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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Cardiff.

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With Dorrans, Martin and Jerome restored to the line up it was a near enough full strength team that ran out at CR on a grey and very humid afternoon here in Norwich.There was little to excite in the early exchanges with the Canaries dominating possession but with very little of a way in end product. Brady had to be replaced on the 10 minute mark after seeming to get a bang on the hip and City did a wholesale reshuffle with Martin going left back and Bennett filling in beside Tim Klose.Pilkington was looking lively for Cardiff and had the first on target effort which McGovern blocked easily from a narrow angle. At the other end City were failing dismally to trouble the Cardiff keeper until out of the blue Murphy''s cross somehow ended up at the feet of Cameron Jerome. The big City striker looked to have missed the ball but swiveled neatly and tucked a low left footer between Wilson and the post for 1-0.At this stage, with the added confidence of a goal you might have thought that the Canaries would now stretch their wings a bit but after a bit of desultory dominance it was the visitors who a couple of times came close to snatching an equaliser. First a free kick was allowed to bounce from head to head in the box without the keeper coming for it and was finally dealt with at the expense of a corner. Then Lambert''s goal-bound header from six yards was clawed away by McGovern from under the bar. He did well enough but I''m bound to say he really doesn''t convince me at all.I could comment on a bit of City pressure before the half finished but in truth the statistic of one shot in forty five minutes is all that needs to be said. Yes it was nice to go in with a lead but it was a totally unconvincing performance against what is probably a vcry mid table looking Cardiff side.The second half didn''t get a lot better with Cardiff still winning too many aerial balls in our box. The ref didn''t help matters when making Klose leave the field for treatment after being elbowed in the face without punishment being exacted. It almost resulted in a leveller  as Lambert again won the ball in the box but was foiled by the crossbar.City finally gained a bit of momentum on the hour mark when the impressive Pinto galloped down the right and swung over a cross that Jerome connected with only to see his downward header deflected for a corner. Fortunately Cardiff were as poor in the air at the back as we were and Martin easily nodded in from six yards through a ruck of players. So two nil and seemingly comfortable although in truth it had been far from that.At last we started to play a bit of football and one delightful move with close control from Wes and Murphy almost ended in a third except for a desperate Cardiff block that sent Jerome''s cut back spinning behind. When then got our first sight of Pritchard as he came on for Wes at the 70 minute mark and he might well have had a debut goal within minutes. Jerome''s quick throw and Howson''s timely run and cut back fell invitingly for the City midfielder but again a desperate and last ditch Cardiff boot deflected the shot for a corner.No City game would be complete however without throwing the opposition a lifeline and it duly came when McGovern failed to dominate his area and a scramble ensued with Pilkington getting the final touch. Annoying but it shouldn''t have amounted to much had Josh Murphy who had just replaced his brother, not try to score from an acute angle when Jerome was perfectly placed for a tap in. Fortunately for the lad he soon redeemed himself when curling in a twenty yarder after the industrious Howson had powered through a couple of tackles and set him up.All done and dusted we thought but when with 5 minutes added time my son said "what odds will you give me on a 3-3 draw". Being the cautious type and with a long memory of City give away''s I replied, "even money", and was not at all surprised when Pilkinton added a second in very similar fashion to his first.It was three points but not as we know or expect it Jim. We won but were a long way short of convincing and something will surely be wrong if John Ruddy is not back between the sticks on Tuesday night.

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[quote user="Lessingham Canary"]Fair reflection Ricardo, as always. What was your thoughts on man of the match ?[/quote]I thought Pinto was the only one who gave us a spark. Jerome had a decent game and the tireless Johnny Howson did very well in the later stages.I know I should be happy with the three points but we only had a grip in spells and we really should be better than that. Perhaps its a bit of rust from the International break. We will need to be better on Tuesday.

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Couldn''t agree more that Ruddy needs to be back in goal from Tuesday. Need his physical presence again. I thought that Dorrans edged MOM for me. First half we lacked a proper No. 10 player. Wes does not fulfill that role. Its either Pritchard or Naismith IMHO.

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Can''t agree with you on this one Ricardo.

I get the jitters every time I see Ruddy''s name on the team sheet. He is the Bassong of goalkeepers. Looks commanding & in control 90% of the time, & then ...

He''s been like this since his injury. I think his confidence is shot, & I''m not sure he''ll ever get it back.

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Not hit our straps yet, and yet we are top 6.

