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Yobocop

Just back from Stevenage

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Not the best of games...but you come to expect that from pre-season.

Decent players for me were - Wes Hoolahan, Fox, Crofts, Nelson and Drury, Ruddy and Steer

Players who didn''t play so well - Surman, Jackson (early days) R Martin.

Stevenage looked good for the draw and will definitely stay up next season, as for Norwich well its hard to tell really, We''ll miss Grant Holt when he isn''t playing and haven''t really got a replacement for him.

The highlight of the evening was Lambert making 9 substitutes in 1 go.

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This sounded a bit of a ''dog with fleas'' tonight?. Why do we do it to ourselves every pre-season?, we excitedly anticipate seeing new signings and some good games after a long summer and invariably end up dissappointed.........and yes I''m going to Dagenham & Redbridge on Thursday night!

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They just used it as a fitness exercise really hence all the changes in the 2nd half in one go.

I know its only a friendly but I am worried we will be reliant on Grant Holt when he isn''t playing, maybe this is what Lambert was trying to prove tonight?

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[quote user="Brian Badonde I "]They just used it as a fitness exercise really hence all the changes in the 2nd half in one go. I know its only a friendly but I am worried we will be reliant on Grant Holt when he isn''t playing, maybe this is what Lambert was trying to prove tonight?[/quote]

How can we be reliant on Holt when he isn''t playing?  He isn''t playing so....  And Lambert was trying to prove.... that we do rely on him or what you saying?  bah booo

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Not the best pre-season friendly I''ve ever seen, but by no means the worst. Loads of City passing in the first half, but not too much end product. Nelson hit the post from a corner and Jackson had a good shot saved. Fox looks a very tidy player. Ruddy saved a pen after one of their players was fouled by Drury (I think). After the mega-sub-a-thon the game was a bit disjointed, but quite end to end. Steer made a fab double save with ten minutes to go.

Overall it was an even-ish game. We missed Holt up front again, let''s hope he''s not injured.

Stevenage were a huge team. All six-footers apart from their No8 who looked a very tidy player.

The away end was just under half full, a very good away turnout for a midweek friendly. Bumped into loads of old faces, and good to see City in action again. Looking forward to going to ''Nam on Thursday.

 

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Hooleyfan..do you have ''Hooleyfan'' printed on your shirt..if so we were sitting behind you this evening...

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Thought Korey looked a cut above, but didn''t have anyone making the runs for him to pass to. Oli looked well out of it.Stevenage looked very tidy, should be OK in League 2.

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I thought Jackson looked sharp but always difficult to assess in one half when kicking towards the far goal.

Boy do we miss Holt and I have to say I too thought is this Lambert making a point to the board. No, silly even thinking that......!

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Friendlies have never ever given us a true vision of how a team will play in the league. So, if you''re already starting to have doubts please don''t base them on what you see in a friendly.They mean nothing! :D

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I wonder how much of this was assessing our "Plan B" midfield and if they are too lightweight. Which people seem to think is. Also Whitbread didn''t cover himself in glory again so maybe he''s being shown why he''ll play 3rd behind Ward and Nelson.

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[quote user="Depraved"]Friendlies have never ever given us a true vision of how a team will play in the league. So, if you''re already starting to have doubts please don''t base them on what you see in a friendly.They mean nothing! :D[/quote]

Agreed, you can''t read much into pre season, its just really to build fitness and team spirit and bed in new players

didn''t we win all but one of our pre-season games last year......perfect preparation for the first match of the season you would think!!!

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[quote user="jed exodous"]

[quote user="Brian Badonde I "]They just used it as a fitness exercise really hence all the changes in the 2nd half in one go. I know its only a friendly but I am worried we will be reliant on Grant Holt when he isn''t playing, maybe this is what Lambert was trying to prove tonight?[/quote]

How can we be reliant on Holt when he isn''t playing?  He isn''t playing so....  And Lambert was trying to prove.... that we do rely on him or what you saying?  bah booo

[/quote]

I think it was pretty obvious what he was saying.

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A pleasant evening at a friendly club with an excellent pitch. Stevenage look like they will do well in League 2, and played a good passing game.

