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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. 46 points
    Here's an idea: if you want to support a club owned by billionaires who pay ludicrous transfer fees and wages, why don't you bore off and support Man City (or just about any established Premier League club). I'm immensely proud to support a self-sufficient club who buck the trend. I'd be pretty devastated if we started spaffing money up the wall when we've worked so hard to recover from the last time we tried that. We're the envy of most clubs outside the Premier League and there are a fair few Championship clubs with far richer owners who would gladly trade places with us. We're arguably one of the best run clubs in the country. I can't fathom why some people don't understand or appreciate that.
  3. 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
  4. 32 points
    Mrs Ricardo said "don't forget your lights", as we biked off down to CR this evening to run the rule over some of the new boys. Lucas Rupp was the only survivor from Saturdays debacle so I surmised it might be a bit of a "getting to know you" game. As I was soon to discover, it was anything but, and from the off everything looked nicely in synch. There was little of note in the opening exchanges with Sargent bustling clear on the right to win a corner while at the other end a long ball from the left went right across the City six yard box without anyone getting a touch. However we didn't have long to wait for some real action as on 12 minutes McLean floated a long pass into space for Tzolis to run on to and the Greek lad was cool as a cucumber, taking the ball in his stride and guiding it past the keeper with the help of a slight deflection. I have found over the years that it really doesn't take long to see if a young player has got what it takes and although I don't want to go over the top with Tzolis, anyone who couldn't see what I saw tonight is really wasting their time watching football. We were treated to it again on 25 minutes when his speed of thought and action found time for Dowell to set up Kenny McLean to thrash a twenty yarder just inside Nyland's left post. Bournemouth had dominated possession but never really got within striking range as City picked them apart with some deft passes. Tzolis was panicking the visitors defence by looking to run off the defenders shoulder everytime City came forward and it was no surpise just after the half hour when his sharp cross found Rupp on the penalty spot to slam a in a third with the keeper helpless. I don't want it to sound like a one man show because there were excellent contributions from Dowell and Sargent, while at the back Mumba, Zimbo, Williams and Omobamidelle were solid and seldom under any pressure and Sorenson was calmness itself in the centre of the park. However the real buzz came when the ball reached Tzolis, he just seemed capable of making things happen. I posted on the Pinkun thread at half time about his speed, balance and control, its hard to put into words but to me he just looks every inch a footballer. Wow! whoever scouted him should get a big Xmas bonus. I wondered if the second half would live up to it but if anything City whipped the ball about even quicker and we were treated to some really good stuff. Dowell picked up a stray pass 30 yards out and his cute ball left Tzolis with a run on goal. Nyland managed to get a hand on it but Sargent was on hand to tuck in the deflection to get his own scoreboard up and running. Fifteen minutes later the big strker returned the favour by winning the ball on the edge of the Bournemouth area and sliding a low ball across for Tzolis to ram in his second of the night. With a quarter of an hour to go nobody would have blamed Tzolis for going for his hat trick when bursting through on the left but he unselfishly fed Sargent who bundled home the sixth goal of the night. He might well have got his third but the next time he burst away he was just off target. Hmm, human after all. Gianoullis, Idah and Gilmour all had little cameo's but I can really only talk about one man tonight. As my son remarked as we were leaving, "wherever did the find him for that price"? Oh where indeed. I got wet on the ride back but it was well worth a soaking to witness that.
