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  1. 47 points
    Good evening users of the Pink Un messageboard. I am saddened that I have been forced to resort to such a drastic and unnecessary measure in response to what is a continued and persistent decline in behavioural standards on this forum. It has drifted on for far too long. Since Pete stepped aside, we've tried to adopt a lighter touch in moderation on this platform in the hope that adults could be trusted to be responsible with what they are posting and how they are conversing, treating and behaving with fellow users. Clearly, this is no longer possible due to a minority of users who continue to use this platform unacceptably. This should serve as a final warning to everyone on this platform - clean up your act. From here, we will be taking a no-nonsense approach to those who overstep the mark. They will be issued with instant and irreversible bans. We've been very lenient with second, and in some cases, even third warnings. Clearly, that isn't having the desired effect. As a result, we will be reviewing this platform very carefully in the next few weeks. If nothing changes, we will be left with little choice but to consider it's future viability. This is not a step that we want or should have to take - but the behaviour on here by a minority of users will not be allowed to continue. This forum is designed for debate around Norwich City and other topics in the world. It should be a place for contrasting views and opinions - but that should never overstep the mark. At the moment, too often, it is. Some of the posts we are seeing are defamatory, personal and unnecessary. We are all adults. Please take a moment to reflect on your individual behaviour and whether it is meeting the standards you would do in everyday society. If anyone suffers this, then please make the moderation team aware and use the report button. We can then take it from there. Clean it up or face a ban. That is the situation. We thank those posters and users of the messageboard who are using it as intended. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Pink Un Team
  2. 38 points
    ...I'd like to invite you all to listen to mine and @hogesar's new podcast 'The Rest is XG' where we bring the magic of graphs to an audio medium. Rotating guest will include @shefcanary talking about how our left back failing to track back is in fact a failure of corporate governance, @lake district canary to discuss which previous managers whos name rhymes with Baniel Barke we should rehire and @Parma Ham's gone mouldy to talk for a solid 80 minutes while we stroke our chins and nod. Sign up now for 50% off your first website from squarespace.
  3. 37 points
    Farke acted with sheer class throughout the entire afternoon from the moment he stepped out of the tunnel to take his place in the away dugout to applause from all parts of the ground to refusing to celebrate Leeds 3rd goal as his backroom staff were going ballistic by quietly sitting down. Then at the end he walked over to the Leeds fans and when they were expecting his usual after a win celebration his body language was telling them today is not the day guys and gals. The walk around the pitch applauding all four stands was his goodbye that he never got to have before walking down the tunnel. Hard to remember seeing so many Norwich fans staying behind after a defeat to witness it except of course the directors box bar Tom Smith and the Leeds occupants. The man showed more respect to Norwich and its fans in 10 minutes than Webber has done in about 6 years.
  4. 33 points
    I can't remember an opening day quite like this one for weather. Usually the stands are a sea of yellow and green, bathed in the warm sunlight of high summer but today was more akin to a fairly drab day in early November. According to the Met Office radar there was a dry window at 2.15 just in time for me to bike off to CR. Unfortunately somebody closed the window and I was more than a bit damp upon arrival. The lad is away on his hols this weekend so my grand daughters husband took his seat today. In the past he's been a bit of a Jonah but he did see a couple of wins last year so he may have turned the corner at last. I normally watch at least one of the pre season games but to be honest I have had a job getting enthusiastic after last season and today was my first look at the new boys and the new formation. It was a lively start with City coming quickly forward down their left and as the ball ran across the edge of the River End box it was Sara who took a quick pot shot that was only two or three feet wide of Ingrams left post. It was immediately apparent that Wagner has asked for a much more up tempo game than last season and the forwards were soon adopting a very high press that Hull found difficulty dealing with. My early impressions were that Jon Rowe really looks like developing into a top talent and that with Jack Stacey at left back we are not going to miss Max Aarons all that much. Stacey looked solid with his defending and readily available when the ball was moved forward. Rowe looked beautifully balanced and with pace and trickery to match. This was richly displayed on ten minutes when he danced across the edge of the penalty area and skimmed a low shot back beyond Ingram and off the foot of the post. At this stage the home side looked well in command and we were just waiting for a chance to finally find the net but as was so often the case last season a moment of madness turned the game on its head. Duffy and Gibson got in a right old mess and between them they allowed Delap to nip in and hold off a defender before giving Gunn no chance. There were a few groans from the crowd who can be forgiven for a moment of Deja vu but the response from the team soon got them onside again. Rowe got away down the right but tried to dink the ball into the box and got a bit of an earfull from Ashley Barnes who was not too pleased and it was good to see that heads hadn't dropped. City piled forward with some nice quick passing and the visitors defence was all hands to the pump. Hernandez was unlucky to see a close range effort beaten away and Sargent should have won a free kick when obviously fouled just outside the box but Keith Stroud is nothing if not Keith Stroud. On the plus side he did book one or two when the fouls started to get out of hand. Duffy almost got on the scoresheet just before the half hour when he connected well with Sara's free kick but again the ball rebounded off the foot of the post and neither Barnes nor Sargent could convert. Then a lovely reverse pass from Rowe to Stacey ended when the full back blasted over from a narrow angle when a pull back was the correct course of action. I don't know what Barnes said but I bet it wasn't complimentary. Chances continued to come thick and fast and Hernandez should have done better than fire wildly over when the ball came back to him in a central postion 18 yards out. Then just before the break Sargent got on the end of a cross and appeared to nod the ball beyond Ingram from close range but somehow the Hull custodian stuck out an arm to palm it away, a quite brilliant save. That appeared to be that but in the dying embers of time added Gianoullis, I think it was, intercepted and sprung Rowe from the halfway line. He still had a lot to do but made ground quickly before curling a superb effort to the right of Ingram's despairing dive to send the home side in with a richly deserved equaliser. What a difference that made to the halftime mode around the ground, City had been totally dominant and could well have been two or three clear. Hull tightened things considerably when the second period ensued and chances came less frequently. There were calls for a penalty when a defender handled Rowes attempted cross but I couldn't really see from my end and with it being Keith Stroud it was pointless to get upset about it. A couple of corners resulted in headers skimming the bar but a City goal didn't seem to be coming. Indeed the best chance fell to Hull and only a superb finger tip save from Gunn kept things all square as the dangerous Delap pinged in a goalbound shot. from range. I was a bit concerned when Wagner made a mass change on seventy five minutes. Rowe and Sara departed to be replaced by Springett and Nunez but Omo came on for Gibson which was a plus and I think Rowe had taken a bit of a knock anyway. The game now seemed to be settling into a draw with neither side making real chances although Nunez did pull a good tip over out of Ingram with a twentyfive yarder as time ticked down. Here I must make a confession, I didn't see the winning goal. On ninety three minutes I reconciled myself to the draw and made a bolt for steps. I was unlocking my bike when the roar went up. Oh well, perhaps its a good omen and I should scoot out early every week from now on. I was more than a bit wet when I got home but it was worth the effort. Ricardo's verdict: I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new players fitted in and the new style is still quite pleasing on the eye when its played at pace. MOM Jon Rowe, he looks really special to me, lets hope he stays fit and it might be a good season after all.
  5. 31 points
    Good evening folks. I hope you're doing well. A few people on various threads have asked me to update on the conversations we've been having about fixing technological problems some users have been experiencing on the forum. After lengthy conversations internally, I can confirm that our tests have concluded that the forum is working as it should after a few fixes behind the scenes. Hopefully, this is something you guys have experienced using the forum in recent days. Also, I can tell you that, hopefully, within the next few months there will be upgrades made to future proof and improve the forum from a technological and interface perspective. This should make it a better experience for all. I will update on this as and when I can. I don't know a huge amount more than that at this stage - but I did want to provide an update. Thanks again for using the forum in the right way. This does seem to have been, by and large, a better place in the last few weeks and months. All the best, Connor
  6. 30 points
    In days gone by I used to get very nervous before Derby games but over the years It has become easier thanks largely to our long period of dominance over them. At some stage it must come to an end as all good things inevitably do, but as biked down to the ground at today I had no feeling of impending doom. Indeed, it was a fine bright morning and conditions seemed set fair for a decent game. The crowd was in good voice as the match got underway and City were the first to show, winning a corner on the left. The ball was cleared out to Sainz who could only volley wildly over the top. At the other end Town quickly won a corner of their own but it came to nothing. Both teams looked to keep things tight early on and consequently defences dominated and the was little in the way of goalmouth action. On balance the opening quarter of the game was closely fought but niether team committed much forward as the midfield play became littered with petty fouls. Both sides seemed to needlessly give the ball away and Duffy twice nearly blotted his copy book with silly passes out of defence. Ref Mr Donahue, was probably sensible not to wave the yellow cards too early but he had no choice as we approached the half hour mark and Tuanzebe took Sargent out on the edge of the box after a neat through ball from Barnes. Tuanzebe was certainly the last man but despite the howls from the crowd and appeals from the home side the card was yellow not red. Nunez tried to hit a low free kick under the wall but it was blocked for a corner. City kept the pressure on and it was Nunez again as 1p5wich got bodies in the way. Then the Town keeper had to punch away from almost under the bar and it was Sainz this time who couldn't get his shot past a mass of bodies in the six yard box. It was the best period of home pressure in the match and you felt that we needed to make it count and as Sargent was fouled centrally and about thirty yards out the opportunity came. It looked a bit far out for a shot on target but as the visitors formed a line, NUNEZ hit a swerving effort that bounced before beating Hladky and going in off the inside of the post. It was a deserved lead as City had started to look dangerous since the half hour while 1p5witch had still not managed anything resembling a meaningful shot on goal. They did start to push forward a bit more but a couple of catches by Gunn was all it needed to steer the home side through to a half time lead. CITY 1 1P5WICH 0 I thought 1p5wich might have been more up for it and for a team on top of the league I didn't feel they offered much in the first half and expected to be a bit more under pressure when the teams restarted. They had a decent bit of possession but still nothing to trouble Gunn while whenever the home side moved forward they looked the sharper outfit. A nice ball from McCallum flicked off Sainz's back and fell kindly for the little winger but he could only lift the ball over the advancing keeper but comfortably wide of the post. Barnes was alone in the middle of the penalty area and made his displeasure know in no uncertain terms. The visitors now began to lift some high balls in for Moore but Duffy was equal to it and Gunn was not stretched as a ball looped goalward. Then finally a shot came in on target but it was straight at Gunn who fielded it comfortably. As the visitors pushed further forward the gaps opened up at the back and suddenly Sargent was in a race with defenders and got of a shot that Hladky had to go to ground to save. Then it was Sargent through again only to be closed down by two defenders and from my end it looked like foul as he was upended on the edge of the box but again Mr Donahue was unmoved despite appeals. In the stands the confidence began to grow as rounds of OTBC and Yellows Yellows rang round the ground. With fifteen minutes left Barnes went off to loud applause and Gibbs came on to replace him. 1p5witch rang some changes also and although they buzzed around our area for a bit they didn't really create much danger. Stacey who had been a live wire all day, received great applause as he broke from defence and nearly ran the length of the field before being disposessed. Chaplin skyed a shot over from a neat ball from the left and then Al Hamidi went down on the edge of the box in a foot race with Gibson but again Mr Donahue wasn't buying today. Then there was a near thing as Harness found a bit of space in the box but Gibbs was on hand to scoop the ball away. Despite this late pressure I didn't feel that 1p5wich had it in them as every City free kick, goal kick and throw in was cheered to the rafters and the five minutes added time ran out without any serious alarms. As I rode home the bells of St Giles on the Hill were ringing out and I couldn't help but think how lucky we are to have witnessed this long period of dominance over the old enemy and what a pleasure it is to keep putting a spoke in their wheel. Stacey my MOM today. An absolutely towering performance. CITY 1 1P5WICH 0.
