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  1. Last season could turn out to be 'the gutsiest move I ever saw' in football management. To go up to the premiership with a team that 12 months earlier, having sold it's best player was probably hoping for mid table, play offs for the optimistic; and not add to it was pure folly. A defence where 3 players were 21 or under was always going to struggle. The difference between us and Sheff Utd wasn't as big as last season seemed to illustrate, a good start, physicality and experience. What we lacked last time was experience and leadership (on the pitch). Our best players were our youngest, but our eldest (Krul aside) didn't have the capacity / ability to do their own jobs and cover the weaknesses of others, let alone the confidence. In the end, we ended up rudderless, the most demoralising watch ever, not because we were the worst Norwich team I've ever seen, but the one with the least hope of winning, and sad to see players that had over achieved left exposed. It'll never be like that again, if we are fortunuate enough to gain promotion, there will be more experience in the dressing room, and more money available to spend on more quality reinforcements, and hopefully a bit more luck too. For me, I can't find it in my heart to criticise Cantwell, Buendia or anyone else for last season. Our maligned defence of last season is worthy of the individual price tags, but at the same time not a recipe for Premiership success, and while you can pick out poor performances or individual errors, policy was more to blame. Most of this squad, having experienced triumph and disaster together, feels forged and galavanised, which is why I feel confident of what lays ahead, for this season and the next.
  2. Agree totally (we lost to Derby when they were bottom after all), but being confident isn't the same as taking anything for granted. We have depth of squad, quality and are controlling games. Doesn't mean we can't lose or drop points, I just think we have a real focus and understanding of how important each game is.
  3. There is a story waiting to be written either way... 'new manager bounce' or 'Watford in disarray'... For me, we are really beginning to gather momentum, when you look at Middlesboro, Reading, Swansea games and think, each was a chance to put down a marker. Watford is just another one of them. Should we be beat them, it's a 12 point gap, which at our current rate of 2pts per game will take a long time to overhaul. I also sense in some key players like Buendia, that they recognise the importance of these games and are fired up to make the difference. Each win adds pressure, provides a buffer, the experience of 2 seasons ago stands us in really good stead. This feels like the promotion bandwagon is beginning to roll So I'm confident about Watford, but one game doesn't make a season, and without doubt we are without doubt the team that all others want to finish above in this division, currently.
  4. Mould all that together and we'd have a £40m transfer target, that would leave after the next 8 games
  5. In business they talk about being promoted to a position of incompetence, and this has been our fate. When we started the championship last season, a top 10 finish is what most outside Norwich would have predicted, Champions was a truly fantastic (and maybe over) achievement. Our players who performed above themselves at a 7 or 8 /10 level in the championship, were not reinforced in the summer and the same players have become, mainly 5 / 6 out of 10 players in the premier league. Tettey's importance to us illustrates this point perfectly. Generally we have not had enough quality and been exploited. Phases of games we can look good, but teams no they need to hold us in that period and then exploit us when effort levels can't be sustained. We blew up on Friday, possibly after the early endeavours, in the end the match reminded me of the champions league final in 2005 where Southampton midfielders were allowed to run 30-40 metres with the ball unopposed, and also the Colchester debacle where we would vastly outnumber the opposition in the box, but no one would affect the ball. Last season we built a passing style, but our best option for maintaining possession in midfield, Leitner, has been sacrificed too lightweight, and for the need of more athletic qualities. An error in judgement or a necessity, it matters not, in essence we have a set of top trump cards that are deficient in too many areas, and too many defeats impacts confidence. Losing all 17 games we have gone behind in, is a damning statistic. After Friday, Farke's "little miracle" feels now like a "massive miracle". We'll get up and go again on Wednesday, and I wouldn't be surprised if we pick up 3 points, and while that will offer renewed hope, it is likely to be false for the reason's above, but just maybe the team will surprise again. If not, I hope to see a return to the passing game, and that the club learn from the experience and ensure we prepare for top flight football better next time, buying some premiership leadership, experience, nous and resilience in the centre of the park to help coordinate & lead the team on field would be key, but that's not cheap. Over to you Stuart Webber (hopefully if you are still here)!!