  5. 29 points
    Where did it all go wrong Daniel, Stuart, Delia? I had a client who - aside from other things - was a leading National risk assessor for Health & Safety accidents at work. When thinking about apportioning blame for any perceived failure, I often think about his firmly-held belief - borne of repeated experience - that major failures are almost always the consequence of a string of (he would say predominantly-avoidable) smaller errors occurring in collective sequence. These errors can be broken down into the strategic, the operational-systemic and the individual. The overriding driver for assessment is learning and structural improvement where necessary. Much as it is with Norwich. In the immediate aftermath of failure, my client would consider it highly unwise to leap to find fast answers and apportion useful blame. It is something of a human instinct, though it is a poor substitute for slower, more considered thinking. Norwich don’t have enough money to compete on an equal footing at this level. This is undoubtedly a massive hindrance and defines a number of macro imperatives that drive subsequent sporting decisions. Let’s start with the obvious. There are few Norwich fans who would argue against the statement that Buendia was our best player last year and that Skipp was our most important. Buendia for pure ability to hurt the opposition and affect games, week in, week out. He cannot be ignored strategically by the opposition, they have to change their own preferred plans to adjust to his very presence. Coaching definition: a weapon. Skipp naturally played the exact way that offered a key counterpoint to the way Farke likes to play and set up his sides. He instinctively acted as a third centre back when necessary, didn’t get sucked forward or out of shape when we were on top, smelt danger before it arrives and was fast into the fire at its outbreak. If he was not priceless to us, his role was. If not him, then someone had to bought to do that exact job. It is even more important at the top level. This is not hindsight, it was pretty clear to the vast majority of Norwich fans who watch their team regularly. Let us now shoot a canard or two to move the discussion forward. It is unheard of to sell your best player and major weapon upon promotion. Unheard of. The timing of it is extraordinary. It was a huge gamble and - slightly - smells of a compulsive need-belief in ‘doing differently’ to the point where you try to reinvent the wheel in evangelical belief. Norwich did not have to sell Buendia. There have been thousands of footballers who pitched for a move, who got their agent to get spiky, who leaked some ‘come-and-get-me’ pleas, a thousand gentleman’s agreements in football that weren’t worth the toilet paper they weren’t wiped on. Norwich were premier League. Buendia was under contract. Promotion was fresh. Norwich chose to sell Buendia. This goes to the heart of the issue, as it combines the weaknesses of lack of finance with sporting strategy. It is not retrospective wisdom to note that at the top level teams are full of powerful, capable squads who have the top level nous to minimise on-field strategic weakness (and force the best to be brilliant, week-in, week-out). Weaker teams face more pressure and thus weaker players make more individual mistakes. Is this then really errors of the individual or the inevitable odds of the wheel of fortune? Stuart Webber wisely stated that we would not try to compete with this, that we couldn’t, that we would focus on improving the first xi and not spread money around a vast squad of interchangeable (likely not-quite-as-good-as-everyone-else’s) players. Nevertheless the decision was made to sell Buendia - who not only a weapon in his own right, but also ensured that Pukki his compadre was at least half a weapon. That’s already good enough to trouble teams a bit. What has been bought are not weapons. They are good players. We are on average much better as a squad, yet conversely less dangerous to the opposition. There is the trade. It seems at odds with the early-in-pre-season statement. Daniel Farke can pick two good teams every week, though not an eleven that can trouble the opposition. This looks like an expensive mis-calculation. There may be a necessary asset investment angle to this. A Tzolis, a Sargent, a Rashica can flourish and suddenly be a valuable asset. They may stay and thrive in the Championship. This strategy may be a product of lack of finance. It would be hard to argue that it doesn’t sacrifice the here-and-now though. The painful truth may be that Daniel, Stuart and Delia have all done as well as they can with what they have. Demanding change now may be missing the point. Daniel may be wedded to a dominant footballing philosophy that flourishes exclusively against the weaker. Stuart may have ‘done different’ one too many times and succumbed to the - often wonderful - religious fervour of a new Messiah. Delia may be right to rail against the dreadful capitalism of the whole thing….but…. …Maths is a terrible adversary however and all the numbers are against us with what we have. Unpicking the stitching in the dugout changes little if the over-arching fundamentals remain the same. Farke may be the lightning rod, Webber may seek pastures new and trade off well-earned previous glories, Delia may cling on with an ever-tighter grip like Miss Haversham in the crumbling manor…but what then? Does the cycle repeat….the wonderful, awful pain and joy of yo-yo greatness and awfulness? The railing against Murdoch’s millions while gobbling it up so it can be dribbled away to pay for the inevitable annual millions lost in the Championship? Farke has an array of good players, though he has no weapons. Even Pukki is emasculated without Buendia. Of course when you have one or two weapons you are dependent. Of course you are one injury away from a real issue. Though even that wily old warhorse Steve Bruce - no-ones favourite for favourite manager of the year - essentially builds a solid, effective team then ‘gives the ball to the lad Saint-Maximin’ while the others players sit tight, watch and applaud. It is an effective strategy for the job at hand. Newcastle stay up comfortably (also not enough for fans of course, one must ever move forwards..such is top level sport). Unless you are a truly wealthy, incredible team you cannot hold many weapons for long though. Though the magpies do keep Saint-Maximin, Spurs do not sell Kane and nobody - but nobody - sells such a weapon at the point of promotion. Norwich are hamstrung by their ownership model. Self-sustaining to an absolutist degree is an extraordinary strategy in football. There is no money. Self-sustaining is not a philosophy or a laudable guiding principle, it is borne of necessity. Everything - selling Buendia included - flows from there. Unless Delia gives the shares away or bequeathes them to a group or individual, then they must be bought. They do have a value. Let us say that the club is worth £100m. To buy 65% of the club, an investor, new benefactor, lottery winner must spend £65m on a nameplate. Before anything else happens. £65m spent and not a single loan left back added yet. No wonder there ‘is no queue of investors lining Carrow Road’. So this is it. This is where the maths ends up and the road we tread again. Farke is a red herring. Sacking the manager changes nothing. I’m not even sure that 2 or 3 ardent fans would agree on what our best xi is, what shape it should be, where our best weapons are. I’m afraid simply railing that ‘we should get after them more’….or ‘we don’t go at teams from the off’ … or ..’we need to want it more’ is pointless, worthless nonsense. We have spent Buendia on a lot of players who are better than we had before and a lot less not-as-good-as-everyone-else’s. Though we don’t have anything now to really hurt teams tactically with. ‘Both boxes’ as the old boys used to say. Our failure is a cascading collection of small weaknesses and inter-connecting sticking plasters to cover the gaping wound of lack of finance. All of it is understandable. If we really want to ‘do different’ it is time to reach out to the SME world, to the Tifosys trading ground bond supporters, small investors, loyal individuals and create a genuinely inclusive French-Shared-Mortgage model whereby the small slices of ownership fluctuate according to investment size at any given moment. Whereby any small (vetted) investor gets a marketing share of brand usage, whereby the community and collective spirit is honourably leveraged to create a membership-style model that would truly be a fitting legacy to Delia’s wonderful era. She herself could and should be a major part going forwards. Like it or not, intended or not, the club has become a massively appreciated asset. It’s value has increased maybe tenfold from the very welcome, though contextually small investment of (anecdotally) £10m or less. The majority of the £100m is now Delia’s. She can hand it down to Tom. He can keep it or cash it in. Maybe it is a theoretical £100m that never sees the light of day. If you ask for that money from an investor, I would be reasonably sure it would never materialise. The ‘doors are open’ offer to sell is thus a somewhat theoretical one. It also would have no benefit to Norwich City. Not a pound would enter the club from such a share sale. Something of a circular reference self-fulfilling prophecy then…. ..and so we have 20 odd good players and no Buendia. Nor any Skipp. Nor any points. Not really an accident at all. Parma
  6. 28 points
    By popular demand....well by one person anyway..... Just got back from the match and not read anything on here and couldn't listen to canary call, so all I've seen or heard was a rather shabby BBC report on Radio 5 that declared Burnley had chances to win the match, which implied that we didn't, which is a travesty of the situation. My thoughts? As a performance I thought it was gutsy, feisty, hard fought, passionate, at times exciting and we could and maybe should have scored. Totally deserved the point and the fans loved it with the relief of finally getting a point and seeing a really good performance. So good performances all over the pitch, Normann, Kabak and Gianoulis caught the eye particularly - and Rashica when he came on when he gave their left back a torrid time. You could see Sargent gives absolutely 100% too and was a handful and good at pressing and tracking back. Late in the second half Kabak and Sargent both had gutsy runs which really lifted the fans and showed intent - and there were two good shots from Aarons and Lees-Melou in the first half. Normann was excellent, drawing a good save from the Burnely goalie and he hit the bar with a cross shot - he looks a real player. If you compared this game to two years ago when were bullied to a 2-0 loss, this was quite the opposite. We were well up to the physical challenge today, which was really good to see. No bullying by Burnley then - we simply met them head on - and overall it was a good lively 0-0. There were faults, of course, too many misplaced passes still, looked a bit nervy passing around at the back - but we had a safety first policy in place where Krul quite often kicked long, so mixing it up a bit, which I thought was good practice and made us a bit less predictable at the back - Burnley could not afford to press too much as a result. Their penalty shouts were dealt with well by the ref - there was one that might have been given had their player not been running away from the goal at the time, but overall the decisions looked fair for both teams and the ref looked to me as if he was trying to let the game flow. Farke summed it up at the end when he came over to our cheering fans with his hand over his heart. It was that kind of game and we did very well under the circumstances of having no points and with confidence low, to battle and give as good as we got - and with a bit of luck migt have even got all three points. I've probably missed out some important stuff, but being my first match for quite some time, I enjoyed every minute of it - the team turned up and gave us the performance we wanted to see - and the fans were brilliant too. We're up and running! OTBC
  7. 28 points
    What the **** is wrong with you idiots? The day before the season starts and we're putting down our players with this sort of ****ing nonsense? Un-****ing-believable.