  7. 29 points
    To see my Club in this state. Been there and seen it all before , but it never gets any easier . How did we end up with this set of players . Decent owners but who now haven’t got the drive or the money who have rescinded power to a sporting director who has come to the end of his agitation and his wife who in interviews couldn’t be less (you know) impressive . How have we ended up giving new contract to a player like Onel who three years ago wasn’t good enough for our then team? Or a striker who doesn’t strike ? How have we deflated the fans and the sponsors . Found a way to perform suicidal PR stunt after stunt . Having to celebrate having a nice font or badge change. I feel tonight like I did under Roeder. We have witnessed relegation form in the last 10 games. I wish i didn’t care so much but Norwich are in the very core of my being . Watching that shocking performance , hearing the fans , listening to friends connected to the club and what is happening is dreadful. The City club is having a nightmare . I hate it.
  8. 28 points
    After battling my way round Marks & Spencers this morning I was dubious as to whether I had enough puff left to bike down to the ground this afternoon. However the habits of a lifetime are hard to break and although it was a little bit windy, conditions were otherwise fairly mild and dry so I gave it a go. The omens were good and having just watched our southern neighbours get a tonking at Elland Road I had a strong feeling that this was going to be a good Xmas. A small cheer went up from me when we lost the toss and kicked off towards the Barclay for a change. In the old days this was always the favoured choice and stood us in good stead for many years. In the early stages City dominated possession without really getting in any goal scoring positons and despite some nice accurate passing most of the play was across and in front of the Huddersfield defence and when the ball eventually came into the box the danger was easily snuffed out. The visitors were mostly set up behind the ball but did come forward in the sixth minute to win a corner and a free kick but they could do no better than find a header that went well over. City did eventually work a bit of space when Rowe burst clear but the move ended when Sara could only find the side netting when forced wide. It was obviously going to be a game of patience as City continued to look neat and tidy with the ball but couldn't find an opening in the visitors packed defence. Midway through the half Huddersfield did manage to exert a short period of dominance but the early pattern of the game reasserted itself and the home side almost snatched the lead when a Stacey cross from the right found Barnes unmarked and his firm header looked goal bound from my end, only for Maxwell to produce a fine save to his left. It was about as close as we had got to a goal first half and apart from a low shot from Nunez that went wide, there was little sign of a breakthrough. Just before the half ended, Gianoullis got a bang in the face it I wasn't surprised when he didn't appear second half. It looked better almost immediately when McCallum came on and linked up with Sainz down the City left and won a corner which Duffy couldn't get enough contact on. The ball ran out to the far side where Nunez retrieved and swung in a ball that McCallum headed into the net from a narrowish angle to give City the lead. Confidence now seemed to flow through the team and with Sara spraying passes right and left the crowd finally got behind the team and we had a few choruses of OTBC. Stacey then put in a lovely cross after a low ball had whistled across the face of goal without anyone getting a touch. Sainz glanced a header just wide then Rowe tested the visitors keeper with another low shot on target. There was little coming back the other way and I can't recall anything that troubled Gunn all afternoon. The introduction of McCallum seemed to have set Sainz alight and the visitors had to resort to a bit of rough house to keep him out more than once. We had Fassnacht and Idah on for Rowe and Hernandez just after the hour but it made little difference to the rythm of the game which was now mostly one way and just after seventy minutes Idah sprung away down the right and had time to look up and see Barnes haring down the middle. His quick low cross was a tad too strong but Barnes touch only set Sainz up and a touch and a shuffle inside was all that was required for the little winger to find space and curl a low shot beyond Maxwell for number two. After this it could easily have been three or four and one glorious move involving Sara and an Idah backheel almost ended with Hwang, who had just replaced Barnes, netting in the far top corner. Unfortunately it was a couple of feet wide. From here on the game was done and dusted and coupled with the 1p5wich result it meant a nice little Xmas present for those of us of the Yellow persuasion. I don't know if you can give a man who only had forty five minutes, MOM but I thought he really was surperb second half and was instrumental in getting the result. Sara and Nunez were again almost faultless and also a special mention for Onell who left it all out there on the pitch today. Hopefully this sets us up nicely for an improved second half of the season because we did look good today once the confidence returned and the crowd found their mojo. Happy Xmas and a prosperous New Year to all from Ricardo.
  9. 28 points
    Heroic. Of all the people needing a boost in these troubled times, I can think of no one more worthy than a school that charges its pupils over £7k a term to attend. For context, it will be used to buy Holt Hall and turn that into a fee-paying prep school. A facility that tens of thousands of people who went to normal school in Norfolk will have fond childhood memories of school trips there. And I wonder how much of that £35m Dyson earned by ditching Britain in favour of Singapore?
  10. 26 points
    Hi everyone! This is my first post and I'm a pretty new football fan, so take it easy on me! I have recently become a Norwich City fan after seeing their amazing Mental Health video they posted back in October (I'm sure most of you have seen this). As some background, we lost my uncle to suicide back in January of 2022 - needless to say it shattered our world and this video really hit home. I'm from Canada, live just outside Toronto. A lot of my friends are into football and cheer for some EPL teams, I had just never gotten into it much. After this video, I figured I'd dive ALL IN. I did some research and stumbled upon these fourms, and figured I'd make a post and seek some advice from the community of fans. I've had some thoughts as I've watched matches recently and was hoping some on here could help! What are things I NEED to know as a Norwich supporter? Are there podcasts, YouTube channels, Twitter/IG accounts I should follow? I noticed on the Canaries website that their is a "Toronto Canaries" supporter group - anyone know anything about this? Rowe seems like he is a stud - always seems to come up with the big goal. But why does he come out of games early often? There seems to be a lot of distaste towards Barnes on these fourms. I quite like his aggressive style of play (I come from a hockey background - he seems like he'd be a bully hockey player!) On a similar note, I was a goalie when I played hockey, and I really like Gunn. He seems real composed and makes a ton of big stops at important moments. This group doesn't seem sold on Wagner as the leader - why is this? He definitely seems passionate. Any other advice as a new supporter? Also to share, you can see the big merch box I was lucky enough to get for Christmas yesterday from my fiance - definitely got spoiled but now I'm all in. And spending this morning with footy & Team Canada World Junior Hockey - what better! Thanks everyone!
  11. 25 points
    After a week of Brass Monkey weather here in Norfolk, winter released its icy hand and the thermometer rocketed to the dizzy heights of five degrees. Thankfully the M&S thermals worked their magic and I was as warm as toast in the nether regions when I arrived at Carrow Road. Games against West Brom are usually difficult affairs and after ten minutes of fairly dogged defensive work this one looked like it was going to be more difficult than most. The visitors were soon dominating possession as the home side fell back to guarding their eighteen yard line and the crowd became very quiet. On the plus side there didn't appear to much danger from the West Brom attack as a corner and a free kick into the box were easily defended. The home side did at least look dangerous on the rare occassions they broke forward. Its not a style of play I favour but it worked a treat on thirteen minutes when Kenny had time and space to venture beyond the halfway line and slide a lovely pass between two defenders to allow Josh Sargent a clear run at goal. With defenders snapping at his heels he hit a low shot that Palmer seemed to parry but could not prevent the ball from squirming away into the net. Things livened up a bit after that as City began to have a lot more of the ball and they certainly looked far more likely to add to their total than conceed. Sainz almost broke through but was crudely tackled at the expense of a yellow card and the same player toed one over the bar after a good period of City pressure. The visitors came back into it again with a long period of possession but despite a lot of buzzing around the penalty area there was little to trouble Gunn and although it wasn't pretty it was certainly quietly effective. On the half hour City did put some nice passing movements together and Palmer was called into serious action. When Rowe picked up the ball on the edge of the area and side stepped a defender, I was half out of my seat as his curling shot looked destined for the top corner. Somehow the West Brom keeper managed to fly to his right and just get enough on it to turn it round the post. It was a superb bit of action and worth the entrance money for that alone. Gianoullis might have done better than flash wildly over the bar when well placed and just before the break there were oh's and ah's as Sara's dipping free kick landed on the topp of the net rather than under the bar. At the other Thomas Asante had the ball in the net but it was a clear handball that I called from my end a hundred yards away. All in all a satisfactory half although many City fans are not happy when the opposition dominate the ball it would be difficult to argue that it wasn't effective. The quick incisive breaks were fleeting but they were a delight to watch with Sainz, Rowe and Sargent all looking a handful. There was the expected response from the visitors when play resummed as they pinged the ball about at a higher pace and although the home defence were stretched a few times, they didn't break. There was a close thing when Swift I think, hit a shot on the turn that only drifted a foot wide with Gunn beaten and then another bundled shot that Gunn watched go a yard wide of the other post but still nothing on target. Just after the hour, Sargent and Sainz, who I thought were probably amongst our most effective players, were withdrawn for Fassnacht and Nunez. I moaned a bit to the boy that it was a strange decision and I got even more worried when Thamas Asante finally brought a save out of Gunn with West Brom's first effort on target. In all honesty it did feel like an equaliser was coming and the crowd was getting nervous but when a goal came it was at the other end. Stacey did brilliantly to intercept just outside our area and moved well into the other half before squaring the ball inside to Sara who timed his pass to Gianoullis with perfection. The City full back slid a low ball across the face of goal and Johnny Rowe did what Johnny Rowe does best and suddenly there was a whole different atmosphere in the stadium. The visitors slung on Dike up front and although he got a head to a couple of crosses Gunn was not too extended in dealing comfortably with them. Rowe brought another save out of Palmer before City shut up shop and repelled West Broms final flourish. In the end it felt like a comfortable victory although there were times when it got a bit frustrating. Rowe my MOM today with good mentions for Sainz and Sargent, who brings a different dimension to City's attacking options.
  12. 24 points
    Players ran into the ground for NCFC today. Terrific all over and the amount of second balls we won was exceptional. Gibson absolutely colossal at the back, reinforced by Duffy second half. Fans terrific throughout, got behind the team constantly. Management top drawer top to bottom. Got then motivated and ready to go after a poor Leicester game. Calm and collected throughout. Gibbs substitute perfectly timed. P.s - their fans were worse than when they came down here with Lambert. They deserve to mess it up.
  13. 24 points
    Stacey hit crosses that even Jesus Christ would like to be on the end of.
