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unique

Sea Change at Colney?

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This season can pretty much be split into three phases:-

1) The first seven games yielded three points, It surprised nobody who had closely followed the friendly matches - goals were hard to come by and the defence was bedding down.

2) The next ten games, beginning with the home win against Arsenal, and including the home win against ManU , seem like a lifetime ago. Were Norwich to remain in the PL another five years, it is unlikely that both those results would be repeated. Ruddy was still in goal, goals (apart from a productive spell in December) were still hard to come by, but the bad start had been nullified.

3) The last fourteen games has produced just nine points. A fortuitous win against Everton has helped flatter even this paltry return.

With a ratio of 2:1, it is fairly clear by now which is the ''real'' Norwich.

For all the plaudits Hughton has received for solidifying the defence, (and it must be said that he has been unlucky with the loss of Ruddy for such a length of time), he has stunted the progress of so many of our players, that I fail to think of a single midfielder/attacker who has improved their game under his leadership.

Many will point out that Norwich have only suffered two defeats in the last eight games, and therefore should have enough to see them over the line.

The numbers that worry me most are the stats over the last four games, one of them being at Old Trafford, but the other three against teams that sit below Norwich:-

Norwich have averaged ''0.8'' shots on target over those last four games - that''s not enough for a single goal! The next worse teams are unsurprisingly Stoke and Reading (and Swansea), who at least have the temerity to average ''2.5'' shots per game. Southampton have averaged almost ''7'' shots per game, so in the unlikely scenario that they were to be relegated, at least their fans would see them going down fighting.

Norwich have also averaged an average of ''1.5'' attempts inside the penalty box. To put this into perspective, the next worse team is Reading, who have averaged ''4.5'' attempts per game over the last four games. Sunderland have averaged ''6'', Aston Villa ''7'', QPR ''8'', and Wigan almost ''9''!

Regardless of how ''an attempt'' is interpreted, the theme of these figures underline the depths that Hughton and his coaching team have taken this team to. The signing of RvW was a great fillip for the fans, certainly a mark of intent, but all his recent hat-trick has done is underlined the woeful impotence of Hughton''s Norwich.

The fan base is probably evenly split between the optimists and the pessimists. The optimists show blind faith. They believe there are three teams worse than Norwich (on current pattern of play there isn''t). If Norwich stay up they can boast of their faith and commitment and their ''told you so'' war cries. The pessimists are dieting on a high dose of reality, realising that to score one goal is proving difficult enough, should Norwich ever need two goals, then you wouldn''t bet a pound on it, let alone your mortgage.

Players have been featured in the press of late ''talking the talk''. It reminds me of the days under Worthington, and more recently Roeder, when it smacked of desperate b......t. The players need to produce on the pitch, and for that to happen, Hughton and Calderwood need to come up with a formation and tactics at Colney this week, that facilitates a brand of football that actually threatens the opposition, puts pressure on the opposition, and makes Premiership survival a certainty long before the inevitable thrashing at the Etihad on the final day of the season.

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What a great post, well thought through and an accurate analysis of where we unfortunately find ourselves.

The lack of player development under Hughton is a clear problem which becomes more and more evident with each game. We now see the likes of Pilks in the Man U game getting into a good position on the edge of their box, nobody in the box to put a ball in for of course, but then instead of having a go himself, or holding the ball up for someone'' else to come through, just stopping, turning around and passing the ball back. That''s not the Pilks I knew and loved, but a consequence of the way players are being coached and put in straight jackets.

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Hughton is a good defensive coach that''s for sure but some serious coaching work is clearly needed at the other end of the pitch.

Some of us are blaming players for not being good enough for Hughton''s plan but players like Bennett who have been out of the team these days just seems to be getting weaker and weaker where they looked good last season.

It''s unusual not to see Fox play and I really think he deserves a chance even if in the Hoolahan role just for his ability to pick the kind of passes we now need. It has been so frustrating watching players like Tettey passing the ball off the field of play or to the opposition when in an advanced position.

We have to start performing differently as of tomorrow or I really believe our bad run will continue and possibly see us relegated. I really believe it would be better for the team to win one game and lose two playing some attacking football rather than play for three draws.

