board. You may well laugh but that was the state of technology at the time. Mobile phones and the Internet were something out of the Eagle comic and Dan Dare “Pilot of the Future”. You had no knowledge at all of other games and results unless you got home in time for Sports Report on the BBC at five o’clock. You could not enter the ground from directly behind the South stand because there was a water filled **** that ran up from the river. I think this was still there even into the 1970’s. We used to walk round from the River End and stand half a dozen rows back and directly in line with the penalty area. I think that is why many of my early memories are of goals scored at that end. One that always sticks in my mind is Bobby Brennan’s opening goal against Sheffield Utd in the ’59 Cup run. After the South Stand was covered in 1960 I used to move to which ever end we were shooting in and change at half time because that decade was mainly a dull time and there was nearly always plenty of room. It was during that time when we said goodbye to the railway sleepers and all of the terracing was concreted. In the early days there was a concrete slope that you could use to exit the South stand if you wanted to leave by the Thorpe End. When the Stand was improved and extended this was eliminated and you could only get out at the corner through a smallish opening that led to a narrow flight of steps. At the final whistle there was a rush for this exit and you were squeezed out above a precarious 30 foot drop. Thankfully there was a strong steel barrier to save the unwary. The back of the Barclay was just a grass covered mound with steps leading up. There were brick toilets in both corners I think and a large wooden building serving as a bar for half-time refreshment which consisted mainly of bottles of Steward and Patterson’s Light Ale. When the second half resumed there would be hundreds of empty bottles left on the shelves that ran along the front of the bar. If it rained hard you had the choice of the Barclay Stand and at any time during the match you had the option to pay either three-pence or sixpence to transfer through a little gate in the fencing to get under cover. If I went in the Barclay I liked to stand to the right of goal and it was from here that I have a strong memory of standing with my dad in 1960 the night we beat Southend 4-3 to gain promotion to Division 2. We lived just off Plumstead Road at the time and used to get the 92 bus to Rosary corner. We would walk back and he would tell me stories about the old days when City played at the Nest on Rosary Road . Because of his work he could only get to evening matches so those few occasions that we stood together are especially treasured in my memory. I remember him taking me to the first ever floodlit match atCarrow Road in 1957. It was a friendly against Sunderland, I still have the programme. The façade of the main stand was the only brick built structure. The seating was mostly wooden forms with a numbered space. Only the centre block had tip up wooden seats but that was for the toffs and well out of our reach. In front of the seated area was a narrow standing terrace about ten steps wide that was called The Enclosure. You could get a transfer into it from the ground for a small sum. I stood in there a few times but I only ever recall going in the main stand on one occasion. That was on a rather chilly Boxing Day in 1958 when my dad decided it would be a Christmas treat. We played Reading and Roy McCrohan scored the only goal with 25 yard scorcher at the Barclay End. It’s over sixty years ago but I can still see it as though it was yesterday and it still brings a tear to my eye when I think of it. I'm sorry if it's a bit long but once I started the memories came flooding back and I found it hard to stop.
  7. 21 points
    To perform an extremely complex operation to remove Ivan Toney from Grant Hanley's pocket.
  8. 21 points
    Just to put peoples minds at rest I've just contacted Darren and he's ok, just going through difficult times, he will appreciate all the love & concern shown to him.
  9. 21 points
    A balanced view? I hope any Librans out there would say so… 1. The project. Yes, there is one, like it or not. And the project exists because it is the only financially sensible way of running the club if you have pauper owners who are not prepared or indeed able to break whatever FFP rules are called now. By its nature the project is likely (as we have painfully seen) to involve sliding down the odd snake as well as climbing up a few ladders. Arguments against the project in reality are arguments against having pauper owners, and there are valid arguments to be made there. But given the apparent handover of power to Tom Smith, with the status quo implied (on the basis of very limited information, and I would need to know more) by that succession, then arguments are futile. Fans who do not want the status quo need to start acting now to try to force change. 2. Could we have avoided relegation, the snakes and ladders aspect of the project notwithstanding? Subsection a) Were the summer and winter transfer windows c*cked up? Not least because we spent zilch? Yes and no. The signing of several promising youngsters (and those this summer) was in tune with the longer aim of the project. But the headline deals? That we didn’t spend much of permanent deals is less important than whether we signed the right players. If we had bought Fahrmann, Amadou and Roberts it would have cost us a satisfyingly macho amount of money. But not one lasted the course. I don’t know about Roberts. But Amadou was plainly meant to replace Tettey (I believe Tettey said – and expected - as much) and I remember Bethnal, who is no-one’s fool on football, saying what I also thought, which was that Krul would start the season as first choice but Fahrmann would end it as such. Krul ( I know it is heresy but even factoring in playing behind an awful defence I still have doubts about him, as presumably did Webber and Farke) made no obvious mistakes, and Fahrmann was left twiddling his thumbs. And Amadou, in a crucial position, where Webber and Farke obviously knew we needed at least cover and probably an upgrade, left in the winter as well. Was it a risk to place such hopes on someone who’d never played in English football before, given the tactically important and physically demanding nature of the position? As it happens it was good we didn’t spend the money on permanent deals, but that hardly makes up for the fact, for a variety of reasons, and Webber and Farke might well have explanations that put this in a more rounded context, that the summer window didn’t achieve one of its two main objectives, which was to improve the first-team squad. Subsection b) Did Farke's game management and coaching let us down. I don't know, not least since I never had a minute's football coaching in my life. I have read a great deal about the supposed failings of zonal marking, particularly at set pieces. Is that it, or is it simply that we have missed our two most physically imposing central defenders? I defer to posters who actually know a bit about the game, but I get the sense Farke could have done better sometimes, even allowing for him coming up against some of the best coaches in world football. The CV of Ancelotti at Everton, for example, is just absurd, taking in a good percentage of the greatest clubs in world football. I don’t think relegation is a self-inflicted wound, but I don’t believe we made as good a fist of trying to stay up as we could have done. I also believe Webber and Farke will have learned from this season.
