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king canary

Norwich v Bristol Winners & Losers

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Trying to make sense of a very confusing game last night....

Winners

Norwich! - We won! We beat a team near the top of the league! We're second with a 4 point gap to 3rd after only 9 games!

Teemu Pukki- Questions had been asked after a quiet start to the season but last night was peak Pukki. A few weeks ago I'm not confident he'd have taken the second goal with such ease but now he looks comfortable again it never felt in doubt. Can he break 100 goals this season?

Josh Sargent- No where near as effective on the right wing as through the middle but he still popped up with a crucial goal and had some moments on the counter where he looked a real threat. I'm still of the opinion though that Smith needs to find a way to get him and Pukki playing together rather than having to shunt Sargent out to the periphery.

Issac Hayden- no game has exposed our lack of a DM more than this one and thus the 'Becchio effect' goes into overdrive for Hayden. You've got to think either him or Gibbs are going to be pushed into the first team as soon as they are fit.

Gabriel Sara- easily his best cameo off the bench and surely odds on to start at the weekend. 

Our pre-held prejudices-  If you went into this game (like me) largely being pro-Smith you'd have come out of this one generally pleased to see us beating a good team in Bristol City without a recognised DM or left back. If you went in doubtful of Smith then a performance full of sloppiness and errors  in defence and lightweight midfield performances likely won't have won you over. 

Our luck- earlier in the season I commented how unlucky we'd been with some of the goals conceded earlier this season. Last night felt like it evened out somewhat with several suicidal passes in the first half not quite dropping for Bristol City players and thus not costing us early on. Would be good to cut it out ASAP.

Losers

Daniel Sinani- Coming on as a sub is tough but all in all his 20 minutes cameo was pretty rancid. An error that helped set up a goal, blasting a great chance to seal the game straight at the keeper and another shot miles over the bar. It just wasn't happening for him last night and it didn't help that he replaced Pukki on a hat-trick. 

Tim Krul- maybe it is just me but Krul has gone from being a keeper that largely seems to inspire confidence to one that gives me 3 or 4 heart in mouth moments a game, especially with the ball at his feet. You do have to wonder how long before Gunn is between the sticks.

The midfield off the ball- it isn't the fault of anyone on the pitch last night that we don't have a proper DM fit enough to play but we still need to see more off the ball from the players who are out there. Cantwell offered zero protection to Byram down the left, while the McLean, Ramsey, Nunez combo in the middle offered very little resistance when Bristol marauded forward with the ball through the middle. Based on how easily we were cut through, it is probably a blessing our trip to Burnley has been postponed.

The ref- it is very rare that the final whistle of a home win is greeted by boos and jeers but the referee's decision to blow the final whistle as Sara had just slipped us in one on one completed a second half performance that felt more like performance art than refereeing. Obviously we'll never know but if we miss out on promotion by goal difference you do wonder if this might come up again...

 

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Bit harsh suggesting the second was Sinani fault but yeah his cameo was not great.

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3 minutes ago, Ulfotto said:

Bit harsh suggesting the second was Sinani fault but yeah his cameo was not great.

Not harsh at all. He hoofs it. You never pass a ball to one of your men who is facing his own goal in the penalty area. 

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Thanks for the analysis, but I disagree with a number of your points. 

The main issue we had in midfield was Nunez. I think he's class and rapidly improving but he made a number of positional errors and was ultimately culpable for the second Bristol goal (excepting the fouls not given in the buildup). He also (disappointingly) fail to play Pukki in a couple of times. 

My biggest issue with Nunez has been his lack of physicality. But he showed some really good signs of improvement last night with a couple of good tackles. We just need him to more consistently spot the danger and work harder to get goal side of his man when we lose the ball. A little less jogging back from behind the play... 

Our wide midfielders were indeed poor defensively, but only because of the crazy way Bristol City lined up. Their wingbacks basically played as wingers leaving their 3 centre-backs to pick up all our attackers. It was like we were playing against a team who'd taken off a defender to bring on another attacker. 

