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mj

The "give me boring football in the top division" mentality...

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Just a question, but I read regularly that people would be happy with survival and continuous boring fotball, setting out every game not to get beaten as opposed to focusing on free flowing attractive attacking football.

As a H&A ST holder of +10 years, this season has been by far the most frustrating and boring I can recall.

Clearly I dont want relegation and a return to the dark days, but I have admit this season was a step too far. Investing in excess of £4k to watch 38 games where we rarely attack is not value for money. I recall one good game away (Swansea) maybe Spurs at a push, and two games at home (Man U & Arsenal). Not a good return.

So are the people settling for the dull "survival" football actually ones who go to the games, or just people with an affiliaitaion to the club who like to be connected with a Premier League team?

Just interested!

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Fans I''m sure want more entertainment generally. Where as the club, it seems to be about the ''Boulton & Watts''.

It''s a balancing act, and I''m of the opinion that next season (if we stay up) Hughton will revamp the attacking side with more quality and we''ll see less negative football.

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[quote user="mj"]

Just a question, but I read regularly that people would be happy with survival and continuous boring fotball, setting out every game not to get beaten as opposed to focusing on free flowing attractive attacking football.

As a H&A ST holder of +10 years, this season has been by far the most frustrating and boring I can recall.

Clearly I dont want relegation and a return to the dark days, but I have admit this season was a step too far. Investing in excess of £4k to watch 38 games where we rarely attack is not value for money. I recall one good game away (Swansea) maybe Spurs at a push, and two games at home (Man U & Arsenal). Not a good return.

So are the people settling for the dull "survival" football actually ones who go to the games, or just people with an affiliaitaion to the club who like to be connected with a Premier League team?

Just interested!

[/quote]Some truth in that but it''s either trying to compete in a league where the big teams have all the advantages or being relegated to a league where we have a more realistic chance of success. Having experienced 8 promotions and 6 relegations in my time of supporting City  and twice nearly going bust I think I will settle for survival.That''s not to say that I hope we will be better equipped to compete now that the debt''s are cleared and might soon be celebrating the prospect of another big money season.

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I do agree it''s been a very sterile season and it would be extremely tough to watch that year in year out.  But, as fans we do also have to realise that in reality, there are some good seasons and some bad.  It really is a mixed bag in the long run.  We''ve had unprecedented success and joy over the previous 3 years and this simply could not continue in that same vein.  There was always going to be some ''levelling out'' or re-setting of expectations as I like to think,it''s the nature of the beast.

If a dull season means getting to 38-41 points and clinging onto Premiership survival, then I''m afraid to say that we haven''t really got it that bad.  It could be a heck of a lot worse!  Think Wolves (double relegation in successive seasons), think Portsmouth, Barnet, Bury, QPR.  For heavens sake, think Ipswich!

Yep, it''s been a tough season, but some teams in the lower leagues would look at us collectively and think "what a bunch of spoilt brats, they don''t know how good they''ve got it!".  And they could be true.  We haven''t survived yet, but this season is all about the bigger picture - growing the club further, improving the squad in the areas that everyone knows we need to.

The Premier League is a challenge and it''s certainly not a doddle, but I for one love the challenge of going up against these world famous teams week in week out.  With the right improvment, we can step up our performances next year, of that I have no doubt. 

And we will be debt free also.  Life''s really not that bad :)

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"...but I read regularly that people would be happy with survival and continuous boring football ..."

I would take issue with the OP on that. I can''t think of anyone posting that they''d be happy with continuous boring football.

I certainly wouldn''t. And I''d be totally, gobsmackedly amazed if next season''s team played in the same way.

Needs must when the devil drives ...

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For the past 20 seasons we''ve been in the second tier, and for most of those we''ve been in mid-table with only an outside shot at the playoffs and little risk of relegation.  The exceptions being reaching the playoff final once, one season in the Prem (under Worthy), and one season in L1, before getting back in the Prem last year.

 

That for me is the comparison, and I''d take this season over any of those normal seasons in the 2nd tier like a shot.

 

After we went down to L1, we had 3 exhilarating seasons which were among the best achievements in the club''s history.  this season has been more of a return to normality - except for being in the top tier and therefore seeing much better players, both for City and of course against us.  It''s unfair to compare this year to the last 3 seasons, we need to remember the many fairly dire years in the 2nd tier before then.

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As someone who is trying, quite successfully at the moment to keep his soon to be 6 year old son as a Norwich fan, the next couple of seasons are pretty crucial for me until he is fully indoctrinated. We live in NW London by the way and at my son''s school the only other child who supports neither Man U/Liverpool nor one of the big London teams (Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea) is a Villa fan and more of this later. Even the smaller London premier league teams like QPR, W. Ham, Fulham don''t get a look in. At the moment Project Canary is going well. He''s been to about 4 or 5 home games starting with Walsall (remember those days) and thinks it''s entirely normal that he supports Norwich in exactly the same way I do along with his grandad and we all go to the games together. Away games are out for the time being, as I tend to go and spend the day in the pub before and after and it''s probably a bit intimidating if you''re only 5 and can''t see the game properly anyway. As far as he is concerned Norwich is a big club, and let''s face it 26,000 people less a small number of away fans all in yellow and green is pretty impressive so he loves it at Carrow Road. He gets to wear his football kit at school for football which is on a Monday and let''s just say he had a great day after the Man U and Arsenal games as we know what little sods kids can be at times i.e. your team is rubbish etc. This is aside from my own views on what relegation would mean. I was depressed enough last weekend, let alone after the Charlton and Fulham debacles. I took some comfort from Wigan losing last night, but that''s our lifeline now which we have to follow up with a win on Sunday.