  10. 21 points
    Nash Game Theory assumes that self-interest encourages competitors to find and use the optimum strategy in any given scenario. There is criticism - common when results are negative - of tactics, substitutions, Board, philosophy, strategy, lack of Plan B* and quality. There are pages of quick-fire simplistic solutions all over this board implying that ‘if only we did x, or if only we did y’ we’d be better off, surviving, thriving, competing better. In that context - and to make an empirical judgment - the only meaningful question is: ‘Are we doing the best we can with the parameters we have?’The painful Nashian evaluation might well be that this is ‘as good as it gets’. *Plan B does not need to exist if Plan A is already the best you can do with what you have. Which is not the same as winning every (or in fact any) week.Farke’s defence - and by extension the Club’s unless contradicted - is that the limits of the finances (ergo the limits of the self-sustaining model) ensure that we have a ‘youthful’ (trans: naive, inexperienced as well as ‘young in age’) team that is learning on the job, increasing in education and increasing in value as an asset, further sustaining the model. The concentration of youth in defence (and conversely age in attack), can be observed to be the photo-negative of the typical approach whereby (to exaggerate to make the point) old sweats - battle-hardened, scarred and negative - have the appropriate, fearful, danger-lurks-around-every-corner mindset to keep goals out, whilst young, fearless, carefree, try-anything-once, zippy-footed youngsters bear down spontaneously on goal, making it hard to determine their next move and increasing the chances of scoring. That teams and players are significantly better en bloc at Premier level can be clearly noted. Systems are as strong as their weakest point and teams have the funds, depth of resources and analysis to minimise, amortise and prioritise their weaknesses. The optimum strategy to disturb Norwich’s tactics philosophy might be observed to be a well-coordinated high press, with dynamic physicality and a particular focus on the dedicated tempo-playmaker (vid the targeting of Leitner).But wait. That’s not exactly news is it? Didn’t everyone know to do that last year in the Championship? A clear example of how and why it is greater quality, finer coordination - not Norwich failing in some way - that sees our negative outcomes repeating can be seen in the intelligence, unity and coordination of the high press against us. A press that contains 6 players moving in synch not 3 makes a fundamental difference. Players that can mentally repeat this process better, for longer and can then do something penetrative and meaningful with the ball after they have achieved a turnover (perhaps at the fourth time of trying). They then do it all again after making an assist or scoring. Do not underestimate how impressive this is. It just doesn’t exist to anything like this level in the Championship. And all Premier teams can do it. Pukki’s exceptional goalscoring of course bailed us out multiple times from some average performances last season, he now gets less space, less chances and the increased pressure on defending inevitably leads to more exposure to danger and less creation. In the Championship other teams miss and waste a far higher percentage of chances, encouraging and rewarding more open strategies (to the point of cavalier: vid Alex Neil). It can be observed that you simply don’t have to focus so hard on defending and minimising chance creation against you under these parameters. That you may not be mentally, tactically or physically equipped to amend this failing at a later date at a higher level can also be observed. Buendia - arguably second in influence over outcomes last season behind Pukki - has been less able to exploit a half second of time and space than he was a full second of it in the Championship. Conversely Cantwell, statistically far less effect in the Championship than Buendia (and others) - indeed he was arguably peripheral for much of the Championship campaign - has shown himself well able to replicate what he can do at the top level with comparatively much less time to do it in. This does not inevitably meant that he will dominate - or even succeed - if returned to the Championship. This is what scouts and Coaches really look for. Not really FM2019 style stats on who has done what - anybody can find and filter those - but rather ‘does what he does translate to a higher level? Will he be able to do the same thing with less time, under greater pressure, when he has to think faster, when his mistakes cost him more, when he is exposed to brighter lights?’You might note that England has typically dominated smaller teams - often beating them far more heavily in qualifying than other major nations - only to regularly come up short when in the latter stages of a tournament. This is why. The style of play and methodology (until recently) dominated at lower levels and was conversely ill-suited to higher levels. One does not prove the other. In the Championship goals are often scored by a relatively limited number of players. Often not lots of midfielders or defenders score repeatedly (we were an exception) and coaching dangers can be reasonably targeted on limited areas. In the Premier it is far less the case that you can discount some areas, players and possibilities as nearly all players are capable of causing problems if left unattended. Norwich have also made a stylistic decision that has implications for the type of player they recruit and play as Farke has repeatedly stressed. The approach of our contemporaries is instructive here to counterpoint our philosophy. Villa and Sheffield United have followed the tried-and-tested received wisdom of the ‘winning the mini-League’ and adopting defensive-minded strategies with high physicality and athleticism to spoil, disrupt and compete with similar sides and restrict chances of big beatings - with the hope of the odd ‘cup win’ style victory against an off-colour superior. Heightened physicality - often (outside of very high prices) with a corollary of less fluid technicality - can thus be observed as an advance acceptance of mini-league membership. We decided to do different, aware of the risks. We can be observed to have attempted (actually ‘be copying’) the style of top level clubs in a desire to dominate possession and win games by ‘being better’ than the opposition. This is an ambitious and attractive approach that - let us not forget - was well able to dominate the Championship where ‘spoilers’ abound. It can be observed - currently - to be a style of play suited to playing better teams ( Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, even Liverpool) who have a similar approach, albeit with far greater resources. The sit-tight-and-counter-attack approach is far safer tactically (disclaimer: it might be observed that this is actually what we de-facto did vs Man City) and whilst it concedes possession, it does not threaten your own defensive shape in the way that fluid attacking and brave chance-creation often does. The apparent bete-noire for Norwich of weak set-piece defending via zonal marking is true and not true. Zonal marking exists in man-to-man marking systems too. Putting men on the posts is a zone no? The perceived danger of an opponent ‘getting a run on you’ via Zonal should be negated by simply filling the area they want to run into by having lots of strategically-placed bodies there (which we do). Opponents can’t often (if ever) score from headers from the penalty spot outwards, so we are not talking about a huge strip of zonal land here. Zonal can encourage the keeper to come more, which can equally be good or bad. The truth is that lots of goals are scored by set pieces and good delivery is hard for anyone - and any system - to defend. Players switching off is switching off, zonal or not. If you defend a