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Yorkshire  Canary

Upsides and Downsides 2 games in

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Overall i have been very pleased with the first 2 performances and 2 points is ok albeit only wins are going to keep us up and we need one every 3 or 4 games on average.

Most of the squad that i have seen have settled very well although there are a few who show early signs of finding it difficult to come up a notch

Russell Martin one of our best players last year had an absolute stinker at wigan and has already lost his place

Andrew Surman Struggled at Wolves which is why they sold him. Look fine last year but was very poor v Wigan. When he came on as sub yesterday he hardly touched the ball

Fox I had and still do have high hopes for him but was poor at Wigan, not helped though by the early booking.Lost his place yesterday an a tactical move

many games to come and opportunities to improve though

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Was going to start a similar thread asking if people are now more or less confident that we will stay up in comparison with two weeks ago. For me:

POSITIVES

We have more than held our own in the two games so far.

Bennett, Pilkington, Morrison, Naughton and De Laet have shown enough to suggest they can handle it at this level. Johnson was ok as well by all accounts.

The team still seems to have the same level of commitment and spirit as last season.

We are unbeaten.

Lambert has shown he retains his ability to mix up the tactics and get results.

NEGATIVES

If we are going to stay up we really need to be taking three points from games like yesterday.

It is already apparent that we are going to get f**k all from referees again this season (other than constant dubious decisions against us) and we haven''t even played a big team yet.

It is apparent that even the sh*tter prem teams such as Wigan and Stoke (i don''t care whatyou say about them being establsied this is Stoke we are talking about) havesome very good players we will struggle to contain.

I am still not sure Lambert knows what his best side is.

For me we still look a bit too open. We have not been second best in either game played so far yet in both games the opposition have still had quite a few clear cut chances. We will not continue to get away with this against better/more clinical opposition.

Overall for me I think its been a bit of a reality check. There really are not going to be any easy games and even against the weaker teams we are going to have to be at our best to get results. We really must pick up some wins out of these first half a dozen home games or its going to be very hard. However, I think the first two games have shown promising signs. We have the players to hurt teams at this level and I think that as the players gel further an their confidence increases we will start to pick up the wins that will give us a decent chance of establishing ourselves at this level.

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Positives;

Lambert has shown he will mix things up and isn''t a one-trick pony with the diamond formation.

Ruddy has looked solid in both the games

De Laet is a Premier League quality defender

Pilkington and Bennett both looked better than wingers with no experience above League One

 

Negatives;

Of all the away games this year Wigan is going to be one of the easiest, and out of all the home games Stoke is going to be one of the easiest - to come away with only 2 points might prove to be massive.

Although Norwich have played lots of good football and looked the part at times - very few chances have been created over the two games. I think we only managed one shot inside the box from open play.

With Whitbread and Ward injured and Barnett suspended we are already down to our 5 choice centre back.

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The obvious positive is that, overall, we have competed on the pitch during the first two games and, at times, played some nice football. If we are going to survive this season, however, our manager and coaches have to jump on weaknesses and deal with them quickly. I''ll give you two examples from the Stoke match. Barnett was a liability yesterday long before the incorrect penalty call. Even during a decent Norwich first half Barnett on numerous occasions either hoofed the ball or cleared directly to the opposition. With respect to the bad call Barnett''s error was allowing the ball to bounce and being indecisive in a critical area. That type of defensive error will get punished more often than not in many games this season.  Now let me switch to Jackson, who was only on the pitch for five minutes or so. During that time observe that Norwich kicked the ball long on at least a couple of occasions for a fresh Jackson to chase down. In the first instance he was the first man to the ball but failed to control it ( or even put it into touch to keep Stoke deep in their end ) and it went for a goal kick. On subsequent occasions Jackson did not look like he was going at full pace to beat the Stoke man to the ball. I realise it sounds harsh but Jackson had five minutes to do his job which was essential to the cause, and he didn''t do it.

