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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Preston

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It was cold and grey in Norwich today and there was no mistaking that the thermals were the right decision. Having recently read somewhere how small things can often change the course of history we spontaneously decided to use a different turn-style in a desperate hope of slipping into a more amenable Universe.If the first twenty minutes were anything to go by then the ploy hadn''t worked because we were treated to lots of running about, some head tennis and multiple wasted free kicks into the box that seldom cleared the first man. Once again we had the issue of full backs being caught out on the edge of the opposition box as moves broke down and a ball was played in behind. The last three or four home games could have been rolled into one and you would hardly be able to tell the difference other than the colour of the away teams strip.Things briefly sparked into life on twenty two minutes when Oliviera beat the Preston keeper to a bouncing ball and seemingly only had to roll the ball into the net. Inexplicably he delayed and as the crowd bayed in disbelief the chance went begging. Neither keeper had seen much action as the play was punctuated by a series of clumsy fouls and ref Tim Robinson was soon waving the yellows. A low twenty yarder brought a diving save out of Gunn and at the other end Vrancic''s shot from a similar distance whizzed a couple of yards wide.Just after the half hour Wes was fouled on the left edge of the visitors box and after a short delay Madders sized it up and struck a beauty into the far top corner. We hoped it might give the home side a lift but it was Preston who took up the running thereafter. Somehow City scrambled away an overhead kick that struck the face of the bar then dallied overlong in the six yard box, luckily only conceding a corner as the crowd howled for him to hoof it. It was more or less constant Preston pressure and only a superb saving tackle by Zimmerman prevented a clear chance being put away. Thankfully we survived until the whistle but it was as much by luck as judgement.There was a little burst from us at the start of the second period when Wes worked some magic and Murphy''s precise shot took a deflection for a corner when a goal looked certain. Apart from that the game deteriorated into a messy affair, littered with robust play that went unpunished and with the ref seemingly making up the rules as he went along. It was crying out for a change as Preston dominated the midfield and with City barely able to find any concerted possession in the attacking half an equaliser was always looking on the cards. Predictably it arrive with twenty minutes left when a corner was neatly headed in from close range.Yani and Alex Pritchard replaced Murphy and Reed and the little man almost got on the score sheet when Maddison''s free kick was cleared straight to him but the timing was all wrong and the ball was scrambled clear. Then once again it all looked aimless and disjointed and as moves broke down the crowd became increasingly annoyed at every misplaced pass. We had a bit a light relief with ten to go as one of the linesmen had to limp off across the pitch to probably the loudest cheer of the afternoon. We were fully ten minutes before things got sorted enough to resume.The added time was littered with players falling down, time wasting and generally aimless lumping the ball forward with the only real opportunity falling to the visitors. They were streaming out well before the end and the final whistle was greeted with a storm of booing which I have to admit that I was an enthusiastic joiner. Ive suffered through bad times in the past but in all seriousness this does not seem to be going anywhere.This was a game that we led but never looked remotely like winning, yet somehow scrambled a draw from when we could have easily lost, so you could say a point gained if you were of a generous frame of mind. For me it was yet another directionless load of tripe with no discernible pattern of play or cohesive plan that will almost inevitably end up in a relegation scrap. Week by week it has got worse, not better and as for getting out of this league, I can only see it happening from the wrong end. At the moment I am looking at the league table hoping to see four or five sides poorer than we are. Alarmingly it is becoming increasingly more difficult by the week to find them.

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We are heading back to the pre Lambert days, but this time there may not be a Lambert type saviour with players like Holt, Hoolahan and Martin at his disposal.

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[quote user="Rogue Baboon"]Was it not Murphy who has the open goal? I have no doubt that Oliveria would have scored if it was him[/quote]You may be right, I was a hundred yards away and too cold to care.[Y]

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Thanks as always for a realistic assessment. But a realism that adds little cheer to the long trek home.

For what it''s worth I thought we were fractionally better than last week, particularly given the players available.

The support certainly upped their game this week and the onus is now on the players to respond.

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It was Murphy. And it was an even more bewildering miss from my seat in the lower barclay. Seemed to wait for the defender to get in front of him then tap it straight at his legs.

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Yes it was Josh.

I feel like you Ricardo. It reminded me of the Roeder days when we had a lot of players who came in and produced little or no effort to match the style of play that had no tactic, pattern or end product.

I think we are close to decision time between the DoF and the Coach. Zonal marking isn''t working from set pieces. Oliveira on his own up front isn''t working. Vrancic shouldn''t even be starting let alone finishing.

There are enough decent players in this squad to be producing enjoyable if not winning football. But the obsessive nature of the coach in believing that his system and choice of players is working is alienating supporters and it isn''t even December.

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I felt sorry for Josh. He showed great skill & determination to nudge the ball past the keeper, but then was so scared of messing it up he waited for a perfectly clear shot on goal & then ... messed it up.

With a bit more courage - desperately trying NOT to fail -he''d have chanced getting it past the blocking defender. Like the whole team, nothing seems to be going right, & collective self confidence is shot to pieces.

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I thought Josh was caught in two minds, seemed like his first thought was to play Nelson in and by the time he realised he had to shoot it was too late.IMO Josh should be encouraged to shoot on sight pretty much every time, and another poor performance from Nelson helps to confirm it.