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Both Hughton and Calderwood were defenders by trade when they played, both of whom suffered a nose bleed whenever they crossed the halfway line so what sort of teams do you think they will produce as coaches. It was always likely to be the case from the day they were appointed and any creativity the likes of Pilks had is slowly but surely being drummed out of him in favour of defensive duties. I suspect that''s also the case with Benno who seems a shadow of the exciting player many thought he would become. IF we survive in the Premiership we desperately need a coach who can bring on players to play the other side of the halfway line (yes, there is another half of the pitch Messrs. Hughton and Calderwood).

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Couple of points. There are three worse,or as bad teams as us.

My optimism isn''t blind faith as I know the club is in trouble, and Hughton and the team need a rocket up their arses, but I still think that they are good enough to turn it around. Hope I feel is a more realistic word.

Anyway good differing opinion from the op, although spoilt a bit by the end.:-)

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The problem is that you can''t just switch it on and off, from where the players are now it will not be easy to restore their former glory, Hughton and Co have a lot to answer for.

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on what basis are the ''optimists'' showing blind faith? Does the evidence of 31 games not suggest that we are better than the bottom 3 teams, having accrued more points than them...

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It''s not about the last 31 games its about the next 7, recent form is the guide for that!

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And as been said Stoke,Sunderland and Reading have worse form than us.That''s 3 teams.Get it?

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[quote user="Beefy is a legend"]what do you consider ''recent''? is the last 5 homes recent enough, in which we have not lost once?[/quote]

Are you sure?

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[quote user="Vanwink"][quote user="Beefy is a legend"]what do you consider ''recent''? is the last 5 homes recent enough, in which we have not lost once?[/quote] Are you sure?[/quote]

The last five home League games yes.

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''Form'' goes out of the window this time of year - it''s all about desire, high tempo, will to win, etc. and , of course, scoring goals.

 

You can''t rely on keeping clean sheets because one mistake out of the blue by any one of your players, as Camp proved last week, can scupper the best laid plans.

 

Over the last four games, the stats suggest not only are we the worst team in the Premiership, we are the worst by a country mile. Every other club is offering a threat on the opposition goal, Norwich are taking negative football to a whole new desperate level.

 

I would far rather have Remy, Lambert or Benteke leading our line than any of our current forwards. Norwich have been offered a helping hand with the injury to Fletcher and the fact that Le Fondre''s goals have dried up.

 

Having failed miserably to secure safety against Southampton, Sunderland(unluckily it must be said), and Wigan, the ''assumed'' easier games against Reading and Villa could turn out to be real dogfights, with the greater fight being shown by the opposition.

 

Tomorrow''s game with Swansea may not be a ''must win'', but it will be somewhat ironic if the one time we lose to them in the PL will be the one time it really matters.

 

Swansea, despite their lofty position, have almost become a one-man team. They are not as free-scoring as they used to be, and do appear over-reliant on Michu. Keep Michu quiet and the job should be half done, but there is no evidence over the past month that anyone should be betting on anything other than a 0-0 draw.

 

I so hope I am wrong. 

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As long as he plays two up front v Swansea I don''t really see what he can do to change it, apart from telling Johnson to only shoot when he can get it on target !

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So the optimists show ''blind faith'' and the pessimists ''a dose of reality'' - we clearly know which side of the fence the OP sits and all those agreeing with it are clearly the ''realists'' are they.

Sorry just another polarised one dimensional post.

The true ''realists'' sit somewhere between the two camps.

Clearly as the stats show we aren''t creating anywhere as near enough chances as we should be, and Hughton has necessarily tightened up our defence but to blame him for all of a sudden making the players regress in rubbish.

Reality is that they all over performed last year riding the crest of a wave fuelled by the confidence of back to back promotions playing a style of football that unfortunately was never going to be successful again with the same group of players ( hence why a certain manager left who knew this aswell).

Hughton is doing what he has to with the group of players at his disposal. I agree its not pretty but unfortunately that is the ''reality'' of where we are in this division.

We may stay up, we may go down but if we do stay up the time to start judging CH properly is next season.

