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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Sheff Wed

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After a warm muggy day iN Norwich things were cooling down nicely when I strolled down to CR. The new apartments on Riverside are nearing completion and the boy outside the swimming pool with the saxophone has added a few extra notes to his repertoire. Every new season is filled with hope and after such a good first win I think we were all expecting the good work to continue.Wendies won the toss and City, with a fit again Brady,  kicked off towards the River End. They were soon on the front foot and the Owls defence had to be quick as Jerome almost burst through the middle and won a corner. It set the early pattern with City probing and winning a hat full of corners  but failing to get any meaningful attempts on goal. The crowd began in good voice but the lack of goalmouth action and the resolute defending from the visitors soon put a damper on proceedings. Wendies had looked a solid neat and tidy outfit but posed no danger until the 20th minute when a period of pressure ended with Klose having to concede a corner after Joao''s header caused mayhem in the City defence. Hooper should have been booked for a foul on Olsson and it probably

contributed to the City fullback having to limp off after half an hour and be replaced by Josh Murphy.City finally upped the pace as halftime approached and for the final ten minutes the were encamped in the Wendies half but all too often the close passing moves broke down at the vital moment. Wes at last got Naisy in with a chance but as he checked inside his mark the shot balloned across goal and Murhy was penalised for jumping into the keeper as he punched the ball away from under the bar. Apart from that little flurry there was little worry either keeper to the extent that cardboard cut outs of Kevin Keelan would have effectively kept clean sheets in that half.Ruddy didn''t appear for the second half and McGovern came on for his debut. I couldn''t say if Ruddy was injured or just bored stiff with the lack of action. In any event things didn''t much improve and by the hour mark the visitors had gained control of midfield and were now dictating play. The formation just wasn''t working and as if to emphasise the damger, Hooper neatly slipped a team mate in for the only meaningful shot of the game. Thankfully McGovern was equal to it and comfortably palmed it away to his left.By now City were all at sixes and sevens, Wes was running up blind alleys and Alex Tetty could not buy a decent pass while the overall patter of play was far too intricate in the final third. Thankfully the City defence was sticking to the job but Bennett and Pinto had to pull out all the stops to keep the dangerous Joao at bay as we moved into the final quarter. AN hauled off Jerome and brought on Mulumbu to the bemusement of some in the crowd. It was IMO the correct as City at last began to get some traction in the middle of the park. Murphy got a twenty yarder on target but with so little power that even Mrs Ricardo would have stopped it.The Owls were looking the most likely winners and were dominating possession  but City almost created something when Brady came infield along the bye line only for his cross to be cut out in a crowded penalty area. The five minutes added were full of endeavor and effort from both sides but neither could make the telling pass or land the killer blow and when the final whistle went, a section of the home fans expressed their displeasure with a loud chorus of boo''s.I sincerely hope that this result will see reality levels return to normal. This league is going to be a hard slog and there are more than a few Sheff Weds who will set their stall out and be hard to beat. Wes was effectively marked out of the game and the midfield will need to up their passing accuracy if they expect to find a way through good class Championship defences. Ivo Pinto was my MOM for some decent defending and some good raids forward and Mulumbu looked ok during his cameo but the rest were no more than average.

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Thanks, and agree, especially about the expectation levels. The Championship is a real grind and we should all know this but some fans seem to think we will pump teams every week by just turning up.

Thought Pinto was good, Klose was excellent.

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Thanks Ricardo. Great report, as always. Loved the opening paragraph describing that new season sense of optimism and especially the saxophonist adding new notes to his repertoire! Lovely stuff.

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Yes, thanks Ricardo. Only comment is that I think "ok" is a bit harsh on Mulumbu. IMO he deserves more game time than AN is giving him at the moment. 

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A worthy report and I''ll always bow to those in actual attendance over us screen watchers, although we do have a few advantages such as replay, close-up and commentary.

Yesterday was better than a stream because it was straight from Sky and there were no pauses or tits popping up at regular intervals (although there will be when we play 1p5swich next week of course.)

