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Wings

People here are totally unreal

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I''ve no problem with the calls for the board to account for their actions; frankly I agree with alot of what''s said. Delia and Co are not doing enough on the face of things to encourage fresh investment. The Turners look eager and keen to reinvigorate the club yet Delia and MWJ seem keen on continuing with the same old same old.

What bothers me is the ridiculous reaction to the signing of John Hartson.

We have two major problems; creating chances and taking chances. The former is a problem that will continue to remain unsolved (unless Jimmy Smith proves to be the answer to our prayers and Huckerby and Croft start doing it again) simply because of the difficulty in signing decent creative players.

The latter though is a problem we''ve moved today to sort; the club have been shrewd. Yes, John Hartson is overweight and yes he''s injury prone. But he was also a very good striker that had a superb strike rate. By taking him on loan for a month, we are given the chance to see if he''s got it still, and can do it for us. If he''s not, we ship him out, the expenses kept to as small an amount as possible.

This is a good move, and realistically probably one of the best options available to us. We''re not a good side at the moment; we''re not an attractive team to play for. If you were a striker aware of how long we''ve gone without scoring, would you come here? I doubt it. I wouldn''t. John Hartson sadly represents one of our better options, and I would far rather the club do something than do nothing.

I look forward to seeing Hartson against Bristol, and think we should adopt an open minded approach to his arrival. As sad as this is, we''re not going to get much better and having someone who can potentially solve one of our problems is far better than plodding along head in the sand ostrich like.

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Sorry Wings but I have to disagree on this point.In my mind we''re not lacking strikers, we''ve simply been playing the wrong type of football combined with the wrong selections to get the results.Let me give you a scenario, we somehow managed to hi-jack Barca''s move for Henry and he''s obviously now our first choice upfront for the season. We know all about his ability and where his strengths lie, and yet despite this, what do we do? Lump endless long balls in the air in his general direction and wonder why he''s not getting hat-tricks every game. At this point would you go out and sign John Hartson, or stop messing around and play the right sort of football instead?Signing Hartson is indicative of a desire to continue pumping poor long balls forward endlessly, instead of getting us playing the quick, passing football that would massively benefit the players.Hucks wants the ball at feet, so does Croft, so does Curo, in fact almost every player in the side is far better with balls to feet than they are will balls in the air, so why play long ball football???Strihavka has been given virtually no chance to show his ability, yet he seems to be discounted so far, Chris Martin did well last season, and has so far also been given no real chance this year. Curo can perform well, but when he scored goals he was criticised, and since then, the supply to him has got consistently worse. And maybe (just maybe), Brown would be scoring more if he wasn''t trying to make something out of the rubbish balls being supplied to him.We''ve also got Dublin who can play upfront, Smart who could have played, Ry Jarvis who could play, and even Doherty, so why do we need another striker - particularly one who hasn''t been able to get a game in months, even at a level below us???We need to be combating the style of football being played rather than looking to sign players for a position we have more than adequately covered.

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I usually agree with you Indy, but not on this occasion.  I agree that we aren''t necessarily lacking in strikers within the squad, but we are certainly not awash with fit/on-form ones at the moment - we''ve got injuries (Cureton, Renton, DD (can''t be sure of his fitness) and Doc (who could be used)), players who don''t look like scoring (Brown), off form/''not match fit'' (Hucks) or not here (Ryan J, could be recalled but not sure he is the answer).  We are left with Martin and Strihavka, not much else.

So to get someone who knows what''s what is imo what we could do with right now, if only to stabilise things in the short term.  Whether Hartson is the answer time will tell, but it is only for an initial one month spell so not too much of a gamble.  His arrival doesn''t even particularly mean long ball (he is not really quick enough) - just having someone who has an idea where clearances might be going (unlike Brown) and can hold the ball, bring wingers into play (a la Iwan, so not necessarily a change in Norwich ''style'') would be a great start.  Also, we have yet again been poor at finishing off set pieces this season and that should be a strong point for Hartson (incidentally, had we got Shawcross in, things would have been so different - without his goals from set pieces Stoke would be nowhere!).

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Branston,

The injuries are definitely a valid point, however being fair, out of the three injured players, I''d only really be looking to play Curo as Renton really isn''t ready from what I''ve seen and heard, and for me Dublin is better at the back than upfront, and also represents the whole ''target man'' idea I feel we need to get away from.

Brown hasn''t looked like scoring, and I''m certainly not claiming that he will be banging them in if we changed the style of play, but realisitcally how many goals can you score when the balls being supplied are almost always sub-standard? Look at the situation years ago when Sutton went to Chelsea, he was a regular goalscorer - mainly from aerial balls, so what did Chelsea do? Constantly passed it to his feet. OK, so he should have been able to still score anyway, but he didn''t and was soon sold on.