I''ll take that for now

In the absence of Olsson, I would like to see Josh Murphy , played on the right hand side, with Pinto, as they could tear up any Championship left back

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[quote user="ron obvious"]Can''t agree with you on this one Ricardo.

I get the jitters every time I see Ruddy''s name on the team sheet. He is the Bassong of goalkeepers. Looks commanding & in control 90% of the time, & then ...

He''s been like this since his injury. I think his confidence is shot, & I''m not sure he''ll ever get it back.[/quote] I think you are in a small minority there Ron.

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Thanks as always Ricardo. Have to agree about Ruddy, think he''s better with crosses. A few good questions starting to rear their heads for AN to digest.

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Although Ricardo always refrains from becoming over critical, I sense, like me, he was far from impressed by this performance. Bearing in mind this is the second tier of English football, Cardiff were very poor and lacked any fight and enthusiasm one would expect to see. Despite this the Canaries made very hard work of achieving what should have been a comfortable victory. It was disappointing to see the likes of Tettey, Howson and Hoolahan having little impact on the game and it was not until the introduction of Pritchard that we saw what was needed from a mid field player against such weak opposition. Needless to say the boy had hardly settled when he was switched to the right side of the pitch.

Throughout the match, apart from some great bursts from Pinto, we seemed to have no idea how to penetrate the Cardiff defence. Our only outlet was to try to feed Jerome thro the channels, but without any real support we were not getting anywhere. As most sides demonstrate, if you are playing a lone striker, then once you move in to a threatening situation at least 3/4 other players must move up in support. Neill is far too defensive and this does not happen. I also noticed in the second half when we had a free kick some 40 yards out, instead of pushing players forward to pressurise the defence, Jerome was our only player within 25 yards of the opposing keeper, and we just tipped tap across the pitch and lost possession.

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Interesting that vos. It seems there are 2 sides to this team.

Several times in the second half Pinto got his head down and charged, we moved forward quickly as a team and looked dangerous. When we go forward at pace we look like a team that could carve any team in this league open

The problem, the vast majority of our play seems slow and laboured. We pass around between the back 4 and the 2 holders without going anywhere, before passing back to the keeper who then just launches the ball long. I would be interested to see how many passes were played in our own half compared to Cardiffs half

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Serious question time. Ricardo do you make notes or is this from your your Peroni fuelled memory?

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Lessingham Canary wrote:

Fair reflection Ricardo, as always. What was your thoughts on man of the match ?

I thought Pinto was the only one who gave us a spark. Jerome had a decent game and the tireless Johnny Howson did very well in the later stages.

I know I should be happy with the three points but we only had a grip in spells and we really should be better than that. Perhaps its a bit of rust from the International break. We will need to be better on Tuesday.

Strange thing is Ricardo being in agreement with just about everything you say here ,, we seem to be in the minority ,, especially with regard to Pinto who was immense all game .

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[quote user="Barclay seats 48 49 the 3rd"]Lessingham Canary wrote:

Fair reflection Ricardo, as always. What was your thoughts on man of the match ?

I thought Pinto was the only one who gave us a spark. Jerome had a decent game and the tireless Johnny Howson did very well in the later stages.

I know I should be happy with the three points but we only had a grip in spells and we really should be better than that. Perhaps its a bit of rust from the International break. We will need to be better on Tuesday.

Strange thing is Ricardo being in agreement with just about everything you say here ,, we seem to be in the minority ,, especially with regard to Pinto who was immense all game .[/quote]One thing I''ve learned over the years is that everybody sees a different game and opinions as to MOM are often coloured by personal prejudices. I''m no more immune from that than the next man.

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I''ve got to agree with Pinto playing very well , and possibly my MoM.

Not in agreement (everyone''s got an opinion!) with how well Jacob Murphy played (yes I know he set up goals etc) but I watched him when he didn''t have the ball, when we were in the offensive, and he has a LOT to learn, but could do so much more. Definitely prepared to cut him some slack, so early in his career though.

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So Klose got "it" twice in the face and the ref booked him for wanting to discuss it. How did the linesman miss the second "bang" on Klose''s face?

For me "three lungs" Pinto was the MOM and somebody please coach Josh to pass to Jerome rather than try to shoot from a tighter angle.

Thankfully "kamikazee" Whittaker didn''t play.

McGovern before Ruddy.

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Thanks for the report Ricardo, I agree with much of what you''ve said, not exactly an inspiring performance but it''s three points at the end of the day and we scored 3 goals. The Cardiff goals were very disappointing to see, just plain disorganised and sloppy defending for both.

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