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Buncey

Poor football once again

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I''m not a negative poster. I would like to think that over the years I have been one of the more positive on here. But I found today really taxing. In fact, I''ve felt the whole season difficult. There is no doubt for me that we have matured as a team under Hughton. We are more professional and defend far better. I also think we will comfortably stay up. But the way we are doing it is just now too much for me. We were poor today. Thankfully QPR were worse. However,wWe still needed some fortune to hold on to a (really unnecessarily hard) point today. Lambert''s football certainly spoilt us. But surely there is an alternative to the ponderous, slow and negative football we are playing now. Johnson was fantastic today (I am often a, probably harsh, detractor) but he still only made 63% of his passing. His team-mates gave the ball away even more. The excitement of city attacks has ebbed away to a frustration in our inability to pass the ball more than 5 yards. I am sure some of the lovely older bors have gone through this melancholy before. Plenty of times. But after 12 years of being a season ticket holder, I just don''t have the inclination any more. I can barely afford the ludicrously high prices (although I''m sure there are many willing replacements). And I can''t bare the fortnightly torture (financially) of our rail services knowing the dross at the other end of the line.Sure we didn''t lose today, but what''s the point? We''ll go into another game next week trying not to lose. And then the week after. Ad infinitum. For what? So we can end the season as not one of the worst three teams (deliberate phrasing). So we can be not quite as shite as QPR''s mercenary misfits? 

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We were truely spoilt under Lambert - but in style, did tend to look like a plucky Championship side. Under Hughton we look better imho, but his tactical inflexibility and caution wrt substitutions (and all that they can bring in terms of renewed vigor/impetus/momentum) is ''doing my head in''.Simply put, under Lambert everyone (including the opposition) knew that we were a threat to the final whistle. Under Hughton, you can sense almost the opposite as the game progresses. I liked Lambert''s policy of recruiting captains, and teams do tend to take on the characteristics of their managers. I really like CH and feel we''ve moved forwards in terms of quality, but he needs to wake up to what bringing on three fresh players can do for a team ...otherwise we are at an immediate disadvantage to any opposition manager who has grasped this

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It''s certainly not pretty away from home but it''s clear that our policy is to set up hard to beat and hope to use our set pieces delivery to nick goals. Having said that, it was widely reported as an exciting game today so perhaps the criticism is a little harsh.

At home I''d say we are more expansive and I think the way we''ve played at home against Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City and Spurs were excellent, entertaining games so I think the stereotype is a little harsh.

It''s all about substance for us this year. Stay up and we will have a real war chest for next season and that may allow us to recruit more flair.

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For the neutral it was no doubt an exciting game. But it was frustrating to see us having to hold on against a clearly inferior team. Hughton has taken us on leaps and bounds. Most obviously seen in the difference between Bassong, Turner and Garrido compared to Barnett, Bennett and Tierney!It is so disappointing that we can repeat the high-tempo pressing games we had against Man U and Arsenal. Even against Spurs we managed it for the first half and slowly reverted back to the ultra-defensive clinging on. I''m probably being too demanding given we were holding a lead against a top team. But I think we all knew that holding on for 45 minutes wasn''t going to be possible.The trouble is, as pointed out above, all the teams are trying to hold on and not get relegated. Thankfully we aren''t as desperate as say Stoke (that would drive me to despair!). But it just means that every year teams will spend more and more to stay up. Ultimately the odds are stacked against us when our rivals have bigger budgets to spend (waste). We just have to keep hoping that QPR and others keep buying rubbish!!(p.s. I long for the days of Crook!!)

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Hughton''s defend first tactics could work if we could counter attack, to do this we need speed in the offensive players Snodgrass, Holt and Wes don''t have it.

Until we do we''ll always look to hold on and "nick" one. 

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Watching the game today I was struck by how slow our players are, in all areas. Running speed, speed of thought (excepting Hoolahan and Snodgrass), number of touches required before passing, and speed at which the ball is hit when passing.