So, yes, there was space between the fullbacks and the wide AMs. But that meant there was space for us behind their defence which we exploited to score.

Cantwell was, again, excellent. He was constantly looking for the ball, winning it back and launching attacks. 

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19 minutes ago, Petriix said:

Thanks for the analysis, but I disagree with a number of your points. 

The main issue we had in midfield was Nunez. I think he's class and rapidly improving but he made a number of positional errors and was ultimately culpable for the second Bristol goal (excepting the fouls not given in the buildup). He also (disappointingly) fail to play Pukki in a couple of times. 

My biggest issue with Nunez has been his lack of physicality. But he showed some really good signs of improvement last night with a couple of good tackles. We just need him to more consistently spot the danger and work harder to get goal side of his man when we lose the ball. A little less jogging back from behind the play... 

Our wide midfielders were indeed poor defensively, but only because of the crazy way Bristol City lined up. Their wingbacks basically played as wingers leaving their 3 centre-backs to pick up all our attackers. It was like we were playing against a team who'd taken off a defender to bring on another attacker. 

So, yes, there was space between the fullbacks and the wide AMs. But that meant there was space for us behind their defence which we exploited to score.

Cantwell was, again, excellent. He was constantly looking for the ball, winning it back and launching attacks. 

I think all three in midfield were issues- Nunez lacks physicality but also wasn't often helped by Ramsey or McLean in terms of covering in the middle or working to get back and press.

Re the Bristol wingbacks- yes they pushed them high but Cantwell then has to do something to react to that. On the ball he played well and took advantage of the space left behind but Byram needed some help too- he can't just shrug his shoulders and let someone else deal with it, especially with no specialist defensive midfielder to help offer cover. I thought bringing him off for Onel worked as it meant there was someone who had the pace and energy to both exploit the space but also get back and offer some support for Byram who was getting doubled up. I think there might have been an argument as the game went on to switch to a formation to match up with Bristol but I imagine the fact Smith had one eye on Hanley's fitness meant he wasn't willing to bring on Gibson as a 3rd central defender. 

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My potential winner (but probably loser for most on here) is that Hanley went off with a shoulder injury, Gibson came on and we suddenly looked much better balanced in the final passage of play in defence on the left-hand side.

Hopefully Gibson has gotten over his loss of form now, can replace Hanley to give our defence more solidity on the left-hand side which should allow our attacking threats more freedom to play in, allowing Hanley to recover from what seems a debilitating injury. 

Or, on the loser's point of view, Christ help us if Hanley doesn't recover, and we have to rely on Gibson!

 

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1 hour ago, king canary said:

I think all three in midfield were issues- Nunez lacks physicality but also wasn't often helped by Ramsey or McLean in terms of covering in the middle or working to get back and press.

Re the Bristol wingbacks- yes they pushed them high but Cantwell then has to do something to react to that. On the ball he played well and took advantage of the space left behind but Byram needed some help too- he can't just shrug his shoulders and let someone else deal with it, especially with no specialist defensive midfielder to help offer cover. I thought bringing him off for Onel worked as it meant there was someone who had the pace and energy to both exploit the space but also get back and offer some support for Byram who was getting doubled up. I think there might have been an argument as the game went on to switch to a formation to match up with Bristol but I imagine the fact Smith had one eye on Hanley's fitness meant he wasn't willing to bring on Gibson as a 3rd central defender. 

Yes, I agree to a degree. Ramsey is very inexperienced so what he brings is raw and (consequently) inconsistent, although effective in bursts. I think Sara might well end up being our preferred option at number 10 (or the more attacking 8 if we revert to the 4-3-3, heaven forbid!) as he's more physical.

Nunez and McLean are not an ideal partnership. McLean is not disciplined enough for the CDM role so, hopefully, Hayden or Gibbs will come back and strengthen us there. Nunez needs more time to adapt. He's just not quite up to the speed of the English game. I think he's got incredible potential though.

