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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Preston

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I had a flu jab a couple of weeks ago and just as last year I copped a nasty dose of something last weekend. I don''t know what they put in that stuff but it''s too lively for me. So after much argument with Mrs Ricardo and a bout of coughing and spluttering I dragged my aching limbs down to CR with the familiar words, "you never learn, do you." ringing in my ears.There was only one change with Martin replacing Pinto at right back and Bennett forming up alongside Tim Klose and with the sky threatening a shower or two City kicked off towards the Barclay End. It could have been a great start as Wes slipped Jerome in within seconds but the strikers rising effort was touched over by a well positioned Maxwell. A couple of minutes later Preston fashioned a chance of equal quality as a long swirling ball caught Bennett the wrong side of his man and McGovern had to be brave at the feet of the Preston striker to foil an almost certain goal.City eventually got some moves together and with Murphy and Brady both looking in better form than of late they began to dominate proceedings. Patient play left Dorran''s with a clear shot at goal but his weak effort went straight at Maxwell and a few minutes later from Murphy''s pass he struck a better shot but once again straight down the keepers throat.Olsson was marauding to good effect down the City left but time and again when the cross came in it found its way into Maxwell''s magnetic gloves. Preston looked a solid and competent side but with most men behind the ball their forays forward usually depended on long angled balls to the head of Gallagher. The big man flicked a corner just wide in one spell of Preston pressure but most of the game was centered in the opposition half. With City running low on ideas it got awfully quiet at times and in truth there was very little to get excited about. In the final minute of the half Tetty struck a vicious low drive at goal only to find Maxwells unerring gloves again and from the kick out Robinson raced clear into the box only for McGovern  to come to the rescue with a fine diving block at the expense of a corner.At the half a small swig of Mrs Ricardo''s magic potion revived me somewhat. It had been a Peroni-less week so I thought I deserved a livener.Alex Neil must have had similar thoughts ten minutes into the second half as he attempted to revive a lifeless City with two early changes. Brady and Murphy, who had both been having improved games came off for Pritchard and Oliviera. The little man buzzed a bit and almost set up a chance only for his low cross to go behind Jerome. Despite the increasing pressure City just could not work an opening as good approach play continued to flounder upon the strong Preston rearguard. Pritchard almost opened the gates with curling free kick that came off Maxwell''s fingertips and the crossbar but that was about as close as it got and so we entered the final quarter more in hope than expectation.I don''t think I was alone when I said to my son, "you can see where this game is going" He nodded agreement and within a minute an unmarked Preston forward was nodding a corner beyond McGovern to give the visitors the lead. Oh dear, oh dear, so utterly predictable. City came back with a rush but when Jerome''s angled drive came back off the post and his follow up was scrambled away by the keepers legs you didn''t need the gift of clairvoyance to see that it wouldn''t be our day. A Pritchard header fell invitingly in the six yard box as City piled forward in desperation but it was a Preston boot that hooked it away from under the bar with Jerome waiting to pounce.At the last gasp Klose, won a corner but it was totally in keeping with the day that Wes''s corner should find it''s way straight to Maxwells magnetic gloves. At the whistle there were the normal boo''s that seem to greet anything less than a victory these days but in all honesty we didn''t deserve anything like a victory today. The game was much like most at Carrow Road this season, City looking the better side , having the greater possession and shots and conceding the inevitable silly goal in the last quarter. The only difference was that they had forgotten to get the two goal lead first.People have been giving me a hard time on here all week over my insistence upon the importance of clean sheets. I think we saw the answer in spades today. Preston gave a perfect example strong defensive play and running the clock down when the game has been won.And as I never tire of saying, good teams don''t concede many and only have to win a game once. If we don''t learn that lesson there will be tears in May.

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Thanks for that Ricardo, perhaps the players needed some of your missus''s magic potion....    People predicted this would happen sooner or later - it''s been on the cards with all the leaked goals all season.  The defensive issue won''t go away!

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Thanks ricardo, your reports are invaluable to us stream-less, long distance plastics. One point: you say "an unmarked forward" scored the goal but it was surely Baptiste, a defender? Also, I for one am 100% with you re. clean sheets.

