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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Brentford

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It was cloudy and cold in Norwich today and although not quite thermal underpants weather, it was certainly a day for woolly hat, scarf and gloves. Once again the team looked like Alex Neil had permed any eleven from fifteen although a few returnees from injury were probably a factor but I still get the impression that he''s shuffling the deck and trying to come up with a winning hand.It seemed he may have struck gold dust at last when City began with some swift and accurate passing that has been missing of late. In the second minute City swept down the right wing and Pritchard''s early cross was just too high for Oliviera and the big mans header flew over the top. Brentford came back with an early corner but the danger was easily cleared and City soon sprang forward again. Naismith and Pritchard were combining beautifully and the visitors defence was soon at full stretch. Pinto had the opportunity to cross from the right after some nice play but his over hit effort missed everybody only for Brady to swing the ball in from the left. Oliviera couldn''t quite make contact as the oooh''s from the crowd turned into a roar when the ball fell nicely for Murphy to bundle in with the help of a defender.So an excellent start and maybe a sigh of relief from AN and the Board. City now began to look very dangerous with Pritchard, Naismith and Murphy at the heart of every attack. Just after the quarter hour Howson stormed forward after a Brentford attack was broken up and his neat ball set Murphy away into the visitors box. Before he could pull the trigger he was crudely scythed down and there was no surprise when Mr Eltringham pointed to the spot. I was ultra confident that Dorrans would put it away that I was nearly lured into a silly bet with my son who thought he would miss it. When Bentley sprang to his left to make a good block I was about to utter an unkind word in Dorrans direction but thankfully the rebound came straight back to him  and he reprieved himself with a simple tap in.two nil and my thoughts turned to "we''ve been here before" when Brentford almost came back within a minute only for an unmarked forward to strike a low shot a yard wide. For all the good play we had seen it was still frustrating to see the City defence still so very nervy and unsure of themselves. No matter however because we were at times treated to some scintillating pass and move football from the industrious Pritchard, ably assisted by Naismith and Murphy. Indeed Pritchard was unlucky not to score when slipped in by Naismith only for Bentley to palm his low shot away before Oliviera could strike. The Bee''s keeper also had to cover himself in glory with several other on target efforts before the interval. When Murphy powered into the box it looked like number three until Bentley somehow got a hand to it and the ball was scrambled clear.At the half I think we were all well satisfied with the performance but having seen things turn to dust so many times lately I was not counting any chickens. From the off you could see that there was a determination not to give anything away and although Brentford had a fair bit of the ball there was very little resultant danger.There wasn''t much goalmouth action until the 55th minute when a quite stunning move between half a dozen City players ended with Murphy''s  cut back that was inches behind Naismith. It would have been a superb goal but we only had to wait another three minutes for a similar move which involved first time passing between Pritchard Naisy and Brady. This time the pass inside the fullback was inch perfect and Brady swept in number three.At this stage even I was prepared to remark that the points were now safe.. City proceeded to knock the ball about with confidence and Brentford had largely given up the ghost. They were still full of effort but the defence looked capable at last and Ruddy merely had to sweep up behind. The lively Pinto went down with cramp just after the hour mark to be replaced by Martin and ten minutes later Naisy went off to good applause to be replaced by the other Murphy. Naisy had played well and looks a class player in this league when he puts in the effort.With ten minutes left Oliviera got the goal his full hearted performance deserved. The ball into the box left him with plenty to do but his quick control and movement took him clear of two defenders and his powerful shot from eight yards was too much for Bentley. All that remained was for Pritchard to round his MOM performance off with a goal and this came two minutes from time when another stunning move down the left split the visitors wide open and the little man cracked home Josh Murphy''s pass from twelve yards.All in all a very encouraging performance and at last I feel justified in using the word "convincing", for this was as convincing a three points as you are ever likely to see. AN can take the plaudits and I can report that unsurprisingly there was no booing anywhere to be heard. Lets hope we will look back on this as the day the corner was finally turned.

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Spot on Ricardo, funny but the high tempo, crisp passing was carried on with those who came on for Naismith & Howson.

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I am not a Tettey admirer. So I am delighted obviously that we won comprehensively, admittedly against a lower team but do you think Howson is more than capable of handling that role from now on?

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I thought Howson had a good game after being out for so long. He was obviously feeling it after 80 minutes. Some lovely pass and movement from all the midfield today and not so many passes going astray.

