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A Gay Schoolboy

Are we Stoke in disguise?

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[quote] Norwich Home Record: 6 wins, 6 draws, 3 losses, 16 for, 15 againstStoke Home Record:      6 wins, 6 draws, 2 losses, 18 for, 15 againstNorwich Away Record: 1 wins, 6 draws, 7 losses, 11 for, 30 againstStoke Away Record:      1 wins, 6 draws, 8 losses,   9 for, 20 againstNorwich     - 6 nil-nils, 11 games without scoring, 6 games scoring > 1 goal, 9 clean sheetsStoke         - 5 nil-nils, 13 games without scoring, 8 games scoring > 1 goal, 9 clean sheetsNorwich    - 10 game unbeaten run with 6 wins in it, 1 wins outside that runStoke         - 10 game unbeaten run with 5 wins in it, 2 wins outside that run[/quote]  [quote]Attacking                        Norwich        Stoke---------------------------------------------------------------Shots Per Game            10.9 (18th)     9.8 (19th)Shots On Target              3.5 (17th)      3.1 (20th)Dribbles Per Game         4.9 (18th)     3.9 (20th)Open Play Goals          14 (19th)       13 (20th)Set Piece Goals            13 (3rd)        15 (2nd)---------------------------------------------------------------Defending---------------------------------------------------------------Cards                                    40Y 0R (16th)    56Y 3R (2nd)Fouls Per Game                       11.6 (10th)    12.8 (2nd)Shots Conceded Per Game    14.2 (10th)    14.4 (11th)Tackles Per Game                    18.3 (16th)    19.0 (11th)Interceptions Per Game           12.8 (16th)    12.9 (15th)---------------------------------------------------------------Passing---------------------------------------------------------------Possession                        43.2% (18th)    42.8% (19th)Pass Completion               74.1% (18th)    70.3% (19th)Crosses Per Game            22    (13th)        23    (12th)Through Balls Per Game     1    (15th)          1    (14th)Long Balls Per Game        64    (4th)          62    (6th)Short Pass Per Game      308    (16th)      277    (19th)Headers Won Per Game   16.7  (9th)         28.4  (1st)[/quote]Numbers in brackets are positions in the table for that particular stat.Eerily similar isn''t it? In all stats apart from fouling/cards we are essentially right next to Stoke in the table, and for most of them, right near the bottom. Is it acceptable for a Norwich side to play the same style as a team who''s football is despised throughout the land?I would appreciate if we could keep this thread on topic, i.e. about our style of play. Hughton quite obviously deserves credit for keeping us comfortably midtable with one of the smallest footballing budgets in the league, only morons are denying that. For me, the question is, has the price we''ve paid for that, in terms of how we play, been worth it?

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I''m afraid much of that is meaningless. Football is far, far too fluid a game to be quantified by those sort of irrational measurements.

 

We are not Stoke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On their own, they are meaningless. But all together? We are clearly more similar to Stoke than any other side by any metric other than fouling.In what way would you say we *aren''t* like Stoke, other than the previously mentioned dirtiness?

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I don''t agree, City 1st.  I would think if we average 64 long passes per game, and that this is the 4th highest total of long passes per game in the league, then you can assume it''s not by accident and is part of the management''s instructions to the players.  In that sense, the stats do bear relation to the football team''s style and approach to games.

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We are a team that relies on big target men, long balls and only looks dangerous from set pieces. I think stoke have more about them than that.

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If we are playing the same style after a few years in the Prem then you could say we are the same as Stoke.

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I don''t know where the stats come from or if they are correct. Assuming they are then I think they clearly do show a similarity between the teams. It is clearly a successful formula for Maintaining a team in the Premier League, which is what it will do for us this season, so what''s the problem, did you really expect champagne football in our second season and with th squad we have?

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[quote user="canarygirl"]I don''t know where the stats come from or if they are correct. Assuming they are then I think they clearly do show a similarity between the teams. It is clearly a successful formula for Maintaining a team in the Premier League, which is what it will do for us this season, so what''s the problem, did you really expect champagne football in our second season and with th squad we have?[/quote]We got attractive football in our first season in the Prem, why not in the second with an improved squad? Would you be happy if we continued using this ''successful formula'' for years as long as it kept us in the Prem?For me football is about more than results, I would be more than happy watching Norwich in League 1 or the Championship as long as we went out there to play exciting, attacking football. If playing like Stoke is the price we have to pay to be assured of  Prem survival then I''m not sure its worth it.