  14. 24 points
    I am a negative person. You will not be shocked to read that if you have read one of my posts in the last twelve months. I need to say the following: The 40 minutes we had last night in the third period are the most exciting signs I've seen since the Coventry game, despite the youthful Toulouse side we were up against. We had creativity, nous, flair and accuracy with what we were trying to do. It left me thinking that with Sara, Nunez and most interestingly, Tzolis (cutting in from the left to fill the half space pockets and positively impact the game) we might be on to something, I hope they don't sell Tzolis - I'm convinced there is a player in there. We look as if we should be as defensively solid as any Norwich side I can remember in recent history. I alluded to in the match thread. Not many Championship clubs would baulk at the idea of Duffy, Gibson and Hanley being the senior centre backs in the squad. Kellen Fisher is giving off serious 18/19 Max Aarons vibes and looks oven ready. Sargent will score goals IF he has enough chances created for him. He is a decent finisher - not on the Teemu level but he will score different goals - accurate, meaningful crossing is a must. I really, desperately want Adam Idah to do well. I hope one goes in off his **** against Hull and he goes on to score 20. If Aarons, Rashica and Omobamidele do leave - we will re-invest and dare I say be stronger for it (if our boy Stu spends it well...this window looks to be one of his hits so far - to his credit). Again, I am a negative person - no problems admitting that. But, I'm willing to give everyone a chance. I do fear the cauldron of Carrow Road is ready to bubble over and a few setbacks early doors should see to that. But this gobby internet mouth will try his hardest not to be a bubbler. Never mind the f'ing danger. Captain -------------- @littleyellowbirdie @hogesar From where can I collect my badge?
  15. 22 points
    No forward-thinking football club would operate like Norwich City FC (myfootballwriter.com)
  16. 22 points
  17. 22 points
    The first taste of winter today and I didn't need much chivvying from Mrs R to decide upon giving my M&S thermals their first run out of the season. There was no lift on offer either so I had to revert to the bike which at least kept me warm on the ride down to the ground. The early exchanges were hardly encouraging with a complete dearth of goal mouth incident in the opening ten minutes. Then finally there was a flurry of action as we came up to the quarter hour with Stacey getting on the end of a long cross from the City left. I thought his side foot effort was going to lob over Begovic into the net but a defender did well to get back and head away from almost on the line. Then as City turned up the wick a bit, both Hernandez and Sara had shots blocked and the danger was cleared. It was all very low key stuff and in truth I thought Rangers looked the neater side in possession though they looked toothless up front. I was already starting to feel cold but right out of the blue things warmed up as Sara grabbed the ball in midfield and played a ball over the top of a square defence. I thought Hwang was going to be flagged offside but he must have timed his run to perfection because he was all alone on the edge of the box and had time to bang a low shot past the advancing Begovic to give City the lead. The visitors came back quite strongly and City had to defend a couple of corners before relieving the pressure. It was disappointing not to see the home side push forward more and there were more than a few groans when slow motion safety first balls always seemed to be the preferred option. For long periods Rangers dominated possession with Elias Chair looking very comfortable, thankfully he wasn't electric. Long was called into action a couple of times to deal with long range efforts and although he got his knees dirty he didn't look like being beaten. I was happy enough to go in with a halftime lead but we hadn't seen anything that sent the pulses racing. I would have liked to see us take a bit more control of midfield in the second half but that didn't happen and in the opening couple of minutes the visitors came close to an equaliser. Dykes found space on the left of the City area and with Stacey out of position Paal got in a shot that Long could only parry. Thankfully the home defence recovered well and managed to get the ball away from danger. From there on it was mainly the visitors who called tune. City rarely broke into the opposing half and when they did there was never much of a threat. Barnes and Kenny did a lot of heavy lifting and Sara had a few quality touches but they could not inspire anything noteworthy. By the hour mark I found myself constantly glancing at the watch and hoping the second hand would go round a bit quicker because the quality on offer seldom reached the dizzy heights of mediocre. We did earn a couple of corners and one of those epitomised the quality of the match as Sara pulled the ball back to Hernandez who could only slice it sideways. Thankfully the oposition were bereft of confidence as well as quality as any decent side would have surely turned us over. Idah replaced Hwang and eventually Onell made way for Sainz but by this stage I was losing interest fast and the boy began to ask what time did I think we should leave. The game now went from mediocre to stunngly poor with almost nothing worth commenting on. In fact I pulled out my phone and commented as such on the match thread just for a bit of interest. All I can say is that in a contest with watching paint dry this game would have had a hard job to come second. As eighty minutes ticked up on the scoreboard I was losing the will to live but stuck it out for another five just as a sense of duty but with rain now falling I made the best decision of the day and headed for the stairs. MOM, anyone who stuck it out to the end.
  18. 22 points
    Warm and sunny here in Norwich this morning and it might have been a pleasant ride down to the ground but for my daughter offering to to drive us down and pick us up. Consequently we were in the ground twenty minutes before kick off and it was noticeable that quite a few had decided to watch it on the box along with the Womens Cup final. By kick off time I would guesstimate there were still 3-4k seats still unoccupied. It was a scrappy opening couple of minutes but when Sara and Rowe combined neatly down the left touchline it was the young city winger who came away clear with the ball. The visitors defence resisted strongly in the area butwhen the ball found Fassnacht on the edge of the box a neat lay back to Sargent was cracked low and hard towards goal and only beat Sarkic's right post by inches. Rowe was a constant annoyance down the left and with some heavy pressure from Sargent and Barnes the Millwall defence was more or less on the back foot from the start. Rowe almost broke through again but was kept out at the expense of a corner and Kenny was first to Sara's low ball into the box but couldn't keep his effort down. Stacey was looking dangerous down the City right and Gianoullis seems to have finally grown into the player we hoped he would be. A quick low pass from him into Joss Sargent nearly opened things up but somehow Millwall scrambled the ball clear. On twenty minutes the constant pressure around the Millwall eighteen yard line resulted in a free kick award in an ideal position for Gabby Sara. Ashley Barnes was dancing about behind the defensive wall hoping to restrict the keepers view but Sarkic made a fine save diving to his right to punch out the goalbound effort. When the visitors finally got a string of passes together they rarely progressed far and consequently Gunn was rarely troubled. It looked and felt like a goal was coming for the home side and just after the halfway stage it duly arrived. As Rowe came into the penalty are from the left a neat interchange of one touch passing between himself, Sara and Barnes left him open on goal and a sweet finish into the far corner had the crowd out of their seats. City were well worth their lead and a few minutes later Sargent burst through a couple of tackles but was finally disposessed as he shaped to shoot and the ball was again scrambled clear. The USA striker was having a busy game and his speed and energy always had the Millwall defence under pressure. There were few moments of alarm for the City defence where Duffy and Gibson looked well in control. As we approached half time Sara, who had been here, there, and everywhere whistled a twenty yarder over the bar and Rowe should really have scored when he latched onto a deep cross but could only steer his header wide of the post. It was indeed a very satisfactory half for City fans and much better than watching it on the telly. During the halftime break I was trying to remember the last time Millwall won at CR and couldn't for the life of me think when that was. I know they regard this as their bogey ground. Millwall tried to push us back as the second half began but City were soon on the front foot again and when the visitors finally looked to be in a position to clear it was Josh Sargent again charging down a clearance and winning a throw in. From this City earned a frre kick as Kenny was fouled and it was totally fitting that it was Sargent who got his his head on Sara's flighted cross to divert the ball past Sarkic and in off the far post. He deserved that goal through sheer persistance. It was evident again when he barged a Millwall player off the ball in their next attack and covered almost the length of the field to relieve pressure. The game was virtually done and dusted just before the hour mark when again City swept forward and this time it was Fassnacht and Stacey who combined on the right to deliver the ball into Barnes, who with his back to goal, swivelled and stroked a low shot just inside the far post. It could easily have been a fourth a few minutes later when Gianoullis outran a defender to set up Sargent who cut inside two defenders before unleashing a shot that Sarkic beat away and was unlucky to see the follow up just clear the bar. Now it was just a matter of running the clock down. Jonathan Rowe had done more than enough with twenty minutes left and was replaced by Springett then Sargent departed to a deserved ovation on eighty minutes to be replaced by Idah. Also MaCallum got a run out as Fassnacht was withdrawn. Gibson got a knock and had to limp off with a couple of minutes left and he and Barnes found replacements in Nunez and Omo. It would have been nice to keep the clean sheet but somehow as the game moved into eight minutes added, Emakhu managed to slip a couple of tackles and slide a low shot across Gunn and into the far corner. A small blemish however on an otherwise very encouraging display from the home side. I thought we looked quite solid despite a bit of Millwall pressure in the closing stages while Rowe, Sara, Gianoullis and Sargent were all outstanding in their various roles. Today however my MOM goes to Josh Sargent for a fine headed goal and an all round energetic performance. Onward and upward. OTBC.
  19. 21 points
    We're almost unanimous about what is needed - a very rare thing for this forum. That message should be loud and clear to the club - things need to move faster. You can't sit on this and say, it's going to take however long it takes, you have to take action now, even if it is just getting a caretaker manager in. Many more weeks like the last few and you risk losing fans completely. You've worked so hard to build the club up and there have been some great times, but it is surely clear that action is needed now, not in a month, six months, or three years. As I say, the single biggest message you are getting on this forum - and it is usually a hive of disaggreement and arguments - is that you have to act now. Apathy has taken over from anger - as demonstated at the match yesterday - people need uplifting - and the present situation is having the opposite effect - and it's been going on for too long. Something needs to be done - and as soon as possible.
  20. 21 points
    As per the title of the thread is Kenny the most under appreciated player in recent times? Last season collapsed the minute he got injured. Was our best defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and best left back last season. Yes he is not as fancy as Mario Vrancic or Moritz Leitner were but has outlasted pretty much all comers in the midfield now for 5 years. The fact people still have him as scapegoat admittedly behind Idah and Gibson these days is laughable. There were rumours a 5 million bid for him that is a joke as we could never replace him for that amount. Long live the Mayor
  21. 21 points
    Pep couldn't have done it in the Premier League for us with the squads Farke was given to work with.
  22. 21 points
    I've been a bit under the weather after another round of hospital treatment this week and toyed with the idea of giving it a miss this afternoon. I didn't really want to miss Pukki's send off so when my daughter offered to drive us down and pick us up I felt I ought to push myself and go. We got to the ground early and it was great to see all the Pukki flags and the big one at the Barclay End, it was a great show of respect and no more than the great man deserved. City set off in fine style and the visitors were soon on the back foot with Hernandez firing one in from the edge of the box that was a yard or two off target. There was some nice slick play coming in from both wings and Blackpool had to defend in numbers as the home forwards tried to find space to get a shot in. The approach play was good but the visitors always managed to close the door before the vital moment. Tzolis was the next to send a low shot a yard wide then Gibbs found Aarons with a nice cossfield ball but Pukki couldn't quite get proper contact when the ball was quickly pulled back to him and the ball flew wide. Then Sara worked himself space twenty five yards out but the shot beat both goalie and bar as it flicked the top of the net going over. It was pretty much one way traffic for the opening quarter but the way its gone this season I couldn't help myself and mentioned to my Great Grandson that this is where it usually falls apart. Literally within thirty seconds it did, as Blackpool got the rub of the green with Bowler retaining possession while breaking through two or three tackles before feeding Rogers, who lifted the ball over Gunn for an undeserved lead. The lad gave me a wry look as though I had deliberately talked it up but it has happened so many times you are almost waiting for it to happen. City should have been back level fairly quickly as some close play in the visitors box gave Pukki a half chance from about eight yards only for Grimshaw to get a hand to it. I'm not sure if it hit the post because they all jumped up infront of me as Nunez pounced on the rebound only to have the effort blocked by a defender. Then it was Sara again with a lovely low shot that appeared to be curling into the corner only for Grimshaw to acrobatically deny him with a fine save to his right. City kept up the pressure and Nunez had a free kick diverted just over and then just before the break Pukki beat the offside trap, turned inside two defenders only for his shot to be deflected over the bar with the keeper helpless. Chances were being created but it always seemed to be a case of not quite and as Hernandez switched to the other wing his run inside left the fullback standing but the cross was again not quite pulled back enough for Pukki to pounce. It was massively disappointing to go in behind again but that seems to be the pattern for this half of the season. City continued in the ascendancy as the second half began and Hernandez and Pukki both went close. The City Talisman latched onto a pass from Nunez and on ninety nine other occassions his low shot would have nestled in the corner but unfortunately on this one it went wide of the post. Wagner decided to change it early but I couldn't see for the life of me what replacing Tzolis and Nunez with Idah and Rowe was supposed to accomplish. If anything it led to Blackpool getting more of the ball in midfield and a couple of times Gunn had to stand strong to deny the visitors increasing their lead with swift breakaways. There were a couple of chances as time moved on but Idah fired wide when he should have passed and Pukki could only find the keeper when offered a sharp chance. The longer it went on the less likely it looked that we would get anything from the game. Thankfully chants of Webber out were silenced when Pukki took his emotional final bow on eighty minutes. Teemu was my late sons favourite player and memories of the times we had hugged each other in delight came flooding back and I'm not ashamed to say my face was wet with tears as the whole stadium rose to applaud him. It was such a shame that the great man could not find the net one more time, it would have left us with something to cheer in what has been for me a season to forget. Once again I left before the end, mainly so my daughter could pick us up but its not really a good habit to get into otherwise I would have missed some of those great memories that Teemu gave us over the years. A sad and dismal season best forgotten and one that will make many question if its worth the candle. To them I say, "Stay Strong" its the weak that fall by the wayside. While we live and breathe there will always be next season. OTBC
  23. 20 points
    Half the posters on here don't even like Norwich.
