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Six things we didn’t learn from the defeat at Leicester

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1. Did we just chance upon the new formation or was it planned?

Were Bassong and Hoolahan really unfit?

Would we have made the changes even if they were fit?

2. Was it one formation or a fluid changing one?

Did we play 5-3-1-1, 5-2-2-1, 3-4-2-1, 3-5-1-1 or 3-4-3 or all of them at different times?

Probably all of them except 3-4-3.

3. Can Naismith play 90 mins?

Looked to be doing well.

He’s 29 so should still have legs.

Only featured in 18 games all season.

Played in our last 5 and been subbed every time between 74 and 82 minutes.

I’m all for one or two players running like stink and expecting to play 65 mins not the full 90.

Rather it was the centre forward and/or a winger given that role.

4. Are we too honest?

We get fouled, we get on with it.

They get fouled, they roll around feigning serious injury, they make sure the ref “sees” every slight contact.

We get booked, they get away with it.

We get a free kick in a good position, Huth hold and leans all over Bamford and Bamford stays on his feet. Need to get a bit smarter.

5. Can anyone spot a weakness in the Leicester set up?

We don’t care now.

But Huth and Morgan are big units.

Should we have used our big unit Mbokani for this one?

And/or tried a different approach for the last 25 mins, such as playing without a centre forward and using pace (Redmond) to look to get beyond the centrebacks.

6. Why are the BBC so useless?

In a tense game with few chances (4 shots on target all game) one of, if not, the key issue in the first half was a huge penalty shout just before halftime. Totally missing from MOTD coverage.

Tettey harangued the ref so much he nearly got booked, the ref had to talk to Martin to tell Tettey to calm down. It wasn’t a penalty but that’s not the point.

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1 I don''t believe injuries had anything to do with the formation, simply a way to counter Leicester''s strengths which worked well.


2.  Going with 3 CBs and wing backs means the formation has to be flexible to work.  I don''t think it really means much to talk about switching to a different formation e.g. if Pinto is attacking down the flank, that''s the wing back role.


3.  The issue for me is that AN should probably have made a couple of changes, earlier than he did.  We''d put in a massive effort and midfield/up front, quite a few players were looking knackered.  Who he decides are the best to replace is his call, but I wish we''d made a couple of changes soon after Ranieri made his.


4.  Absolutely right - Leicester "won" plenty of free kicks and were pretty cynical about it, we need to wise up.


5.  I thought Jerome did a good shift against their CBs, just a shame he didn''t take his chances.  I agree about changing it, and personally I''d have put Bamford on at about 70 minutes with instructions to play the ball down the channels etc.


Generally though I think we showed everyone how to play Leicester - don''t over commit, respect the way they can play on the break, and you can largely neutralise their strengths.  I think plenty of Prem managers will see how that game went and think " we can do what Norwich did, and with better strikers, we can beat them."


6.  The BBC come to every game with an agenda and ignore stuff that''s inconvenient for it.  There''s no point getting stressed about it unless you want to hassle Gary Lineker on twitter.

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1/2. I personally think the formation worked really well and if it wasn''t for the normal Norwich lapse of concentration we would have Atleast a point. All those formations are going to happen because we went forward as 2 wingers and came back defensively as 5 defenders, but it gave Brady (our best player this season by a mile) so much more freedom and pinto looked a real threat without dependency to get back every time.

I''ve said it before I just don''t think hoolahan can fit in our side. Partly because we haven''t got a good enough/right forward to play as 1 striker, mbokani needs support and someone to run behind for his flick ons and jerome and run around and chase lost causes but misses the occasional chances he gets and if you look at his opta movement/touches he doesn''t actually contribute as much as you would think. secondly if Naismith is going to play behind the forward surely we need to play a little more direct and get balls in the box? Howson/hoolahan wide that we have seen plenty of times makes us look solid but completely missing a trick.

3. Undoubtably Naismith can play 90 minutes but i think it''s more the question of Neil not wanting him too because of the options we have on the bench. If we''re going to make attacking changes during the game and bring another forward to play more direct/pace then he will be the fall guy, and if he''s going to stick him out wide when bringing one on then why not put fresh legs on like Jarvis/olsson to run at people? Makes complete sense.

5. Mbokani would have been ideal for the formation in my opinion. He''s taken come critism for being slow(which he isn''t) or not working hard enough, but it''s pointless playing a big strong target man with no wide men and no support for his knock downs. I Remember recent games with Howson & hoolahan wide with mbokani up top, and now we''re playing wide men but jerome? Seems a little bit poor tactically.

We also should have made changes earlier in the game, mbokani/olsson/Jarvis/bamford to change the dimension going forward.

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I don''t have time right now to provide six observations but I have two that stick out for me.

1. It''s easy to criticise the manager for not making changes earlier (I was calling for them myself) but I also know that in a parallel world where he did make changes earlier a bunch of us are whingeing on the Pink Un message board because it upset the rhythm of the team and we went on to lose 2 - 0. People are asking why Neil felt the need to change a system and personnel that was clearly working up to that point and they are claiming this as further evidence that he still has a lot to learn in this league.

3. I hate the idea of cynical play. I don''t care if it means relegation; I don''t want ''my'' team to resort to it. I don''t watch football to admire the expert diving and gamesmanship; I watch it for the entertainment and the pride in supporting a club that approaches things the ''right'' way. It''s like suggesting all GB athletes should resort to doping in order to compete on a level playing field. I can see the argument of expedience but I cannot bring myself to condone it.

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[quote user="Chip20"]And clearly I am having difficulty counting today (!)[/quote] I just assumed you were counting using only odd numbers -- just as refreshing as your two points. [Y]

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