Now in my mind Sutton is a far superior striker than Brown, so it''s an interesting comparison that it was down to a case of supply in both areas that the players ''failed'' or are ''failing'' at the clubs, however one was a case of failure to play with balls to feet, and the other will balls in the air.

Neither Strihavka, Martin or Ry Jarvis have been given a real run of games, so it''s somewhat unfair to judge their performance, again particularly when the quality of supply from midfield has been so poor. No mention of Smart from you either, a player who''s natural pace could be a real asset, much like Hucks has been over the years...

Huckerby''s form is a real worry however, as in my mind one of three things has happened:

1) He''s not fit due to missing pre-season from his groin injury and is starting to get his fitness back towards the required level

2) He''s past it, and the pace and skill he previously had are now disappearing leaving little left to his game overall

3) He simply didn''t want to play for Grant, and was putting in sub-standard performances to show his displeasure.

Even worse it could be a combination of two or even all of these factors!

Huckerby can play upfront, a fact he demonstated clearly in his Coventry days playing with Dublin, although it would appear clear now that his preference is very much the wandering wing role.

I do stand by my viewpoint that it''s not the strikers who are massively underperforming, it''s the quality of balls they are being given that''s preventing them from doing anything. You can have anyone from Henry to Rooney to Pele upfront, but if you''re only giving them balls that are 3 foot beyond them or 2 foot over their heads, there''s simply nothing they can do with them, no matter how much ability they have.

Surely it makes more sense to concentrate on getting the team to play as a team and give accurate balls to feet, than it is to hunt round looking for some elusive ''missing link'' player that will suddenly start us scoring?

Whether or not Hartson is good enough as a striker is almost irrelevant here, it''s down to addressing the play that leads to the strikers that we should be focusing on. Play Strihavka and Martin upfront and actually give them decent balls to feet, and I''d pretty much guarantee goals within a couple of games.

Or you could simply hope that Hartson can ''amble'' a few balls in...

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Reading quite a few of your posts Indy i`ve got the impression that you can`t take of your yellow and green specs and have an ridiculously high opinion of our current squad. The simple truth is that they can`t play the incisive "keep it low" footie you are advocating because they are simply nowhere near good enough. But then what can you expect when the club`s whole transfer policy is based on signing players that no other club wants for next to nothing?

You can analyse players and tactics till the cows come home, but we are where we are because the team has been asset-stripped to pay for extravagencies off the pitch.

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[quote user="Mr.Carrow"]Reading quite a few of your posts Indy i`ve got the impression that you can`t take of your yellow and green specs and have an ridiculously high opinion of our current squad. The simple truth is that they can`t play the incisive "keep it low" footie you are advocating because they are simply nowhere near good enough.[/quote]

This is clearly the area where we disagree, and in my mind there''s two very justifiable reasons for this:

1) A number of the current players have previously shown that they can play like this, either for us or whilst at previous clubs

2) When have you genuinely seen a concerted effort being made by the team or manager to play like this?

It''s all well and good saying that the players aren''t good enough, but if they''re being told to play the balls they are what else do you expect them to do? It''s the manager''s decision, and whilst they can certainly offer their input about this, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the guy in charge of the team.

The sad fact is that we''re not even trying to get away from playing pathetic long balls, instead we''re signing people like Hartson to try to make it work...

I don''t have a ridiculously high opinion of the current squad, in fact I wouldn''t even want some of them if I took over, however what I do see is the basic framework of a good team in there, with some genuinely good players who are being badly utilised.

You only have to look at current Premiership examples of Bolton and Newcastle, under Allardyce, Bolton were playing well in a system that suited their players, clueless Sammy Lee takes over, changes the whole system and they''re languishing at the bottom of the league, whereas Newcastle who were struggling, took Allardyce who changed their style of play, and lo and behold - results are happening.

This is not coincidence, and being fair the two sides haven''t drastically changed, it''s more a case of the manager getting the best out of who he has, and playing the right football to suit this.

We are not a long balling side, I''m not just talking historically, I''m talking about based on current players. They''re not suited to the long game, and we also then waste the ability of players like Huckerby, by bypassing them with god awful punts forward. Until we see a concerted effort being made to play passing football and get rid of this long ball crap, how can anyone state that the players are not capable?

Right Players + Right Formation + Right Style of Play = Right Results.

Simple maths :)

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Indy, i think you are close to having a good point in that one of the things that has gone horribly wrong is that we have gone away from playing the passing game we were once renowned for. But this is because of the type of players signed rather than the way they are played. The natural passing footballers we have had in recent years (Mulryne, Mcviegh, Safri, Bentley, Helveg) have all left and the current crop are just not those kind of players. In the games i have seen we have tried to pass-but constantly give the ball away so lose confidence and resort to the hoof.

By the way, which of our current squad stood out in classy passing teams before they joined us?