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Those are the fine margins Wiz. Equally this message board would be unbearable if Bunn hadn''t made some saves. I would rather not have to worry about those margins at all against QPR...And Mr. Kingsway. Is there a need for the insults? I would like to hear your thoughts on the game today. I thought a bad QPR team were there for the taking. It was a great opportunity for a much needed win. I am convinced that if we pushed QPR they would have broken. Our game plan was poor and that was reflected in our inability to keep the ball in the second half.

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kingsway wrote the following post at 02/02/2013 11:50 PM:

I lost interest in the 1st post on this thread when the numpty said we were poor!

If I were you I would take off the yellow and green tinted glasses. We were excruciatingly poor, and but for Bunn would have lost the game. We were extremely negative once again in attacking formation, with Holt up top on his own. Again for long periods we resorted to hoof ball, particularly in the second half when we sat deeper and deeper. It was crying out for support for Holt in an attempt to hold the ball up front to take the pressure off midfield, and an overworked defence where Garrido was having a mare. We were so guilty of giving the ball away far too cheaply all over the park. Had the FOUR new players used by QPR been fitter and more sure of Harry''s tactical requirements in their FIRST games forvtheir club,we would have lost the game.

We were more than poor, as we have been since December 18th, so it isn''t just one game we are talking about. We are not doom mongers at all, just supporters looking at the game with realism based on the persistent and negative tactics of Hughton. This time last season we had 35 points, and for the whole season Holt had 18 goals and Morrison 11. The stats do not lie, Holt has scored 4 this season, and Morison left with 1 to his name. There is a reason for that, and it is not that they have become seriously bad players, it is down to the very poor tactics of Hughton at he expense of being negative in attacking innuendo both at home and away. Football is meant to be entertaining, with goals being scored by your team, and seeing your team win. That sadly has happened very little this season!

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[quote user="Fellas"]Those are the fine margins Wiz. Equally this message board would be unbearable if Bunn hadn''t made some saves. I would rather not have to worry about those margins at all against QPR...And Mr. Kingsway. Is there a need for the insults? I would like to hear your thoughts on the game today. I thought a bad QPR team were there for the taking. It was a great opportunity for a much needed win. I am convinced that if we pushed QPR they would have broken. Our game plan was poor and that was reflected in our inability to keep the ball in the second half. [/quote]It seems Hughton is tactically poor and just an adequate replace for the previous management.  

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Certain teams make you play in a less entertaining fashion though e.g Stoke. I felt that yesterday''s game with QPR was one of those games. Lots of energy from both teams and chasing, but also plenty of Sunday League touches/harrying and a cr*p pitch making things worse.

 

Away from home we are certainly more defensive, but in all honesty I don''t mind that this season as I see the benefit of being harder to break down and trying to nick a goal. On the whole it probably evens itself out compared to playing really attacking football - this season seems similar to last season in terms of points and results, but I expect us to get to half-time without being 1 or 2 down this season whereas last season I expected us to be chasing a lot of games early on.

 

Either way I''m happy with CH and I think his appointment has been very shrewd. I''m glad that McNally identified him early when there was a worry about PL leaving. We may not score 3 or 4 goals per game, but we''re not conceding loads when we have our full strength team out either. We''ve beaten Man U this season, which we didn''t do last season (though we came close) and we''ve beaten the Arse, which we couldn''t do last season. So there''s positives and negatives to both styles and I rate both managers highly, but I''m just happy we have CH to carry on the good work and with the club keeping the same principles (though plenty of dribbling moaners bang on about not spending £10m+ on players like it''s a game of FIFA and we have unlimited money)

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Beefy is a legend wrote the following post at 03/02/2013 1:38 AM:

For such a bad manager, he''s performed miracles in getting 28 points, having us well above the drop zone, with one of the smallest wage and transfer budgets in the league.

So that would make the previous encumbment the messiah with 35 points at the same stage of the season with an even smaller wage budget, and compared to what Hughton had, a minuscule transfer budget. And yet I was entertained by the former''s teams and tactics and brand of football, but I certainly am not and have not been at all this season with Hughton''s dire defensive tactics.