  24. 20 points
    My daughter texted me at lunchtime offering to run me down to the ground as rain looked to be coming in. I prefer the bike because its quicker so I decided to give it a go and was well into King St before the rain started so I didn't get more than a little bit damp before getting into the ground. It was good to see us kicking (what I consider) is the right way( towards the Barclay) so we obviously must have lost the toss. In my experience matches against Sunderland are usually tight affairs and this one appeared to be no exception with almost the entire opening fifteen minutes spent in a midfield battle between the two eighteen yard lines. City finally won a corner that came to nothing and Sunderland had a swift attack down their right that ended with a long range effort straight at Gunn. This seemed to spark the game into life and City nearly took the lead as a shot was blocked as a cross came in from the right and Sargent pounced on the rebound only to see his goalbound effort deflected off a defender and over the bar. By this time what had been a fairly steady light rain became a biblical torrent and downstairs in front of me several people had to vacate the front row to keep from drowning. On the pitch the game was certainly competitive with Sunderland looking a decent side although there wasn't a great deal of threat on the City goal. Indeed both defences seemed to dominate and chances were few and far between, although Sainz did bring Patterson into action with a fierce drive that the Sunderland keeper did well to turn over the bar. Just before the break Sara worked a shooting position after a nice quick move down the City left but he could keep his shot down so it was all square at the break. I mentioned to the boy that this looked very much like a first goal wins it type of game and it it wasn't altogether clear which side would get that goal. By now It seemed to rain even harder and I began to worry a bit about the ride home. City began the second period with renewed vigour and Sunderland had to hang on as the home side upped their pace. Stacey found space down the right and Barnes got a little too much on his glancing header which flew behind without troubling the Sunderland keeper. Patterson had to be alert moments later however as another cross flicked off his crossbar and neither Sainz or Barnes could beat him to the loose ball. Then it was Sara bringing Patterson into action again as City persisted with an attack down the right. The Brazillian wizard made space for a shot about twelve yards out but the Sunderland keeper did superbly to turn it aside for a corner despite the ball diverting slightly off a defender. All of a sudden the rain began to ease and an enormous rainbow appeared over the Barclay stand. I took this as a good omen, both for the result and the prospect of a dry ride home. Van Hoojidonk came on for the tiring Barnes as the game became more open Sunderland fashioned a rare chance but thankfully the visiting striker fell over his own feet when handily placed. Chances were still being spurned down our end however as Sara latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the area but could only sky the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy. He almost redeemed himself witha smart backheel to Stacey but again the City fullback could only blaze the ball over the bar. Next it was Sainz racing onto a ball at the edge of the area but Patterson again was quick to dive to his left and smother the shot. Gibbs came on for Fassnacht as City kept up the pressure although the visitors still looked dangerous on the break. I was beginning to wonder if it would be our day when with ten minutes left a ball was lifted into the Sunderland area by Gibson I think, and Sargent did enough to put doubt into the minds of two defenders and found enough space to turn on the ball and fire past Patterson from close range. I nodded to the boy at the confirmation of my good omen. Sunderland tried to force the issue for an equaliser but Hanley and Gibson stood firm and Gunn was never really stretched as City held on comfortably for the points. Indeed I thought the whole defence looked as solid as I have seen it in quite a while. I thought we showed some good energy today and when we kept the pace high you could see we had the edge. A hard fought game but only one team deserved the points. For me this was an all round performance so they all get a MOM award today. My bum was a bit wet when I got home but it was well worth the three points.
  25. 20 points
    It was with much relief that the mid season transfer window closed without very much wailing and gnashing of teeth from those of a yellow persuasion. It at least gives us a chance to salvage something from a season that just a few weeks ago appeared to be heading for the dustbin. The improved weather lifted the spirits and there were enough patches of blue in the sky this morning to mend a pair of sailors trousers, although it did cloud up a bit as kick off time approached. Unlike so many games this season that started in a cagey manner, this one was quite lively from early doors. Collins in the Coventry net was soon called into action when Fassnacht sent a cross into the box and the visitors had to step up to bundle the ball away. Then Sargent had a shot blocked before the visitors sprung away down to our end but nobody could get on the end of a low cross. The teams looked evenly matched with some nice quick passing from both sides and it looked like City might go in front when Kenny found Sargent in space but he couldn't get enough on it to trouble Collins. The City striker was looking a real handful but it was a bit worrying when he took a knock and went quiet for a while. Thankfully he appeared to shake it off after a few minutes. You couldn't complain about the quality as City strung together some sweeping moves but unfortunately they couldn't quite knit it together in the final third and the pace of the game dropped for a while as O'hare and the dangerous Sakamoto began to pull some strings. Sara found an opening on the half hour after Nunez had nicked the ball but his shot was easily saved by the well placed Coventry keeper. City were having the bulk of possession but the visitors looked dangerous on the break and Gunn had to beat way a shot from his near post as Coventry exerted pressure down their left side. Most of the visitors opportunities came from the home side giving the ball away, an old failing I know but very frustrating that we can't eliminate this from our game. At the half I thought it was fairly encouraging but we needed to keep a lid on O'hare in the second half but oh deary me, did that thought come back to haunt me. Coventry set off with some purpose and before City had settled they hustled into a one nil lead. Stacey's throw made it difficult for Kenny and that man O'hare seemed to squirm between defenders in the box before finishing low into the far corner. It seemed to flatten us for a few minutes and it might have got worse as City looked ragged and defensive dithering allowed Wright to find space ten yards out. Somehow Gunn got a foot on it to deflect the goalbound shot away. Wagner stirred things up just before the hour mark with Barnes and Hernandez coming on for Nunez and Fassnacht and it paid dividends almost immediately. Barnes combined with Sara on the left and when the cross came in he hit it sweetly enough but it deflected up off a defender and fell nicely for Sargent to smash the ball past Collins to level things up. The crowd now got into it again as City put together some decent moves and Sainz began to become more involved. Stacey might have done better than blaze a cross into the crowd when well placed but it was City exerting the pressure now. With twenty minutes left a superb ball from Kennt appeared to put Sargent through on goal but a Scything tackle from behind brought him down just outside the area. Kitching couldn't have been surprised when Ref, Gavin Ward produced a straight red to the delight of the crowd. Sara's free kick looked on target but was a few inches too high and clipped the bar with the keeper beaten. To their credit the visitors didn't sit back and when Palmer came on he spurred Coventry forward and was only denied a goal by a fine diving save from Gunn. The home side came back again and Hernandez seemed anxious to get his name on the score sheet but was wasteful when well set. It felt like a goal would come however and with six minutes left it was Barnes who combined with McCallum, who had just replaced Gianoullis, Sainz flicked the ball on to Barnes who trapped it on the edge of the Coventry box before laying it perfectly for Sainz to whip a shot round Collins into the far corner of the net. The boy is definetly a special talent. The home side saw it through comfortably enough and it was good to hear the crowd singing again. Have we finally started to knit things together again? only time will tell but its nice to have something to cling on to as the second half of the season winds down. With players back to fitness perhaps we still have something to fight for. Lots of decent performances today but Sarge my MOM. He always looks like theres a goal in him.
  26. 20 points
    Even the Argyle fans couldn't believe how good our away support was; knowing a few, that's the best they've ever seen. We started the game well. There you go, some positives. Apparently, this team needed experience and toughening up. Well, there was none evident based on that collapse. But this wasn't necessarily about the lack of speed in our central defenders or the missing forwards. There was a massive flaw in this formation and the manager’s ability to address it in the game. After a very positive first 10 minutes, the play became predictable moving the ball from side to side and progressing our full backs up the pitch. It became easy for Argyle to defend, they just shifted across, we were too slow at moving the ball and openings were scarce. Both Rowe and Fassnacht were forced to move inside into condensed areas where there was no space (usually close to Hwang in the hole), we couldn’t find them, they all became redundant in the game but they were committed forward. They were neither midfielders nor forwards, the only width was through the fullbacks who had no cover. When I played, if one fullback went forward the other one came across to ensure there were three at the back. That didn't happen. What we were doing was committing far too many players forward in inefficient positions and when Argyle inevitably turned over possession, there was no cover, they had overloads galore. So at 2-0 we continued the predictable possession football from side to side, we had no penetration. After 35 minutes, it was obvious we were vulnerable. At that point we needed change. Wagner had to take some action, he didn’t, we just carried on leaving ourselves exposed without creating anything going forward. We carried on with 3 redundant players and left ourselves exposed. Wagner isn’t very good. So at 4-0, the players trapse off looking very sheepish, the brilliant fans pause the singing and rightly boo. Wagner takes a few minutes to have a think before walking down the touchline. These half-time changes that followed should have occurred after 35 minutes. This is not in hindsight, I said it to my wife well before the second goal. If I could see it, Wagner should be able to! Second half we were better for two reasons, Argyle were 4-0 up and didn't need to commit players forward and we decided to play more direct passes over their defensive line to Idah or Sara in behind. We still left ourselves very open to the counter attack which in my view was staggering incompetence by the manager and cost us the 5th and 6th goals. If we’re going to play with a 4-2-3-1 formation, then two of the three forwards have to provide the width and be given the ball early, ideally with some space, then allow the fullback to overlap or under lap as necessary. We can't have our full backs being our prime defenders and attackers. What we don’t seem to have are any players (except Hernandez) prepared to commit a defender and dribble beyond them, nor did we have much in the way of overlapping as another way about this process. Some might not like this, but Bali Mumba (in the 3) commits defenders and to be fair to him he didn't defend badly either. £1m, our club really has lost its way. To back that fact up, absolutely no pace at the back…. Andrew Omobamidele! Individually, Gunn had a mixed game, two great saves but his positioning was awful. The centre halves whilst exposed on many occasions had far too many moments to forget. As for Rowe, Fassnacht and Hwang, they were pretty much anonymous but I am still trying to work out if that was entirely Wagner’s fault or a bit of both. Never been a fan of Placheta but fair play to him he came on and had a good go. As for Adam, he still looks low on confidence and desperately needs this run of games but I'm not sure the team is set up to help him. A team needs a mix, it needs experience, tenacity, athleticism, pace and quality. A clubs philosophy should be set to provide all of these. Modern football pretty much demands holding central midfielders. How we missed one of those on Saturday. … and where was our captain Kenny on Saturday? There is a reason he's been performing better of recent times. He has dropped deeper and by doing so has lots more time on the ball, time to control the ball, time to pick a pass. He's not the same player when he plays in close combat. He's in a holding midfielder position but he's not a holding midfielder and doesn’t naturally smell danger. For me, he will always be an average Championship player, yet we give him an extended contract when really ambition demands better…. If there is no ambition at the club, then fair enough. Our recruitment this summer serves absolutely no purpose if this club has ambitions to get promoted. One, two, even three older heads is fine if they are used sparingly to help the development of our young and inexperienced players, but I don’t see that happening so far. Barnes, Duffy, Hanley, Gibson, McLean and Forshaw certainly aren’t players that can play in the EPL (none are dynamic either), but if they are the mainstay of the team, then how does a club like Norwich replace them on promotion? Filling the team with them at the expense of developing our younger players is such short term thinking and against the original philosophy which Farke made work much better than this. We developed hardly any talent last year in the desperate attempt (even expectation) for promotion… we're on target to fail in that area again this year. So, does anyone have an idea of what the club's philosophy is anymore? What are they trying to do? Is it to achieve promotion? If so, Why? This weekend and results so far further evidenced the widening chasm between the Championship and the EPL. It will be interesting to see if Wagner is good enough, Saturday's result will probably ensure that we lose our place in the cup competition at Fulham but next Saturday's set-up will be interesting. I'm not convinced by him at all. The club needs to be signing (and keeping) players so that it has that mix of experience, tenacity, athleticism, pace and quality in mind, not signing hackneyed old journeymen. This last recruitment window was just desperation probably born out of what happened at the end of last season with the injuries. I said it last year and its not changed for me, the club has lost its way! Desperate for promotion, taking ill-informed decisions with promotion in mind, without the tools to achieve it or sustain it. Consequently, proper considered development for a longer term, sustainable achievement gets ignored. It’s a mess, we aren’t getting promoted with this team, if we did, we’d get absolutely smashed week in, week out. Time for a re-group usually, but when management has lost is way, they don’t have the wherewithal to see what’s evidently ahead of them. Time for complete change in my view. Them fans though, WOW!