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[quote user="unique"]

''Form'' goes out of the window this time of year - it''s all about desire, high tempo, will to win, etc. and , of course, scoring goals.

 

You can''t rely on keeping clean sheets because one mistake out of the blue by any one of your players, as Camp proved last week, can scupper the best laid plans.

 

Over the last four games, the stats suggest not only are we the worst team in the Premiership, we are the worst by a country mile. Every other club is offering a threat on the opposition goal, Norwich are taking negative football to a whole new desperate level.

 

I would far rather have Remy, Lambert or Benteke leading our line than any of our current forwards. Norwich have been offered a helping hand with the injury to Fletcher and the fact that Le Fondre''s goals have dried up.

 

Having failed miserably to secure safety against Southampton, Sunderland(unluckily it must be said), and Wigan, the ''assumed'' easier games against Reading and Villa could turn out to be real dogfights, with the greater fight being shown by the opposition.

 

Tomorrow''s game with Swansea may not be a ''must win'', but it will be somewhat ironic if the one time we lose to them in the PL will be the one time it really matters.

 

Swansea, despite their lofty position, have almost become a one-man team. They are not as free-scoring as they used to be, and do appear over-reliant on Michu. Keep Michu quiet and the job should be half done, but there is no evidence over the past month that anyone should be betting on anything other than a 0-0 draw.

 

I so hope I am wrong. 

[/quote]

Sorry but this bit is simply not true on the points situation,which is the most important.

Us and Sunderland have 2.

Stoke have 1.

Reading have 0.

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Beefy is a legend wrote the following post at 2013-04-05 8:53 PM:

what do you consider ''recent''? is the last 5 homes recent enough, in which we have not lost once?

And neither have they actually WON in any of those recent games!

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"Reality is that they all over performed last year riding the crest of a wave fuelled by the confidence of back to back promotions playing a style of football that unfortunately was never going to be successful again with the same group of players (hence why a certain manager left who new this aswell)."

 

A sweeping statement, made in hindsight, with no facts to back it up. It could be equally argued that the players started the season full of confidence knowing that they were good enough to play in the Premiership having finished the season in a creditable 12th position. That is the team that Hughton inherited, A team that for the previous two seasons knew how to score and win football matches, and in their first season in the Premiership, gave as good as they got. 

 

Nobody seems to know the real reasons behind Lambert leaving the football club, to say that he left because he deemed his squad fit for relegation smacks of wild conjecture.

 

As we reached the turn of the year, I thought Hughton had done a reasonably good job and the threat of relegation was an unlikely scenario.

Little did I expect that a competitive, if ''goal-shy'' Norwich City, would have its footballing life stifled quite so alarmingly, and that the ''goal-shy'' would become ''shot-shy'' to the extent that relegation is now conceivable.

 

Norwich can''t score goals. In the transfer window Hughton bought Becchio. It may not have been his first choice, nor even his second choice, but by general consent it was a step up from Morison, as after all, he had already found the net nigh on twenty times with the season just over half-way. After just 163 minutes of first team football, no goals and probably very few efforts on goal, I wouldn''t mind betting that Becchio''s confidence is at an all-time low, and, because of that, at this moment in time he is a worse footballer than he was at anytime last year and beyond.

 

This will be the best season ever to be promoted to the PL, and likewise the worst possible season to be relegated. There will be nothing worse than throwing away all the hard work over the last three years, by laying down and being trampled over by teams with a greater will to win football matches than we have shown over the last four games.

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[quote user="unique"]

"Reality is that they all over performed last year riding the crest of a wave fuelled by the confidence of back to back promotions playing a style of football that unfortunately was never going to be successful again with the same group of players (hence why a certain manager left who new this aswell)."

 

A sweeping statement, made in hindsight, with no facts to back it up. It could be equally argued that the players started the season full of confidence knowing that they were good enough to play in the Premiership having finished the season in a creditable 12th position. That is the team that Hughton inherited, A team that for the previous two seasons knew how to score and win football matches, and in their first season in the Premiership, gave as good as they got. 