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No poor performances at all today. Pritchard was outstanding and must stay in that number 10 role, Brady back to his best, Howson and Pinto excellent too. Need to give Olivera a run and don''t be tempted to put Wes and Tettey back in the side. Lovely football today and plenty of movement and endeavour

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[quote user="Alfie54"]No poor performances at all today. Pritchard was outstanding and must stay in that number 10 role, Brady back to his best, Howson and Pinto excellent too. Need to give Olivera a run and don''t be tempted to put Wes and Tettey back in the side. Lovely football today and plenty of movement and endeavour[/quote]Wes is still a great player but past his best years IMO. Noticeable that the ball was moved about much quicker today and Pritchard doesn''t dwell on the ball so much. The No 10 we''ve been waiting a long time for.[Y]

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Almost twice put his brother through on goalthe team really looked today as if it was a game where goal difference would decide somethingtoo often the team has been criticised for not ''killing off the game'' and allowing the opposition back into the gametoday it was a case of killing off the opposition, with so many of the doubts and question marks over various players also killed off(for the time being)

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Good games from all. Pritchard, Howson and Oliveira in particular.

I really hope AN isn''t tempted to put Jerome or Wes straight back in as the whole team have deserved the right to start next week.

Also as poor as Brentford were, today begs the question why haven''t players like Oliveira and Pritchard been given more of a run in the team? Why has it taken a 5 game losing run to give this setup a go? I''m a big fan of Jerome and appreciate the work rate he puts in and therefore assumed Oliveira must be more of a goal hanger and that''s why he wasn''t getting in the team. However the reality is he played the hold up role well and with more players getting forward in support looks a good option to rival Jerome (and scored a good goal as well).

I don''t agree as some on canary call suggested that today further proves AN doesn''t know what he''s doing as it was forced changes that won the game, but I do think the emphatic win and performance to go with it is puzzling after such a bad run. How come it all clicked this week? Brentford weren''t that much worse than Qpr, Leeds, Preston...were they?

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Thanks Ricardo. Confirmed what I saw on my stream (yes I know). Some of our passing looked absolutely breathtaking - as good as anything in the Prem.

Olly does look like a classy player to me; CamJam probably puts in more effort, is more all-action, but Nelson is subtler & would put more chances away I think. Thought his nails raking across the Brentford guy''s eyes was a bit unnecessary. Don''t much like that sort of behaviour to be honest.

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Naturally one asked oneself why it took so long in coming. I think Howson''''s return was one of the key factors. Good report as ever Ricardo...my MoM would be Pritchard

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I do enjoy coming home after a nice win and reading your reports Ricardo. Pritchard finally got to show what he can do today and should certainly be given a good run. I hope AN is sensible enough to name an unchanged side aside of injuries. We need to gel and build on today''s success

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Good report as always, and it looks like this team selection/performance overcame the tentativeness in the final third (& lack of movement off the ball) which was a major flaw for me in the performance at Derby.  Obviously it helped to have a (slightly fortunate) early goal, but credit to the team especially for knuckling down and keeping a clean sheet after going in at half-time 2-0 up.

 

A few questions from me for those who saw the full 90 minutes rather than just the highlights like me :

- how good were we at closing them down ?  I noticed some of our goals stemmed from winning the ball in midfield which is always a good sign.

- how solid was the defence overall ?  Hogan had several good chances but how was he handled over the 90 minutes ?

- how was our movement off the ball, over the 90 minutes, which again was a weakness at Derby (especially in the final 3rd) ?  

 

Having Howson back definitely looks like it has helped, but I wonder if the players have also decided that AN isn''t going anywhere, at least any time soon, so they had better start listening to him a bit more ?

 

It''s only one performance of course, but if the team has improved in those areas generally, it would give me real hope that we''ve turned the corner.

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[quote user="Its Character Forming"]

Good report as always, and it looks like this team selection/performance overcame the tentativeness in the final third (& lack of movement off the ball) which was a major flaw for me in the performance at Derby.  Obviously it helped to have a (slightly fortunate) early goal, but credit to the team especially for knuckling down and keeping a clean sheet after going in at half-time 2-0 up.

 

A few questions from me for those who saw the full 90 minutes rather than just the highlights like me :

- how good were we at closing them down ?  I noticed some of our goals stemmed from winning the ball in midfield which is always a good sign.

- how solid was the defence overall ?  Hogan had several good chances but how was he handled over the 90 minutes ?

- how was our movement off the ball, over the 90 minutes, which again was a weakness at Derby (especially in the final 3rd) ?  