As difficult as it is to tell from a friendly how we will do when we get around to the serious stuff the positives for me were that Ruddy looked excellent, Jackson has got pace, takes up good postitions and has an eye for goal, and Fox was a good playmaker with some penetrating passes. The likes of Nelson, Drury and Smith put in good performances as seen last season.

I am sure the rest have the potential to work up their games to the required levels and that the coaching staff will have learnt a lot from the game. Lets hope that Ward, Steve Smith, Holt and Askou will soon be playing.

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Bit confused about some of the reviews i''m reading on here re Surman as my mates who went last night said he looked a call above and looks a great signing.

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[quote user="Muddy funster"]I wonder how much of this was assessing our "Plan B" midfield and if they are too lightweight. Which people seem to think is. Also Whitbread didn''t cover himself in glory again so maybe he''s being shown why he''ll play 3rd behind Ward and Nelson.[/quote]

 

I would have thought that was our Plan A midfield in the first half last night? Also did Whitbread not cover himself in glory? He obviously gave the pen away but not seen any comments on his general performance.

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[quote user="Jim Smith"]

[quote user="Muddy funster"]I wonder how much of this was assessing our "Plan B" midfield and if they are too lightweight. Which people seem to think is. Also Whitbread didn''t cover himself in glory again so maybe he''s being shown why he''ll play 3rd behind Ward and Nelson.[/quote]

 

I would have thought that was our Plan A midfield in the first half last night? Also did Whitbread not cover himself in glory? He obviously gave the pen away but not seen any comments on his general performance.

[/quote]

I would have thought that would have been our Plan A midfield to and I can''t say I''m happy with it.  No Korey Smith.  If that is our Plan A midfield then how harsh is it to drop Korey?  Korey showed us last season he was a class and a half above League 1 and has real potential.  I think he was our best midfielder last season as I wouldn''t class Hoolahan as a midfielder.  If he dosn''t start the against Watford then that is Lambert''s first big error IMO.

I know I shouldn''t read much into it but this has worried me as he also didn''t start against Dereham.

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Sorry Jim, didn''t mean the personnel, just the formation. As for Whitbread, I did assume because of the penalty and several dangerous free kicks my mate said he was giving away. Not another Doc wrestler is he? I have an open mind about Zac however

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[quote user="Boyo"][quote user="Jim Smith"]

[quote user="Muddy funster"]I wonder how much of this was assessing our "Plan B" midfield and if they are too lightweight. Which people seem to think is. Also Whitbread didn''t cover himself in glory again so maybe he''s being shown why he''ll play 3rd behind Ward and Nelson.[/quote]

 

I would have thought that was our Plan A midfield in the first half last night? Also did Whitbread not cover himself in glory? He obviously gave the pen away but not seen any comments on his general performance.

[/quote]

I would have thought that would have been our Plan A midfield to and I can''t say I''m happy with it.  No Korey Smith.  If that is our Plan A midfield then how harsh is it to drop Korey?  Korey showed us last season he was a class and a half above League 1 and has real potential.  I think he was our best midfielder last season as I wouldn''t class Hoolahan as a midfielder.  If he dosn''t start the against Watford then that is Lambert''s first big error IMO.

I know I shouldn''t read much into it but this has worried me as he also didn''t start against Dereham.

[/quote]Lol, don''t read anything into it then!I doubt we''ll even know what our team for Watford is, even after the Newcastle and Everton games.