lot, you will logically have to defend more set pieces. If you defend more of them, you’ll concede more from them. Concessions from zonal do look awful though, so they may imprint deeper as a negative image on all. I would be lying if I said I thought all Norwich defenders looked comfortable with the current set piece defensive set up however. Money cannot be excluded in the margins of a game either. Many Premier clubs pay high sums for game-changing Plan B subs. A Crouch, Fellaini, Carroll, a set piece specialist (throws, direct free kicks, sharp delivery). We have a good, balanced squad with interchangeable players. We cannot buy top end weapons to sit on the bench ‘just in case’ as others can. As Nash knows, there is no point in Plan B if the odds still favour Plan A (even if ‘pub’ humans like change for change’s sake in the mistaken belief that it must inherently be better). There will be plenty of flaws in a 6/10 strategy and this board is full of some of them. Unfortunately too often the ‘solutions’ are simply anything and everything that the current strategy isn’t. This is easy to prescribe, though it in no way proves that any such change would derive a better outcome. It is Farke and Webber’s raison d’etre, their life’s work to achieve the best outcome, the maximum output from the resources available. Racing a Fiat against a Ferrari takes more than a good driver however. We have a clear identity. A clear methodology and style of play. It is now well-drilled and established in the minds of the players. There is no confusion, no lack of cohesion, no misunderstanding of what is required individually and collectively. The players purchased fit the model well, the players grown and nurtured are well-schooled in what the coach needs and wants to achieve. This has and will create a good ‘floor’ to outcomes. Our clarity and consistency of message should and will ensure that performance levels - over an extended period (including perhaps the Championship) remain above the ‘floor’ level. It would be naive and disingenuous to imagine that no corollary ‘ceiling’ exists under a self-sustaining model however. Over time - in theory - there are no limits to the model, though a 2020 Championship team without Pukki might well not repeat the surprising and wonderful victory of last season. Goals are much harder to replace than anything else - regardless of the elegant construction of any model - and they can cover a multitude of sins. If buying goals is hard, growing them is harder. If the ruthless approach to transfers this season is due to a long-term infrastructure plan that included not only the training ground, but also the stadium itself, this might be a vote-winner. Giving those who earned success a fair chance is fair-minded, though perhaps romantic in professional sport. Providing an educational platform for young, ascending assets should be economically sound and admirably advertises the model to tomorrow’s candidates, though is quite possibly compromising in immediate sporting terms. There is of course an issue with long-term vision and golden promises of jam tomorrow. Like it or not in our Football world there is the Premier League and far, far behind - in media, money, global interest, exposure, excitement - there is everything else. There is no linear progression, football has changed. Money has changed it dramatically. Small teams historically are now strong economic entities with rich (maybe distant) owners, huge historic clubs floundering - despite maintaining gates at turnstiles - because it pales into insignificance versus TV revenues. Conversely you need a bigger stadium out of the Premier League when you no longer have guaranteed demand to fill it and - horribly - you could shut the stadium and show all your games online via Amazon and make a fortune while at the top tier. Our model is a good one, an elegant one, one to be proud of and support, much of it of eternal good sense regardless of means. Though in truth it was born out of necessity, dressed as choice. It is retrospective justification for what needs to be. We would spend more if we had it. We are doing as well as we can - the manager, the players, the sporting team, the board - with what we have. Nash would be proud. Parma
  11. 20 points
    Deserves its own thread yeah?
  12. 20 points
    Haven’t seen a dedicated thread for this but thought it definitely deserved one. Delia and Michael set up on deck chairs watching a pre season friendly in Germany - the kind of scene you’d see from grandparents watching their grandchild play Sunday league football. This picture perfectly taps into everything good about our owners, this makes our club special, how many clubs can you say have owners like this? And how could their love and dedication to the club not filter through to the staff and players? You can’t put a price on that, and I have to say I favour our current model far more than the investment from afar that some seem to desire. We should be thankful for what we have.
  13. 20 points
    Byram has really missed out on all of Leeds' success since leaving. Some career highlights he will be gutted at missing out on include: not being promoted in 16/17, not being promoted in 17/18 and let's not forget not being promoted in 18/19.
  14. 19 points
    Translation: "****, I haven't found a Premier League club who wants me"
  15. 19 points
    Got to say, I was super impressed with Max today. He knows one bad challenge etc could scupper a move to one of the European clubs, yet he didn’t hold back and was nothing less than fully committed this afternoon. A couple of players have gone down in my high estimation of them however. Not hard to read between the lines what’s going on there with Todd and Emi. And I’d back the boss every single time. He actually genuinely DOES love our club.
  16. 19 points
    Same as me are you ? NCFC been rarely out of your bloody head this week . Drives you nuts doesn’t it . Go round in circles don’t you ? If you’re like me you’re constantly changing your mind . Wish I could be like one of those who never change their mind , that would be easier , no matter how many times it turns out they’re wrong . Actually, please God , no I don’t . Big question in my head for me personally this week ? Why the hell didn’t I tell that game long whinger somewhere behind me at Brighton to shut the f*** up . Only time I heard him join in with a chant was the Your support is f****** s*** at the Brighton fans . Jesus wept , the irony of it . Been having arguments with him in my head . Arguments …. made me think of my biggest ever row with my Dad . 1976 I believe . I would’ve been 12 years old . Driving home after losing 3-1 at home to Arsenal . Dad said we were outplayed (we were ) and deserved nothing from the game ( correct Dad ) . I couldn’t believe my ears . We deserved at least a point I said , Arsenal were just bloody lucky cheating bastards . What kind of Norwich fan was he anyway , my own Dad ! I was shouting and crying with rage , utterly disgusted with him . I was such a shy boy normally it makes me laugh now , and sad . Within three years my dear old Dad was dead , turned out we didn’t have too many more games left , watching City together at Carrow Road . My point ? As I’ve got older I think I’ve lost my way a bit as a fan . When I was 12 the only thing that mattered to me was unwaveringly supporting Norwich City players . That gave me all the kicks I needed . It was pure and simple and looking back , magnificent . It was also so much easier. Didn’t waste time worrying about tactics , who I thought should play etc . Didn’t know anyway ,didn’t need to , didn’t think anyone knew really . Grown ups didn’t , silly old sods they were forever getting it wrong . So , as I really don’t know what I think at the moment , for the time being I’m going back to supporting like my 12 year old self . Apart from lots of pints before the game . Tell you what , I feel so much better already . Join me ?