 

Having Howson back definitely looks like it has helped, but I wonder if the players have also decided that AN isn''t going anywhere, at least any time soon, so they had better start listening to him a bit more ?

 

It''s only one performance of course, but if the team has improved in those areas generally, it would give me real hope that we''ve turned the corner.

[/quote]You can only beat whats in front of you and we could debate all day long as to whether it was Brentford being poor, or us making them look so. Yeah they aren''t Brasil, but they have beaten Brighton and Reading away this season.I literally have no criticism for anything about Saturday, and as a comparison to last week the difference really was Pritchard, last week it was turgid, slow, mostly sideways, this week it was forward thinking, positive and confident.Really the only thing people are trotting out, who are desperate to put some kind of dampener on it is that Brentford were $hit.I missed a lot of the bad run as was out of the country, so maybe I watch with slightly more forgiving eyes, QPR, I thought we weren''t bad, but obviously the early sending off ruined it. Last week at Derby, despite the result, I thought we were okay, but really should have maybe attacked the game more, we were only beaten by one deflected shot, and had two decent pens turned down.The return of Jonny and Ivo made a massive difference, not just in their play, but it seemed to give a real confidence boost to the rest of the team.

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[quote user="morty"][quote user="Its Character Forming"]

Good report as always, and it looks like this team selection/performance overcame the tentativeness in the final third (& lack of movement off the ball) which was a major flaw for me in the performance at Derby.  Obviously it helped to have a (slightly fortunate) early goal, but credit to the team especially for knuckling down and keeping a clean sheet after going in at half-time 2-0 up.

A few questions from me for those who saw the full 90 minutes rather than just the highlights like me :

- how good were we at closing them down ?  I noticed some of our goals stemmed from winning the ball in midfield which is always a good sign.

- how solid was the defence overall ?  Hogan had several good chances but how was he handled over the 90 minutes ?

- how was our movement off the ball, over the 90 minutes, which again was a weakness at Derby (especially in the final 3rd) ?  

Having Howson back definitely looks like it has helped, but I wonder if the players have also decided that AN isn''t going anywhere, at least any time soon, so they had better start listening to him a bit more ?

It''s only one performance of course, but if the team has improved in those areas generally, it would give me real hope that we''ve turned the corner.

[/quote]
You can only beat whats in front of you and we could debate all day long as to whether it was Brentford being poor, or us making them look so. Yeah they aren''t Brasil, but they have beaten Brighton and Reading away this season.

I literally have no criticism for anything about Saturday, and as a comparison to last week the difference really was Pritchard, last week it was turgid, slow, mostly sideways, this week it was forward thinking, positive and confident.

Really the only thing people are trotting out, who are desperate to put some kind of dampener on it is that Brentford were $hit.

I missed a lot of the bad run as was out of the country, so maybe I watch with slightly more forgiving eyes, QPR, I thought we weren''t bad, but obviously the early sending off ruined it. Last week at Derby, despite the result, I thought we were okay, but really should have maybe attacked the game more, we were only beaten by one deflected shot, and had two decent pens turned down.

The return of Jonny and Ivo made a massive difference, not just in their play, but it seemed to give a real confidence boost to the rest of the team.
[/quote]

Jeez Morty, where did I say anything about Brentford being poor ?  I''m genuinely interested to know, from those who saw the whole game, how our performance stacked up in some key areas that I personally thought were poor against Derby, and if the answer is yes, that would (as I said) "give me real hope that we''ve turned the corner".  Which I wouldn''t describe as being "desperate to put some kind of dampener on it".

 

Maybe you''re replying to what you''ve seen in other posts, but I don''t know why you''ve quoted my post in that case. 

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[quote user="Its Character Forming"][quote user="morty"][quote user="Its Character Forming"]

Good report as always, and it looks like this team selection/performance overcame the tentativeness in the final third (& lack of movement off the ball) which was a major flaw for me in the performance at Derby.  Obviously it helped to have a (slightly fortunate) early goal, but credit to the team especially for knuckling down and keeping a clean sheet after going in at half-time 2-0 up.

A few questions from me for those who saw the full 90 minutes rather than just the highlights like me :

- how good were we at closing them down ?  I noticed some of our goals stemmed from winning the ball in midfield which is always a good sign.

- how solid was the defence overall ?  Hogan had several good chances but how was he handled over the 90 minutes ?

