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Mason 47

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[IMG]https://s10.postimg.org/yle3tunrt/CYI.png[/IMG]So it ended all square. Befallen Premier League oddballs Norwich City against the most perennial of EFL perennials, Ipswich Town, and the spoils are shared- with both sides seeming to think they have a fair claim to the moral victory hidden behind a scrappy 1-1 draw.In credit to Ipswich (a statement I never thought I would write), they know exactly who they are and what that means. They are a poorly-funded second-tier outfit who have identified a style that works in this league- if you knock the ball high enough times, uncertainty and wind patterns will eventually lead to chances, otherwise known as ''playing the percentages''. Every time centre-halves Berra and Websta came into possession, you knew the ball was going to be pumped just behind the Norwich defensive line in the hope that a bounce or a knick would yield some fruit.It''s almost as if that brisk, grey day all those years ago at Carrow Road with a moustachioed Grant Holt at his boisterous best still stings in the memory- he did, after all, hustle and bustle and harry O''Dea- and it sits in the DNA of their team today.Suave Swiss Timm Klose looked notably out-of-breath towards the end of that first half, in which he probably headed more long balls than he has in his entire City career before this point; perhaps it is no surprise that, eventually, Norwich switched off to a long throw into the box towards Murphy''s industrious forehead and we went in at 1-1.The key issue in why we were not able to use our superior technical abilities to dismantle a plucky little blue outfit is that we still do not know what team we want to be this year. With the slick passing initiative that Alex Neil has us working, and the personnel to do so, we should be too much for most teams this year- however, we are currently too easily drawn into stopping other teams and playing them on their terms. Against Ipswich we played too long, for too long, and when we remembered how good we are in close quarters, the class between the two teams became apparent. The players do not seem confident yet in making teams stop us, which may be a throwback to the pain of relegation; when they eventually settle into their stride, it should be a brilliant proposition to watch.Neil needs to keep the players playing our way, keep drilling that message into their heads, and letting teams play on our terms. Part of the problem, admittedly, is the ever-loving striker issue. Cam Jerome is currently putting in a shift for us but his best will be in playing on the break, beating defenders for pace and poaching finishes; we need a second option that embraces our passing style and takes the snapshot chances we make through it. We will score goals this year, but, we need to add new angles and ideas to our final attacking solution.

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