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What Premiership Learning Did We Experience?

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After we returned to the Premiership last year we obviously got off to a very difficult start. We began with Crystal Palace at home, a game we could have won but after going ahead in the first half, we seemed to allow them back into the game more in the second half, they equalised and our chance for victory eventually was gone. That became extremely significant of course because, after Crystal Palace at home, we had a very difficult schedule for a few games. However, it still took us 15 games before we could secure a single victory.

Compare the above with what has happened to the teams promoted to the Premiership in this campaign. West Ham and Wigan are both off to very good starts of course. West Ham has only lost one of the seven and, in their three victories, they have had two convincing wins by good margins. Wigan has had four wins in their seven games, with their two losses by a single goal against both Chelsea and Charlton. Admittedly, Sunderland has had a start very similar to what we experienced, yielding the same number of points after eight games. I watched the Sunderland/West Ham game yesterday and was very impressed with how Sunderland stuck to their task. They were in control during the first period and scored just before halftime. They did not sit back and came out tenaciously in the second half and went for every ball. West Ham hardly had a good chance on goal but, when it did come, they executed a clinical finish. Unlucky for Sunderland overall but that''s the game.

I found myself wondering, in retrospect, what would have been the differences in approach we took into last season versus particularly Wigan and West Ham. I realise it''s early days yet but the confidence of these two teams at least has to have been given a shot in the arm. Were we too cautious, trying to protect ourselves against a big loss as opposed to going for it, and damn the torpedoes? What was our learning experience? I know some will criticise what I have to say here, but I think a lot of Norwich fans would find some constructive thought on this question from the club management and local media a little more instructive than the week to week standard fare ( and the players would go to the wall for Nigel ) that seems designed just to pull us toward the next match. If it truly was a learning experience then exactly what did we learn Nigel?


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