  17. 19 points
    Take a bow Todd. Wow. Ill admit I didn’t see him being a PL player and thought his lack of pace would restrict him but he looks stronger, cleverer and just reads the game so so well. Onel will be missed but it’s now definitely Todd’s position to lose. What a mature performance on the biggest stage.
  18. 18 points
    https://www.alongcomenorwich.com/articles/the-lambo-diaries/
  19. 18 points
    The best players will usually move on - not always, though. We kept Hucks, Hoolahan and Holt in recent years. Others only moved because we couldn't afford them (Ruddy, for instance). Relatively few moved because we needed them to move to get the transfer fee; most move to better themselves. There isn't a team in the UK who can keep a player who can move on to a better team - even Liverpool and Man Utd lose players to Barcelona or Real Madrid. We can't ignore where we are in the football pyramid but what we can do is make our club one of THE places in the world that people want to buy young and upcoming players from. Like Southampton used to be before they decided to virtually can their academy. Players like Soto and Silani have joined Norwich City for a reason. If we go up will it be any different? Doubtful that most of our team will be that different, but I can see the likes of Dowell, Placheta, Sorensen etc stepping up a level or two. We have to concentrate on what we can do that others can't - Chelsea are struggling to replicate a little bit of our type of plan because they have to win trophies while they are doing it. For that reason, the rest of the top 10 or 12 in the EPL also can't do it. They try to buy young talent for £20m because they can't wait for their own academies to produce players. Hudson-Odoi on £100k a week hardly gets a game. He's financially set for life, an England player, but as a footballer his career is going nowhere and in 20 years time no one will remember he existed. Think Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair etc - what a waste! Jack Clarke at Tottenham; Daniel James at Man Utd - the wrong moves for both of them, with agents who don't act in their clients best interest. Man Utd have dozens of 19 and 20 year olds on their books who have never got near their first team, in the hope that just one might one day show something. Those players could join clubs like ours to develop so that when they're 23 they can slot into that first team, having shown they can do it at the top of the Champs or the bottom of the EPL. That's what we do. Josh Martin and Matthew Dennis used to be at Arsenal, but they couldn't give them the development we can. Both will be worth millions in two or three years time. We've bought Mumba, Adshead, Fitzpatrick, Mair etc because they will develop into proper players. Some won't even make it with us - but lots will. Is it enough to make us an "established EPL team"? I don't know - but it's probably the only way we can be one, so let's have a go. That's what I call ambition.
  20. 18 points
    Just some summary thoughts from the match; At half time, I am pleased to report the vibe in the away end was not a reflection of the negativity of the pinkun match thread and 'chants of ‘yellows yellows’ rung out as the players wandered off. There were no grumblings and no finger pointing at individuals (although Hanley did have a stinker...). There was simply so much from us to enjoy from the performance, we had taken the game to Liverpool at Anfield, created excellent chances and played big bolluck football out from the back with no fear. The scoreline itself felt like a kick in the stomach, but I don’t think anyone thought 4-0 at half time was a fair reflection of that game. I did wonder if this would become the theme of the season as has been the case in previous years. The ‘proud of the lads’ posts, the plucky underdog moments and all of those what ifs and maybes. I spent halftime pondering all of them. It all seemed so unfortunate yet so familiar. That said, I thought offensively we had looked even sharper than last season, considering there were no new additions starting and the huge step up in quality of opposition, we managed to up the tempo and play our intricate football at a pace I have not seen it played at before. I was also impressed with the freedom our back 4 were playing with in possession. Particularly Lewis and Godfrey. Liverpool’s press was putting a lot of pressure on us and we generally coped with it well, I don’t recall us stupidly losing possession many times at all in the first half. They made it super difficult for us but when we managed to beat the press - sexy football ensued. Was great to see Cantwell continue his preseason form, he looks a completely different prospect this season. Krul was also calmness personified on the ball. He seems to have turned a mental corner from where he was at 12 months ago - there were no jitters, he was not to blame for any goal and he looks reassured as our number 1. I was really pleased with how things panned out in the second half, without actually playing notably better. The luck appeared to balance out somewhat, with Liverpool missing some great chances, Krul compounding his stable first half performance with some superb saves and a great goal for Pukki to boot. Excellent! However it did appear that Liverpool had taken it down a gear in this half, understandably so. There were also some really sloppy moments from us in possession that we didn’t concede in the first half, Godfrey and Cantwell both at fault for dallying too long on the ball - fortunately neither chance led to a goal. Buendia had been fairly quiet but grew into the game and capped it off with the assist. I thought Leitner’s introduction really helped us galvanise some neat passages of play, allowing us to apply more prolonged pressure on Liverpool. As to the negativity and finger pointing in the match thread, really? Hanley getting some unnecessary stick, other than the stinker I thought he did a decent job. He is about the level I would expect our 4th choice CB to be at. Our midfield pair of Trybull and McLean got overran, yes they did, good spot guys. This PAIR also played in the championship last season and are now playing against Liverpool’s midfield THREE (three is more than two) at Anfield! We let in 4 goals, Krul must be benched! Come on! I am not against constructive criticism at all but this is pathetic to read after just the first 45 minutes of our season against bloody Liverpool. I saw plenty of signs tonight (even at half time) that this will be a really special season and I am despondent to see others clearly not on board and showing so much negativity. This team is going to make mistakes, we are a young side making a big step up with very little in the way of financial support. We are playing the best football I’ve ever seen us play; in a more sustainable way than any other team in the league. What isn’t to like? I can confidently say that I will be sticking with this manager and team all the way wherever we finish this season. If you have not bought into this model by now (which I can only presume is the case for some in the match thread), please just don't bother contributing - because it ain’t getting much better than this.