  27. 20 points
    Brilliant piece by Kathy on the Canaries Trust monthly report. Everybody should read it. https://www.canariestrust.org/so/4cOeOuOhG?languageTag=en&cid=215db854-15f5-44c7-9d32-44aefdb8cc47 Thinking of you @Kathy ❤️🙏🏽 Parma
  28. 20 points
    **** me the constant beat down on Idah is so ****ing tenuous and ridiculous. Every. ****ing. Time. Let's try getting through a SINGLE ****ING TOPIC WITHOUT SLATING OUR OWN PLAYERS shall we?
  29. 20 points
    I naively assumed that the club meant what they said when they decided to move in a different direction and for a while their actions appeared to confirm this e,g. There being no call to sack the manager after the first relegation from the Premier League. The impression i had was that we had moved away from the established idea of sacking managers in the hope of success and were intent on building for a future based on the type of football and style of play that Daniel Farke had instigated. My feelings were that this gave us a unique identity and despite the results being harder to come by in the top league, it was an identity that we would strive to maintain. In the long run and due to financial constraints this might only make us perennial yoyo club but personally speaking that would not be a bad thing. Sadly it seems that somebody in authority wasn't 100% committed to the idea and ditched the project. Now we find ourselves back with every other football club, hoping the next manager might hit the jackpot. Ive been a supporter for seventy years and i have seen good times and bad times but I've only ever seen one dream time. It won't come again.
  30. 19 points
    Over the last few days we have had a spell of spring like weather and although it was cooler and greyer today it was still an ideal day for a bike ride down to Carrow Road, Thankfully the news on Josh Sargents injury was positive and although Gibson had to drop out the return of a fit Grant Hanley has to be a plus. City were on the front foot from the get go and soon had the visitors defending their twenty yard line. In the third minute City almost broke through when Kenny floated a lovely ball over the top to Barnes. The keeper managed to push him wide of goal but a pass back inside saw Sargent coming in with the goal at his mercy. Somehow a defenders foot got in the way of his low shot and blocked it almost on the line. It got the crowd going and the home side began exert continual pressure. Onell and Stacey were lively down the right but the cross couldn't find a City player and it was all hands to the pump in Cardiff's overworked defence. Sainz almost opened the scoring when another cross from the right went over everybody and the little winger took a quick touch before firing in a shot that Horvath blocked and somehow the ball was hooked away as Sargent was hovvering. Then there was a heading contest in the six yard line as a corner came over. I thought Hanley would score but he couldn't quite get over it and the ball looped to Barnes who could only head over the bar from point blank range. We had seen next to nothing from the visitors as an attacking force until almost twenty minutes and as luck would have it it led to a goal out of the blue. I couldn't see much from my end but the ball seemed to fly across the goal a couple of times without anyone getting it away. before Collins poked it in despite the attentions of Gunn and Hanley. I turned to the boy and we both shook our heads in disbelief. We had been totally dominant and the score made a mockery of the balance of play. Thankfully events didn't appear to knock the confidence of the home side who continued to press the issue. With better luck we would have been level within a couple of minutes but after good work by Hernandez, Sara's curling shot came back off Horvath's right post and was scrambled away. With half time approaching I was beginning to harbour thoughts that it might not be our day but these were dispelled when on forty minutes McCallum's sharp cross deflected off Horvath's hands and fell to Sargent eight yards out and he didn't need further invitation to tuck home the equaliser. Almost from the restart Barnes had the ball in the net again from McCallums cross but unfortunately he had crept a shade offside. Being up above it I couldn't tell but there were no complaints although it did look a close call. We needn't have worried however because just before the break Sara curled in a wonderful free kick from twenty yards to put a more realistic slant on the scoreline. It was good to see the team applauded off as it he certainly one of the most dominating halves we have seen for a long time. Cardiff had a brief spell on the front foot after the restart but the game soon regained its early pattern with City playing some lovely quick stuff and looking a class above the visitors. Any hope for Cardiff was quickly extinguished on fifty five minutes when Hanley sent Stacey away down the the right and after a quick interchange the ball moved on to Sargent who banged in a shot that the Cardiff keeper could only parry onto a post but the City forward was quick to latch onto the rebound and extend the lead. Carrow Road was now in good voice and a world away from some of the dismally quiet episodes of recent months. Kenny, Nunez and Sara linked up perfectly at times and there was a constant threat of a quick break everytime Cardiff pushed to far forward. To be honest I can't recall Gunn making a save of any note. Sainz almost made it four with a break down the left but appered to over run it in the box and a little later had a really good chance when the ball fell kindly to him. He had time and space but was a bit too deliberate in his placement and lofted it over the bar. Barnes and Sargent came off with twenty minutes left and I thought it an opportune time to give them an ironic boo as they went and more than a few my end joined in. It was Hooijdonk and Fassnacht that came on and fittingly it was that pairing that figured in the fourth city goal with just under fifteen minutes left. I think it was Fassnacht who stretched for a loose clearance and after a lovely quick passing interchange that split the Cardiff defence he was on hand to slot the ball past Horvath to wrap up the points. Stacey was replaced by Fisher late on and received generous applause for what to my mind was one of his best performances to date. Something that could be said for many in the home line up today. I thought Nunez was a class apart in midfield whilst Kenny and Gabby Sara both performed at their usual high levels. Onell had a really good outing but I think I will give my MOM award to Josh Sargent for a classy display, two fine goals and an audacious back heel pass that almost sent a team mate through on goal had he been more alive to it. All things considered a very good day at the office and probably the best all round display I have seen since Wagner has been in charge. I was out of puff when I cycled home but it was a very enjoyable afternoon.
  31. 19 points
    Interesting detail in this piece. Just a reminder that the players are human beings and you don't know what they might be dealing with off the pitch. Wishing him and his family all the best. He has been combining football with hospital visits to see his baby daughter, born prematurely last month. "It [the goal] was a nice moment for me and my family, I'm super proud of all of them," he told BBC Radio Norfolk. "Our little girl is doing really well, she'll hopefully be out of hospital soon, she's been in in intensive care at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, they're absolutely wonderful there. "It has been tough at times, getting the balance between being at home with my son and being at hospital by the incubator, and also trying to be the best professional I can be to perform well on the pitch for the club that pays me." https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68126654
  32. 19 points
    "Grow our Academy products!", "Sell our Academy products!", "Webber talks too much!", "Knapper doesn't talk enough!", "We need more experienced players!", "We've got too many experienced players!", "We need to be more pragmatic", "We need to be less pragmatic!", "Our defence needs focus!", "We're concentrating on defence too much!", "I'll judge us by our results", "These results are not sustainable!", And so on, and so on, and so on....
  33. 19 points
    What amazing supporters you all are. He's not up to first team standard and probably needs a loan. To call him "truly awful", "crap" and hope you "never see him in a Norwich shirt again" is more reflecting on the sort of **** level of supporter we have at this club than anything else. Disgraceful.
  34. 19 points
    Please do not punish the majority because of the few. This is a more than decent discussion forum for matters concerned with NCFC. Many of us have it as one of our first resorts when we turn on our laptops first thing. Like you, we avoid the street corner boys, so they must not be allowed to spoil it for the rest. Insult merchants are as un welcome to most as they are to you, but erasing that mentality completely is impossible. They exist in the same way that supporters apparently threw loaded beer cans at Delia's car and ITFC supporters during the game. They must not be allowed to wreck your forum for the majority.