I actually thought that we put up a better show than most of the critics on here and would give big credit to Wednesday''s well marshalled, and at times fortunate, defensiveness.

We will have to get used to, and find ways of breaking down, teams who primarily come to Carrow Road for a point. I feel that Wednesday will be amongst the most competent of these.

One question for those in the stands. How did Jonny Howson play overal?. He hardly got a mention on television, compared to Alex Tettey whose name was rarely off the commentators lips and, not for the first time (many times actually) he came over as being rather anonymous on the small screen.

Now this is not a criticism of the player who is not an ever present by chance and is very highly rated by many on here, but sometimes I have my doubts as to his constant effectiveness.

Those who will be playing through their recordings of the game are asked to note my observations as by all accounts Howson had a pretty unremarkable game, or is his contribution such that it can only really be appreciated by those in attendance?

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Good report as always

What did people make of the first half incident when the defender trod on Brady''s foot when he''d just won a ball in the box? On tv it looked like a clear penalty.

I agree with the comment on Howson- on tv he didn''t seem to get in the game properly.

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Ta muchly as ever Ricardo.

I just got the feeling from the off that we weren''t quite ''at it''.

Tettey kept getting in a tangle, Brady looked rusty & the passing wasn''t quite crisp enough.

Things improved towards half time, & it may be no coincidence that Alex was now doing what he does best, breaking up every Owls move & shifting it out to our more creative players. He seemed to have perfected a little glancing header across field to restart our attack from from left midfield which cleverly threw the opposition funneling down our right.

Second half was bad. Again you could see it in the players'' body language from kick off - lethargy, a lack of conviction or invention. Josh looked hesitant & totally unconfident when he came on. Naismith didn''t help, but he should have ignored him or told him to eff off. The lad needs a bit of help mentally I feel.

Wednesday did their job very well I thought. It was rather like when we got results against better teams last year, you ride out the storm, know you''ll have your chances eventually & try to make them count when they arrive.

I think the factor that might worry me the most is the one that so many in the squad have been here before; commentators assert that this a good thing, I''m not so sure. I wonder sometimes if a complete clear out is needed & we go with fresh & eager young players with something to prove. We too often looked jaded these days.

But, hey ho, it''ll doubtless all be different next time, the players will all be cavorting around like spring lambs & the chances will get put away. Hopefully.

We do need a striker though.

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Hasn''t Howson got tonsillitis?!

And the challenge on Brady was a penalty, almost a carbon copy of the Borini penalty which was given last season.

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I know we are striker light but to finish a game with a 4-6-0 formation is pushing it lol

A point from a non convincing performance against one of the leagues better teams is still good!

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]Yes, thanks Ricardo. Only comment is that I think "ok" is a bit harsh on Mulumbu. IMO he deserves more game time than AN is giving him at the moment. [/quote]Yes, in retrospect he was worth more than an o.k. I think my disappointment at the result was showing through there.And Broadstairs, I agree that this was one of Johnny Howson''s more anonymous games. I don''t know if the elevation to captain has affected him but he needs to get back to his industrious best as quickly as possible now that we have a whole raft of decent midfielders pushing for a start.

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Agreed, it was a penalty all day long but there you go. Ricardo, thanks for another of your unique insights - always enjoy your reports 👍

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[quote user="ron obvious"]We do need a striker though.[/quote]

To be fair, Ron, we didn''t make a clear cut chance for Jerome the entire match. I tried my best to make it happen with a visit to the men''s room during the first half. [:O]It often brings a goal but this time there was just an Oh and an Ah which my son later informed me was a defender toeing the ball onto the bar.[:D]

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In the second half Wes put a free kick on his head a few yards out and he managed to head it straight at the keeper and be off side

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Thanks Ricardo - interesting read as ever. I think I am in a minority with feeling that we dis ok to get a draw. So many times I (and you) have seen us lose these ones to a late goal, and I had a horrible fear that this was going to go this way as well.So although it wasn''t a good performance, I was happy that we kept a clean sheet and looked pretty solid for nearly all the game. Glass half full, I guess[:D]

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ron obvious wrote (re. Jo. Murphy): " Naismith didn''t help, but he should have ignored him or told him to eff off. The lad needs a bit of help mentally I feel".
Isn''t being told to keep cool and think what the game needs at that particular stage, being helped mentally? That seemed to be the gist of what Naismith was saying to him -- Murphy having just gifted Wednesday two quite unnecessary attacking free kicks and put us under even more defensive pressure. IMO Naismith''s experience is invaluable on the pitch and our young players should listen to him.