 

Nobody seems to know the real reasons behind Lambert leaving the football club, to say that he left because he deemed his squad fit for relegation smacks of wild conjecture.

 

As we reached the turn of the year, I thought Hughton had done a reasonably good job and the threat of relegation was an unlikely scenario.

Little did I expect that a competitive, if ''goal-shy'' Norwich City, would have its footballing life stifled quite so alarmingly, and that the ''goal-shy'' would become ''shot-shy'' to the extent that relegation is now conceivable.

 

Norwich can''t score goals. In the transfer window Hughton bought Becchio. It may not have been his first choice, nor even his second choice, but by general consent it was a step up from Morison, as after all, he had already found the net nigh on twenty times with the season just over half-way. After just 163 minutes of first team football, no goals and probably very few efforts on goal, I wouldn''t mind betting that Becchio''s confidence is at an all-time low, and, because of that, at this moment in time he is a worse footballer than he was at anytime last year and beyond.

 

This will be the best season ever to be promoted to the PL, and likewise the worst possible season to be relegated. There will be nothing worse than throwing away all the hard work over the last three years, by laying down and being trampled over by teams with a greater will to win football matches than we have shown over the last four games.

[/quote]

I''m sure the fact that you thought Hughton had done a ''reasonably good job'' a the turn of the year will be a great comfort to him.

Agree hindsight and conjecture are the cornerstones of most people''s arguments - and that''s exactly what your opinions are based on.

As said I appreciate that recently it hasn''t be pretty or that entertaining as the stats you quoted pay testament to but to cast Hughton out with the bath water is narrow minded to the extreme.

Going back to your original comments about optimists and pessimists. I suggest you look in the dictionary at the meaning of the words, especially pessimist who tend to look at the negatives rather than taking a more realistic balanced view.

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[quote user="Barry Brockes"]Both Hughton and Calderwood were defenders by trade when they played, both of whom suffered a nose bleed whenever they crossed the halfway line so what sort of teams do you think they will produce as coaches. It was always likely to be the case from the day they were appointed and any creativity the likes of Pilks had is slowly but surely being drummed out of him in favour of defensive duties. I suspect that''s also the case with Benno who seems a shadow of the exciting player many thought he would become. IF we survive in the Premiership we desperately need a coach who can bring on players to play the other side of the halfway line (yes, there is another half of the pitch Messrs. Hughton and Calderwood).[/quote]
This could be a significant part of our current troubles. Both are too similar and therefore likely to support each others instinctive bias to defend first and foremost.
Hughton needs a contrast as his number two. A tactically astute assistant prepared to offer different views and tactics on how to win games. 
OTBC

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It was nothing to do with hindsight when many supporters showed concern, after the friendly matches, that we were creating little, and converting less. However I don''t suppose anybody feared it would reach the depths of three shots on target over the course of four matches.

 

Nowhere, in any of the posts, does it suggest Hughton ''be cast out with the bath water.'' Colney is the training ground and this is where a winning formation and more positive tactics need to be nurtured. So your jibe of ''narrow minded to the extreme'' is ill - judged and cretinous.

 

Optimists and pessimists will pretty much divide Norwich City fans in regards of relegation. The optimists look at the current league table, are grateful for the one-pointers we have picked up at Carrow Road recently, look forward to the points bonanzas coming our way against Reading and Villa, and are already looking forward to next season. The pessimists fear the away games at Stoke, Arsenal and Man City, despair of the points dropped at home in recent games, recognize that three on target shots in four games is a recipe for disaster, and fear there is still a chance of Norwich finishing 18th.

 

When all is said and done, all Norwich fans want the same thing.

 

I would suggest a name change as you don''t seem capable of a reasoned and balanced view.

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Our form is undeniably poor at the moment. Extrapolating a points total based on what''s been achieved thus far is not however useful. From here on in it''s how the players deal with the pressure of looming relegation that will be more telling. Unfortunately, form, tactics and seemingly also belief are all against us at the moment. Let''s hope we don''t sit back and let Swansea run at us tomorrow.

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[quote user="Vanwink"]It''s not about the last 31 games its about the next 7, recent form is the guide for that![/quote]

You keep saying that but you keep dodging the challenge. So I''ll ask you again.