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It was Murphy and I fail to see how you might confuse him with Oliviera, there is a blatant difference. I cannot believe you failed to mention Zimmerman''s failure to get the ball safe that led to the corner from which the equaliser came. Another example of the Zim costing us points needs to be axed.

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ron obvious wrote the following post at 25/11/2017 7:59 PM:

I felt sorry for Josh. He showed great skill & determination to nudge the ball past the keeper, but then was so scared of messing it up he waited for a perfectly clear shot on goal & then ... messed it up.

He should have just hit it, but itโ€™s so easy from up in the stand ๐Ÿ˜€

Confidence looking very low and certainly an element of fear in his play.

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[quote user="pete"]It was Murphy and I fail to see how you might confuse him with Oliviera, there is a blatant difference. I cannot believe you failed to mention Zimmerman''s failure to get the ball safe that led to the corner from which the equaliser came. Another example of the Zim costing us points needs to be axed.[/quote]agreed.I went today. Zimmerman switched off with the ball at his feet. Poor defending and the goal was his fault as he forced us to give away a needless corner.I was arguing with someone on here about him coming from the German 4th division.... He was solid mostly today but that was a 4th division mistake

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Ok, Zimmermann was sloppy to give away the corner. But who was supposed to be attacking the ball when the corner was delivered into our box?

There was some shocking mistakes today. Stiepermann heading the ball back across our six yard box was one. Vrancic playing a blind pass across the edge of our penalty area was another. Luckily Preston only just failed to score on each occasion. And what was the back four doing in the final moments to allow a 1v1 on Angus Gunn? Our ''defensive behaviour'' is atrocious.

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[quote user="pete"]It was Murphy and I fail to see how you might confuse him with Oliviera, there is a blatant difference. I cannot believe you failed to mention Zimmerman''s failure to get the ball safe that led to the corner from which the equaliser came. Another example of the Zim costing us points needs to be axed.[/quote]All I can really say to this is if you think you can do better go right ahead.Ricardo does a cracking job and we all - well, almost all - enjoy reading them.

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Thanks for the report Ricardo, couldn''t follow it at all today, so good to get your report.  It all sounds a bit depressing - how did Pritchard do when he came on, surely he must have lifted the spirits a little?

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[quote user="lake district canary"]Thanks for the report Ricardo, couldn''t follow it at all today, so good to get your report.  It all sounds a bit depressing - how did Pritchard do when he came on, surely he must have lifted the spirits a little?

[/quote]Got a good ovation when he came on and a mild buzz of excitement when he got the ball. Had one shot at goal but timing looks a bit off as you would expect. Still has that attacking mindset though which we are desperate for Time will tell if the rest of the squad drags him down to their level or if he inspires better attacking play.It will be interesting how Farke accomodates him in her team once Trybull and Tettey are both fit. Hopefully he''ll replace Vrancic as I can''t see Maddison being dropped.

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Pritchard coming on was great to see. We were terrible second half so he was really the only highlight.

Richardo, I know you sit in the river end, probably not far from me, just wondered if you thought the crowd was a bit more involved today?

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Zimmermann epitomised our performance. Looked solid as a rock, then, about the time we scored, suddenly started trying to play the ball out of dangerous situations. Mind boggling really.

We must realise other teams will not let you play football in this division. Refs. let so much go (& inconsistently so) that you have to get good at playing dirty, & we just haven''t got that mindset. We need to beef up - in attitude more than anything.

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Yes, I have to admit that the crowd did get a little more involved today. It ws certainly noisier and you couldn''t say that we didn''t try to lift the team. The ludicrous nature of the last ten minutes probably led to the frustration and the booing.

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[quote user="pete"]It was Murphy and I fail to see how you might confuse him with Oliviera, there is a blatant difference. I cannot believe you failed to mention Zimmerman''s failure to get the ball safe that led to the corner from which the equaliser came. Another example of the Zim costing us points needs to be axed.[/quote]I think that''s pretty harsh - on both Ricardo and Zimmerman!He had just got up from the second, or was it third, elbow smashed into his face (Zimm I mean, I assume that Ricardo was cold but got through the game without being assaulted) and he clearly wasn''t entirely with it.If the ref had given us a free kick and Hugill a red card as he should have done, the situation would never have arisen.

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Thanks Ricardo.CM - I''m glad someone else mentioned the elbows - I thought that there were two or three as well.

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I thought Zimmermann was good again yesterday. Is he being judged on his performance or the standard he was playing last season? Wes was guilty of far worse at the other end and it''s not mentioned.

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[quote user="ron obvious"]Zimmermann epitomised our performance. Looked solid as a rock, then, about the time we scored, suddenly started trying to play the ball out of dangerous situations. Mind boggling really.

We must realise other teams will not let you play football in this division. Refs. let so much go (& inconsistently so) that you have to get good at playing dirty, & we just haven''t got that mindset. We need to beef up - in attitude more than anything.[/quote]Oddly enough perhaps led by Maddison who seems no stranger to ''gamesmanship'' A canny player for one so young. Learnt in the lower leagues where guile has to make up for gift much of the timeHe''s certainly no one''s fool and knows when to hit the deck, when to stand in front of the opponents free kick and when to ''misuse'' time when the clock is running down.Thankfully Farke seem to be waking up to what the Championship is about and hopefully his German signings will do as well .... soon.

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