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Yorkshire  Canary

The Size and Power of Players in the PL

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This is one area that really seems to have hit home to me far more this season in the PL than in the past. When i have seen many sides turn up at home games the sheer size, speed and power of many of the opponents seems with odd exceptions to dwarf many of our current squad. We play some nice technical stuff a lot of the time but are often not strong enough to compete and are knocked off the ball. This seemed particularly noticeable in the Watford game last night, even though we gave them a game , particularly in midfield, but all over the pitch really. This may explain to some extent Sheffield Utds success as they as in the main a physically big unit. Traditionally over the years Norwich sides have not be noted for being physically big, though we have clearly had some players that fit that bill like Holt. Is it something that needs to be considered in future recruitment and will it even be a factor next season in the championship ?

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22 minutes ago, Yorkshire Canary said:

This is one area that really seems to have hit home to me far more this season in the PL than in the past. When i have seen many sides turn up at home games the sheer size, speed and power of many of the opponents seems with odd exceptions to dwarf many of our current squad. We play some nice technical stuff a lot of the time but are often not strong enough to compete and are knocked off the ball. This seemed particularly noticeable in the Watford game last night, even though we gave them a game , particularly in midfield, but all over the pitch really. This may explain to some extent Sheffield Utds success as they as in the main a physically big unit. Traditionally over the years Norwich sides have not be noted for being physically big, though we have clearly had some players that fit that bill like Holt. Is it something that needs to be considered in future recruitment and will it even be a factor next season in the championship ?

I remember listening to Dean Ashton on Michael Bailey's podcast, who said the main difference between Championship and Premier League teams is not skill levels but athleticism. I think we've seen that play out this season.

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I absolutely agree with this. We have been too short in height and too weak in strength. We get bullied too easily and look likely to concede goals whenever crosses come in - the Dawson goal last night a prime example. Our recruitment must seek to rectify these problems if we are to become a force next season in the Championship, let alone if we were to return to the Premiership at some point.

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I said on the match thread it looks really obvious when you come up against a side like Watford who are massive.

Saying that, they're still struggling.

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I noticed that in the man utd game as well, we looked like a school boy team and made Harry Maguire  look like giant haystacks!

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This has been an achilles heel for us for many seasons not just this one.

We haven't had a dominant central defender or central midfielder or centre forward for a number of seasons.

Watford albeit still in trouble had a game plan on set pieces and looked dangerous in most, we looked weak at every corner or defending free kicks and teams know that.

Yet again though it's simple basic errors that cost us, yes we conceded from the free kick yesterday but before that Lewis kicked air when trying to clear the ball, then pulled Sarr back who is a player of Man Utd quality who doesn't need asking twice to hit the deck.

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The key area is midfield, where we are slow and lightweight. McLean, Trybull and Cantwell obvious examples.

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4 minutes ago, Capt. Pants said:

The key area is midfield, where we are slow and lightweight. McLean, Trybull and Cantwell obvious examples.

Harsh on Cantwell- sure he isn't a giant but he isn't slow.

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This is why Idah should've had more of a go this season. He's quite the unit. 

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I agree with OP, it has been very apparent... Cantwell, McLean have been brushed aside ... I don't think Cantwell is slow though , he's just not strong enough (yet) . This is where I feel Sheff utd have been much "better" than us.

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Very obvious last night although actually it was the full backs that struggled even more than the midfield. At points it really did look like boys against men.

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This is why Idah seems to give us something a bit extra, he’s a good size and strong for a lad of his age

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Watford are obviously a pretty extreme example- their left back last night was 6' 2", Welbeck and Sarr on the wings are both north of 6 foot, etc etc. 

But it isn't just about height and physical strength- it also about stamina and mobility- I've lost count of the amount of times teams can just run straight through our central midfield as if it isn't there.

 

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The downside of having such a young team is that they're still developing the muscle mass required to compete at the top level. Combine that with having to shop for bargains in midfield (Trybull, Mclean etc) means that we're lacking on the pace, physicality and height that other teams prioritise.

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Looking at the teams we have played since the restart they have all looked fitter and stronger. I thought training was banned over lockdown but makes you wonder. Otherwise they have had far better personal training regimes and stuck to them. Against Southampton and Everton we looked as though we had been playing computer games for 3 months.

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Said this was my main concern last year. Unfortunately it turned out to be well founded.

Losing our most physically dominating CBs has been a disaster.

 

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I remember Malcolm Allison saying that there will come a time when the game will need to produce athletes not just skilled footballers.

Might has always been right unfortunately.

 

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34 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

I remember Malcolm Allison saying that there will come a time when the game will need to produce athletes not just skilled footballers.

Might has always been right unfortunately.