Current form is 0.9 points a game.

7 games at 0.9 is 6 points

6points will see us safe

So what is wrong with current form? Current form will see us safe

What exactly is your problem?

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[quote user="unique"]

It was nothing to do with hindsight when many supporters showed concern, after the friendly matches, that we were creating little, and converting less. However I don''t suppose anybody feared it would reach the depths of three shots on target over the course of four matches.

 

Nowhere, in any of the posts, does it suggest Hughton ''be cast out with the bath water.'' Colney is the training ground and this is where a winning formation and more positive tactics need to be nurtured. So your jibe of ''narrow minded to the extreme'' is ill - judged and cretinous.

 

Optimists and pessimists will pretty much divide Norwich City fans in regards of relegation. The optimists look at the current league table, are grateful for the one-pointers we have picked up at Carrow Road recently, look forward to the points bonanzas coming our way against Reading and Villa, and are already looking forward to next season. The pessimists fear the away games at Stoke, Arsenal and Man City, despair of the points dropped at home in recent games, recognize that three on target shots in four games is a recipe for disaster, and fear there is still a chance of Norwich finishing 18th.

 

When all is said and done, all Norwich fans want the same thing.

 

I would suggest a name change as you don''t seem capable of a reasoned and balanced view.

[/quote]

Oh mine is more than balanced although yours fortunately is obviously quite apt !

Unfortunately what a lot of you ''pessimists'' ( or sorry ''realists as you self proclaimed yourself) seem to over look is that we are competing in the Premier league against clubs with far far more wealth at their disposal than us. No doubt the pessimists including yourself looked at the recent home games against Fulham and Southampton thinking we should rightly be knocking 3 or 4 in against them - sorry wake up and actually look at how much their teams have cost to assemble against ours ( and how much they pay in wages).

I (being a cretin) can accept that those games weren''t great as a football feast but what I do understand is that the Premier league is a money pit and we aren''t blessed with enough to buy the players you clearly believe we should have in every position in our team.

The vast majority of Norwich supporters I know rate Bassong as the best player to wear a Norwich shirt for many a year. A defender I grant you ( and one you will probably say is a symptom of the Hughtton negative style of play) but he is a Hughton signing none the less. If he is the quality of signing that CH intends to bring in then I for one am more than happy with that.

Needs must at the moment - we all clearly have differing views on how this should be obtained - but if CH does it then job done.

If you wish for something more flamboyant than perhaps the Premier League isn''t for you because we are always going to struggle financially and therefore performance wise.

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A sadly nieve post stating all the stereotypical phrases and bigoted judgements that Unique was encouraging you to avoid.

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Well I just hope all the ''keep the faithers'' are right.

If they are, boy will I be one happy bunny.

I will tell you this though, the yellas I know and I know a few scattered across Norfolk and Suffolk, not one has any confidence in our coaching staff and the perceived body language of our players.

Tomorrow isn''t do or die but I think we must get three points. Do that and some of our fellow strugglers must fall behind us.

If we subsequently stay up I hope Hoots reviews his coaching staff and tactics and convinces McNally that he is the man to take us to the next stage.

Simply can''t wait until tomorrow

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If flamboyance means offering more than ''0.8'' shots per game when you''re being dragged slowly into the relegation battle, then bring it on.......

Football isn''t all about finance. It''s also about getting the best out of the players you''ve got......and the less said about getting the best out of our midfielders and strikers this season, the better.

If we limp over the line then all well and good - mission accomplished, but plenty to improve upon and plenty to look forward to.....if we limp short of the line then it will be the meekest surrender in the history of the PL, and it needs a far more positive approach to avoid that.

The defence is better this season because much of the time we play with two defensive midfielders when available - Johnson and Tettey. The defence would have conceded fewer last season had Lambert chosen to play with two DM.

Play Johnson first-half, Tettey second-half, not both at the same time. Trust the defenders to do their job, and set up the rest of the positions with the onus on attack and taking the game to Swansea. Obtaining two wins from the last four home games is the priority, and the earlier the better.

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