  21. 18 points
    Fantastic interview and actually quite revealing. The tagline story is ‘a German nobody who makes it big in the Premier League’...but there are quite a lot of interesting nuances and themes: Farke is quite different - and even odd - and so fit in well with us Norwich outsiders He will stick to his playing principles and belief in young players, making players better and resurrecting lost or mis-directed talent. There was a warm fascination with how loved he was - with the hint that they were surprised - and a feeling that he had found his home (even though it wasn’t in Germany). Farke also displayed a clear and progressive understanding of the Head Coach - Sporting Director model in terms of roles and responsibilities and lines of communication. Farke was (rightly) irritated by the implication that money dominates in England and pointed out that Norwich is unique, representing not just a City, but a huge catchment area with a great potential and sense of community. He is really deeply proud of the club, its ethos and the opportunity he’s been given. Parma
  22. 18 points
    Plans have been unveiled for a new TV Channel focusing exclusively on the Tractor Boys. I've managed to get hold of a sneak preview of the opening day's schedule... 07:00 – Those Glory Glory Days – Tribute to the 62 Championship Team. Presented by a Professor of Ancient History from some university or other. 07:30 – 24 – Thriller – Will the Mighty Tractor Boys get this many points – Tune in to watch double agent Jack ‘Lambert’ Bauer try and thwart his ‘triffic set of lads’ winning again this season. 08:30 – Ipswichcrazy’s Youtube funnies – This week a tribute to Grant Holt. 09:00 – Bottom – an hour-long look at the league table 10:00 – Cash in the Attic – Four Town fans desperately try and find what Marcus has done with all the transfer fees. 11:00 – Blue Planet – David Attenborough uncovers natural history from deep within the Club Shop. 11:30 – Dad's Army – James Collins & Jon Walters discuss highly successful loan spells at Portman Road 12:00 – Danger Man – An in-depth profile of Town’s top striker – Will Keane – includes footage of all his league goals. 12.02 - Drop The Dead Donkey – fans discuss the debate about Ian Marshall’s final years at the club. 12:30 – Family Fortunes – those Binner fans old enough to remember, reminisce about the Cobbolds. (Subject to change if the participants aren’t up to it or meals on wheels arrives) 13:00 – Fawlty Towers – Comedy about an inept owner struggling to maintain his crumbling business. This week’s episode – “There’s a bloody bush growing out of the roof!” 13:30 – The Good Old Days – grainy footage of an away win 14:00 – I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! – unprecedented access to Paul Lambert’s innermost thoughts 15:00 – The IT Crowd – historic footage of a full Portman Road (Black & white) 16:00 – The Inbetweeners – this season’s loan stars are asked about their time in Suffolk. This week’s episode – Meh! 16:30 – The Jewel in The Crown (Repeat) – profile of the next young starlet to roll off the ITFC production line and spearhead the charge up the division. This week : Jordan Rhodes 17:00 – Just The Two Of Us – Sitcom set in The Churchmans 17:30 – Last Man Standing – Sitcom sequel to Just The Two Of Us 18:00 - Keeping Up Appearances – Posters from TWTD hotly debate why they are still a huge club and everybody’s favourite second team. 18:30 – Love Thy Neighbour – balanced debate show recognising Norwich City’s renaissance for what it is. 18:31 – Pointless – An assessment and prediction of Town’s final 10 games this season 19:00 - Not Going Out – Drama about a young first-team Town player who can’t handle the thought of returning for the second half. 20:00 - Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Width – comedy about a boastful football club chairman with a large squad of players but can’t win any games. 20:30 – Rip Off Britain – This week Ipswich Season Tickets – why aren’t they giving them away? 21:00 – Remember Me? - Gameshow where famous footballers attempt to be picked out of a line-up. FA Cup Winner Roger Osborne features but no-one believes him. 21:30 – Shameless – A re-telling about how Town ripped off local businesses and charities following administration 22:00 – The News – Pathe Reel of May 1962 22:15 – Top Gear – A look at those fashions we still cherish from ‘78 22:30 – Who Do You Think You Are – Some Town fans start to question Paul Lambert’s pedigree. 23:00 – Walking with Beasts – Paul Mariner talks about his strike partnership with Eric Gates. 00:00 – The Wombles – The scouting team talk about their search for freebies and loans amongst the ‘things that the everyday folk leave behind’. 01:00 – FA Cup Final 1978 – Set the Betamax for another re-run of one of the greatest days in English history. Frank Bough sets the scene as the Blues thrash a powerful Arsenal team to lift the coveted trophy for the first time and give their ecstatic fans something to crow about again and again and again. David ‘One-Nil’ Coleman supplies the commentary. 03:00 – As 01:00 05:00 – As 01:00
  23. 17 points
    I'd say "not the best time to be playing Norwich"
  24. 17 points
    And this is exactly why Daniel Farke should be treasured. There are not many managers out there that would trust young players in a first team environment the way he does. if we still had the likes of Chris Hughton or Alex Neil I wouldn’t mind betting players like Aarons and Cantwell would still be on loan in the Scottish premiership or something. Maddison would be somewhere like Rotherham. tge way Farke is willing to trust and develop you is incredible in my opinion and it pays off. Any up and coming youngster will as a result choose us over our competitors I’m sure as they can see a clear pathway. long may this approach continue
  25. 17 points
    I was thinking having very limited Internet access at the moment was a bit of a pain, until I read the last four pages of this thread, and suddenly I saw the upside...