  6. For me it gives us the best chance of completing the season and other competitions avoiding a legal mess. It would also allow football to honor tv deals and sponsorships, all be it with a slight extension. Football in a calendar year would allow the players Christmas & New Year off, that kind of sucks as a fan, but be good to trade that for some nice days in the summer. It might change the pace of the game a bit in England and help the national team at tournaments, it means teams should hit a tournament at full throttle too. If it filtered down to grass roots, perhaps there’d less football cancelled. i can see lots of benefit and not too many downsides.....
  7. I think we may begin this season in the Autumn, and complete by Christmas (I.e. all competitions) then begin playing seasons in a calendar year, with a break scheduled for tournaments. It’s a break with tradition but could make a lot of sense...
  8. In the last couple of days I received an £85 charge for parking in the Harvester at Stoke, having been charged £5 on entry. I'm pretty certain i wasn't the only one as the place was full of Norwich fans, having wrote to the parking company and the Harvester, they have since agreed to wipe the fine, so worth contesting if you received one too....
  9. I only live 20 minutes away, and my lad plays for Newport's Academy U7's so have watched a few games this season (including the FA Cup game the day after travelling to Norwich for the Portsmouth game..) with him, they're our second team or third after England, not sure many can say that. I thought Mansfield looked good to be fair to them, but Newport looked and are very limited, with no plan B... The manager Flyn has done an amazing job though, they were almost relegated in 2017 ago.
  10. 3 goals and 6 assists in 22 for Grealish, 14 goals 8 assists in 42 for Maddison. I think Maddison is less of a risk if you are spending the money. I think Maddison also has better set piece quality, and I like the fact that he seems to be looking after his career always progressing where Grealish seems to have come in, stuttered, but picked himself up again towards tin the 2nd half of this season.
  11. Not that friendly, I once got ambushed by about 7 people following a cup replay in the late 80''s. To be fair another 4-5 guys looked after us. Higher proportion of scum than a lot of places in the UK but also a lot of great people and a few friends from there..... I hope they win, English team after all, fantastic club generally, though I have no particular love for their fans. Ps: the authorities banned us, not the club, scandalous decision.
  12. that was meant to be "wasn''t able" in the last pargraph....
  13. I watched the game at Ashton Gate last season and thought that Aden Flint was exactly what we needed, I may even have commented on it. He attacked (and won), everything in the air that came close to him. I remember thinking at the time he would improve our defence by 50% on his own, just because we would half the number of goals conceded at corners etc. He''ll also get a few at the other end. He tried to play football on the deck, and also looked like their leader. I''d never seen him before so checked him out when I got home, I think Newcastle were interested in him at some point and I think he had some other premiership teams keeping tabs on him. My view is based on one game, but yes I think he is exaclty what we need. I think he is better than anything we have! Oliviera is my favourite player, my lad prefers Jerome :-) But actually, I would consider Oliveira leaving for this lad, we need some immediate surgery at the back and some leadership in the team, otherwise any remaining jewels will be off whether we like it or not!! Think about it, on Saturday I believe this lad would of helped us, Oliveira will win us points in other games (if confidence doesn''t evaporate), but he was able to change the course of Saturday''s fixture. Hope it doesn''t come to that though, I don''t think it will. It will be dipping in to the Murphy money (or window war chest).
  14. If a player is injured, then he should be allowed to call a physio on to the pitch, and the physio should also be allowed to tend to the player if he sees fit (maybe within agreement of the 4th official). Treatment carried out on the pitch, but the game keeps rolling (player is safe, but no time wasted). No need to stop the game to make a substitution, there is a fourth official. I agree with the introduction of the sin bin too (do away with the yellow, let the team offended against gain the benefit). I''d have a video replay for any red or sin bin. My real pet hate is shielding the ball from an opposing player to let it run out of play. The rule should be ''you can only shield the ball you are in possession of, to be in possession you must have touched the ball. Otherwise it is obstruction!! i.e. you have no intent to play the ball, only the man.
  15. I suspect the word he was looking for (used & misquoted) was ''vociferous''......
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