Next season McNally has given me the privilege to pay even more for this ''entertainment''

Perhaps he himself could ''brief'' the manager that football is supposed to be part if the ''entertainment'' business, where I go to an NCFC match with high hopes of seeing us 1) win, 2) scoring goals and 3) most of all doing it in style with high tempo, fast flowing, passing and movement football.

Alas under the stewardship of Hughton, and after watching NCFC for 55 years, that is not going to happen, and he is fast taking us back to the scraping the barrel days of Rioch, Grant, Roeder and Gunn.

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Sorry but I don''t buy this.

Hughton seems to be quite clear that apart from a few players he doesn''t fancy the squad he inherited from PL...incidentally I think Lambert probably was well aware that those players would struggle in the difficult second season - I suspect that as much as anything guided his decision to leave for Villa.

CH is strengthening the squad - any problem with the signings of Bassong, Turner, Bunn, Snodgrass? But in the meantime he must keep us in this division this season - so he uses the system he thinks might do that. I can cope with that. Seems to be working so far.

Everyone seems to agree that sourcing high-quality premiership strikers is the most difficult thing to do on a budget like ours, so I will happily see us stay up with this style and wait for his attacking signings to arrive and be hopefully as good as his defensive ones seem to have been.

All that matters this season is consolidation. After that CH can start to build his side. Although I do wish he would take Holt off once its clear that after working so hard for an hour he''s knackered!

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Surely the main factor in our performances last season was that we had absolutely nothing to lose.

Everybody expected us to go down. Our star player was an ex tyre-fitter from the conference who might get a few goals if he got lucky.

We were years ahead of McNally''s ''plan'', so the management were content with our progress.

I reckon, as long as we had a bash at it, nearly all of us would have shrugged our shoulders & got on with supporting the team in the Championship.

So we played with a huge amount of freedom, great self-belief, & a manager who had achieved successive promotions; don''t forget we were an unknown quantity to the opposition as well & I think we surprised a few of them. It was all a bit of a fairy tale really.

This year it''s different. We have something to lose. Relegation would be viewed in a completely different light.

I also think it''s one of the reasons Lambert left. The approach we had last year was unlikely to work again; he calculated, with greater resources & a bigger ''pulling power'' for players, his chances were better at Villa.

So this year we''re basically hanging on for grim death & grinding out results wherever we can.

Hughton''s the man for that job

He is also the man to improve the squad on a SENSIBLE budget. Next year we should have a bigger one; note we are still apparently after Van Wolfswinkel, even though they''re asking 20m euros for him.

Be patient. This year''s one for consolidation & a different sort of bravery.

Per ardua ad astra!

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["City 2nd"] If I were you I would take off the yellow and green tinted glasses. We were excruciatingly poor, and but for Bunn would have lost the game. We were extremely negative once again in attacking formation, with Holt up top on his own. Again for long periods we resorted to hoof ball, particularly in the second half when we sat deeper and deeper. It was crying out for support for Holt in an attempt to hold the ball up front to take the pressure off midfield, and an overworked defence where Garrido was having a mare. We were so guilty of giving the ball away far too cheaply all over the park. Had the FOUR new players used by QPR been fitter and more sure of Harry''s tactical requirements in their FIRST games forvtheir club,we would have lost the game. We were more than poor, as we have been since December 18th, so it isn''t just one game we are talking about. We are not doom mongers at all, just supporters looking at the game with realism based on the persistent and negative tactics of Hughton. This time last season we had 35 points, and for the whole season Holt had 18 goals and Morrison 11. The stats do not lie, Holt has scored 4 this season, and Morison left with 1 to his name. There is a reason for that, and it is not that they have become seriously bad players, it is down to the very poor tactics of Hughton at he expense of being negative in attacking innuendo both at home and away. Football is meant to be entertaining, with goals being scored by your team, and seeing your team win. That sadly has happened very little this season!