  8. 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
  9. 26 points
    Perhaps it was the excitement of being back or maybe just the relief of coming safely through a dark place but when I climbed the stairs behind the River End goal and gazed down upon a resplendant Carrow Road, I didn't think that I was alone in feeling a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. All around me, people were renewing old aquaintances but it was sad to learn that one or two old faces had fallen by the wayside. Happily for the great majority of us life goes on and face another season of trials and tribulations in the one love that unites all who share the faith of the Yellow and Green. Here in Norwich it had been a fine sunny morning but it clouded over about midday and by kick off time it was heavily overcast though still quite warm. The team was pretty much as expected with Hanley returning to the centre of defence and the new boys Raschica, Lees-Melou and Gilmour getting the nod. When City kicked off towards the Barclay End the crowd was as loud as I have ever heard it since the '59 cup run days when there were 38k giving it the full treatment. The early moments were encouraging with City confidently knocking the ball about and retaining possession for a long period but without looking threatening. Liverpool took a while to settle but Mane was looking very lively when getting in behind Max Aarons. By the tenth minute the visitors began to assert a measure of control in midfield and City conceeded a couple of corners as they gave ground. From the second, the ball was worked back in and Krul had to react quickly to palm Jota's header over the bar. City eventually clicked into gear when Rashica raced away on the left but his cross could find niether Pukki nor Cantwell. Play moved from end to end with neat interpassing from both sides although it was always obvious that the Reds carried the greater threat as Salah volleyed one a yard wide. Not to be outdone, Aarons slipped Pukki through in the righthand channel and his fierce shot was parried away for a corner by Alison. City kept the pressure on for a while but things came to nothing when the Liverpool keeper cut out Raschica's cross. It was now mainly Liverpool in the ascendancy as Salah again tested Krul with a stinging drive but again City came back when Cantwell pounced on a mistake and tried to catch Alison out withan outrageous lob from the right wing. The first goal was obviously going to be important and when it came there was more than a touch of good fortune about it. A ball in from the Liverpool right appeared to bounce off Salah and fall nicely between Hanley and Gibson for Jota to stroke the ball under Krul's despairing dive. It was a touch unlucky but Liverpool had certainly looked the more likely and for the next few minutes it was all hands to the pump to prevent the rampant visitors from extending the lead. Lees-Melou cleared from near the line as Van Djyk poked the ball goalwards and one or two last ditch tackles from Aarons and Hanley saved the day. City got through to the break without further damage but you could already see that getting anything out of this game was a fairly long shot. When we resumed, things continued in much the same vein with Liverpool bossing the centre of the pitch and Aarons had to be sharp to clear away Mane's effort with Krul beaten. Gilmour impressed with some good long range passes but despite periods of neat play the home attacks carried little in the way of a sharp edge. Just after the hour mark Firmino came on for Jota and as another City attack broke down a lovely flowing move stretched the home reaguard to breaking point as Salah set up Firmino for a tap in. It was all over bar the shouting when ten minutes later, Salah wrapped up the scoring with a rasping drive when City failed to clear. To their credit the home side refused to wilt and when Pukki and Raschica made way for Sargent and Idah, there were a couple of close things. Sargents late cross shot was only just wide of the far post and with four minutes left in an almighty scramble on the Liverpool six yard line neither Sargent nor Idah could force the ball past Alison before the big Liverpool keeper managed to claw it away. A disappointing result but make no mistake this is a top class Liverpool side and with Van Djyk back they are a force to be reckoned with. All the City new boys looked decent but will take time to bed in and will find much easier games than this as the season progresses. A nice range of passing from Gilmour and touches of exciting pace from Rashica give hope for the future and Josh Sargent showed enough in his short cameo to see that he has something about him. All things considered it was wonderful to be back at a full CR and I am not going to get too depressed at this result, there's still a long long way to go. Grant Hanley my MOM, played a real captains game.