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A few random thoughts:Excellent pitch. No excuses there.Ruddy is bloody huge. Looked even bigger further away (!). Very strong & agile - smacked a well-taken free kick out into touch. Kicking awful though (overhit/misdirected passes a Norwich problem throughout).Whitbread certainly not wrestling. Just didn''t look very inspiring - got outmuscled a lot.Nelson just what you''d expect. A lot of the ball went to him (not necessarily a good thing).R. Martin''s body language nervous. Stevenage LM frequently waltzed round him; bit of a worry.Drury class.Eyes not what they used to be, so couldn''t really too much of the MF/forward stuff first half. Got the impression Jackson was quick, though, & couldn''t miss Wes working his socks off - somebody else of a similar stamp looked pretty useful too. MF got completely overrun at times.Second half obviously saw more of the attack. Oli well off the pace - is he really better than Cody?Korey the real deal. Looked by far the player with most potential, like a raw version of Tevez. Needs the right coaching (& players to play alongside!).Tudur-Jones another huge player; appeared stately & self-assured. Don''t know if he was any good though.Pretty meaningless game as to future form really. Some signs of decent flowing moves occasionally, but obvious that most of them didn''t know each other''s game very well. Stevenage obviously much more together as a team; I think they could do rather well in L2.Excellent support (especially for £18!!!) &  a fair bit of noise, although you could tell nobody was taking it very seriously. Stevenage suporters were really getting into it, especially when the drummer got going.And many apologies to the lady I (nearly) kicked when waving a leg in the vague direction of a passing ball!

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[quote user="Hooleyfan"]Cant believe they charged us £18 tonight[/quote]

A City fan I know went into the Home area for £ 12 and saw lots of familiar faces - when challenged said he had travelled over from Cambridge

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[quote user="Jim Smith"]Bit confused about some of the reviews i''m reading on here re Surman as my mates who went last night said he looked a call above and looks a great signing.[/quote]

He was ok Jim,but nothing fantastic,the similar feeling  i had for Jackson.Neither stood out but it''s still early days.

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[quote user="ron obvious"]A few random thoughts:Excellent pitch. No excuses there.Ruddy is bloody huge. Looked even bigger further away (!). Very strong & agile - smacked a well-taken free kick out into touch. Kicking awful though (overhit/misdirected passes a Norwich problem throughout).Whitbread certainly not wrestling. Just didn''t look very inspiring - got outmuscled a lot.Nelson just what you''d expect. A lot of the ball went to him (not necessarily a good thing).R. Martin''s body language nervous. Stevenage LM frequently waltzed round him; bit of a worry.Drury class.Eyes not what they used to be, so couldn''t really too much of the MF/forward stuff first half. Got the impression Jackson was quick, though, & couldn''t miss Wes working his socks off - somebody else of a similar stamp looked pretty useful too. MF got completely overrun at times.Second half obviously saw more of the attack. Oli well off the pace - is he really better than Cody?Korey the real deal. Looked by far the player with most potential, like a raw version of Tevez. Needs the right coaching (& players to play alongside!).Tudur-Jones another huge player; appeared stately & self-assured. Don''t know if he was any good though.Pretty meaningless game as to future form really. Some signs of decent flowing moves occasionally, but obvious that most of them didn''t know each other''s game very well. Stevenage obviously much more together as a team; I think they could do rather well in L2.Excellent support (especially for £18!!!) &  a fair bit of noise, although you could tell nobody was taking it very seriously. Stevenage suporters were really getting into it, especially when the drummer got going.And many apologies to the lady I (nearly) kicked when waving a leg in the vague direction of a passing ball![/quote]Didn''t go Ron, but I like your summary for its honesty and humour, and because I agree with you on some general points! Particularly about Korey Smith, who I think is the one player of lasting solid potential that our youth system has produced since Bellars. R Martin - I''ve always thought his body language looks dodgy, usually lacking in the confidence to make a crucial challenge.Oli - loads of raw talent, but almost no footballing nous. I really hope that he and the coaches put the effort in, because he could be a great player. I think...The Admiral - you''ve got to admire him for his total commitment and guts last season, but to be honest he was well back in the queue for talent. I really hope he doesn''t come unstuck this season and end up crucified by the fans, after what he did for us last season.Drury - a true NCFC legend. Has had a very few bad games over the years, but he''s always given it everything.Good luck Stevenage - fly the flag for good football in L2.

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A quick question.Has Wes bulked up a bit?Or is he carrying a bit of summer weight.Or is it ''cos i only see him from the upper Barclay,that he is stockier than i realised?

 

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Jim, I can confirm that as far as I was concerned Surman looks a class act. Yes he did get caught with the ball once early in the first half but as everyone is saying it is difficult assessing players in these pre season friendlies

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