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Is that what Naismith said? It looked more like Naismith moaning at Murphy for not being able to reach his rubbish pass. But perhaps I''ve misread the situation.

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[quote user="ron obvious"]Is that what Naismith said? It looked more like Naismith moaning at Murphy for not being able to reach his rubbish pass. But perhaps I''ve misread the situation.[/quote]No, that was my view on it as well Ron.Naismith played a $hit pass that Murphy had little to no chance of reaching, and then had the audacity to give him a bolloxing about it! If I was Murphy I''d have probably told him to f**k off and concentrate on actually shooting rather than playing dog toss passes and then bitching about everyone else...

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It looked to me that Sheff W reviewed our game last week, and came out specifically to stop us playing- made the pitch narrow and looked to use fullbacks for width. Even so, with a yards difference either way at times we could have walked off with 3 points.

I would say the key factor now is not so much new strikers, but new options. If you play Jerome correctly (not allowing him to use his pace and squeeze him in possession) then he''s dramatically ineffective. We need a forward with superior technical abilities (McCormack) and/or a striker with height and strength (Depoitre) in order to mix our approach up.

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]ron obvious wrote (re. Jo. Murphy): " Naismith didn''t help, but he should have ignored him or told him to eff off. The lad needs a bit of help mentally I feel".
Isn''t being told to keep cool and think what the game needs at that particular stage, being helped mentally? That seemed to be the gist of what Naismith was saying to him -- Murphy having just gifted Wednesday two quite unnecessary attacking free kicks and put us under even more defensive pressure. IMO Naismith''s experience is invaluable on the pitch and our young players should listen to him.
[/quote]

[Y]

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In a nutshell we looked fairly comfortable against a an average but well organised team. But we never looked like scoring because we just do not possess the quality in going forward. Jerome was not that great, but to be fair the service to him was pretty pathetic. Why on earth we have to waste Jonny Howson as a cover to Tettey, I will never know. As someone said he did not appear on the TV match very much. Very true because in the role he was given, he barely touched the ball. Down to the coaching staff methinks.

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Playing two in front of the back four doesn''t preclude one or other of the two advancing and joining in attacks when the situation allows. But judging when and when not to go is (a) down to the players and (b) dependent on the opposition game plan. Last season we were caught out countless times by teams whose plan was to lure us forward until we were over-committed and then hit us on the break. There are fewer teams in the Championship capable of making us pay in that way, but Wednesday are certainly one of them (even when deprived of one of their main threats, Forrestieri). Blackburn on the other hand were not; if you compare Howson''s heatmaps for the two games you will see just how much further forward he was able to play and how much of the pitch he covered. Unlike yesterday, against Blackburn, Tettey was able to handle the defensive job more or less single handed as a comparison of his heatmaps for the two games also shows. I''d like to know what exactly people are criticising the coaches for with regard to Howson''s contribution to the perfectly respectable result yesterday. 

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Naismith''s communication throughout matches is a great asset to an otherwise quiet side.

Murphy made a number of technical/tactical errors that Naismith rightly criticised. It should be noted that on-pitch bad decisions do not always lead to on-pitch bad outcomes and good on-pitch decisions do not always result in positive outcomes.

Managers, Coaches and more intelligent players - like Naismith - right focus on the right process regardless of result. Over 100 repetitions the right process will lead to the right outcome more often overall.

Fans in the stands may not differentiate and typically - and understandably - judge only by the immediate outcome of an action.

Parma

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