  26. 17 points
    On match days I usually wake up with a buzz of anticipation and a quiet optimism that we will see a good game and get a decent result. This morning, despite the bright early Autumn sunshine, I had the sort of feeling that I used to get when lining up outside the headmasters study awaiting the inevitable chastisement. Those of a similar vintage to me who went to school in the days of corporal punishment, will know exactly what I mean. Even with a full squad this was going to be a difficult game and in the light of such an extended injury list my hope was get through it with as little damage to goal difference and morale as possible. As we headed off to CR my son mentioned that we were 25-1 to win and being the older wiser head I told him not to be silly as it would just be chucking money down the drain. Carrow Road looked wonderful in the early evening sunlight as City kicked off towards the River end but soon found themselves penned back by the Champions quick and accurate play and had to defend a couple of dangerous corners. It was encouraging to see Amadou looking strong and confident and Sam Byram was making it difficult for Sterling with a couple of good tackles. The crowd roared enthusiastically at any sign of the home side raising the siege but in truth it was mainly a case of keeping the visitors at arms length. As we came up to the twenty minute mark strong play from Buendia got City moving forward and we finally got numbers in the opposing half. Even Tetty got forward far enough to force a corner on the right. Buendia's cross was too the near post where Kenny Mclean ghosted in all alone to glance a header past Ederson. The whole place just errupted with joy at the unexpected lead and from then on every tackle, throw in and goal kick was greeted with tremendous noise. Inevitably the Champions responded and when Aguero spurned a decent headed chance the City faithful gave vent to a storm of derision. It was quite apparent that the visitors were a bit rattled and the game got a shade feisty at times. It was still the visitors with the lions share of possession but the makeshift City rearguard looked reassuringly solid. The breakaways were few and far between but it was again Buendia doing some ball winning before setting Pukki away on a run at goal just before the half hour. As ederson advanced off his line, the City talisman might well have tried a shot but instead cleverly laid it to his left where Todd Cantwell arrived on cue to tap in a second goal. It was glorious and it it was unbelievable in equal measure, surely nobody could have realistically predicted this. The vistors almost struck back immediately when the ball pinged about in the City area but there were cheers of relielf when Sterlings effort rebounded off Kruls righthand post. The defence looked solid and purposeful with everyone playing their part to perfection and Tim Krul was looking safe as houses while plucking the odd cross out of the air in fine style. It was good to see the home side now having a bit more possession themselves and they even earned a couple of corners much to the joy of all around me. I was counting the minutes down to halftime hoping to keep the two goal advantage intact but its next to impossible to shut Aguero out forever and ineviatably it was the the little Argentine who got on the end of a cross to glance a header past Krul to reduce the arrears seconds before the break. I think we were all a bit stunned during the halftime break and I am sure most were thinking as I was that if we could get another one we might just get a point out of this. As we resummed it was the visitors who immediately got on the front foot and swarmed around our eighteen yard line making it very difficult to get the ball away. Eventuall, Stiepermann got Pukki away in space on the left and we all held our breath as he bore down on goal only to fluff his lines with a fairly tame shot wide of the far post. I was still bemoaning it as a decent chance missed when Buendia robbed Otamendi on the edge of the box and squared to Pukki who this time made no mistake as bedlam ensued in the ranks of the City faithful. I've heard some loud Carrow Roads over the years but this was ear splitting and spine tingling all at the same time. The visitors slung De Bruyne and Jesus on very quickly and once again it was all hands to the pump as wave after wave of Man City attacks bore down on the River End goal. Aguero had a couple of headers over the top and then leapt like a salmon at the far post only for Tim Krul to turn it over from point blank range. Every clearance and City surge forward was greeted with a wall of noise that got even louder as the visitors passing occasionally went astray. Godfrey and Amadou were simply immense under preasure and despite the tight passing of Aguero and Sterling there always seemed to be a City leg or body in the way. I began to be fixated by the clock which I am sure was being slowed down by some invisible hand. It felt like an age going from seventy five to eighty minutes. Drmic came on for Buendia with seven minutes left and just when I finally began to believe we were going to win it, Rodri was given enough space to strike a low shot that Krul got a hand to but could not keep out. 3-3 would certainly be a disapointment now and the nerves were really jangling and Krul twice had to be alert as shots got through. City players were going down with cramp as we moved into added time and I forced the second hand of my watch round with sheer will power as City continued to block and harry to the death unti that ecstatic feeling of relief as Kevin Friend blew for full time. Incredible, unbelievable, a night that nobody there will ever forget. Lake District Canary, this one is for you. I will never ridicule your often supremely over positive forecasts ever again. Nosey, colourful, wonderful, what a time to be alive. MOM everyone in yellow and green including the crowd.
  27. 17 points
    Every where you look negative city fans, GET A GRIP!!!! No disgrace in first 3 games!!! Yes at West Ham we looked second rate, a poor performance they happen!!! Far too many city fans believed we would sweep in on a cloud and hit top 10. Get real, this season is going to be a hard slog, every point hard fought, we know that. We are likely to be bottom at the end of September given the fixture list!! But lose heart, as many are doing on the posts today and yesterday, we will be relegated by Christmas!!! Wake up smell the coffee and metaphorically roll up the sleeves and get behind the boys!!!
  28. 17 points
    I had a count up this morning and unless my maths is wrong this will be my 66th season at CR and 26th in the top flight. This time last year I never dreamed that this would be happening and was fully expectant of a long period of mediocrity stretching into the far distance. The day dawned bright and warm and for a change instead of the bikes, we had a lift down to the ground from my grandaughter Rosie. Carrow Road looked wonderful in the sunlight and with a crowd that looked well up for the challenge it was hard not to be carried along by a feeling of optimism. City began nicely on the front foot and were soon displaying the short pass and move game that we have come to know and love. Leitner was at the heart of all the early attacks with some incisive play and combined to good effect with Todd Cantwell, to put the frighteners on what quickly looked like a nervy Magpies back line. Indeed Cantwell, almost despatched Pukki's quick pass after the City Talisman found space in the area only to be denied by a combination of defender and goalkeeper. As we came up to the ten minute mark it was Stiepermann, who found Pukki in enough space to turn and flash a low shot a yard wide of Dubravka's right hand post. City were definitely bossing proceedings but had a reminder to be careful when Lewis didn't get enough on a clearing header only for Krafth to lash an angled shot well over the bar. A minute later it really should have been City ahead when Pukki found space to right of goal. Stiepermann and Lietner were waiting for the pull back but Pukki backed himself from a narrow angle (and who can blame him) only for Dubravka, to save at the expense of a corner. Soon after it was Pukki again who latched onto Cantwell's pass only to shoot straight at the keeper. Apart from a speculative twenty yarder that Krul fielded comfortably there hadn't been much coming back from the visitors until suddenly Joelinton found space to flash a header alarmingly close to Krul's right hand upright. The saying that you have to take your chances in this league was quickly proved true as City roared back downfield and Pukki was in the right place to volley Buendia's cross into the roof of the net from 12 yards. Never was a goal more richly deserved for some of City's football in this half verged on truly scintilating. The goal brought the visitors forward a bit more but Krul in the City goal looked confident with a take and and a block when danger threatened. Then a bit more neat possession football saw City see out the half with more than a margin of comfort. I had been my usual pessimistic self over the summer, with expectations of a relegation struggle, but if this level can be maintained throughout the season we might well confound the pundits predictions. Even the halftime entertainment was a cut above last years fare Newcastle upped their game as the second period began and City had to stay solid at the back. I thought Godfrey and Hanley were forming a decent understanding and even though there was a bit of pressure there were few real alarms until Krul had to palm away a dangerous cross shot. A second goal was obviously needed to settle the nerves and it duly came just after the hour as Cantwell brilliantly allowed the ball to come across his body a leave a defender flat footed. A pass inside to Pukki allowed the City striker time to check and strike a low shot past Dubravka's right hand and raise the Carrow Road decibels to the rafters. Leitner now came into his own, winning balls in midfield and accurately finding a team mate with pass after pass. The visitors looked a beaten side and a few minutes later Pukki's hat trick goal confirmed it. With Cantwell and Pukki versus one defender it was no contest and Pukki did the honours with another firm low shot, this time past Dibravka's left hand. Mario, Tetty and Byram came on for the last knockings and all that was needed now was the clean sheet. Unfortunately it wasn't to be as with under a minute of added time left, Shelvey, the pick of the visitors players, found space to be onside and flash a consolation across Tim Krul and into the roof of the net. All in all a hugely satistfying win, not only for the goals but for the manner of play that brought them about. I wasn't confident before kick off but on this sort of display I reckon we will be more than o.k. Pukki has to be MOM for that hat trick but in open play nobody was better than Leitner. To be honest it would be churlish to fault anyone. And I got a lift home as well
  29. 16 points
    That I really, really, really miss not being at Carrow Road.