  35. 19 points
    Yet another very warm Saturday and with no chance of sneaking a lift to the ground we had no option but to resort to the bikes. I was well puffed just pumping the tyres up but somehow I made it to CR without a heart attack. Games against wee Alex are usually very tight affairs but judging by the opening quarter of the game it looked as though it might turn out very one sided. City looked fresh and dangerous from the get go with some sweeping attacks down both wings and before five minutes was on the clock Sara had swerved a twenty-five yarder a foot wide of Travers right post and Fassnacht had brought a save from the keeper with a shot from the edge of the area. On fifteen minutes City swept down the right and Sara's ball found Gianoullis who managed to stab the ball across the face of goal and somehow niether Barnes nor the Stoke Keeper could get a touch. You could see that Rowe was brimming with confidence as he took defenders on and it wasn't very long before he was on the end of a bit of rough house stuff from the Stoke full back. It was good to see that he could dish out a bit of physicality himself as there was a bit of argy bargy on the goal line whenever City took a corner. We saw little of the visitors as an attacking force until the mid point of the half when a speculative long range effort ended up flying yards over Gunn's bar. It signalled a flurry of action in the Home defence as the central defenders were called upon to fend off a couple of sharp balls in from the Stoke right and there were appeals for a penalty when Gibson appeared to fall over the back of a big Stoke striker. Some Ref's might have given it and it did look rather clumsy even from a hundred yards away. Back down our end there was a burst of goal mouth action as the Home side retained possession and got numbers in the box. A cut back found Idah free on the edge of the box but his precise side foot never had the power or placement to beat Travers. Sara and McLean combined beatifully at times and in the space of a few minutes we were treated to the full range of the Brazillians passing skills. A lovely crossfield pass almost got Fassnacht in but he delayed too long, then a slide rule pass from quick free kick got Rowe into a shooting position only for Travers to get right behind it. It had been a good half but it seemed we were to be denied the reward we deserved until on the stroke of forty five minutes Rowe challenged for a cross and got enough on it to deflect the ball into Stacey's path at the angle of the six-yard box and the City full back did enough to get the ball over the despairing grasp of the Stoke keeper to give the home side the lead. Stoke almost got one themselves with the last kick of the half but the ball flew wide and we all breathed again It was certainly no less than we deserved and the talk at halftime was more about extending the advantage in the next forty-five. Unfortunately football has a way of changing direction for no accountable reason and from the restart City were never able to reassert their first half dominance. It didn't help that a couple of dithering moments while trying to play out from the back, set the nerves jangling. The visitors penned us back for long minutes and there were a couple of scrambles as corners were cleared. I thought Idah had done reasonably well and got involved in some nice passing moves but had never really looked like scoring so I wasn't shocked that he was pulled on sixty minutes, along with Gianouliss who I imagine Wagner was playing safe with, due to a yellow card. Placheta looked immediately lively, showing a turn of speed down the left but Hwang did little to impress during his brief cameo. Admittedly the home side were mostly on the back foot so I wouldn't be over critical. I don't recall many heart in the mouth moments as Stoke perssured the home defence, it was more a case of being unable to relieve that pressure for any concerted period of time. Rowe was replaced by Onel with twenty minutes left and Gibbs and Sprigett came on for the visibly tiring Barnes and Fassnacht for the last ten plus added time. I think most of us were just wishing the clock to go round a bit faster, take the three points and go home. Eventually thats the way it did turn out and although it was never a spectacle it was certainly a deserved win on the balance of chances created and a clean sheet is never to be sneezed at. Sara my MOM, best player on the pitch by a country mile. honourable mentions for Kenny , Stacey and Rowe. Not a classic by any means but It will need to be better on Wednesday if we are to pick anything up.
  36. 19 points
    I usually reckon on about a third of the way into a season is when you can see where things are going. For us that was some time in October and despite the odd encouraging result I think we all realised that by the time the clocks went back, the gap between expectations and reality was somewhat wider than we had anticipated. The change of personel and the odd decent result fooled us into thinking it would all eventually come good and as I wandered down Southgate Lane to CR this afternoon there was still a straw to clutch at. Would it still be there at five o'clock or would that hope end up like Elon Musks space rocket, with a rapid and unscheduled disassembly. It all looked a bit encouraging early doors when after five minutes of tip tap mid field possession stuff, City suddenly came alve down their left wing as Hernandez was released into space. I felt he delayed a split second too long and when the cross came in, keeper and defenders managed to scramble the ball out of the box but only to McCallum who hit a sweet shot that Fisher couldn't hold but did enough to fall on the loose ball before Idah could react. Then there was another good move down the other wing and an interchanged between Aarons and Nunez ended with a hard low cross that nobody could get on the end of. The home side continued in the ascendancy and at that stage there was little coming back in reply from the visitors.I thought Swansea looked decent in possession but a couple of times they got caught by Nunez lunging in and winning the ball. He looked like he might get through on goal but was felled on the edge of the box just as he was about to pull the trigger. The resulting free kick was on target but unfortunately Fisher got his body right behind it. In the twentieth minute there was the first real threat to the home goal when a ball over the top beat the offside trap and Gunn had to race from his line and deflect a low shot away for a corner with his outstretched boot. I jokingly said to the lad that this was typically where we go behind and seconds later could have kicked myself as a free header from the resulting corner was nodded past Gunn. It tends to get monotonous with the number of times we have dominated games and then going behind out of virtually nothing. From the kickoff City nearly got back in it but Sara's through ball was fractionally ahead of Sargent and a defender hooked the ball away. Then a quick raid down the right saw Gibbs cross narrowly fail to make contact with Sargents head as the City strker threw himself forward. At the other end the City defence suddenly fell apart again as Aarons failed to win the ball on the byeline and a dinked cross went over Gunn and left Cullen with a simple chance to head home from almost on the line. It was thoroughly depressing and no surprise when the boo's started and a chant of "Webber out" rang round the ground. As if things couldn't get worse another ball over the top again caught the City defence square and as Cullen raced away with the ball McCallum probably had little option but to bring him down and faced the long walk to the dressing room in front of a now very angry crowd. For me this was game set and match, you don't give a good passing side like Swansea a two goal start and expect to get anything at all with ten men. Several around me left at half time and it was hard to blame them because the second half was likely to be ball chasing and backs to wall and thats the way it worked out with the visitors mostly camped in our half and passing the leather off the ball. To our credit the ten men put in plenty of effort but the damage had already been done and the virtual silence interspersed with the occassional "Webber Out" chant can't have been an easy atmosphere to play in. Sargent and Hernandez bustled about up front on the rare occassions we held any sort of possession but the result was never in doubt and a third goal just after the hour was neither here nor there. To be honest I was just wishing the minutes away and hoping to get away without too much further danger as the crowd began to visibly thin with fifteen minutes left. For me this has been a difficult season for both football and personal reasons. My son would never allow us to leave before the final whistle even if it was to stay and boo but I weakened and just couldn't take any more and left on 85 minutes. On the way back over Carrow Bridge I had to explain to my Great Grandson that however much you feel like chucking yourself in the River because of results, the feeling does eventually pass and surprisingly you will be chomping at the bit for when the next home game comes around. He looked at me rather quizically and I'm not quite sure if he believes me. In the end there was no straw to cling to, and come to think of it, no rocket either.
  37. 18 points
    I got a bit lucky with the weather today as the forecast said showers but by lunchtime it was pleasantly warm and sunny in NR1 so it was ideal for a ride to the ground. I had to look up the last time we played Plymouth at CR and was surprised to find it was way back in 2008/09 when we were in the same division for four seasons. It was also a bit of a surprise to find we had a pretty dismal all time record against them with only 26 wins and 42 losses. (thanks to Roger Smiths "Canary Companion) From the off we looked a class above and were soon dominating possession with some decent moves down either flank. Sainz neat ball in from the left deserved better than for Sargent to delay his shot and the chance was blocked away with Barnes unable to pick up the pieces. Plymouth seemed happy to contain and slow the game down whenever possible but in the tenth minute a sweeping ball out to the right gave the opportunity to swing a cross into the box. Sorensen appeared to misstime his attempted headed clearance and the ball dipped over his head to Whittaker who stooped to head low past Gunn and give the visitors a shock lead. City should have got back on level terms within a couple of minutes as Stacey poked a ball into space that left Sargent bearing down on the Plymouth goal but a lunging tackle from a defender just got a toe on the ball as the City strker let fly and the only result was a corner. Then Kenny went on a mazey run but when he had worked a shooting position, could only scuff the ball over the bar. The home attack was certainly making chances but they couldn't seem to get things in synch as half chances came and went. Sainz whipped one over but Cooper had everything behind it then Sargent went even closer as a corner came through a ruck of players only for the City striker to sidefoot against a post and a desperate defence scrambled the ball clear. McCallum was fairly lively down the left but couldn't fnd a yellow shirt with a low cross but was then caught out of position as Plymouth broke out of defence. Gibson got it all wrong when missing the ball completely on the touchline and the ball was fed on to a Plymouth striker who took it round Gunn but gave himself too much of and angle and the ball went right across goal and out by the far post. It could so easily have been a second goal for the visitors. The home defence looked jittery and Gibson nearly gave it away again with a terribly feeble back pass only for Gunn to save the day with a block after a sprint off his line. As the half moved into time added, Sainz picked up a loose ball and buzzed past a defender into the six yard box. I thought he would shoot but he fizzed it past Cooper to Sargent no more than two yards out but somehow the City man couldn't get a vital contact and a fantastic chance went begging. At the half I was thinking about our poor record against Plymouth and wondering if it was going to be one of those games that come along every now and then where it just won't go in. If we were hoping for a quick start to the second period we didn't get it as the the crowd got a bit quiet and City couldn't seem to keep any consistant pressure on the visitors goal. The livey Sainz was the main bright spark for the home side but nobody could get on the end of his low cross after a good run and even when he cut inside for a shot he was well off target. Fassnacht came on for Nunez on the hour but Plymouth seemed to be holding on comfortably enough until the sixty seventh minute when City earned a corner on the right. I thought Fassnacht's delivery was rather low but Sargent had pulled away unmarked from the nearpost and he smacked a first time shot through a ruck of defenders and into the net for a deserved equaliser. Where there had been darkness and despair there was now sweetness and light as both crowd and players began to believe. Plymouth tried to slow it down with some niggly fouls but City had now got the upper hand and you had a feeling that there was more to come. With the pressure mounting, City earned another corner on the right and this time it was Sara who whipped over a higher ball that McCallum just got enough onto to divert it past defenders and across goal into the far corner to give City the lead. Plymouth, to their credit tried to give it a go and put on a bit of pressure. After a strong run through midfield a throughball found Hardie in the clear twelve yards out but Gunn was quickly out to narrow the angle and the Plymouth striker couldn't get the ball past him. It was a nervy moment and a big points saving moment for Gunn. Wth five minutes left it should have been alll done and dusted but Sara's wonderful free kick from twentyfive yards hit the inside of post and bar with Cooper beaten and Fassnacht had the simplest of chances to nod in the ball as it bounced up but could only nod it over the bar. He will relive that in his dreams tonight and probably score. After that I was more than happy to see the minutes tick away without further major alarms. I thought Kenny was masterful today and is a cert for POTS but my MOM goes to Sainz who was wonderful in everything he did apart from one wild shot. Gunny also impressive today with some astute positioning. Onward and upward.
  38. 18 points
    No Norwich City fan throughout its existence will ever do anything more classless than hounding Delia in word and deed. It's deplorable and crass. She deserves to be allowed to make her own exit in her own time which, in her 83rd year, she knows is upon her. It's not like leaving a building, she's stepping away in a process that needs to be right and meticulous, and cannot be rushed. Show some respect and decency.