As for the wide AMs... Yes, they could have been more defensive, especially after it went to 2-0. But Bristol only got any joy out of those areas when we made mistakes. We seemed happy to let them have the ball out wide and it didn't really hurt us. 

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4 hours ago, king canary said:

Trying to make sense of a very confusing game last night....

Winners

Norwich! - We won! We beat a team near the top of the league! We're second with a 4 point gap to 3rd after only 9 games!

Teemu Pukki- Questions had been asked after a quiet start to the season but last night was peak Pukki. A few weeks ago I'm not confident he'd have taken the second goal with such ease but now he looks comfortable again it never felt in doubt. Can he break 100 goals this season?

Josh Sargent- No where near as effective on the right wing as through the middle but he still popped up with a crucial goal and had some moments on the counter where he looked a real threat. I'm still of the opinion though that Smith needs to find a way to get him and Pukki playing together rather than having to shunt Sargent out to the periphery.

Issac Hayden- no game has exposed our lack of a DM more than this one and thus the 'Becchio effect' goes into overdrive for Hayden. You've got to think either him or Gibbs are going to be pushed into the first team as soon as they are fit.

Gabriel Sara- easily his best cameo off the bench and surely odds on to start at the weekend. 

Our pre-held prejudices-  If you went into this game (like me) largely being pro-Smith you'd have come out of this one generally pleased to see us beating a good team in Bristol City without a recognised DM or left back. If you went in doubtful of Smith then a performance full of sloppiness and errors  in defence and lightweight midfield performances likely won't have won you over. 

Our luck- earlier in the season I commented how unlucky we'd been with some of the goals conceded earlier this season. Last night felt like it evened out somewhat with several suicidal passes in the first half not quite dropping for Bristol City players and thus not costing us early on. Would be good to cut it out ASAP.

Losers

Daniel Sinani- Coming on as a sub is tough but all in all his 20 minutes cameo was pretty rancid. An error that helped set up a goal, blasting a great chance to seal the game straight at the keeper and another shot miles over the bar. It just wasn't happening for him last night and it didn't help that he replaced Pukki on a hat-trick. 

Tim Krul- maybe it is just me but Krul has gone from being a keeper that largely seems to inspire confidence to one that gives me 3 or 4 heart in mouth moments a game, especially with the ball at his feet. You do have to wonder how long before Gunn is between the sticks.

The midfield off the ball- it isn't the fault of anyone on the pitch last night that we don't have a proper DM fit enough to play but we still need to see more off the ball from the players who are out there. Cantwell offered zero protection to Byram down the left, while the McLean, Ramsey, Nunez combo in the middle offered very little resistance when Bristol marauded forward with the ball through the middle. Based on how easily we were cut through, it is probably a blessing our trip to Burnley has been postponed.

The ref- it is very rare that the final whistle of a home win is greeted by boos and jeers but the referee's decision to blow the final whistle as Sara had just slipped us in one on one completed a second half performance that felt more like performance art than refereeing. Obviously we'll never know but if we miss out on promotion by goal difference you do wonder if this might come up again...

 

Disagree on Cantwell, he was industrious off the ball IMO

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Disagree with some of this. Cantwell was good and I would have kept him on. Krul was fine and I think maybe you just want Gunn in there. Sara's cameo was fine but is being enormously overrated on here.

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2 hours ago, Petriix said:

Yes, I agree to a degree. Ramsey is very inexperienced so what he brings is raw and (consequently) inconsistent, although effective in bursts. I think Sara might well end up being our preferred option at number 10 (or the more attacking 8 if we revert to the 4-3-3, heaven forbid!) as he's more physical.

Nunez and McLean are not an ideal partnership. McLean is not disciplined enough for the CDM role so, hopefully, Hayden or Gibbs will come back and strengthen us there. Nunez needs more time to adapt. He's just not quite up to the speed of the English game. I think he's got incredible potential though.