 

 

No I consider myself a realist!

 

We wern''t excruciatingly poor, yes we wern''t great but we got a valuable point against a team that I predict won''t drop many points at home from now on and so far haven''t lost this year playing against better teams than us!

 

I think with Becchio we need to try two upfront but have to keep the mostly very effective Hoolahan in the team which means the diamond!

 

We had to get more defensive this season and in most games we have been, unfortunately this hasbeen at the expense of our attacking impetus. 

Finishing 4th from bottom this season will be job done irrelevent of where we finished last season, anything higher will be a bonus.

 

I very much doubt we''d of been any better off with the unmentionable in charge and his more attacking policy. Indeed I suspect its very likely we''d of been lower in the table. For me I suspect part of his thinking in leaving was thinking he''d taken us as far as he could?

 

We''re more than capable of getting 4+ more wins this season!

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[quote user="City 2nd"]Beefy is a legend wrote the following post at 03/02/2013 1:38 AM: For such a bad manager, he''s performed miracles in getting 28 points, having us well above the drop zone, with one of the smallest wage and transfer budgets in the league. So that would make the previous encumbment the messiah with 35 points at the same stage of the season with an even smaller wage budget, and compared to what Hughton had, a minuscule transfer budget. And yet I was entertained by the former''s teams and tactics and brand of football, but I certainly am not and have not been at all this season with Hughton''s dire defensive tactics. Next season McNally has given me the privilege to pay even more for this ''entertainment'' Perhaps he himself could ''brief'' the manager that football is supposed to be part if the ''entertainment'' business, where I go to an NCFC match with high hopes of seeing us 1) win, 2) scoring goals and 3) most of all doing it in style with high tempo, fast flowing, passing and movement football. Alas under the stewardship of Hughton, and after watching NCFC for 55 years, that is not going to happen, and he is fast taking us back to the scraping the barrel days of Rioch, Grant, Roeder and Gunn.[/quote]

 

But is it? Football is a professional sport, and THE aim in professional sport is to win by any fair means. I would be prepared to bet a fair bit that the average fan at Carrow Road would take 19 1-0 wins over 19 3-3 draws any day. Granted, so far we have (I assume - I haven''t checked) won fewer games than at this stage last season, but, as other posters have said, there are reasons for that. I don''t think there is any doubt that there are fewer weak teams around us in our relegation struggle this season than last. No-one so badly in decline as were Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves.

Added to which, it depends what you regard as entertaining. The 1-0 win against Arsenal was one of the most entertaining and enthralling games I''ve seen in my 55 years at Carrow Road. I was absolutely gripped by the tactical battle and the brilliance of our defensive display, not to mention the baffling sight of Wenger using star German striker Podolski as a workhouse left-sided midfielder. Give me that over some mistake-ridden MTV-generation goalfest "thriller" any day.

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Absolutely spot-on! The team did outperform expectations last season, and Lambert did a great job motivating them to do so. Anyone pining for Lambert''s tactical ability would do well to watch the last 20 minutes of the Bradford match - no formation, no system, just desperation and lump it forward.

Hughton has the tactical nous to keep us in this league this season...then it is time to build. I expect a busy summer

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Killiecanary, if we stay up this season (which I think we will) it is certainly nothing to do with Hughton''s tactical nous!I could set-up a team and say to them ''go out and defend for your lives lads'' which is basically our only tactic.  Yesterday was a decent point in my book but I felt we were very lucky to get it.As the game went on, we sat deeper and deeper and yet again Hughton had no idea what changes to make to influence the game.  At one point in the 2nd half, QPR were completely out playing us and we were simply playing hoof ball to no-one because everyone was back defending. A manager with any kind of tactical nous would be able to identify this and change the personnel and/or tactics accordingly. It was exactly the same against Spurs when Tettey and Johnson spent most of the 2nd half camped just outside of our box (possibly due to a bit of tiredness).  Inevitably, due to the better players available, Spurs scored whereas QPR didn''t (although we really have Bunn to thank for that, not Hughton).Clearly in both games, changes were needed (even if it simply to get fresh legs on) but Hughton had no idea what to do.  This is reminiscent of our entire season.  Never have we gone behind in a league game and come back to win or even looked like it.Hughton has a solid and reasonably effective (but dull) plan A but is possibly the least savvy and tactically limited manager I''ve ever seen at Norwich.