  39. 18 points
    Thankfully the wild and wet weather of yesterday had moderated somewhat by this morning and we were just left with a grey damp day with the odd shower. The sort of day that I always looked forward to during my playing years, damp underfoot and no sun to dazzle you. Fortunately I managed to get a lift down to the ground but only just made it with two minutes to spare thanks to the heavy traffic on Chaplefield Road. Seeing the same back four run out didn't fill me with confidence but to their credit City started well and forced an early corner on their right. Sara's cross was inch perfect and Duffy glanced a perfectly placed header into the net before Meslier could move. It was a great start and City looked well worth it as they continued to come forward in the opening quarter and the Leeds keeper twice had to be alert as Idah and Gibbs almost latched onto passes through the centre. The visitors didn't really seem to get going until midway through the half and then fashioned three acceptable chances within a few minutes. Gianoullis and Onell failed to clear the danger on the City left but Summerville could only strike a low shot beyond Gunns far post when well placed. Then Gunn was in just the right place as another shot came in centrally but when City lost possession on the edge of the Leeds box a swift counter and two missed tackles left Kamara with just the City keeper to beat. Thankfully his low struck effort was a yard wide when it seemed easier to score. There was some nice flowing moves from both sides but the visitors defenders seemed quicker to recover position than the home defenders. This was evidenced when a cut through ball from Kenny got Idah away through the centre but he was quickly closed down from both sides just as he got the shot off. Gunn had taken a knock earlier and unfortunately had to limp off after the half hour as Long came on and looked fairly competent in his early work, catching a hard cross from the right. It seems that all the keepers are schooled in this tip tap stuff from the back but I do wish they would mix it up a bit at times. City looked dangerous from crosses and Duffy had the ball in the net again only for it to be ruled out, presumeably for an offence on the keeper. It didn't seem much to me but there you go. With half time looming it might easily have been two for City when Sara hit a low angled shot the beat Meslier but it ran about a foot wide of the far post. The Brazillian was not to be denied however when a couple of minutes later after good work by Hernandez, he shimmied right and left inside the box and found enough space between defenders to strike a powerful shot that gave the Leeds keeper no chance. It had been a lively half with both sides creating chances, the difference being that we had taken ours while Leeds had fluffed theirs. Normally I would have been fairly confident of three points from this position but as I said last week, this defence doesn't fill me with confidence and for some reason I had a feeling that this could quickly turn round if we weren't careful. As the second half began City won a free kick out wide left and when the cross came in it hit Kenny and deflect just wide with the keeper nowhere. Then Leeds began to dominate, although but City seemed solid enough and even fashioned a couple of half chances on forays forward. I said to the lad that we needed a third goal to get anything from this because the game just had the feel about it and I am sure long term supporters will know exactly what I mean by that. Wagner swapped the tiring Hernandez on the hour and within a couple of minutes disaster struck as City lost possession and a sweeping ball to the right was just kept in play by DanJames and the cut back unluckily went in off Duffy to reduce the lead. To be honest you couldn't say that Leeds didn't deserve it. A few minutes later Sara almost restored the advantage with a well struck free kick that Meslier did well to dive across and push round the post but it was Leeds on top now and I think we could all see what was coming. Long produced a fine diving save at his near post at the expense of a corner as the visitors probed down their left but the City defence was at sixes and sevens when the corner was pulled back to the edge of the box where Summerville had time and space to curl a shot off Long's left post and into the net for the equaliser. Disappointing but it had felt inevitable for a long time. Wagner brough on Forshaw, Hwang and Fassnscht for Rowe, Gibbs and Idah with ten minutes left but everyone could see that this game was only going one way and it did in typical Norwich City fashion. A City free kick into the Leeds box found nobody and Summerville was allowed to run the lenght of the pitch unchallenged to beat Long with ease. To his credit Kenny almost got back to tackle but the rest of the defence were probably still in the Leeds half. I turned to the boy and said,"had enough"?, he nodded and we left. Sara the class in the home side, Rowe, one or two nice flashes, Kenny did his best and deserved more, as for the rest, they won't win anything conceeding goals at the present rate.
  40. 18 points
    Thanks PH. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate for a football website, but it seems to have been well received.
  41. 18 points
    I clicked on this expecting to see Vrancic v Sheffield Weds. You have bitterly disappointed me.
  42. 18 points
    That is absolutely damning for Webber though isn't it? This is a squad that walked the division only two years ago and then had a record transfer budget spaffed on it and had a higher net spend this summer than anyone in the division and we're saying we need multiple transfer windows to make it competitive in the Championship?
  43. 17 points
    I have been feeling a bit low this week after the disappointment at Middlesbro but the news of reprieve for Borja Sainz certainly lifted my spirits and I am sure it did much the same for thousands of others of the Canary persuasion. There was also a touch of early spring in the air which gave promise of better things to come. I thought I would have a look at the early kick off game on Sky at lunchtime and when I cycled off to the game there were two minutes left and it appeared that that lot down the road were going to spawn another three points out of sod all. I admit to a joyful chortle when I heard the final score at the ground. All thoughts of the midweek debacle were quickly banished as City clicked into high gear early doors. A free kick on the left was fended away only as far as Sara, who struck a low sweeping shot on target that Johansson fielded on his knees. Then in the third minute a low cross from McCallum went right across the visitors goalmouth without anyone getting a touch. There were some lovely moves that had the Rotherham defence constantly on the back foot and you could see a goal coming as City continued to look sharp and inventive. Just before the quarter hour Sargent found Stacey in space on the right and when his cross came in Sara had all the time and space in the world to head goalwards. The Rotherham keeper got something on it but could not prevent City from taking the lead. A couple of times Sargent was slipped through but Johansson to his credit was quickly out to block both efforts. The gap in quality was obvious to all as the visitors struggled to get anything going in the City half and the second goal came quickly as Rotherham couldn't clear the danger and conceded another corner on the right. There were some big lads in the visitors defence but Sara's ball to the near post was met by Sorensen who flicked it over the keeper and into the far corner of the net. It was all looking very easy but the boy felt we needed another goal before he felt comfortable. Sainz must have heard him because on the half hour he produced a solo strike of stunning quality that brought the whole ground to its feet. Picking up the ball about thirty yards out, he came infield and drifted past a couple of defenders before unleashing a drive that left the keeper rooted as it arrowed into the top corner of the net. It was a thing of rare beauty. With three S's already on the score sheet all that was needed was for Sargent to get one and as we moved past forty minutes it seemed he was bound to score as he latched onto Sara's delightful back heel pass. A first time effort might have been a better choice but he checked back onto the other foot behind a defender and the shot was blocked away. He was not to be denied however and as we moved into time added, Stacey raced clear down the right and centred quickly where Sargent hit a low first time effort that beat Johansson's despairing dive at the right hand post. There were loud and well deserved cheers as the boys trooped off after a totally dominating half of football. The boy was thinking we might get double figures but I warned him that these sort of games usually calmed down in the second half. a Wagner had seen enough and duly rested Kenny and Josh Sargent with Fassnacht and Van Hoojidonk coming on. Gibson had already been replaced by Batth at the break. The game slowed noticeably from here and the visitors had a bit more of the ball but seldom looked like having the quality to make a game of it. Hugil came on for them midway through the half and received a good round of applause from the crowd and had their only effort of note at the City goal. He got his head to a cross from the left but it looped high over Gunn's bar. Apart from a couple of blocked efforts and a low shot from Nunez, I can't recall much else of note as City played the ball around and ran down the clock. Gibbs got a bit of a run out and It was nice to see Aboh get a ten minute cameo as the game petered out as a contest. I thought Sara was superb today but it's impossible not to give Sainz my MOM award for a good all round game and a stunning goal that will be remembered long past the time some of us are pushing up daisies. It got really cold as the sun went down and me and the boy made a bolt for stairs as the time iup to ninety minutes. All things considered, a very good day to be a Norwich City fan.
  44. 17 points
  45. 17 points
    Or maybe he does know? Looked poor, uncomfortable and gave the ball away without creating anything in the 10 position. Looked far more comfortable deeper and joining in with play from deep (something several of us have commented on) which led to the first goal, of course. Shout out to Barnes as well. He's been called some ridiculous stuff by our fans online but he was a gamechanger today. In all seriousness I think there's a horses for courses scenario where Sara will sometimes play as a 10 and sometimes deeper. But so far, much prefer him being deeper (I think our fullbacks do too).
  46. 17 points
    Why don't we give him a big round of applause when his names read out on Saturday and give him there's only 1 Ben Gibson, show the man some love support and appreciation. He might not be the best cb we've seen at cr but to be fair to him he's a decent bloke and always gives his all. At least he doesn't score as many own goals as Duffy 🤣
  47. 17 points
    If we had eleven players of Kenny’s solidity, consistency and ability in their relative positions, we’d comfortably be top six.
  48. 17 points
    I just asked for Portman Road:
  49. 17 points
    Disappointed to see you've got a full battery there. My condolences to those on the Mark Attanassio thread.
  50. 17 points
    It is the right question @Big O. Long before Webber I championed the Sporting Director model, believing it to be of fundamental importance to any club, though particularly essential to us - with very limited resources, fan owners with a tendency to zealotically embrace the new messiah, attracting charismatic-opportunistic-mercenary managers whose raison d’être is to survive another 6 months in the job - whether it costs a Yanic Wildshut or two, whether he is affordable or not. The Sporting Director is there to amortise the eternal problems of football short-termism. To ensure a broad philosophical, methodological, operational sporting consistency of action is perennially maintained. @Big O here are some broad principles and some correlating questions that need to be answered for us to understand what we need from a Sporting Director: What is the deep-rooted culture of the club? What makes it different, unique even, to the fans, the loyal customers, the paying public? There are 23k season ticket holders, the ground has very often sold out its 27k capacity, these fans - and one must assume that there are even more if it was cheaper to attend, tickets were more accessible, available together, more seats - turn up every year almost regardless of results, league position, color of manager, sexual orientation of directors, gender of owner, niceties or otherwise of CEOs. Therefore we have something of a captive audience, we have little direct nearby competition, loyalty levels are high, customers cannot - and do not really - take their money and business elsewhere. So let’s get to know them. What do they want? ‘We just want winning football’ they say. But they don’t. Because they turn up anyway. So what makes them happy? We don’t have to guess if we can read the book. Let’s go back to the last time fans were really happy. Farke and his distinct brand of Man City lite was in town and everyone wore the badge with pride. There were wins, but it certainly wasn’t all about winning. It was a joy at being entertained, a sense of identifying with the style, of recognizing something artistic, beautiful even. I would venture also - something I considered utterly fundamental in my charges when coaching - that there was great pleasure in (after a time) understanding what was happening, what would happen next, what the purpose of the movements were, what the intended patterns were, the sense that there was a harmonious recognition of what everyone’s role was and how it elegantly intersected with those around. Football is an identity, a purpose, a style of playing, an approach to the game. Norwich is not rough-and-tumble. It is not low rent scrap for second balls. It is not even really counter-pressing and heavy metal football. It is passing angles, possession, elegance, control, through balls, number 10s, defenders comfortable on the ball, goalkeepers going short, through balls, springing offside traps, academy players being given first team chances earlier than most. Cruyffian ideals perhaps, though not - ultimately - requiring winning football. Just sometimes. ‘The right way’ Football is now about money and we don’t have it. So what are we going to do? What shall we aim to become? Crystal Palace lite? The dream of 15th every year? Even if we achieved it - and we almost can’t without significant further funding - we wouldn’t be happy with it within a year or two. Why? Because it would look attritional, spoiling, negative, cautious, highly physical. In short the brand would be no brand. It would be the perennial angst of looking down. Of being ‘as less inferior as possible’. We are in any case light years from that. It would cost half a billion from here just to be that. So here is flaw number one currently: Preparing for the Premier is a false premise for Norwich City Football club in the here-and-now. It is a glossy brochure leprechaun dancing at the end of a faraway rainbow. Focusing on being too good for championship is a far more pragmatic and reasonable ambition. They are very, very far from the same thing. They have very different costs and wildly varying odds of success. Ironically the first thing may well lead to great failure for the second. Whilst success in the second thing may eventually lead to the first. We had a model that proved the second, which we - mistakenly in my view - flip-flopped from to chase a Prem-lite chimera of a model that suited almost none of our personnel, went against years of our established football teaching, hard-drilled psychological positional play, mental pathway tendencies and previous investment on very particular footballing characteristics. This constancy of sporting purpose, investment and ideals is what a Sporting Director is paid to direct, protect and maintain. It is not that we simply tried to become Prem cheap lite, or that it wouldn’t work, it couldn’t have worked. We were years and hundreds of millions behind others that had done it for many years. Tens of clubs scout the kind of players we belatedly threw ourselves at - and they pay them far more money, offer them London or release clauses, plus far greater odds of success and more of a shop window. It is not to be negative about the club I love. You simply must recognize who and what you are, how you are seen by others. Even if you don’t like it. It was a desperate sporting pivot lacking in consistency of method, long-term vision and purpose. It was a dice throw of a move. It is precisely the kind of panicked desperation that a Sporting Director is employed and designed to avoid proctor hoc. ——— If Farke proved anything it is that methodology can trump players. So many cast offs, limited players and academy players became repeatedly valuable, central and effective. In fact it happened across 2 cycles of players. I would go and speak to Farke. Often, repeatedly. That kind of knowledge, understanding and feel for the club, for positional play principles, for future academy teaching - you just can’t let it leave the building and never be heard of, understood or repeated again. Football is a closed industry, it can be lonely. Invest in maintaining some kind of link. Learn. I also would not ignore the reality of Farke’s tenure being underpinned by a creator and a goalscorer. Accept this football reality. Act accordingly. Don’t pad the squad. If you have limited finance you cannot retain two senior players for each position. Forget it. Choose a different way. Limited money means more utility players. Identify a few Sorenson-like players and use them as cover for 5 positions. Run a squad of no more than 18 senior players. They are hard enough to keep happy anyway. We need dramatic change to shift the horrible downward momentum vortex that sucks in all good. I would suggest having a Martin Peters moment. Invest what limited resources you have on someone who knows what real quality looks like. Someone that lifts all boats. I would suggest not a Huckerby in current circumstances, more someone like James Milner. Someone utterly professional - prosaic, ‘just’ functional even - who hates to lose, who runs, covers different positions, covers for the mistakes of others, sets standards, influences training levels, who won’t - can’t - accept low standards. Start from there. Offer him a player-coaching role, a senior coaching development pathway. Encourage him to bring some friends. Use his contacts. As a sporting squad you must carry less players. You simply take more injury risks and accept the consequences. But what are those consequences? You use the academy. Not everyone is Lewis, Godfrey, Omobamidele, Aarons. But even now, if Idah is 3rd or 4th choice striker, everyone is happy with that aren’t they? You take a chance- if faced with multiple injuries - on those who might come good. The Academy must be trusted in this way at Championship level, otherwise what is the point? Football is all about momentum. Goals camouflage a multitude of sins. You must have a goalscorer. At any cost. Even if you can only afford one player. It must be a goalscorer. anything else can pretty much be covered for. If you have to stop gap with a (to use easy examples) Jordan Rhodes, Chris Martin, Dwight Gayle, you just must have one. Others players need to know that there is someone who knows where the net is. They play differently if they know this. Sargent is yet to convince, even at this level. If you feel it, don’t you think the players know it too? Of course it is all about Finances for Norwich, though you can choose how you cut the limited cake you have as a sporting Director. You can run a wide and deep squad, or a narrow, high and lean one. I repeatedly emphasised proctor hoc that keeping or attracting weapons, or peaks in your squad would always be my strategy. Amortising risks to be a bit better on average across the squad board just means you lose every game a bit less badly. I never liked it. The counterpart to this strategy is to be brave. If you can’t buy right - with the limited funds available - communicate it, say it out loud. Tell the loyal fans you want limited, high quality, forensic signings or you simply won’t buy. You’ll trust those that got you there. Upon promotion ‘21 It looked a little like Webber thought it might’ve been his opportunity to make his name. Did he try to convince himself that what was best for his career was also best for Norwich? Strong-minded people can convince themselves of any reality they choose. So did he do exactly what errant managers had previously done at Norwich and pressed and pushed for signings and sales that might work? Exactly what Sporting Directors are employed to prevent happening. ——— As for thinning our current - horribly weak and flawed squad - we have a number of immediate problems to address. For a start who buys what we have, can they match current wages, would our players go there and how do you get them to leave the building? Typically cash buyers only want what you want to keep. Having said that, there is not one single current player who I wouldn’t sell. That is pretty damning. No one has much value. Rashica we’ll see. £5m and add ons after some tough negotiations I imagine. Who else will buy him and stalking horse Gala? I very much doubt the lurid numbers and Premier interest in Sara. He is well short of that level of consistency, positional awareness and defensive discipline. He has scored some great goals, though such things are not typically reliably repeatable. Tzolis is a sad, expensive story that needs a rewrite. Gunn a few bob, Sargent something to someone, Hanley a little, Gibson a little, Nunez a punt for similar money, Idah something for potential. Aarons might not get the kind of offer we would take, his stock has fallen as his top level flaws - much like us a club - have been concretised. High single figure millions as Prem back up maybe. Omobamidele has the highest value ceiling, though it’ll be a year or two away at the soonest. It really doesn’t add up to much of a total squad asset valuation. I dread to think how much less the playing staff is worth than the promotion ‘21 equivalent. That is real money gone. Maybe we are waiting for Attanasio. How much money is there now? How much might be injected into the playing squad post takeover? Clearly as Sporting Director we must manage upwards to Delia. Let’s find out clearly where are we at in a corporate and financial sense. Let’s get as much directional clarity as can be made reasonably available to us as Sporting Director. To drive football momentum change I need a good narrative, for players, fans, agents, potential signings, even the football grapevine. I don’t ignore the noise, I generate it. Use the sporting Director platform to sell the brand, the philosophy, the vision, the future. I think I want to get Attanasio talking more, let’s sell some rainbows, we must change the narrative off the field to help change the momentum on the field. Even if he never gets more involved than he is now, I can use him. Let’s do a bit of public dreaming together, a bit of American ambitionism can be a powerful football fan aphrodisiac. I never said I was Mother Theresa. ——— For now change has to come from out of contract players. Though the current Sporting Director - and Head Coach working under whatever parameters have been laid down - have further reduced options by choosing to keep Onel and Dowell. The opposite of change. Keeping previously rejected bit-part players. What change can be achieved if we have pivoted our meagre current resources on Sara and Nunez? They likely have to succeed and must play. No change there then. Krul plus Gunn looks too much for our needs, too much for our resources and too much to keep happy in mid-table purgatory. So change there, though de-facto backwards. Omobamidele must play. It is time - not unlike Idah - we find out how good he is (and of course what his value ceiling might be). So no change there either then. To change we desperately need a real defensive midfielder. I like Liam Gibbs. I want to know what his role is. I suspect he does too. So I’d like to get involved a little in his development. I’ll have several chats with the Head Coach about him. Losing Pukki looks bad to the outside world. He is widely considered our only good player. ‘Everyone’s leaving Norwich aren’t they?’ Is the kind of football water cooler chat that is a world and a half away from ‘Guardiola watches them in his spare time you know…’. Don’t laugh. It matters. If we believe in Idah let’s send him out on loan for a year. He needs 90 minutes a week for 30 games. L1 sides would be super grateful and he’d score goals. We’ll then go from there. Tactically we’ll have a chat with the head coach and acknowledge our lack of weapons. I’ll accept his view that all we really have is Onel occasionally, Sara corners and Nunez free kicks. These are the only components of weapons we have now. After promotion, c£100m and the squad value we had in ‘21. And we’ve forward contracted £60m in parachute payments. Yes, we’ll have to do much, much better than that. If Aarons and Giannoulis are a liability defensively, play a three. Omo-Grizzly-Gibson perfectly good enough for this level. Though exposing them too much via poor CDM play and over-attacking line ups is the issue, not defensive weakness or individual errors per se. They are consequences, not outright causes. Defensive mistakes typically come from ‘too much action’ and too high a quality of chances conceded. I don’t like my Head Coaches talking about ‘mistakes’. I can generally see at least 3 or 4 semi-errors - tactically or technically - before the more obvious final error. Very often - and this is what head coaches never say - ‘the opposition was better and applying consistent pressure to our weak points for a period before the goal’. If we’re worse, let’s look at it together. As for recruitment don’t be completely obsessed about physicality. Yes the Premier is physical, athletic, hard-running, though Buendia was small, Pukki limited, Cantwell flaky, Skipp a ‘mercenary loan’, though all worked beautifully at times. At times is all you need. You win 10 games and you stay up. You don’t need to not get beaten in 30 games. You also don’t stand out in the championship with a load of Prem looky-likey ersatz players. It’s not how we got promoted. Twice. Easily. Players don’t necessarily want to come as much they did in ‘21 upon promotion, so how do we attract them? Well, like it or not, we have limitations here. We don’t offer Wages, security, London. We could offer family happiness, friends of friends recommendations, we do pay agents well, the training ground is a professional place to work. Pep might send us a few if we adhered to positional play principles again. We don’t really have a set up to compete at Prem level, that has been hard proven as others see it, so let’s stop spending limited and hard-earned resources now planning for something we can’t achieve, on players who don’t fit us and won’t be quite good enough at the top level anyway. Cold of course. So be it. It is easy to sell dreams on the way up. Hard to sell reality on the slide downwards once you’ve been to the puppet show and had the strings cut. You just have to face that down as Sporting Director. Communicate the failings. Address the status quo reality, however far you have fallen. Identify the hurdle in front of you now. Forget about the one you fell at yesterday. Move on. ‘I used to be a contender’ butters no Norfolk parsnips. Give the punters something new to get hold of, to believe in. I still like ‘Guardiola watches us’. If he came on Saturday it was to see Swansea. That has to change for a start. I still liked watching us when we lost under Farke. There. I’ve said it. By the way, we didn’t just beat Manchester City, we deserved it. It was not a cup scalp, a park-the-bus, a 20/80 posssession luck-in. Just think about that for a moment. That was us. We rejected and gave away and sold all of this to try to be something we couldn’t be and wouldn’t want to be even if it had worked. Our current precipitous slide does metaphorically, psychologically and sportingly all pivot on the sale of Buendia. Let me be clear though: You can, will and must sell Buendia. However you can never, never, never - at any cost, lie, fight, drama - sell Buendia at the point of a hard earned promotion, with the football alchemist’s gold of momentum, with all the players positive, their agents getting bonuses, Pukki with his eye in. The devastating effect on momentum, on confidence, on belief - ‘we got relegated first time to prepare for the second you said’ - to then sell the floor from under everyone. The slide - and it is catastrophically dramatic - began, pivoted and accelerated into an unstoppable mental, physical and sporting avalanche right there. That is football. It spins on a dime. We played a tight, narrow window strategic hand, we couldn’t afford big errors like that. Our house of cards is always going to be built on riskier strategic foundations than others through our lack of owner funds. That was a horribly obvious mistake that showed zero understanding of players. Make no mistake, players are everything. Like them or not, they are everything. Keeping them happy, compromising, lying, cheating, saying one thing publicly doing another privately is not just common and ‘normal’ in football, it is necessary. It is necessary for good reason. Maintaining surface unshakeable beliefs is key to players, fans, agents, others. Though what goes on behind closed doors is so, so, so different. Players are a strange mix of ultra-professional, ultra-hard, fragile, searingly self-critical and weak as ****. Egos are both unbreakable and collapsible. Truth is what you make it at any given moment. Top sportsmen create their own reality. An incredible strength and empirically bollox all at the same time. What has ‘honesty and straight-talking’ ever had to do with it? I’ll ignore that noise. Parma
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