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Canary02 IV

What is success?

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The current situation at Carrow Road, along with any other issue, polarises opinion. You''re either a "Happy Clappy" or a "Doom Mongerer" at the moment. Of course, most people are neither.

I think there are some universal truths that we all agree on.

1) Chris Hughton is a nice bloke, and is respected by managers and players alike.

2) Whilst we are viewing 4-2-3-1 as a negative formation, the vast majority of Premiership teams are also fielding this formation to varying degrees of success.

3) Hughton is risk averse and sticks by his tactics throughout a game.

Hughton''s tactics are basically what divides opinion. 4-2-3-1 can be used successfully and in an attacking manner but Hughton uses it in a more withdrawn manner with the emphasis on not conceding, keeping games tight and nicking a goal were we can. This can win you points, and it has. This may well be enough to keep us in the Premier League, which was ultimately our target this season anyway.

17th or better was our target. If we achieve this great. But if we''re struggling near the end of the season do we have the manager or the tactics to try and win games and get three point hauls when we need them? Defending with 11 men behind the ball is a different game when you''re in a relegation battle in April and the nerves are jangling. So some people are concerned because of the negativity that the system creates and whether it will be enough to keep us out of the bottom three.

Equally others point out the wins we''ve had against Man Utd and Arsenal to prove that we can win big games and that a manager who can take us 10 games unbeaten can pull us out of the current slump. On the balance of probability a run as bad as ours has been is likely to come to and soon.

The conflict for me is that just staying up isn''t good enough. I don''t need sparkling Barcelona-esque champagne football. But I need to feel a sense of passion and a willingness to have a go at the opposition. I need to feel that the Premiership is a party that my team have come to as we want to enjoy ourselves and participate. I don''t want to make up the numbers. Just being here is not good enough.

And before I''m called a doom-Mongerer, I''m not calling for Hughton''s head, or for Lambert-like "you score 4, we''ll get 5". I''m not even saying " ditch 4-5-1. Just that I want to be able to have a go at teams and to have enough players forward so that when we have the ball up front we can fashion good chances from open play. If you''re in a fight, self defence is great, but at some point you have to hit back at the person attacking you.

Our current style may keep us up and give us access to the financial rewards of that. But if we then spend next season playing as we do now, I feel myself caring less and less about survival. A big bank balance but a timid team that hides in numbers hoping to keep out of trouble doesn''t make me look forward to Saturdays. And at £30 a game for my season ticket, or worse still £50 a game for a casual fan, is that value for money? The response to the QPR result was that it was a good result because it was an away point. But if the best we hope for from an expensive away trip is defending for our lives praying for a clean sheet and the outside chance of sneaking a goal, are we really competing, or just turning up?

I''d like to know, genuinely in a non-confrontational way, from those who are considered "Happy-Clappy", or "Pro-Hughton" or whatever the current polar term is, whether they would be content with us continuing to play as we are at the moment for the next 18 months if it meant that we finished 17th each time. It would drive me bananas personally, because for me that''s not success, but for a lot of people, I know the end league position is their measure of success. I''d just like to know whether my view is seen as unreasonable or unrealistic.

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In my eyes, Hughton is still working on the team to get the best out of them.    That the defence was a priority, no reasonable fan can deny - and on the whole he has addressed it and improved it, apart from the odd result. 

Although it may appear - to some - that we are just defensive - the stats don''t support this.     But, the  quality is not there yet to make Hughton''s overall strategy apparent.    Hughton has a brief - to take on what he inherited and develop it.   He has not yet had time to fulfil all the criteria.  But he has  made us difficult to beat (most weeks).  

Success for us fans and for Hughton this season  is staying in the premiership.     Success for Hughton next season  will be taking us on to a higher level of achievement - that is - building on the good defensive base that we now have and developing the team in midfield and attack.     Those that cry out for Hughton''s head this season and shout about his approach are just impatient and lack the understanding of the reality of what is happening.    Rome was not built in a day and we are changing from a team that conceded lots of goals to a team that doesn''t concede alot of goals - the attacking strategy will improve as we upgrade players.