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[quote user="Mr.Carrow"]Indy, i think you are close to having a good point in that one of the things that has gone horribly wrong is that we have gone away from playing the passing game we were once renowned for. But this is because of the type of players signed rather than the way they are played. The natural passing footballers we have had in recent years (Mulryne, Mcviegh, Safri, Bentley, Helveg) have all left and the current crop are just not those kind of players. In the games i have seen we have tried to pass-but constantly give the ball away so lose confidence and resort to the hoof.

By the way, which of our current squad stood out in classy passing teams before they joined us?[/quote]

Mr Carrow,

We''ve been left somewhat exposed this season in the centre of midfield, as the players we had lined up to play the clever passing role - Smith or Fotheringham, both suffered injuries early on. Brellier is actually quite a solid passer of the ball, but has really seemed to struggle with match fitness and adapting to the game so far.With regards to current players from passing teams, or who have shown passing ability:Otsemobor - Very much brought up on the passing game at Liverpool, and Crewe have played some good passing football over the yearsCroft - Was arguably the best player of his time during his England U team days, a player likened by Les Reed to Luis Figo (potentially), who very much benefits from the passing game and wants the ball to feet.Hucks - Has always shown that his key ability lies in getting the ball quickly in to feet and then off he goes, has never liked aeriel balls, and has demonstrated for almost every club he''s been at, that he can play some excellent intricate passing and link-up play, demonstrated last season with Martin, and over previous years, even going back to his time at Coventry playing off DublinSmith is obviously an unknown quantity in a Norwich shirt, but showed last season at QPR that he has all the attributes to be an excellent player. Great ball control and able to pick out a pass, he almost single-handledly revitalised the QPR midfield and got them playing more balls along the floor - so why not for us?I could go on in this manner for a couple more, namely Rossi, Martin and Curo, and from what I''ve seen also Strihavka (who is also decent at getting on the end of headers).I see what you mean about the passing and confidence, and I''ve seen a degree of this myself, however what does seem to happen is that regardless of the way the midfield in general is trying to play, the defence insist on long balls (with the exception of Otsemobor who has linked really well with Croft). This again explains the whole striking problem, the midfield are often being bypassed, the strikers don''t want long balls constantly, so we score no goals.You only have to see how much better things look using the aforementioned example of Otsemobor and Croft, great understanding, they support each other well, and you don''t see them playing stupid long balls every time they get chance. If the rest of the team tried to do this we''d be far better off.

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I just think you are being unrealistic Indy. The midfield are constantly bypassed because of two things- A, the defence don`t have confidence in the midfield to keep the ball and B, the defence are not good enough to play intricate, clever passes so go for the safe hoof nearly every time.

From what i read about Brellier when we signed him if anything passing was highlighted as his weak point. Yes Hucks and Croft do benefit from a passing style, but to make it work you really have to build a "team" of passers and neither of those are natural passing footballers (although Hucks upfront might work). The others you mention are either average (at best), unproven, or young with potential but raw and inconsistant. The last true, complete passing footballer we had was Safri. We have none left.

Sorry but we are absolutely miles away from the classy passing team we`d all like to see.

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Mr Carrow,I think we can agree that we are somewhat apart in our view of this situation.I don''t see what''s meant to be so challenging for the defence at all, I''m not asking for them to be performing intricate, clever passing. All the defence need to do is play it simple, along the floor, to the midfielders.I keep mentioning Arsenal across many threads, but how often do you see players like Senderos, Gallas or Toure trying to pick out inch perfect 60 yard passes to Van Persie or Adebayor??? They don''t, they play the simple pass to someone like Gilberto or Fabregas, and let them use their skill to play the intricate, clever balls.There''s nothing difficult about playing a straightforward ball to a player 10 yards away, if any player can''t do this, then they really should be re-assessing their classification as a professional footballer.As for the defenders not having confidence in the midfield, that''s something for the manager to address, and it certainly shouldn''t come down to the defence making their own mind up and simply lumping balls forward.I maintain my viewpoint that we can play passing football, but it needs an attitude and motivation change to come from the new manager to make it truly happen.

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[quote user="Mr.Carrow"]

I just think you are being unrealistic Indy. The midfield are constantly bypassed because of two things- A, the defence don`t have confidence in the midfield to keep the ball and B, the defence are not good enough to play intricate, clever passes so go for the safe hoof nearly every time.

From what i read about Brellier when we signed him if anything passing was highlighted as his weak point. Yes Hucks and Croft do benefit from a passing style, but to make it work you really have to build a "team" of passers and neither of those are natural passing footballers (although Hucks upfront might work). The others you mention are either average (at best), unproven, or young with potential but raw and inconsistant. The last true, complete passing footballer we had was Safri. We have none left.

Sorry but we are absolutely miles away from the classy passing team we`d all like to see.

[/quote]

Has to be post of the week, Mr Carrow. It''s so sad, but so very true.

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