  30. 16 points
    It's also about time that Ed Balls was given the credit he is due for his major part in transforming the club. Many on this site have pilloried him for no more reason than he was an ex-Labour Party minister. The reality is he worked voluntarily as chairman playing a major role in turning the club into an organisation that is run on economic and footballing principles that are the envy of very many clubs. I remember very well the long interview he gave on Radio Norfolk explaining that the club would take its time to completely rethink it's structure for the next managerial appointment after Alan Irving. Can anyone genuinely claim that he didn't do an incredible job in planning the subsequent Sporting Director and Head Coach structure, and appointing exceptional individuals to those posts? The man is Norwich City through-and-through, and I for one thank him heartily for the exceptional work he did in playing such a major role transforming the club to its present eminent position.
  31. 16 points
    I am guessing one of them was coming off for Zimbo, but given we don't exactly have an excess of strikers at the moment you can understand why Farke was reticent to yank both of them off at the same time. Indeed, if you look at the last 25 minutes when we had nobody capable of occupying the Stoke back 4 I think you can probably answer you own question. Still, I suspect that had Farke taken both off and we had gone on to draw or lose the game you would probably be criticising him anyway Jim for taking off two players who had been exceptional up until that point. As an actual manager who has to make decisions under pressure he does not really have the benefit of hindsight we all do. Given we have taken 23 from the last 27 points, sitting top, coming off the back of a horrendous season, perhaps best to give Farke the benefit of the doubt and concede it's not always as cut and dried as we fans like to make out.
  32. 16 points
  33. 16 points
    I don't know if its' the fact that we can't watch live football or not. But seeing the sham, of a farce, of a travesty that the game is becoming means my love of the game is on the slide. Don't get me wrong, being Norwich born and bred, I love the City, the area, and my football club - and always will. But seeing what is happening to the game is just turning me off. VAR will be the death of football unless it is radically overhauled or even scrapped - although have come this far and spent sooo much money I don't think anyone can be seen to 'lose face' over the charade. If the faceless wonders running our game think this what the fans want they are sadly wrong. It is not working full stop, and I'm finding some of the Refereeing to be embarrassing. the fact that common sense has now been withdrawn means the fans are being seriously short changed. Penalties are being given where no players are appealing for the decision. The handball decisions are ludicrous, all you needed at Tottenham yesterday was a crocodile with a string of sausages in its mouth, running across the penalty area and the Punch and Judy show would have been complete. In the old days it was simple, if the ball struck your hand or arm and there was no intent to block or propel the ball forward it was not handball. We saw first hand last season that VAR is not for the smaller clubs, Pukki's goal against Spurs being disallowed because his eyebrows were past the last defenders. That is a complete nonsense, the decision was so close no assistant Ref could have spotted that with normal vision - and that's probably why he didn't flag for it. And again there was no appeal from the defenders. I always though forwards were given the benefit of the doubt to encourage attacking play, pulling them back for millimetres might be the correct decision, but that's something we've never had, and even then is it actually right? Now, with lots of rumours about Buendia and Cantwell swirling around I don't know if we'll ever hear exactly what is going on with them two. If, as some have suggested they have 'downed tools' they are being very badly advised. And this is another problem with our game...Agents. There is now so much money swilling around the top end and too many people being greedy to claim their 10%. My advice to them two would be don't believe the hype. if you are as good as you think you are you would already be at a bigger club, there hasn't been a stampede for your services yet - but I do realise this is no ordinary transfer window. The money - coupled with the appalling VAR - is tightening the big clubs grip on the game. So the chance of us finishing in the top half of the Prem is virtually nil.
  34. 16 points
    It always strikes me when I read threads like this just how abjectly dim a proportion of our supporter base is. Yes this season has been a footballing catastrofcuk, and I cannot abide relegation - especially when we pass Leeds going the other way. But. * You don’t get a big wad of cash upon promotion. It is paid in instalments. See also parachute payments * No-one wants to “invest” in Norwich City. If the majority shareholders were rejecting takeover offers left, right and centre do you not think that maybe, just maybe, the press might get wind of this. There may also be a duty to inform shareholders of offers, someone who knows more about company rules could answer that. * “The board” could have mortgaged the club’s future for a better shot at staying up. The last time this was tried NCFC ended up back in the Championship and close to administration. Only selling James Maddison prevented this from happening. * Delia/the board/the tea lady aren’t “trousering the money.” The accounts are published and are there for all to see. Just look on the Companies House website. If you repeat claims that the owners are pocketing money then I submit that you are mostly bone from the neck up. * The general consensus at the start of the season, and certainly after we beat Man City, was that a good approach had been taken re transfers and spending. There’s a hell of a lot of revisionism going on here. * Setting a target of being a top-26 club doesn’t mean no ambition. It’s realistic. Would you rather Delia came out and said “we have the ambition to win the Premier League in five years?” Of course not as it would, rightly, be derided as bunkum. Being a top-26 club does not preclude further ambition. Having this target does not exclude having an improved target once this one has been reached. Norwich City is a mid-sized, provincial football club with a very strong local supporter base but little international support and marketing potential. Norwich itself is small provincial city with little in the way of opportunity for large international investors. There are no major infrastructure projects and poor connectivity to places with secondary interests potential new owners would look for. The club is also, now, financially stable, meaning investors can’t buy it on the cheap and turn a quick profit. The reality of the club’s position is that it must live within its means or stand the very real risk of going out of business. Would you really prefer a couple of mid-table Premier League finishes followed by relegation and then administration, over attempting to build something sustainably?