As for the wide AMs... Yes, they could have been more defensive, especially after it went to 2-0. But Bristol only got any joy out of those areas when we made mistakes. We seemed happy to let them have the ball out wide and it didn't really hurt us. 

Yeah don't disagree with any of that. When everyone is fit you'd think Nunez/McLean should be an either/or type situation.

I should probably have put Hanley and Omobamidele in the winners section as I felt they dealt with the aerial bombardment mostly with ease.

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5 hours ago, king canary said:

Trying to make sense of a very confusing game last night....

Winners

Norwich! - We won! We beat a team near the top of the league! We're second with a 4 point gap to 3rd after only 9 games!

Teemu Pukki- Questions had been asked after a quiet start to the season but last night was peak Pukki. A few weeks ago I'm not confident he'd have taken the second goal with such ease but now he looks comfortable again it never felt in doubt. Can he break 100 goals this season?

Josh Sargent- No where near as effective on the right wing as through the middle but he still popped up with a crucial goal and had some moments on the counter where he looked a real threat. I'm still of the opinion though that Smith needs to find a way to get him and Pukki playing together rather than having to shunt Sargent out to the periphery.

Issac Hayden- no game has exposed our lack of a DM more than this one and thus the 'Becchio effect' goes into overdrive for Hayden. You've got to think either him or Gibbs are going to be pushed into the first team as soon as they are fit.

Gabriel Sara- easily his best cameo off the bench and surely odds on to start at the weekend. 

Our pre-held prejudices-  If you went into this game (like me) largely being pro-Smith you'd have come out of this one generally pleased to see us beating a good team in Bristol City without a recognised DM or left back. If you went in doubtful of Smith then a performance full of sloppiness and errors  in defence and lightweight midfield performances likely won't have won you over. 

Our luck- earlier in the season I commented how unlucky we'd been with some of the goals conceded earlier this season. Last night felt like it evened out somewhat with several suicidal passes in the first half not quite dropping for Bristol City players and thus not costing us early on. Would be good to cut it out ASAP.

Losers

Daniel Sinani- Coming on as a sub is tough but all in all his 20 minutes cameo was pretty rancid. An error that helped set up a goal, blasting a great chance to seal the game straight at the keeper and another shot miles over the bar. It just wasn't happening for him last night and it didn't help that he replaced Pukki on a hat-trick. 

Tim Krul- maybe it is just me but Krul has gone from being a keeper that largely seems to inspire confidence to one that gives me 3 or 4 heart in mouth moments a game, especially with the ball at his feet. You do have to wonder how long before Gunn is between the sticks.

The midfield off the ball- it isn't the fault of anyone on the pitch last night that we don't have a proper DM fit enough to play but we still need to see more off the ball from the players who are out there. Cantwell offered zero protection to Byram down the left, while the McLean, Ramsey, Nunez combo in the middle offered very little resistance when Bristol marauded forward with the ball through the middle. Based on how easily we were cut through, it is probably a blessing our trip to Burnley has been postponed.

The ref- it is very rare that the final whistle of a home win is greeted by boos and jeers but the referee's decision to blow the final whistle as Sara had just slipped us in one on one completed a second half performance that felt more like performance art than refereeing. Obviously we'll never know but if we miss out on promotion by goal difference you do wonder if this might come up again...

 

I like this idea of a thread. Keep it up.

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5 hours ago, king canary said:

Our pre-held prejudices-  If you went into this game (like me) largely being pro-Smith you'd have come out of this one generally pleased to see us beating a good team in Bristol City without a recognised DM or left back. If you went in doubtful of Smith then a performance full of sloppiness and errors  in defence and lightweight midfield performances likely won't have won you over. 

 

Whole OP was excellent but thought this in particular is bang-on. 

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Sam Byram has such quality and versatility that I think he qualifies as a fully competent left back.

The exposure on Sam's side when their (rather useless) right wing-back's starting position was so advanced, was fascinating. Had Sam or Hanley or the manager felt that Todd was not doing the positional job defensively, then they would all have let him know. No one did.

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