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Ricardo pretty accurate summing up, my only comment would be that i did not see an improvement from Brady, for me Wes was not at his best but still looked the most likely to unlock a well drilled / organised Preston defence, thought it had 0-0 written all over it, but that doesn''t seem to be the Norwich way these days. Like you i have been full of the flu this week and almost gave it a miss, but dragged myself along and could have fallen asleep several times during this one.

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Parma if that''s true then it''s a very poor assessment of AN and his staff.

It''s the same team and set up, we play with two holding midfielders and today Brady decided he was going to play there too, which made that side very narrow!

Ricardo as normal good report, just have to say how lost our players looked, how in knackered some looked and just how as a number of others have said, leaders on that pitch.

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[quote user="westcoastcanary"]Thanks ricardo, your reports are invaluable to us stream-less, long distance plastics. One point: you say "an unmarked forward" scored the goal but it was surely Baptiste, a defender? Also, I for one am 100% with you re. clean sheets.[/quote]Quite right, my excuse is that I was 100 yards away.[Y]

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There has been a need to become more streetwise, more Italian sometimes, as opposed to more defensive.

The danger of messing with momentum is well established, even when ''luck'' is on your side and you''re ''getting away'' with wins. I don''t deny the principle, though getting ''lucky'' players to adjust mentality and approach can be risky with mentally- limited footballers (however ''right'' the purpose, it must be a subtle change, not a 2D shift).

I would characterise the skill as developing a ''neutral'' gear that is not natural to many English sides and players, where It is either attack or defend.

My old (Italian) coach used to regularly instruct us - typically when ahead - at half time to ''give then nothing to write about'' second half.

He didn''t mean defend or hit row z and we understood that. It was low risk possession-based football, killing the clock, (importantly) taking the fire out of he opposition by shutting spaces and lots of awkward, technical fouls to break the flow of play. On the ball we would try to penetrate via a clever 10, play for free kicks and go side to side and eat the clock.

We would look for opportunities, though we wouldn''t commit to do so. It was suffocating to play against, though it wasn''t defensive and chances were created as the opposition had to come out of shape as we were intelligent and disciplined.

Norwich may have been riding their luck a little, but there is no law against luck and it is magnetic and self-fulfilling in football. A bout of negative introspection is not necessary, the finding of a neutral gear is.

Parma

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I should add that what typically happens when keeping a clean sheet is the overriding aim is that good, counter thrust attacks are not maximised.

Players overthink, don''t break into available space and cover for unnecessarily theoretical risks. A hint of paralysis through analysis.

This is passive and defensive minded, rather than thoughtfully, consciously ''neutral''.

Parma

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[quote user="Dean Coneys boots"]Ricardo- when do you give your - ten game prediction for the season? It is always fun...and often fairly accurate.

Where will we finish?[/quote]I have found very little statistical to go on re- indications for auto promotion other than goal average. At this stage it is silly to look beyond Newcastle and Brighton. If we continue conceding goals at the present rate there is zero chance of an auto spot. If AN is unable to find a solution then it''s the playoffs for us.

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Today was different from the games where we maybe rode our luck a bit. Today we looked more like a team playing for a 1-0. We got it but it was a loss instead of the win. Today put to bed any doubts I had about Martin''s best position. It''s centreback for me for sure. Ryan Bennett didn''t shore up the defence and we defended deeper than normal. Martin isn''t Pinto and I''d prefer Whits there. I think this is the first game we''ve failed to score since Bennett last started at centre back. Strange subs for me, Oliveira and Jerome together may look like there''s attacking intent but it''s either or for me. Would rather have seen Naismith with Pritchard to replace Jacob and Brady.
All in all it was a day for the nappy crappers and there was not much at all for the happy clappers to get excited over...

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[quote user="ricardo"][quote user="westcoastcanary"]Thanks ricardo, your reports are invaluable to us stream-less, long distance plastics. One point: you say "an unmarked forward" scored the goal but it was surely Baptiste, a defender? Also, I for one am 100% with you re. clean sheets.[/quote]Quite right, my excuse is that I was 100 yards away.[Y][/quote][:D] I think you would anyway be justified in closing your eyes when we''re defending a free kick or corner ..............

