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ricardo

Ricardo's Report v Swindon

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A very hard earned 3 points today in a game that I always expected to be much more difficult than some of the amateur forecasters on this Forum were claiming. We are going to see a lot of games like this with teams coming here trying to be hard to beat and not slinging too many forward.

It was a slowish start but after 20 minutes it began to look like one way traffic and it was very pleasing to see Korey Smith back in the middle. I was beginning to think it might be another hard luck story in the making when Holty hit the bar but Chris Martins goal a few minutes later settled the nerves. Young Francombe looked very comfortable at right back and apart from getting caught out on the stroke of half time he hardly put a foot wrong. Swindon looked neat and tidy but offered very little up front and I was confident of extending the lead in the second half.

Francombe didn''t appear after half time (apparantly carrying an injury) and McViegh came on in mid field with Smith dropping back to fullback. It was immediately obvious that this upset our balance as we lost the bite in the middle and Swindon were getting a lot more possession. For my part, I was disappointed that Cody did not appear after 75 minutes as I thought the game was crying out for the ball over the top or into space as Swindon came forward. I couldn''t see what Cureton was going to give us because by the time he came on we had long settled for the single goal. You always get nervous with a 1-0 lead but Swindon barely had a shot and wouldn''t have scored if they played until midnight.

Man of the match in my opinion was Rusty who was just a short head in front of the Doc (again almost faultless) and Holty who gave his usual 200%.

Onward and upward.

 

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You''re spot on as usual for me Rickyyyyyyyyy[Y]

I assume Hughes was injured today and yet again we suffered for not having all three Hughes/Russell/Smith in the squad. Once again the midfield was weakened when changes had to be made and McVeigh is not the player to replace any of the three mentioned. I am getting a bit concerned that Hughes is never going to be fit enough for a demanding league. He reminds me of Safri in more ways than one. I hope I''m wrong because he''s a cracking player who would have been invaluable on the bench today.

Russell was comfortably MOM for me with strength and good performances behind him from Doc and up top from Holt. That''s a strong spine and much as we all want new blood those who argue that we should free up money by losing players like Doc and Russell are surely wrong. They are players who are strong enough to protect 1-0 leads in this league.

And winning 1-0 is the bonus for what wasn''t a very entertaining afternoon. After we scored the most important thing ws not to concede. We won''t always go on to score three or four. It''s nice to see us get a lead and defend it.

So Danny Wilson, for all your hype our boys didn''t bottle it[;)]

 

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I counted three chances Swindon had on goal all game today and I think only one was on target. Forster was rarely troubled that is for sure and didn''t have to do anything spectacular to keep them at bay.I was concerned with only a couple of things. Firstly although heavily criticised for lack of energy today which is probably justified, Martin seems to be the only player willing to be gready and have a go at goal from any distance. In the second half our best move ended because to many players gave up to the oppertunity to shoort trying to find another player in a better position when they were in good positions themselves. Holt had the most guilt edged chance when he got the ball on the edge of the area and attacking it, instead of having a dig he squared it to Hoolahan who was closed down and then tried to run it past players and lost it. Had Holt have shot at the very least the keeper would have had to put in a save.The other thing was the substitution, I can only imagine that McVeigh came on because the others were carrying knocks or coming back from injury because it was a very physical game today and it needed another solid player without Smith there to do the hounding. I would possibly have even put Martin out wide and brought Cody on up front for a half. Or as someone said on Canary call, put Nelson on as they did and play Askou at right back.Personaly I would agree with the match day sponsers in Askou being man of the match but I think you could have given it to any one of about five or six players Russel, Smith, Holt, Askou, Doherty or Drury. Hoolahan was good but they did well to limit his time on the ball.A good game for different reasons today. I think we took the foot off the pedal in the second half as we knew they had come for a draw and had nothing up front to bother us with. Like I said a couple of scary moments aside a good professional performance in which we more than deserved the win. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is that posession converted in more goals.

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That''s as good as account as you will get.

Thanks Ricardo.

Much as I hate to admit it Doc is getting better, is it the Culverhouse influence?

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We dominated the game but did not threaten their goal enough.

The first half was all one way traffic but we need to convert the possession into goals and we deserved to be more than a goal to the good,  and the threat on teh stroke of half time reminded us how perilous a one goal lead can be.

At the back I thought we looked very secure.  Drury in particular I  thought had an excellent game and for me was our best defender,  just ahead of Doc.  Francomb looked solid enough and will improve,  but his inexperience showed at times.  I do not agree with Berthel-Askou getting MOTM - he had a solid enough game,  but he best recovery tackle was due to his own mistake and misjudgement originally,  something he continues to do.  Drury and Doc were far more consistent today.