 

Yes, it was one of those old school managers, and I can't remember which one, who said they used to find footballers and train them to be athletes whereas now they look for athletes and train them to be footballers 

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This has always been an issue with Norwich from what I can recall, many times in the past I've noted how much physically smaller than the opposition we are.  I do think it's something worth the recruitment team looking at going forward, that whilst we do all like the smaller skillful types, Hoolahan etc , some power especially in the spine of the team, wouldn't go amiss 

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And a little bit of passion wouldn't go amiss. We need a leader. Has Grant Holt got an 18 year old boy?

I watched the Watford players conning the Ref so many times last night while we just accepted everything.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, hogesar said:

I said on the match thread it looks really obvious when you come up against a side like Watford who are massive.

Saying that, they're still struggling.

Oh, brilliant, so this is your response now to a poster pointing out that its men against boys.

So when I pointed out in late-October that we aren't physical enough, particularly in midfield....

And you said...

On 29/10/2019 at 07:21, hogesar said:

Here we go...

Two more weeks and itll be "Farke hasnt got a clue "

Anyway our main midfield signing was Amadou.

On 31/10/2019 at 21:40, hogesar said:

No idea what your point is because with a fully fit squad Godfrey and Zimmerman would be two physical players and Amadou would be in midfield...

What you really meant is "Yeah you are right, we're a criminally lightweight team, but I'm a bit slow so the penny won't drop for me for another 8 or 9 months"

Still. I'm glad you got it eventually. 

 

 

Edited by TeemuVanBasten
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Trouble is our two main leaders and physical players, Zimmerman and Hanley, have spent so much of this season out injured.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, duke63 said:

Trouble is our two main leaders and physical players, Zimmerman and Hanley, have spent so much of this season out injured.

Our midfield is the problem mate, opposition can just play straight through us. Doesn't matter how good our centre backs are we'd still concede goals due to them being forced out of position or left outnumbered.

Edited by TeemuVanBasten
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7 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

Oh, brilliant, so this is your response now to a poster pointing out that its men against boys.

So when I pointed out in late-October that we aren't physical enough, particularly in midfield....

And you said...

What you really meant is "Yeah you are right, we're a criminally lightweight team, but I'm a bit slow so the penny won't drop for me for another 8 or 9 months"

Still. I'm glad you got it eventually. 

 

 

But with Zimmerman, Hanley and Amadou I didn't think we were too lightweight?

Also, I pointed out the huge difference in physicality between us and Watford, but Watford are still in a massive relegation fight?

Equally, are you sure you want to be the one bringing up old posts?

You going to admit you lied about Watford's transfer spend?

Or you going to threaten to beat someone up again? Me this time?

Deary me.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Equally, are you sure you want to be the one bringing up old posts?

Am I sure I want to be "bringing up" a post that somebody else bumped yesterday? Well, yes. 

How about you re-read that OP and admit that despite the pile on and load of tripe from Parma comparing us to Barcelona, I was in fact spot on and its been men against boys all season due to our lack of physicality in midfield.

You wouldn't because you and others played the poster and not the post.

Edited by TeemuVanBasten

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5 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

Our midfield is the problem mate, opposition can just play straight through us. Doesn't matter how good our centre backs are we'd still concede goals due to them being forced out of position or left outnumbered.

I totally agree several years ago when he was younger and fitter Tettey was regarded as being behind the pace of the PL by many. Now when fit he is one of the first names on the team sheet as being one of the few who can win the ball and offer some muscle and bite in midfield, the rest though individually talented rely on others [ who] getting the ball to them

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We need a powerful tall centre forward. 

I don't think Dawson would have been aple to push Idah out of the way for the first goal yesterday. 

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Been saying this all season. Against Palace we looked like kids against grown ups- we get bullied too easily. We needed BIG midfielders to defend the defence - and I had hoped Amadou would be that when he was signed. He wasn’t 

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4 minutes ago, TeemuVanBasten said:

Am I sure I want to be "bringing up" a post that somebody else bumped yesterday? Well, yes. 

How about you re-read that OP and admit that despite the pile on and load of tripe from Parma comparing us to Barcelona, I was in fact spot on and its been men against boys all season due to our lack of physicality in midfield.

You wouldn't because you and others played the poster and not the post.

Well, Parma was spot on about what we were trying to do. You were equally correct that we lacked physicality all season, but I do think we'd have fared better with our more physical players being fit, and if Amadou had been the player we thought he was (or if Farke had played him more).

I also don't think you HAVE to have a lot of physical players in the prem, if you're really good at what you do. I also think we struggle with having 2 small wing-backs, most teams can cope with one but having one on both sides is a challenge. Byram is only slightly more physical yet we looked so much better defensively with him playing.

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39 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

 

I watched the Watford players conning the Ref so many times last night while we just accepted everything.

Yep, totally agree with this, how many soft decisions in Watfords favour did Anthony Taylor give? He pretty much couldn't wait to blow up for free kicks for them.  Not that I am saying this is why we lost the game, but we certainly are not savvy enough at times (which is in fact a sad reflection on where the modern game is).

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