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Sorry but playoffs at best and unless they speculate this Jan then that also could be a pipe dream

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Good report Ricardo. Alex mentioned we weren''t as creative as normal, perhaps as a consequence of positional tinkering, looking for that elusive clean sheet?

Perhaps a sign that we should play to our strengths and just try and outscore the opposition?

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[quote user="morty"]Good report Ricardo. Alex mentioned we weren''t as creative as normal, perhaps as a consequence of positional tinkering, looking for that elusive clean sheet?

Perhaps a sign that we should play to our strengths and just try and outscore the opposition?[/quote]A side incapable of addressing its weaknesses has no alternative but to play to its strengths. If Parma is right about today''s over-riding coaching objective, AN clearly hasn''t yet thrown in the sponge even if you have morty.

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Alex Neil expressed regret about changing his attacking principals after the heavy defeat at Newcastle last season. And we know how that turned out.

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I still maintain playing two deep laying negative defenders isn''t helping our defence......we only need one to sweep round when Olsson or Pinto/Martin push on.

It''s easy to see when we change our mind set in the game to defend we invite the pressure because whoever the holding midfielders are they drop into a back 6, then we try to rely on Wes, Murphy or Naismith or Brady to try to compete for that ball cleared out of the box, which generally just falls at the feet of our opposition allowing then sustained pressure and generally a goal.

Why not play a back four, two wingers, two central midfielder with Wes or Pritchard in that number attacking position behind Jerome, if needed to go two up top you can change out the advanced midfielder for two attackers while keeping the wingers to get the ball in from the flanks......yesterday we took off two wide players for two big attackers and hoofed the ball up there as we had no width after the subs, just terrible management in my opinion.

Maybe if you let the defenders defend, gave the mifielders the midfield to defend it might look more organised.

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Good constructive criticism on this thread. I sat through a similar game at Ashton Gate which always looked like a one nil at best. The championship seems to encourage very defensive approaches from the away side hoping for a set piece goal. Very boring to watch especially when you don''t support either side!

I agree with all the analysis on this thus far. Good idea but wrong game? I prefer good possession football with a creative attacking approach which should suit our squad on paper.

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And STFU if you could try and be a little less sexually obsessed with me that''d be great

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Our passes were longer than usual in the first half . Playing the ball over the midfield and over relying on Jerome . Pinto as an forward player was missed, but equally Preston sat on our full backs and stopped Olsson getting forward as much too. Murphy was anonymous, and looked a bit lost.

Preston were much better at what they did than we were. Add to that a few moments that went against us , and our usual handing the opposition a goal (only this time we weren''t two up) it was a deeply frustrating afternoon.

I have a feeling it was more about the personnel than the shape, if anything we saw Dorrans playing slightly higher than the usual two holding midfield players, so I''m not sure I buy into the " we were more defensive " idea. Tettey had a stinker, (and I''m his biggest fan) , and we miss Howson.

My biggest moan would be when we were chasing the game. Pritchard doesn''t seem to like being inverted, Basil D''olivera looks like a player who likes a bit more time, and in the last 10 we had a line of players , who mostly didn''t win the aerial battle , and the second ball was picked up by the lad with the dreadlocks . We needed to overload the middle, and didn''t . At times Preston has three players to our one in the space behind our higher players.

I''ve said before we seem slow to react to changes made by the opposition. Yesterday we didn''t react to the circumstances of the game, and played into Preston''s hands.

But that said, you can''t carry performances like Brady (which I personally thought bordered on the scandalous) who just appears to want another payday (and presumably another relegation) . the Brady I saw in France, against this one is un recognisable.

And how on earth Preston were 5/1 before the game I have no idea. For once the bookies got it wrong.

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BBC Football report Alex Pritchard had a header cleared off the line on Saturday playing against Preston. I wonder if any one else saw it?

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[quote user="Buh"]Pompous rubbish as per[/quote]

Hopeless trolling again from this idiot ! an embarrassment to yourself buh 😂 , I suggest a bit of celeb body shaming or sending nasty messages to amputies on twitter .

That is much more suitable to your very limited trolling ability ☺

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