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Tom NCFC, January 12, 2008 in Main Discussion - Norwich City
overall, the first half performance was woeful, particularly the first half hour or so. Barnsley didn''t play that well themselves in the first half but a goal was inevitable because of the way city were playing. There wasn''t any tackling, pressing or significant challenge and the passing just wasn''t good enough.
The devaney goal was soft, otsemobor caught out from the left and doherty not filling the space and closing down, very poor defending. After that city settled a bit and at least started to retain possession towards the end of the half. The problem then was a complete lack of ideas and no movement. Dion Dublin seemed to spend a lot of time supporting bertrand over on the left and it was hard to see exactly where he was supposed to be playing. He seemed to be playing behind Evans. Evans was the one bright spark in the first half, looking lively and having several shots, although none of them significantly tested their keeper.
At half time i wouldn''t have given a cat in hells chance of city getting anything out of the game, they looked scared, and as though they weren''t up for the game. In summary they had barely turned up. So the second half performance was nothing short of a miraculous transformation. I''m not sure what Glenn Roeder must''ve said or done at half time, or what was in the lucozade bottles in order to get that sort of turn around but whatever it was it worked a treat.
Pressure, closing down, tackles, pushing up, counter-attacking, it was all there. Croft''s pace was finally starting to be used. Dion Dublin was immence in the second half. Darel Russel seemed to be everywhere. And Mark Fotheringham was superb. He passed the ball well and he got forwards. 2 assists and a goal (although heavily deflected) says it all about his attacking efforts. His through ball for evans'' goal was perfect and a clinical finish followed. After that Croft hit the post from close range in a one on one with their frankly rubbish keeper and he should''ve scored. A great chance for 2-1. Well done for the goal fozzy, and the corner for the 3rd goal was excellent. Dublin missed a sitter from close range after hucks crossed the ball from the by-line. Hucks looked a class apart when he came on for croft and the barnsley left back appeared scared to death by his very prescence.
Overall the second half performance was terrific, it''s no exaggeration to say that we SHOULD HAVE won by at least 5-1, with those 2 sitters being missed, but there was plenty of other good efforts as well.
marshall - 6
otsemobor - 6 (better defensively in the 2nd half but poor crossing throughout)
Shackell - 5 (looked nervous and the weak link in the defence)
Doherty - 7 (poor defending for the goal, but generally very good in the tackle, it''s a shame his distribution isn''t better)
Camara - 6 (fairly solid defensively)
Bertrand - 6 (awful first half, solid second half, appeared to work well with camara. Not a bad debut overall)
Fotheringham - 8 (superb in the second half, led by example and was obviously firmly commited. Good all round performance)
Russel - 7 (seemed to get everywhere in the second half, could''ve got himself a goal with a bit more luck_
Croft - 6 (full of running and was very useful with the counter-attacking style in the second half. Missed an easy chance and too often his final ball let him down. Produced only one acceptable cross all afternoon)
Dublin - 7 (took the goal very well but missed an easier chance later on, held the ball up well and won a lot of aerial battles, his passing and vision were very good in the second half)
Evans - 7 (looks like a great prospecy, got himself in good positions and was quick to get his shots away, a quiet second half after his goal. Lacks movement off the ball at times)
(subs cureton 6, Hucks 7, jarvis 6).
What a game. Rubbish first 45 and at half time I was wondering why I had travelled all that way and then incredible in the 2nd half. Croft and Fozzy outstanding. Croft simply tore them apart.
Marshall 7, no real chance with goalOtsemobor 7 at fault in lead up to their goal. Great support for Crofty 2nd halfdoherty 6 exposed in first half much improved in 2nd
shackell 6 ok game camara 7 poor first great second
Croft 9, score mainly for 2nd half when he was simply fantastic ! best 45 minutes by any City player this seasonrusty 7 Lost in first half but everywhere in the 2nd
fozzy 8 really dominant in 2nd half another great performancebertrand - 6 supported Camara well but not very creative dion 7 led line well
ched 7 took goal well and caused lots of probs in 2nd halfhucks 7, continued the torment of Barnsley but by then they were on the canvas cureton 6, a late irritantjarvis not on long enough to judge
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