  10. 25 points
    Saudi money - on the back of misogyny, beheadings, bombing and starving the poor country next door, and generating the extreme form of Islamism that led to 9-11 I’ll stick with Delia
  11. 24 points
    Words from the boss on this signing - Head coach Daniel Farke said: “We’re really happy to have Josh with us. He’s at a young age with lots of potential. There was a lot of interest in him, so we must pay many compliments to Stuart Webber for getting this deal done. “Josh has a lot of experience in the top level in the Bundesliga in Germany and has been there with many goals and assists. He has also scored goals for his national team. “He’s a very good striking option for us but is someone who can also play on the wing. He has pace and is also good with his head. We know he is always there with a big workload and has a fantastic character. His left foot is complete and utter shoite as rightly pointed out by a fan who watched a 3 minute video, but we really like his right duke. “We know we have to be a bit more creative in the transfer market. We think we have a player in Josh who can contribute and develop into a top goalscorer on Premier League level. We see his potential and are delighted to have him with us.”
  12. 24 points
    Afternoon guys...Good to see you back. Looking forward to seeing you again this year as you play decent football and nobody needs any more West Brom's in the PL! Chelsea fan here as expected coming on to wish you all the best with Billy G. You have secured a gem and if he stays injury free you will see the quality immediately in the same way that James Maddison shone - in truth I am really shocked we loaned him out. Billy has amazing awareness for his age and you will quickly see his head is constantly on a swivel and most importantly he is always looking to keep possession but play forward wherever possible. His anticipation of space is superb and he hardly ever gives possession away. Defensively he is rarely caught out and was easily MOTM against Liverpool last year - no mean feat with those 2 midfields! He is mobile and likes to dominate the central third of the pitch and will link your play together and impact every aspect of your team play. He has been compared to Kante but I don't see that myself as he doesn't run with the ball in the way Ngolo does but If I had to find a comparison for him I would genuinely say he reminds me of a young Paul Scholes. Before I'm physically attacked clearly he needs to add goals to be in the frame with a great like Scholes but he has everything else and operates in a similar fashion. He now needs to add those forward runs that Scholes and Lamps were masters at and I'm hoping to see him develop with your team this year. You certainly play the way that should allow him to flourish. Wishing you all the best for the season guys - a proper club, proper ground and that Delia clip still makes me smile every time! Chatting to a mate of mine he said he would compare Billy to Modric in his early days at Spurs...well, if he becomes half the player Luka did I'd take that!
  13. 23 points
    I find it astonishing some on here can't see that we're having to do what we can to build a bit of confidence and momentum back into the squad. People complained repeatedly that all we do against Burnley is get bullied and lose 2-0. Look at the prediction threads. Then we go and actually match up physically to them, and the complaints are that we aren't playing liquid football. I actually can't believe it needs explaining that to play the style of football we do and play two wingers etc requires a certain level of confidence. We need to get that back before we think we have the right to go and play through teams.
  14. 23 points
    That'd be us. Gunn Williams - Gibson - Kabak - Gianoullis Lees Melou - Normann - Gilmour Rashica - Sargent - Tzolis Good grief - there's never been a transfer window even remotely like it before.
  15. 23 points
    I hope every fan will support the players in taking the knee on saturday. If, for whatever reason, you find the act objectionable I hope you will at least remain respectfully silent and not bring shame to the club by booing.
  16. 23 points
  17. 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.
  18. 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.’ ”
  19. 22 points
    Is there anyone now still in doubt that the project is not working as it was intended? The reputation our club has been developing since Webber/Farke arrived has now reached the stage where we can attract AND afford not just good young players, but the best young players. The two go hand in hand - attract and afford. Ya da ya da, I know we've not kicked a ball yet this season, I know we haven't got super rich owners, I know we hint bought a CB etc etc - but to say the project is not working would be a bit churlish imo. Yes, we could still get relegated, but yes, we could stay up and yes we could even do a lot better than just stay up, but to me this transfer window has been a vindication of the policies adopted by the club - to make us the club to go to if you are young and want to develop your career. It started even before Farke/Webber with attracting Maddison to the club and the bringing through of the Murphy twins so it is not a new idea and we were already recognised as a good club to go to, but in four years we have gone from being on a one way road to nowhere financially with an aging squad with huge contracts to pay, to a club totally at ease with itself financially, playing great football and attracting the best young players available from around the world. Beautiful football, stable and effective management, togetherness on and off the pitch, improving finances with getting the best young talent that will get more big money transfers later on to improve finances to be able to do even more...... I mean - what's not to like??