But for this season success is staying up.   It will be no mean feat.

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This season is all about staying up. He has shown that he has an eye for a better quality of player than we have been used to. In this regard if we stay up i am optimistic that  in the close season he will bring in 3 or 4 better quality players that will enable us to kick on somewhat and play a more positive type of game. At the moment it is obvious that he is concentrating on grinding out gamesand making us harder to beat. Our first team squad of about 15 can give anyone a game but thereafter we are woe fully short of quality which is why we dip when the regulars are out

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Spot on. I think playing 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1 can be restrictive. The two 0-0''s against Reading and QPR show that we need that extra presence up front. With Fulham, Everton, Southampton and Swansea at home and Sunderland and Wigan away, these are six games that we should be looking to get enough points to reach safety and then push on given how tight it is and how much extra cash there is for each place. We have improved our squad and should be looking to gradually improve. 12th or higher should have been the target this season. After the Wigan game we were 7th with 25 pts from 17 games. To get 15pts from 21 games really shouldn''t really be a struggle and would be a massive screw up if we blow this. I would be worried if we are still in the mix after the Swansea game. Being defensive can nick you good points away or shut outs against the bigger clubs at home but we do have the players to play with a bit more flair and put some of these mediocre sides to bed. The worry is failing to make subs early enough or a failure to have a plan B. We also need to learn how to play Suarez and Bale. We have been hit for 5 three times this season and only scored 4 once in the league. Goals are at a premuim for us. At the end of the day people all want what is best for Norwich which is of course staying in the Premier League but steady progress is the key. I just feel that if we gambled a little in some of the games we wouldn''t be looking so much over our shoulder. Should be be safe this season, is everyone going to set the benchmark next season as 17th?

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Success this season is definitely staying up for me.

As for Hughton I don''t think he can be judged fully until he had had a third transfer window to shape the squad to his liking a bit more. There are to my mind several players in the squad he will move on and replace in the summer and give the squad much more strength in depth.

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[quote user="lake district canary"]In my eyes, Hughton is still working on the team to get the best out of them.    That the defence was a priority, no reasonable fan can deny - and on the whole he has addressed it and improved it, apart from the odd result. 

Although it may appear - to some - that we are just defensive - the stats don''t support this.     But, the  quality is not there yet to make Hughton''s overall strategy apparent.    Hughton has a brief - to take on what he inherited and develop it.   He has not yet had time to fulfil all the criteria.  But he has  made us difficult to beat (most weeks).  

Success for us fans and for Hughton this season  is staying in the premiership.     Success for Hughton next season  will be taking us on to a higher level of achievement - that is - building on the good defensive base that we now have and developing the team in midfield and attack.     Those that cry out for Hughton''s head this season and shout about his approach are just impatient and lack the understanding of the reality of what is happening.    Rome was not built in a day and we are changing from a team that conceded lots of goals to a team that doesn''t concede alot of goals - the attacking strategy will improve as we upgrade players.

But for this season success is staying up.   It will be no mean feat.

[/quote]
Completely agree.  Yes [Y]

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Thanks for considered opinions.

If we stay up, add quality and play with more collective attacking intent next year then we''ll have made progress and I (and I suspect many others) will feel a great deal happier.

Lambert was always going to be a nightmare act to follow, and I really want Hughton to succeed.

My concern is living a lifetime as a worm instead of a day as a lion. I''m not greedy though. I''d settle for a year or two as a house cat!