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[quote user="Clint"]Killiecanary, if we stay up this season (which I think we will) it is certainly nothing to do with Hughton''s tactical nous!

I could set-up a team and say to them ''go out and defend for your lives lads'' which is basically our only tactic.  Yesterday was a decent point in my book but I felt we were very lucky to get it.

As the game went on, we sat deeper and deeper and yet again Hughton had no idea what changes to make to influence the game.  At one point in the 2nd half, QPR were completely out playing us and we were simply playing hoof ball to no-one because everyone was back defending. A manager with any kind of tactical nous would be able to identify this and change the personnel and/or tactics accordingly. It was exactly the same against Spurs when Tettey and Johnson spent most of the 2nd half camped just outside of our box (possibly due to a bit of tiredness).  Inevitably, due to the better players available, Spurs scored whereas QPR didn''t (although we really have Bunn to thank for that, not Hughton).

Clearly in both games, changes were needed (even if it simply to get fresh legs on) but Hughton had no idea what to do.  This is reminiscent of our entire season.  Never have we gone behind in a league game and come back to win or even looked like it.

Hughton has a solid and reasonably effective (but dull) plan A but is possibly the least savvy and tactically limited manager I''ve ever seen at Norwich.


[/quote]

I am not trying to clever. This is a genuine question from someone who didn''t see the game. What changes - given the squad we have, with its obvious limitations that were not addressed in January - should he have made?

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Thats fair comment Purple, I''d have certainly brought Becchio on with more than 4 mins to go so at least we had an ''out'' ball - I thought he did well in the short time he was on the pitch but what can you really expect him to do in that time?We just kept giving the ball away as well so perhaps, someone who would help with ball retention?I''m not the manager and don''t get paid the rediculous sums of money that Hughton earns for supposedly having the answers to these questions!

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[quote user="Clint"]Thats fair comment Purple, I''d have certainly brought Becchio on with more than 4 mins to go so at least we had an ''out'' ball - I thought he did well in the short time he was on the pitch but what can you really expect him to do in that time?

We just kept giving the ball away as well so perhaps, someone who would help with ball retention?

I''m not the manager and don''t get paid the rediculous sums of money that Hughton earns for supposedly having the answers to these questions!
[/quote]

 

Clint, I think that is the problem. We don''t have that kind of player in the squad (Howson and Fox being too lightweight). If we stay up, to be rectified in the summer I hope!

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Purple, I don''t disagree but we have a vast amount of midfielders, surely if Hughton is only ever really going to use 2 of them, then what''s the point in having them all?Fox was 3rd in POTS last year and signed a new contract in the summer, as did Surman.  For whatever reason, Howson seems to be half the player he was last season.  Have these players become bad overnight?  Arguably, could a 100% energetic Korey Smith could do a job with 15 mins to go as opposed to a completely knackered Tettey or Johnson?I don''t have the answers but we do have a lot of midfielders who don''t get a look in and if Hughton doesn''t think they are good enough, why has this situation not been addressed in the 2 transfer windows that he''s been manager?  

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People need to remember that Lambert used to change the team and the tactics most weeks. There was a great story about Stoke practicing all week on nullifying Hoolahan, expecting us to play the 4-2-3-1 system, and Lambert dropped him, played 4-4-2 and stuck Crofts and Johnson in the middle of the park. It made it difficult for the opposition to cope, but also made it difficult for the players to get settled.Hughton has tended to stick with the same formations, meaning that the opposition can watch videos of most games and know what to expect. The problem is that currently he doesn''t have the players to mix it up.

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