 

We all realise we will have a difficult time this season getting wins from the top half dozen teams or so. This means there are 26 other games where we have to get at least 9 or 10 wins from if we are to have a decent chance of surviving. Therefore, when we are in a position to get the win ( as we were yesterday ) we absolutely cannot afford to let it slip away because of a failure on the part of any individual to do the job. I am certain that Lambert and his coaches will be reviewing those examples with the squad.   

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[quote user="YankeeCanary"]

The obvious positive is that, overall, we have competed on the pitch during the first two games and, at times, played some nice football. If we are going to survive this season, however, our manager and coaches have to jump on weaknesses and deal with them quickly. I''ll give you two examples from the Stoke match. Barnett was a liability yesterday long before the incorrect penalty call. Even during a decent Norwich first half Barnett on numerous occasions either hoofed the ball or cleared directly to the opposition. With respect to the bad call Barnett''s error was allowing the ball to bounce and being indecisive in a critical area. That type of defensive error will get punished more often than not in many games this season.  Now let me switch to Jackson, who was only on the pitch for five minutes or so. During that time observe that Norwich kicked the ball long on at least a couple of occasions for a fresh Jackson to chase down. In the first instance he was the first man to the ball but failed to control it ( or even put it into touch to keep Stoke deep in their end ) and it went for a goal kick. On subsequent occasions Jackson did not look like he was going at full pace to beat the Stoke man to the ball. I realise it sounds harsh but Jackson had five minutes to do his job which was essential to the cause, and he didn''t do it.

 

We all realise we will have a difficult time this season getting wins from the top half dozen teams or so. This means there are 26 other games where we have to get at least 9 or 10 wins from if we are to have a decent chance of surviving. Therefore, when we are in a position to get the win ( as we were yesterday ) we absolutely cannot afford to let it slip away because of a failure on the part of any individual to do the job. I am certain that Lambert and his coaches will be reviewing those examples with the squad.   

[/quote]

Completly agree with that, glad I wasn''t the only person to make that observation. He came on yesterday with only a few minutes left on the clock, he wouldn''t have been tired and should have been doing his all to chase them balls down to pressurise the Stoke defence, but at times he displayed more of brisk jog instead of the pace he is known for, and like you say - why he didn''t just kick the ball out for a throw in by their corner flag instead of letting the ball roll of out for a goal kick, I do not know, he just seemed to give up. I have always been a supporter of Jackson but I was dissapointed with him yesterday.

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Having only seen a few minutes here and there of dodgy streams watched from behind the sofa I''m not really in a position to comment on specifics. However I think there is a general comparison that can be made between 2004-05 and now.

 

Then we tended to play the same way tactically. Because we didn''t have that many options in the squad or because Worthington was tactically limited as a manager? Probably a combination of the two.

 

By contrast, it was obvious in the summer that Lambert was getting in players with alternative systems to the diamond in mind. And already, just two games in, he has started with different systems. And not been afraid to drop high-profile players (Hoolahan, for example) as a result.

 

I believe Worthington''s tactical limitations cost us points last time (I can specifically think of the home 1-1 draw against a 10-man Blackburn). This time Lambert may not get his changes of system right all the time, but it looks like he will be more tactically more creative. So that qualifies an an upside.

 

 

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We have played two of the weaker sides already , Stokes away form is poor and coming off a Thursday night away game in Europe this really should have been 3 points .For me we look very strong in midfield but you always get the impression we will concede goals at the back and for the life of me i cannot see who is going to score the goals to keep us up , my main hopes are Morison and Vaughn as i do not see Holt ,Martin or Jackson banging too many in .All in all its not a terrible start 2 points from 6 and unbeaten , but if my memory serves me well its very much how we started our last top flight campaign, lots of plucky draws but no wins and things did not get much better then untill we signed a £3 million striker , how much would an Ashton type striker cost nowadays ? Shane Long type money i would guess.

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