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Success is winning the league, and every other competition that Norwich City fc enter. So far this season we lost to a beatable Aston Villa team in the Capital One cup at the quarter final stage. Lost in the FA Cup to a non league team who we should have beaten and would now be playing Milwall who are again about beatable team. The league is not too realistic but whats the point in being in the Premier League if all we can do is just try and survive? We should go out to win games and therefore comps not ''to not lose''

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We''re making up the numbers in a league e can''t possibly win (unlike the good old Div 1 days when one could always dare to dream). We hope beyond hope that there are three worse teams than us because dropping out of this league would be a financial disaster - plastics only really want to see manyoo and chelski. And so we start to employ ultra-conservative tactics, rarely if ever trying to take the game to the opposition. We''ve morphed into the new Stoke. The majority if what we are served up is turgid. The only competitions we could possibly win are cups but wecouldn''t possibly field a first string team in vase injury means a player in unavailable for the next Premiership bore-a-thon. All rather depressing.

 

Perhaps sucess might mean a return to exciting games in a competitive league. Like the Championship.

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A really interesting debate. I guess you measure success - ultimately at least - as not being a regular member of the relegation mini-league. Or, alternatively, having the ability to put your strongest team out in a cup competition because you''re not worried about injuries and relegation.

Teams like Stoke and West Brom have made that transition as have our fellow promotees, Swansea. So, in principle, assuming finance is made available, so can we.

Until that point success will be measured by early exit from cups and a plucky 17th.

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[quote user="lake district canary"]In my eyes, Hughton is still working on the team to get the best out of them.    That the defence was a priority, no reasonable fan can deny - and on the whole he has addressed it and improved it, apart from the odd result. 


Although it may appear - to some - that we are just defensive - the stats don''t support this.     But, the  quality is not there yet to make Hughton''s overall strategy apparent.    Hughton has a brief - to take on what he inherited and develop it.   He has not yet had time to fulfil all the criteria.  But he has  made us difficult to beat (most weeks).  


Success for us fans and for Hughton this season  is staying in the premiership.     Success for Hughton next season  will be taking us on to a higher level of achievement - that is - building on the good defensive base that we now have and developing the team in midfield and attack.     Those that cry out for Hughton''s head this season and shout about his approach are just impatient and lack the understanding of the reality of what is happening.    Rome was not built in a day and we are changing from a team that conceded lots of goals to a team that doesn''t concede alot of goals - the attacking strategy will improve as we upgrade players.


But for this season success is staying up.   It will be no mean feat.



[/quote]LDC, I used to say that to the ex wife and her reply was always "well thats because it wasn''t a woman" [:(]

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[quote user="lake district canary"]In my eyes, Hughton is still working on the team to get the best out of them.    That the defence was a priority, no reasonable fan can deny - and on the whole he has addressed it and improved it, apart from the odd result. 

Although it may appear - to some - that we are just defensive - the stats don''t support this.     But, the  quality is not there yet to make Hughton''s overall strategy apparent.    Hughton has a brief - to take on what he inherited and develop it.   He has not yet had time to fulfil all the criteria.  But he has  made us difficult to beat (most weeks).  

Success for us fans and for Hughton this season  is staying in the premiership.     Success for Hughton next season  will be taking us on to a higher level of achievement - that is - building on the good defensive base that we now have and developing the team in midfield and attack.     Those that cry out for Hughton''s head this season and shout about his approach are just impatient and lack the understanding of the reality of what is happening.    Rome was not built in a day and we are changing from a team that conceded lots of goals to a team that doesn''t concede alot of goals - the attacking strategy will improve as we upgrade players.

But for this season success is staying up.   It will be no mean feat.

[/quote]

The problem with this theory is that an undoubtedly improved squad is playing less competitively this season than last. Heavily defensive football always puts a team under great pressure as one misplaced tackle or pass so close to goal can be fatal. The current system also relies heavily one our 11 best players being available for ever game.(look what happens when injuries or suspensions have occurred ). We need to play further up field,defend high putting more bodies closer to our lone striker giving him more options and relieving our penalty area. Ask yourself," How many off sides have we won this season?". "How often are our solitary forward players offside?." This is a symptom of deep disjointed play where our attack is left high and dry .