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[quote user="school boy error"][quote user="canarygirl"]I don''t know where the stats come from or if they are correct. Assuming they are then I think they clearly do show a similarity between the teams. It is clearly a successful formula for Maintaining a team in the Premier League, which is what it will do for us this season, so what''s the problem, did you really expect champagne football in our second season and with th squad we have?[/quote]We got attractive football in our first season in the Prem, why not in the second with an improved squad? Would you be happy if we continued using this ''successful formula'' for years as long as it kept us in the Prem?For me football is about more than results, I would be more than happy watching Norwich in League 1 or the Championship as long as we went out there to play exciting, attacking football. If playing like Stoke is the price we have to pay to be assured of  Prem survival then I''m not sure its worth it.[/quote]

The second season was always going to be tougher, that''s why Lambert jumped ship. The squad will improve as we become more of an established club and our finances allow us to bring in better players, but this is going to take time, I would hope to see an improved squad next season with improved performances but we won''t see Lambert type performances. I suppose the big question will be can Chris Hughton produce teams that will play in what we call the Norwich way when he has the resources available, I''m not sure that he can but that''s a problem for the future.

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if we, if we ....... if

 

meanwhile what is a ''long pass'', who determines that and how subjective is that decision ?

 

 the problem here is that football has dragged in all manner of trainspotter types who cannot really grasp what is going on the pitch so turn to this sort of stuff

 

for satistics to have any meaning other variables need to remain static - in football they don''t, that is actually the beauty of football so it is all worthless old tosh

 

watch the game and then judge what you see

 

 

 

 

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[quote user="canarygirl"] The second season was always going to be tougher, that''s why Lambert jumped ship. The squad will improve as we become more of an established club and our finances allow us to bring in better players, but this is going to take time, I would hope to see an improved squad next season with improved performances but we won''t see Lambert type performances. I suppose the big question will be can Chris Hughton produce teams that will play in what we call the Norwich way when he has the resources available, I''m not sure that he can but that''s a problem for the future.[/quote]I can broadly agree with this.[quote user="City1st"]

if we, if we ....... if

 

meanwhile what is a ''long pass'', who determines that and how subjective is that decision ?

 

 the problem here is that football has dragged in all manner

of trainspotter types who cannot really grasp what is going on the pitch

so turn to this sort of stuff

 

for satistics to have any meaning other variables need to remain

static - in football they don''t, that is actually the beauty of football

so it is all worthless old tosh

 

watch the game and then judge what you see

[/quote]I''m sure you agree with this statement - "Stoke and West Ham play a more similar brand of football than Stoke and Swansea". Now, have a think about what thought processes lead you to determine that statement was true, and then explain them without resorting to any numeric based analysis.

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" I''m sure you agree with this statement - "Stoke and West Ham play a more similar brand of football than Stoke and Swansea".

Now, have a think about what thought processes lead you to determine that statement was true, and then explain them without resorting to any numeric based analysis. "

Nice try, but no cigar. You asked the question and you got an answer: or are you aiming to be one of those modern "TV interviewers" who instead of asking a question and responding to the answer, insists on driving their point of view down everyone elses throat?

Do we play long ball yes, we do. Do we play short passing too, yes we do.

Do we play like Stoke, no. Play like West Ham, yes. Play like Swansea no...

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What I don''t understand is people saying there''d rather us be in League 1 or the Championship if we are playing attacking football.

Problem with that is, if we play successful attacking football we will inevitably end up in the Premiership. As we did. Which leads to the same problem, unless people would rather get relegated again? Or if we were playing attacking football in League 1 or the Championship and stayed there our attacking style probably wouldn''t be working!

As others have said, if we are playing now in 3 years time we will be like Stoke. However I am confident if we are still in the Prem then we won''t be. Our problem is last year our gung-ho style meant we had loads of chances so the attackers scored more goals, this year the true ability of our forward line is being shown. If we stay up - and I''m confident we will - I think we''ll start to see the attacking side of the team improve in quality, as we have the defence this season (despite no strength in depth)

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We are playing more like Stoke than any other team ...

Hopefully in the summer we can buy more players Hughton can fit into his system & our style of play will improve with it.

It seems to me tho that McNally & Hughton are happy with 0-0''s and 1-0''s as it keeps us in the prem securing our financial security. Let''s just hope we get lucky with signings so we can see some goals and flair

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Stoke have made their style of football their own and have now been doing it year after year for several years.   This is the first season we have tried to be genuine premiership quality with the ability to compete with every club in the league.     By and large we have competed with the big clubs (Liverpool excepted) and this is the future if we are to stay in the league.  We have to be able to compete at all levels of the league.  