- how was our movement off the ball, over the 90 minutes, which again was a weakness at Derby (especially in the final 3rd) ?  

Having Howson back definitely looks like it has helped, but I wonder if the players have also decided that AN isn''t going anywhere, at least any time soon, so they had better start listening to him a bit more ?

It''s only one performance of course, but if the team has improved in those areas generally, it would give me real hope that we''ve turned the corner.

[/quote]You can only beat whats in front of you and we could debate all day long as to whether it was Brentford being poor, or us making them look so. Yeah they aren''t Brasil, but they have beaten Brighton and Reading away this season.I literally have no criticism for anything about Saturday, and as a comparison to last week the difference really was Pritchard, last week it was turgid, slow, mostly sideways, this week it was forward thinking, positive and confident.Really the only thing people are trotting out, who are desperate to put some kind of dampener on it is that Brentford were $hit.I missed a lot of the bad run as was out of the country, so maybe I watch with slightly more forgiving eyes, QPR, I thought we weren''t bad, but obviously the early sending off ruined it. Last week at Derby, despite the result, I thought we were okay, but really should have maybe attacked the game more, we were only beaten by one deflected shot, and had two decent pens turned down.The return of Jonny and Ivo made a massive difference, not just in their play, but it seemed to give a real confidence boost to the rest of the team.[/quote]

Jeez Morty, where did I say anything about Brentford being poor ?  I''m genuinely interested to know, from those who saw the whole game, how our performance stacked up in some key areas that I personally thought were poor against Derby, and if the answer is yes, that would (as I said) "give me real hope that we''ve turned the corner".  Which I wouldn''t describe as being "desperate to put some kind of dampener on it".

 

Maybe you''re replying to what you''ve seen in other posts, but I don''t know why you''ve quoted my post in that case. 

[/quote]Lol, calm down, my apologies, but all over social media people are desperate to point out it was all about how poor Brentford were, rather than concentrate on how good we were, it wasn''t directed at you.Biggest change, for me as I already said, was positive, forward thinking play. Likely the product of having a more attacking rb in Pinto, a better ball player in Jonny, and Pritchard in his preferred position, who never stopped probing all game.

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To add evidence of my theory that internet traffic and sales increase for archant sites when we are doing poorly compared to when we are doing we''ll look at the view count on this Ricardo report compared to others when we are doing bad

Financially archant benefit from poor Norwich form

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No problem.  & that''s good to hear on our forward movement.

How about our performance without the ball, i.e. closing them down and challenging ?  I''d certainly be happier with Howson & Dorrans in midfield, and from the highlights it also looked like Pritchard was contributing to winning the ball in midfield too, which for Wes is always something he''ll have a go at but is not a strength. 

 

I''m going to the game on Saturday - I have family who live about 15 miles from Barnsley so I''ll be travelling there first & then an easy drive to the ground.  I have good memories of going to see City at Barnsley especially that performance under Lambert in the 10/11 campaign when Crofts scored both goals including one absolute stonker when he turned on the edge of the box and knocked it in, their goalie''s expression after that goal was sheer disbelief - priceless.

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ICF, I thought defensively we were still a bit tentative first half but the longer the game went on the better we looked. Hogan had a couple of chances but they were by no means clear cut.

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[quote user="Its Character Forming"]

No problem.  & that''s good to hear on our forward movement.

How about our performance without the ball, i.e. closing them down and challenging ?  I''d certainly be happier with Howson & Dorrans in midfield, and from the highlights it also looked like Pritchard was contributing to winning the ball in midfield too, which for Wes is always something he''ll have a go at but is not a strength. 

 

I''m going to the game on Saturday - I have family who live about 15 miles from Barnsley so I''ll be travelling there first & then an easy drive to the ground.  I have good memories of going to see City at Barnsley especially that performance under Lambert in the 10/11 campaign when Crofts scored both goals including one absolute stonker when he turned on the edge of the box and knocked it in, their goalie''s expression after that goal was sheer disbelief - priceless.

[/quote]The overall shape was much better, I can''t say that I particularly noticed anything about off the ball movement, so there can''t have been any real issues there for me. We pressed higher, Howson used the ball very well, and Pritchard literally never stopped nipping at people.I was going to have a break for a few away games, but weakened and bought Barnsley tickets yesterday!

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Comparing this match with say away to Derby I would say it was our crossing. Against Derby time and time again, we would get into a crossing situation and the ball would go sideways or back, against Brentford there was no hesitation !

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