  35. 16 points
    This time last year I called for Farke to be sacked. I've noticed over the last couple of days that one or two posters have started to twitch because we lost away to West Ham. I still feel a bit of a twit (replace the i with an a) one year on. I suggest that some of you strap a pair on and learn from my mistake
  36. 16 points
    Exactly. I’m completely behind him and hope he replicates the success he had with us, with them. It’d be brilliant to see the East Anglian derby as a top flight fixture and even better if it was more competitive and they won a few... Or... Give your head a wobble. He was brilliant with us but he jumped ship at the first sniff of a ‘big club’. He has failed miserably everywhere he has been since and we’ve grown (eventually) without him. Ultimately, he’s back where he was before we gave him his break; managing a poor East Anglian team in League One. He has never shown an ounce of loyalty at any club he’s been at and if he never sets foot in Carrow Road again, I wouldn’t be bothered. Meanwhile, we’re playing better football than we ever did under him, the club is more ‘together’ than it has ever been and he’s scraping results against AFC Wimbledon with a rag-tag bunch of turd footballers and loanees while blindsiding their support with meaningless platitudes and soundbites. I once got banned from this forum for saying what I really thought..
  37. 15 points
  38. 15 points
    It really is hard to follow Norwich fans. Complain we don't spend money. So what do we do? Look to spend £5m on a striker and all of a sudden the fact we're spending more on this lad than we have others in our squad becomes a problem. Complain we don't have a plan B. Sign a striker who clearly offers us something different and lo! Everyone complains he doesn't fit into our current system. Complain we don't score enough goals. Sign someone who has scored goals in mediocre sides in the level we are playing at and all of a sudden everyone wants someone who can do it in the Premier League. £5m for an English, under 30 striker who scored 15 goals for QPR and offers us a dimension we absolutely cried out for sometimes last season is good business in my eyes. I hope he comes in
  39. 15 points
    The lack of self-awareness is strong in this one.
  40. 15 points
    I don't remember you telling me that we would start the season with three excellent performances, convincingly winning the one game we stood a chance in and running the UEFA Cup winners really close. I don't recall you mentioning how we would have the league leading goalscorer or be among the most entertaining teams to watch. I also don't remember you acknowledging that we are bringing a promising defensive midfielder up to speed and awaiting the imminent returns of two of our best three centre backs. Nor do I recall your insight into how it might take a few games for the players to get used to the speed and intensity of the Premier League or how this young and inexperienced team would exceed all expectations in this regard.
  41. 14 points
    Honestly, give the guy some breathing space, and don't jump on every slanted item in the media to expound ever-more imaginative speculation of what he may be doing / thinking / planning or not doing / not thinking / not planning. The magnification of every Todd-related story, tittle-tattle, and social media post is like a feeding frenzy.
  42. 14 points
  43. 14 points
    I agree. The result might say we won but in my head it was a thirteenth straight defeat. Flattered by the result and the three points based on today I can’t see past another relegation battle. Poor. New signings all rubbish and we’ll still sell Buendia, Godfrey and Aarons.
  44. 14 points
    In 12 months' time, a lot of clubs will be looking enviously at the way we run our club. If we do get straight back up, all the better, but even if not we'll be debt-free as many other clubs are desperately fighting to stave off administration or even insolvency. Even the rich benefactors will have seen their own incomes and assets severely devalued; how long before their 'playthings' become too great a burden? Looks like our 'train set' will still be running self-sufficiently while a lot of other EPL clubs are gambling their very existence on getting back to the PL. Yes, of course it would have been better to have stayed up. Yes, this season was a disaster from a footballing perspective. But I think a lot of those pundits mocking us now might be looking at us again in a year's time and realise why we did what we did.
  45. 14 points
    I'm always curious to see if this cynicism existed when we were winning the league last season, or even at the start of the season after, for example, playing Newcastle off the pitch and go toe for toe with Chelsea. Now don't get me wrong, there have been some real problems this season, some self-inflicted (poor recruitment, wrong tactical decisions etc) but then there has also been factors that we cant control; being in the first year of VAR, having a pandemic make the key home games not home games and ultimately still financially paying for mistakes made by those trying to buy survival for Alex Neil. As for the, explain themselves.. I mean, come on, you can disagree with the approach, you can be frustrated by it, you can wish for other owners, but surely your not telling me you haven't understood what has been repeated time and time again since the summer? Or for that matter, to an extent, last season too. I think if your wanting a change of board/owners there are two things I would want to point out: firstly who is chomping at the bit to buy us? This fictitious person waiting to come in doest exist. The second; We start sacking board members and we could end up with a Jez Moxey again.. be very careful what you wish for. We weren't good enough, we all know why, we will go again. Welcome to how football works.
  46. 14 points
    We're running a £38m deficit on the last financial year and you think we are cash rich? Crazy. Less than a year ago we achieved a sensational promotion and you want to demote the architect of it? Beyond crazy.
  47. 14 points
    Her dad- it's a girl Anyway, if Onel had taken the advice in the thread title then he'd be on the way to Brighton as we speak.
  48. 14 points
    It's actually laughable when people come on here at a bad time and all they can do is lambast the owners. Haven't you got anything original to say?? We have had the best year ever and we are still in the early stages of this season. Get lost if you really are that fickle, or if you are just Ipsh*t supprters on the troll......get a life.
  49. 14 points
  50. 14 points
    I was watching the Leeds Vs Derby match and the picture went off. I tapped the side of my TV and Bamford fell over.
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