As it is only our first season doing this (last season was a one off, Lambert''s last stand) we have done what is necessary.  We have tightened up at the back to a large degree.   What has to happen is that in the future we have to build on this defensive strength and have players that are more capable in midfield of holding on to the ball and delivering more quality passes and crosses.   There simply has not been enough quality going forward.  If Hughton cannot provide this, the Norwich fans won''t stand for it and  if we are playing the same way as we have been over the last few games over the next two years, there will be a revolution.I believe he can provide this and develop the team as an attacking force and he will be a manager here for a good long spell.  In that case we could look back at this season and see how important a stage it was in our development as a top flight club.   When we developed in the late 80''s early 90''s, you could see how solid, confident and established we had become - but it took a few years to achieve.   Stoke we are not.  Stoke are stuck in a mentality they cannot get out of, we are merely passing through a stage in our development on to better things.  We have to be, as us fans won''t accept anything less.

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[quote user="lincoln canary"]No Stoke are better than us.[/quote]

 

I realise you are not the most positive person in the world but please elaborate as to how Stoke are better than us.  I''m quite sure when looking at the table they are on exactly the same amount of points after the same amount of games?

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Last season Norwich played 75 ''long balls'' per game - the highest in the League.

 

As City 1st says stats don''t mean much when looked at in isolation - although I do feel they are important (if they were every Premier League team wouldn''t spend thousands of pounds collecting them).

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[quote user="Crispy"]We are playing more like Stoke than any other team ... Hopefully in the summer we can buy more players Hughton can fit into his system & our style of play will improve with it. It seems to me tho that McNally & Hughton are happy with 0-0''s and 1-0''s as it keeps us in the prem securing our financial security. Let''s just hope we get lucky with signings so we can see some goals and flair[/quote]

I hope you''re right however my fear is that what we''re seeing IS Hughton''s system and style of play?

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[quote user="GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary"]

[quote user="Crispy"]We are playing more like Stoke than any other team ... Hopefully in the summer we can buy more players Hughton can fit into his system & our style of play will improve with it. It seems to me tho that McNally & Hughton are happy with 0-0''s and 1-0''s as it keeps us in the prem securing our financial security. Let''s just hope we get lucky with signings so we can see some goals and flair[/quote]

I hope you''re right however my fear is that what we''re seeing IS Hughton''s system and style of play?

[/quote]

Hughton has shown a mixture of styles of play at Newcastle, Birmingham and now Norwich. One of the things I like most about CH is the fact he is a pragmatist - he will use the formation and system that suits the players rather than trying to impose a system on a collection of players that don''t suit it. This season, reflecting where investment was made, Norwich''s defence is better than attack - thus Hughton is using a system to build on that.

 

Norwich had limited resouces in the summer, and are there any players Hughton brought in that you would have rather he didn''t, thus allowing further recruitment in attacking positions? Would you have been happy if someone like Bassong or Turner weren''t signed in order for a new striker to come in? It was clear where the priority was at the end of last season, and those problems were addressed. Unfortunately for a club like Norwich every area of the pitched can''t be improved upon at the sametime due to limited resources.

 

(This post isn''t entirely aimed at you GJL, just my general thoughts on this topic).

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Stoke have stayed up consistently playing a certain brand of football, the brief for this year is to stay up, so I hope we are Stoke in that respect this year.

While stats in isolation mean nothing, assuming these are correct, there is enough evidence to suggest there is a similarity in the general method of our play this season. The most telling two stats to me are the goals from open play/goals from set pieces. While in isolation they of course do not tell a story of the entire way we play, I am not at all surprised by our league position in those two areas.

If we are playing like this to stay up this year, and we achieve that, I have few real complaints. As bethnal has said Hughton has built a much stronger defence and we are playing to our strength. In fact where we don''t match with stoke is that we have similar defensive stats and possession but far less fouls and cards.

If we have similar stats this time next year after a summer of continued rebuilding I will be far more disappointed.

Stats aren''t the be all and end all but they do build a picture over time, you can''t ignore that, but unless you go a bit deeper than this your not getting the full picture, but the general trend can''t be ignored either.

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It''s worth pointing out that in those stats a pass over 25 yards is considered a ''long pass''. Whilst that isn''t short, it doesn''t always mean a long-punt from center-back straight to striker.

 

Last season, the team with the second highest number of long-passes (after Norwich) was that famous long-ball team Tottenham.

 

If you want to look at percentages, last season 77.4% of all Norwich passes were ''short'' compared to 77.1% of all Stoke''s passes (19th and 20th in the Prem).

 

This season 78% (15th in the League) of all Norwich passes are short, compared to 76.3% (17th in the League) of all Stoke''s passes. Reading are 20th with 74.4% of all passes. West Ham (76.3%) Newcastle (76.3%) and Sunderland (77.9%) are all below Norwich in the short passing percentage league.

 

What does this mean? Absolutely nothing.

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Goals from open play implies pace in your team (relative to the pace of the defenders). Now it''s clear we don''t have many forwards with pace, so it''s not suprising to me we are currently scoring the majority of our goals from set pieces...