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[quote user="Canary02 IV"]

17th or better was our target. If we achieve this great. But if we''re struggling near the end of the season do we have the manager or the tactics to try and win games and get three point hauls when we need them? Our current style may keep us up and give us access to the financial

rewards of that. But if we then spend next season playing as we do now, I

feel myself caring less and less about survival. A big bank balance but

a timid team that hides in numbers hoping to keep out of trouble

doesn''t make me look forward to Saturdays. And at £30 a game for my

season ticket, or worse still £50 a game for a casual fan, is that value

for money? The response to the QPR result was that it was a good result

because it was an away point. But if the best we hope for from an

expensive away trip is defending for our lives praying for a clean sheet

and the outside chance of sneaking a goal, are we really competing, or

just turning up?

[/quote]To your first point - yes, I believe we have the manager to win games.  You will see a different approach when Reading, Southampton, Fulham, Villa come to Carrow Road.  People forget even against Spurs we were far the better side for 60 minutes plus of that match, and that''s the Spurs side who made WBA look third-rate today.Now, to your second point, we are never going to have the financial clout or wage structure to compete at the top end of this league and we will always be one of the clubs who will measure success by staying up.  For this to change, we would need the game to be financially restructured OR to live beyond our means and risk the club''s long term future - something the owners and management have repeatedly said they will not do.If the way we play is the way to ensure we do stay up then that''s how it will be.  I don''t doubt we will evolve the team in the summer and provide more options by bringing three or four in and letting three or four go, but it will take time and will need patience.We competed against QPR, didn''t we?  You suggest we "just turned up".  Michael Nelson''s nose, amongst other things, should tell you we did a bit more than that.But ultimately, it''s personal choice and free will.  If you don''t enjoy the games and don''t feel you want to attend, don''t renew your season ticket.  If enough people feel the same as you and do likewise, then the club management may have a look at things.  You know what you''re going to get with this squad and this manager; it''s not like you should be surprised.

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This is a question I have thought about since our return to the top flight. Got to say, for me, the journey from league 1 to the prem was the best time ever. A trophy, promotions, it was up up up. Success means progress, but now its got to be a realistic long term view. We are in a fantastic position in the league and financially. I would like to see us build upon this and remain a premier league mainstay. The next target would be a europa league spot...maybe in the next 3-5 years.

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Bet most Bolton,Blackburn,Leicester etc fans would cut their right arm off to be back as a smaller established Prem club. Beating the big boys, cup runs, europe, exciting players like Okocha, Nakata, Yakubu, being able to rub you`re main rivals noses in it,greater exposure, growing fanbase+more local kids wearing the colours instead of man yoo.....  It`s feckin wonderful, get a grip.

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[quote user="Mr.Carrow"]Bet most Bolton,Blackburn,Leicester etc fans would cut their right arm off to be back as a smaller established Prem club. Beating the big boys, cup runs, europe, exciting players like Okocha, Nakata, Yakubu, being able to rub you`re main rivals noses in it,greater exposure, growing fanbase+more local kids wearing the colours instead of man yoo.....  It`s feckin wonderful, get a grip.[/quote]Yep, I''ll take that any day of the week.

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Spot on Mr C!

But ... Michael Nelson''s nose??

Did you mean .. errr... Michael Turner''s nose?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCyC1dZiN8

!!

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[quote user="Mungo Bumpkin"]

We''re making up the numbers in a league e can''t possibly win (unlike the good old Div 1 days when one could always dare to dream). We hope beyond hope that there are three worse teams than us because dropping out of this league would be a financial disaster - plastics only really want to see manyoo and chelski. And so we start to employ ultra-conservative tactics, rarely if ever trying to take the game to the opposition. We''ve morphed into the new Stoke. The majority if what we are served up is turgid. The only competitions we could possibly win are cups but wecouldn''t possibly field a first string team in vase injury means a player in unavailable for the next Premiership bore-a-thon. All rather depressing.