In midfield Lappin struggled to find his range but worked hard, Rusty I thought did well but was not as influential in the second half,  but the star man in the middle was easily smith (either korey or drury for my MOTM)  People have criticised WLYs performance but he did little wrong,  made few mistake and worked hard,  but did not have the same impact on the game as Korey.  However a 4-3-3 is dependent on having a certain style of midfielder and whichever way you look at it WLY is not Smith and for me the second half performance was all about the loss of smith to midfield rather than the poor performance of WLY.

Korey worked hard at right back and was ok - but was missed in the middle more.  Not sure what other options are available - maybe rusty could have gone right back and would be missed in the middle less to allow  Korey to stay there,  with Adeyemi or Gill coming in centrally.  Either way we were not the same team after the break

Up front Wes and Holt gave us their usual high quality game,  Wed sparkled and was our most dangerous player,  occassionally over doing it but less frequently than before,  while Holt ran himself into the ground while continuing to forget he will score more by getting himself in the box rather than on the flank and that to score you have to shoot once in a while.  Both played well.   Martin was in and out of the game,  he did work hard and defended sapce well and seems to me to be very much playing to the managers instructions - given  our results that is a good thing.

Cureton for martin keeps teh formation and balance but had no time to have an impact.

Could the subs have been better used?   Adeyemi for Francomb may be.   Once it was clear that the second half was more problematic I would probably have gone 4-4-2 to regain the midfield lost when Korey stepped to right back.  I would have taken off Martin and introduced Adeyemi alongside Rusty and left WLY wide right to secure midfield and close the space that Swindons solely passing game demanded - Smith closed that down,  doing two peoples work.  But we came away with three deserved points and showed we have the bottle and resilience to do well in the tough 4 months ahead.

 

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I agree with the crux of your report, but I didn''t feel it was a "very hard earned" three points.  Swindon offered nothing and Forster didn''t have a save worth mentioning to make.  Yes second half we suffered from the loss of Smith to right back and I was mystified by McVeigh''s selection when he did precious little all game (and Swindon are a seriously big team in terms of height, it must be like visiting Oompa Loompa land when teams like that come here to face Hoolahan, McVeigh, Cureton etc.) and I would have preferred Adeyemi who looked the business in pre-season but may have faded since.I think what I''m saying is at no point today did I think we would get less than 3 points and though they huffed and puffed 2nd half, there was no real threat to our goal at any point.  Encouraged also to see Francomb getting forward 1st half and putting some fizzy crosses in to the danger areas.

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[quote user="chicken"]
I was concerned with only a couple of things. Firstly although heavily criticised for lack of energy today which is probably justified, Martin seems to be the only player willing to be gready and have a go at goal from any distance. In the second half our best move ended because to many players gave up to the oppertunity to shoort trying to find another player in a better position when they were in good positions themselves. [/quote]

It seems that the players want to walk the ball into the net rather than shoot - it was the same at Carlisle.

I agree with your comment re Martin''s long range shooting.

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Bly - Francombe looked good today, he is learning as all young defenders do but he is no slouch and has a half decent cross on him. He got forward at every possible oppertunity although some of the balls played out to him were behind him which is frustrating when he had space to run into.Where I was sitting was his side of the pitch first half and he certainly worked his socks off, and him and Smith give each other a lot of encouragement. I would say any dodgy moments were only down to his inexperience and to be fair there were not many of those. Its a shame he had to come off at half time because both him and Drury were getting forward well and almost playing as wing backs.

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[quote user="ZippersLeftFoot"]I do not agree with Berthel-Askou getting MOTM[/quote]His first name is Jens Berthel, his last name is Askou [:)] Many Scandinavian persons have double first name. You can''t say Berthel-Askou, it must be Jens Berthel Askou or Jens Askou (or may be Jens B. Askou).To be honest, I''m only 99 % sure (as I''m Norwegian, not Danish)Btw, very good report Ricardo! Always interesting to read.

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[quote user="BlyBlyBabes"]

Thanks Ricardo.

What do you think of Francombe?

Some knowledgeable people are impressed. A real deal in the making??

OTBC

 

[/quote]

Its the first time I have seen him Bly and he certainly created a good impression with me. He was very willing to get forward and solid enough in defence apart from one little lapse just before half time. This was possibly due to the injury he was carrying and Lambert admitted as much on Canary Call. I noticed that the senior players were talking to him all the time which I take as a good indication of the confidence and team spirit that appears to be running through the side at the moment.