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We are nothing like Stoke. The impression I get in the ground while watching us is that many fans would like us to be more like Stoke. How many times during that wonderful spell of possession leading up to the goal against Sunderland did the fans implore the players to "get it forward".  And direct football is what many fans prefer. Getting it up there into the box instead of playing the patient football Hughton prefers. Direct football can be more exciting but be careful what you wish for.

 

We may be more like Stoke when we don''t have the football and long may that continue. It''s what Stoke do when they don''t have the ball that frustrates opposing fans.

 

 

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]

We are nothing like Stoke when we are in possession of the ball. The impression I get in the ground while watching us is that many fans would like us to be more like Stoke. How many times during that wonderful spell of possession leading up to the goal against Sunderland did the fans implore the players to "get it forward".  And direct football is what many fans prefer. Getting it up there into the box instead of playing the patient football Hughton prefers. Direct football can be more exciting but be careful what you wish for.

 

We may be more like Stoke when we don''t have the football and long may that continue. It''s what Stoke do when they don''t have the ball that frustrates opposing fans.

 

 

[/quote]

 

 

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[quote user="Bethnal Yellow and Green"]

Norwich had limited resouces in the summer, and are there any players Hughton brought in that you would have rather he didn''t, thus allowing further recruitment in attacking positions? Would you have been happy if someone like Bassong or Turner weren''t signed in order for a new striker to come in? It was clear where the priority was at the end of last season, and those problems were addressed. Unfortunately for a club like Norwich every area of the pitched can''t be improved upon at the sametime due to limited resources.

[/quote]

 

That is quite true, Bethnal. But it raises the question of what happened - or rather what didn''t happen - in the January transfer window. One would have needed to be on the inside to be sure, but based on confirmed bids (for Hooper) and very strong rumours of bids (for Curtis Davies) it seems that we made several million pounds available. Probably getting towards £10m.

But in effect spent none of it. Whether that much money was made available solely for Hooper (or van Wolfswinkel, who was quickly priced out of our spending limit) I don''t know, although it seems unlikely. Our interest in Davies looked genuine.

Certainly by the time January came around it had become obvious there were two serious gaps in the squad apart from up front. A third central defender to back up Turner and Bassong. And a lack of  quality in central midfield. It is hard to imagine there was no-one available who would have improved matters. Perhaps the argument was that we were so close to safety that it would be better to wait, and I understand that (although was there no loan deal that could have been done?). But if so that was taking an enormous risk, because relegation, although unlikely, is still possible, based on our results since the window shut. As ricardo said on February 1:

1. If we stay up McNally is a hero, 10 million quid saved for the summer.

2. If everything goes tits up it will be the biggest missed opportunity in NCFC history.

That is the gamble and in 3 months time we will know the answer.

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="Bethnal Yellow and Green"]

Norwich had limited resouces in the summer, and are there any players Hughton brought in that you would have rather he didn''t, thus allowing further recruitment in attacking positions? Would you have been happy if someone like Bassong or Turner weren''t signed in order for a new striker to come in? It was clear where the priority was at the end of last season, and those problems were addressed. Unfortunately for a club like Norwich every area of the pitched can''t be improved upon at the sametime due to limited resources.

[/quote]

 

That is quite true, Bethnal. But it raises the question of what happened - or rather what didn''t happen - in the January transfer window. One would have needed to be on the inside to be sure, but based on confirmed bids (for Hooper) and very strong rumours of bids (for Curtis Davies) it seems that we made several million pounds available. Probably getting towards £10m.

But in effect spent none of it. Whether that much money was made available solely for Hooper (or van Wolfswinkel, who was quickly priced out of our spending limit) I don''t know, although it seems unlikely. Our interest in Davies looked genuine.

Certainly by the time January came around it had become obvious there were two serious gaps in the squad apart from up front. A third central defender to back up Turner and Bassong. And a lack of  quality in central midfield. It is hard to imagine there was no-one available who would have improved matters. Perhaps the argument was that we were so close to safety that it would be better to wait, and I understand that (although was there no loan deal that could have been done?). But if so that was taking an enormous risk, because relegation, although unlikely, is still possible, based on our results since the window shut. As ricardo said on February 1:

1. If we stay up McNally is a hero, 10 million quid saved for the summer.

2. If everything goes tits up it will be the biggest missed opportunity in NCFC history.

That is the gamble and in 3 months time we will know the answer.

[/quote]

I was thinking about this aswell when I wrote this comment.

 

I suspect that the money being offered around in January was part of the summer transfer budget being brought forward i.e. If Norwich had spent the money then, there would have been that much less in the summer.

 

The rationale probably being that if someone like Van Wolfswinkel signed, he would retain a significant value even if Norwich were relegated and could be sold on at a lose, but hopefully not a substantial one.

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