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Posts posted by thevicar

  1. [quote user="Alfie54"]We now have all eleven men back to defend corners and still to no effect. I really hate this tactic, Preston were able to leave one man back on his own, if we left three up four Preston defenders would stay back, allowing us to break quickly (in theory) and less crowding in our box. It seems so obviously wrong, so am I missing something?[/quote]

    A good point. Most teams leave at least one player up. The tactic might be defensible if it were seen to be effective but the reality is that we keep conceding soft goals from corners.

    Despite having more tall players at the back, the weakness seems at least as bad this season. We have two problems that can be fixed without being able to sign new players:

    1. Ditch zonal marking. It did not look good at the pre-season match I went to (Charlton) but at least one thought that the players might get used to it in time. half a year on from the new management team''s arrival, it seems worse than ever and the free header for Preston on Saturday was all too predictable.

    2. Spend all week at Colney coaching Angus Gunn to come out for high balls. While he has been good for us in so many ways, the Preston match featured further examples of him being rooted to the line while dangerous balls came close to him.

  2. A good point on the increase in wages in the longer-term but it would be surprising if the figures did not show Norwich were near the bottom of the league in terms of wages and the ratio of wages to turnover. The club''s income has been increasing and the new TV deal means that we can afford a significantly higher expenditure on new players in January and an uplift in the wage bill without resorting to borrowing. One suspects that our points haul and league position in the latter part of December, together with any further serious injuries like E. Bennett, will shape the strategy for the transfer window rather than longer run considerations like expanding the ground. 


  3. Good to see us arranging local friendlies again. Clubs like Cambridge need the support and these fixtures are a good opportunity for fans who find it difficult to get into Carrow Road.Will bring back memories for me of watching Bellamy looking a million dollars on a past friendly visit and hoping now scouts from big clubs were there to watch him!The timing is a shame - quite a dash back for those of us staying overnight with friends in Sussex for the Brighton match. Let us hope we see Ruddy still in our colours back at the Abbey Stadium!

  4. Good post. Most of us want to see the management avoid the mistakes of the past promotion and invest in the playing staff to ensure we stay in the Premiership this time. The need for greater ambition about the stadium, however, still seems clear.

    Unlike the unnecessarily wasteful expenditure of previous regimes, it should be recognised that investing in capacity expansion is a legitimate reason for spending our enhanced revenue and not being overly focused upon paying down all of the current debt. The enhanced asset value and increased ability to earn both ticket and merchandising revenue for years to come is vital to sustain us as a Premiership club given we do not have wealthy owners like so many Premiership clubs.

    The evidence of recent years, of full houses or close to them, even when the team was in lower leagues or performing poorly is quite different to most clubs. A significant rise in capacity would also facilitate the casual fan to attend without planning ahead which has become difficult in modern times. The season ticket cap could be lifted and more differentiated pricing could be employed, perhaps tied in with membership as it was until the last few years, to fill stands for less attractive fixtures or if we are relegated.

    Given the limited number of seats possible in front of the hotel, it would be good to know the truth about the Jarrold Stand and its foundations (perhaps a cantilevered approach may work, as suggested above?), since taking the roof off there and putting a second tier on would deliver the most revenue and be relatively simple from an building perspective compared to the City stand ideas. As we have not planned for promotion, we have to guess that this could not happen for the forthcoming season (would we have to re-sumbit the planning application?) even if the Board was willing.

  5. If we think of Hoolahan as largely a forward who does little defensively (as is generally recognised), the midfield has not produced many goals apart from Crofts. The potential is clearly there but, with half a season gone, one might conclude you do not win matches now or get promoted with potential. As commented on this thread, Crofts is our main defensive midfielder so, without any alternative, it seems doubtful that he can get into the forward positions often enough to score a lot of goals. Damien Francis on song seemed to have the energy to both tackle back and then appear in the box soon afterwards to finish (Andy Johnson had flashes of the same capability). Perhaps if Korey Smith or Tom Adeyemi continue developing we may have a home grown solution but to get promoted this year we probably need to add a goal threat behind Holt and Martin. If we look at our rivals in the top half of the table, the likes of Taarabt, Commons, McGugan, Hammill (as I mentioned before) and Gradal stand out in the goalscoring charts from midfield - even if we count Sinclair as more of a forward like Hoolahan -so far this season.

    While we can all dream about buying star palyers, another realistic suggestion that might fit is Darren Pratley at Swansea. He is 6'' 1" and already has 5 goals this season (in one of least prolific sides who play a tight game). His contract is up in the summer so might not be out of our budget.

  6. That is right ... if we can not afford another striker who can score heavily, perhaps a goal-scoring midfielder - dare I say like Damien Francis when he could be bothered?! - might fill this gap? As has been commented elsewhere, Adam Hammill has looked an interesting prospect that we might stretch to most weeks on TV (even if he did not excite us hugely over the 90 minutes in September).Aside from back up for Russell Martin, perhaps further strengthening in the defence is necessary. While the individuals we have now are generally an improvement on recent years and the manager''s tactics are clearly superior, the reality is that a team that has outperformed our expectations this season has let in more goals than our rivals except Leeds. This tendency is particularly notable at "Fortress Carrow Road" with 19 conceded already. We can not rely on opposing teams always having a man sent off to help us win games! Worth also recalling that for all the justified praise for our three goalscoring heros last season, we also kept 19 clean sheets in the league, at least 3 more than our promotion rivals.

  7. It has to be Dean Coney .... we knew he would be useless before he arrived but his incompetence surpassed even our expectations of what a Sunday pub footballer could achieve. His immobility resembled a post box and his finishing skills were some way behind what the GPO would have achieved! Darren Beckford has to take the prize once value for money is considered .... £900,000 as I recall when that was real money even in the top division at the time.

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