Regarding Chops remarks about my use of the term "hard earned 3 points" I used this in the sense that we found it very hard to create goal scoring chances. Swindon were never a threat but you can never count on a 1 goal lead as being enough.

We have been very "free scoring", recently and this has created a sense of expectation among certain sections of the crowd. It will become more difficult as teams come here with the idea of keeping everyone behind the ball. In that sense I think that there will be many more games where the 3 points have to be "hard earned".

 

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Stupid as this might sound, I think the fact that we are involving 3,4 youth players in the first team this season has helped them all settle in and look good players, capable of staying there, and, hopefully-though I''d rather this didn''t have to be the case-making a few million quid for us along the line somewhere when they move on.

I''m thinking that Korey Smith coming along and playing as the "lone" product from the youth team, the very nature of being the only youngster might hold them back, affect confidence and leave players a bit sure and uncertain-but no, we Rudd, Smith, Adeyemi, Francomb, even Dawkins having a look in now, they know each other, know how they play, have someone to banter with at training and in the dressing room, and it must help their confidence no end, as well as boosting up the team spirit as a whole. Its been great, really great, to see them all playing their part this season, Martin and Spillane came up through the ranks as well, and we now could field a line up where over half the team are products of the youth team, you have to ask, is this just a good time and have a good lot all come along at once, or, have we wasted opportunities before and seen potentially good young players drift away from us and the game because of bad coaching and management in seasons gone by?

 

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I think the emergence of a lot of players from our youth team is down to having a particularly good crop of players at the moment but the fact we are playing in League 1 rather than the Championship can''t be over looked. Some of the younger players would probably struggle to have the same impact as they have this year in the league above.

For example Francombe would have a much sterner test against someone like Jerome Thomas or Adam Johnson.

It''s great we are starting to have a team of Norwich grown players, and hopefully we can get promoted this year and the Smiths, Adeyemis et al can make the step up.

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Thanks Ole - my ignorance comes from regularly seeing his name hyphonated in several match reports in this part of the world, not as in Jan-Aage Fjortoft but as in Jens Berthel-Askou.

It will be Askou from now on..

Correction

I did not think Askou was MOTM today :-)

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I think WLY is taking a lot of flak for yesterday and think it''s so wrong. The real culprits in my eyes were Wes, Martin and Lappin who were all awful in the second half.

It was just a odd second half the atmosphere was like a awful I think both the crowd and the team? thought swindon would roll over like Leyton Orient, Bristol etc..

A hangover from leeds?

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Usual great report Ricardo. I couldn''t believe how timid Swindon were. Even in the last 10 they failed to develop a head of steam and barely threatened all match. How ironic after Wilson''s ill judged pre match comments.

Good game for the back for and a pleasing home debut for Francomb until the injury. We weren''t at our best by a long way but still had far too much for the opposition.

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[quote user="Facebook Sam"]Am I the only one who doesn''t like this write up?[/quote]

 

Looks like it,  but if you dont like it tell us what you disagree with Sam and how you saw the match

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[quote user="Facebook Sam"]Am I the only one who doesn''t like this write up?[/quote]

I wouldn''t say your the only one but I would say that if people don''t like Ricardo''s weekly reports then they''ve probably learnt not to read them.

I do like Ricardo''s reports and as I can''t go to games currently due to work and a self-imposed exile (I went to both the Colchester game and the Brentford away and seen all three games on TV) where Norwich only seem to loose when I''m there reprots of fellow fans who do go to the games are extremly valuable as there''s only so much about the games you can learn from highlights and Radio broadcasts.

Davo

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[quote user="Davo"]

[quote user="Facebook Sam"]Am I the only one who doesn''t like this write up?[/quote]

I wouldn''t say your the only one but I would say that if people don''t like Ricardo''s weekly reports then they''ve probably learnt not to read them.

I do like Ricardo''s reports and as I can''t go to games currently due to work and a self-imposed exile (I went to both the Colchester game and the Brentford away and seen all three games on TV) where Norwich only seem to loose when I''m there reprots of fellow fans who do go to the games are extremly valuable as there''s only so much about the games you can learn from highlights and Radio broadcasts.

Davo

[/quote]

Thanks Davo.

I hope its of some interest to those who are unable to attend and a focal point for argument for those who disagree with my short analysis.

If you don''t like my reports don''t bother to read ''em,.

Simple!

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I like the way the other players made a point of passing the ball out to Francombe as much as possible to settle him in, he looked ok for me and he has something that we could work on.

As for Drury, I thought he was good again, he is beginning to get back to his ususal self, he is attacking more than he used to, maybe because he doesn''t have Hucks in front of him and can do it, his crossing is getting better too.

Good to have him back.

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