  20. 22 points
    Norwich supporters, as a Werder Bremen supporter I felt the need to come see what the reaction to this singing was amongst Norwich supporters and I have seen many many misconceptions about the type of player Sargent is based on YouTube highlight films so I have decided to comment. He is a fast player, despite what many in this forum have said, he regularly reaches 31+ km/h which is among the fastest in the Bundesliga. Secondly he is like a wind up toy, he never stops running and pressing, in fact, due to our poor offensive play last year, Sargent creating turnovers was often our greatest source of goal scoring chances. Also, he rarely rarely got the chance to play at striker, and is often a second striker or wide midfielder tasked with tracking all over the pitch. I have watched him with USA and with them he shows the ability to run at players and beat players with his dribble, something he didn’t have the chance to do often at Bremen. When I saw him play for the US against Northern Ireland, I simply couldn’t believe how good his dribble and passing was and what chances he created with those skills. That is something almost foreign to my Bremen over the past few seasons. Lastly he is tall and strong, very good in Ariel battles, not just shooting with his head, but also winning possession for his team. His finishing can let him down it is true, but with the chance to play as a striker and train with a excellent manager day in day out he can surely improve, since he is known to fellow German fans and other players in the bundesliga for his proper attitude and desire to improve. Certainly he is not a perfect player, but in my mind he fits the premier league style like a glove and is young. Basically all this to say I think he’s a good transfer for Norwich. And I’ll will miss him at Bremen. Also, Sorry for such an essay, sorry also for my English skills.
  21. 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.
  22. 21 points
  23. 21 points
    To perform an extremely complex operation to remove Ivan Toney from Grant Hanley's pocket.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 20 points
  28. 20 points
    Would be nice if we could avoid it on this board for more than a couple of days to be honest.
  29. 20 points
    The general public are f*cking idiots. I couldn't give a t*ss what they think - let's be honest, there is a 90% chance at least that whatever they're saying is wrong.
  30. 20 points
    Deserves its own thread yeah?
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 19 points
    He's spot on. The ignorant, moronic, lack or respect Rupp gets on here and social media is shameful. Actually watch the games. Watch him. Farke has laid out why he's picked on a plate now. Even the most ignorant fan can now see exactly why he's picked and what he does.
  34. 19 points
    Much like we aren't playing Man City every game we aren't playing a hacked up Bournemouth. This place is insane sometimes.
  35. 19 points
    It is difficult question to answer based on just one game however there are several reasons why we might hope to stay up. 1. We matched Liverpool for possession and pass completion. 2. We were able to play through their press. 3. We created 12 shooting opportunities even though we didn't establish a territorial advantage. Indeed all the indicators suggest that we can play counter attacking football at this level. 4. 3-0 was not a fair reflection of the relative dominance of Liverpool and the scoreline flattered Klopp's side somewhat. The first goal was fortunate for them albeit well taken and finished through our keepers legs, the second two goals were a combination of Liverpool's skill and strength in depth and our own defensive awareness. Up until the first goal Klopp was looking nervous and agitated as his side were unable to dominate the game as they might have expected. 5. At no point did we look as though we didn't deserve to be on the same pitch as them. 6. On several occasions we played right through them and were only lacking the final ball, passing option or finish. 7. Our defensive line were able to match the attacking play in the 1v1 verses the Liverpool's attacking players. None of our back 4 was "owned" by the opposition. Based on one game only it would seem that we have a lot more to come particularly once Pukki is fully fit and Rashica, Sargent and Tzolis are more fully integrated into the team. With more precision in the final third and more depth to the available playing squad, based on this performance we should be able to get the nine or ten wins that will keep us up. Bonzo's bowl is half full.
  36. 19 points
    Translation: "****, I haven't found a Premier League club who wants me"
  37. 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.
  38. 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 ?
  39. 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.
  40. 18 points
    Fair credit to the board. Those two signings have turned this into a very solid transfer window indeed- perhaps the best I can remember on paper. Bravo Webber two days have totally plugged the gaps. My bad for doubting! Don’t know much (anything) about Normann but hope he is the CDM we are crying out for. Kabak is a huge signing for us- marquee.
  41. 18 points
    It was his family who told him it was closer.
  42. 18 points
    https://www.alongcomenorwich.com/articles/the-lambo-diaries/
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 17 points
    Cook has installed some kind of next level brilliance into them. We should be paying him more than 20 quid a month, surely?
  48. 17 points
    Go on, say it. Go on. Say the line Delia haters
  49. 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!!!
  50. 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
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