 

Perhaps sucess might mean a return to exciting games in a competitive league. Like the Championship.

[/quote]

 

Heartfelt thanks for yet another "quality" contribution.

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Great first post. Here we have an entertainment company with an income of £80 million (next year !!) and yet their objective is not really to entertain but avoid relegation and continue to be in a position to employ over paid footballers. Lets be honest the premiership standard is not that great this year and some 14 teams simply make up the numbers so that Manchester/London can continue the hype of the Premier League which leads to many "hangers on" who can continue to make loads of money out of football. We all know about agents and transfer fees/salaries for average players are just ridiculous. What were we talking about for the last fortnight, £8 million for Hooper. I bet 95% of canary fans had never heard of him !!!!

This had led to many teams adopting defence attitudes in the hope of scrapping enough points to stay up. We are now beset with this boring form of football to retain  possession but basically getting nowhere. Hughton''s style is a classic example short careful square passes which ultimately finish up with a central defender who then blasts it up to a lone striker. Apart from Bale and a few others there is little pace in the game.

From our viewpoint success is playing attacking football in the premiership and scoring goals and perhaps finishing about 8th. However with football all about money and not entertainment that is not going to happen.

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Success in the immediate past for our supporters has been to get from nowhere to get to the premier league & play the finest league & teams & players at Carrow Road.Success in the present is beating the like of Man U & Arsenal, going on our largest unbeaten run, staying above the relegation zone, not selling our best players. Improving our squad. Success in the immediate future will be to give our supporters the chance to see our  team play em again next year. They''re actually pretty amazing dont you think, I mean the board, the management, the players, the SUPPORTERS, we''re doin brilliant. Whats not to like?????????????? The ultimate success will be when folks on here stop moaning & actually offer some thanks & support to all concerned.

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[quote user="Roodge"]Success in the immediate past for our supporters has been to get from nowhere to get to the premier league & play the finest league & teams & players at Carrow Road.
Success in the present is beating the like of Man U & Arsenal, going on our largest unbeaten run, staying above the relegation zone, not selling our best players. Improving our squad.
Success in the immediate future will be to give our supporters the chance to see our  team play em again next year. They''re actually pretty amazing dont you think, I mean the board, the management, the players, the SUPPORTERS, we''re doin brilliant.
Whats not to like??????????????
The ultimate success will be when folks on here stop moaning & actually offer some thanks & support to all concerned.
[/quote]

 

Exactly. If anyone wants some real fun, try supporting the likes of Portsmouth, Coventry or, better still, the good old Scum.

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I believe this season has been very succesful on many accounts.

a) Firstly, how many changes in management ends in disaster? Luckily, CH management seems far from being a disaster.

b) We can see a completely different tactical approach from the previous regime, which makes pointA even more impressive.

c) the introduction of some quality football players, i.e Bassong, and ok failed bids for Hooper/Wolfswinkel we can clearly see the direction CH wants to take Norwich, and it''s the quality not quantity route.

d) At times, injuries have hampered us to key personnel and after a difficult start a good run, and then another difficult run. I believe this is quite impressive for CH to come out of both runs (looking like on the second run)... Lambert for his many good points, never had to experience a real bad run, and how to change, subtle changes of tactics or a complete overhaul from the 442 at the start to a 4231.

e) I believe this season is very much a work in progress, and for many reasons not just financial but the quality of the squad, getting out of this season and alive and into next season could be the start of a relatively successful era.

f) I also believe CH was appointed, as McNally wanted one manager to take us on a long career i.e I can''t see CH moving on, he''s one of the most under-rated managers around.

In summing up, this season has been hard, changes in management, followed by a bad start, then a complete overhaul of tactics along with some injuries to key personnel... (didn''t happen last season) and a fixture list that was very hard... i.e 50% of the first 12 matches at home against top6. I''m delighted to say we are where we are, all things considered.

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