Anyway back to the Villa fan above - his dad is from Birmingham by the way. Last time I saw the son the Villa kit had disappeared to be replaced with a full Chelsea kit. Whether this has anything to do with Villa''s form this season I don''t know. I did say to his dad that I wouldn''t allow my son to support Chelsea or at least I wouldn''t buy a strip for him or expect anyone else in my family to do the same, but at the moment I don''t have that dliemma thankfully. I was pretty much a fan for life by age 8 or 9 so only a couple of years to go. 

OTBC

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[quote user="ron obvious"]"...but I read regularly that people would be happy with survival and continuous boring football ..."

I would take issue with the OP on that. I can''t think of anyone posting that they''d be happy with continuous boring football.

I certainly wouldn''t. And I''d be totally, gobsmackedly amazed if next season''s team played in the same way.

Needs must when the devil drives ...[/quote]

Why did it need to be continuing boring football this season Ron?

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Much, much more interested in seeing attacking exciting football than which division we happen to be in. Wonder how many of those who would prefer PL, no matter how mind-numbingly dull the football actually don''t stump up to watch this dross in the flesh and really mean "retain the facility to watch games on streams no matter how poor the football. ST for 25 years, away games when circumstances allow.

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I have never once heard/seen someone say they would be happy with boring footy in the top division continuously.

what I have heard/seen, though, is people saying they are happy with it for this season, as it is a season of transition. which IMO is completely fair enough.

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[quote user="Javiers Deaf Translator"]as it is a season of transition[/quote]You''re not wrong, we went from playing attractive, attacking football, to turgid, defensive fare in less than a season...that has to be some kind of new record...

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Mr V

Because Hughton considered that being hard to beat was the first priority. He did, & does not, believe our attacking capabilities to be Prem standard. I imagine he thought that the chances of Holt & Morison scoring 26 goals between them to be vanishingly small, & the chances of upgrading the midfield & attack on our budget likewise.

I, as it happens, agree with him.

Last year we ran on inspiration, adrenalin, surprise, teamwork, bloodymindedness & luck.

To expect a new manager to carry on from where we left off, utilising most of the existing squad, was just not a possibility - at least, in my opinion. Others will no doubt differ.

I love our players. People like Russell Martin are completely admirable human beings & I will them to win every week, but the unfortunate truth is that they''re not in the first rank of footballing ability.

Given what he had to go with, Hughton has played his hand in the only way he saw possible to retain our status. Keep it as tight as possible &, given our lack of pace on the break, try to maximise our goalscoring opportunities from dead ball situations.

Now I don''t think he has always got it right, i think there are times he could have been more adventurous, when something different might have been tried, when substitutions could have been made earlier.

But I, in reality, know nothing & have no responsibility. His only aim is to keep us up - this year.

I doubt he''s enjoyed it much. His previous record does not suggest a Pulis type mentality, & the signing of RVW (plus others rumoured) suggest he wants player upgrades all over the pitch.

If he gets the players he wants but continues in the same vein then, yes, I won''t want him either.

We''ll see.

Firstly, there''s the small matter of staying up!

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Thing is as long as we are in the top flight there is always the potential for the football to change, or those moments of magic that make an entire season. Whats more the longer we are in this division the easier it will become to attract and afford better, more exciting players. Van Wolfswinkle is already an indication of a potentially more exciting season, Nathan Redmonds name has been knocking about too, again an exciting young player... I imagine a European upgrade of Wes might be on the books. We are limted by our squad at the moment, not quite enough quality to play nice flowing football AND not risk getting torn appart attempting it, the only way is to show reckless abandon like our first season. A lot of fun and completely unsustainable. We will improve the squad and the quality of football as a result.

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[quote user="ron obvious"]Mr V

Because Hughton considered that being hard to beat was the first priority. He did, & does not, believe our attacking capabilities to be Prem standard. I imagine he thought that the chances of Holt & Morison scoring 26 goals between them to be vanishingly small, & the chances of upgrading the midfield & attack on our budget likewise.

I, as it happens, agree with him.

Last year we ran on inspiration, adrenalin, surprise, teamwork, bloodymindedness & luck.

To expect a new manager to carry on from where we left off, utilising most of the existing squad, was just not a possibility - at least, in my opinion. Others will no doubt differ.

I love our players. People like Russell Martin are completely admirable human beings & I will them to win every week, but the unfortunate truth is that they''re not in the first rank of footballing ability.

Given what he had to go with, Hughton has played his hand in the only way he saw possible to retain our status. Keep it as tight as possible &, given our lack of pace on the break, try to maximise our goalscoring opportunities from dead ball situations.

Now I don''t think he has always got it right, i think there are times he could have been more adventurous, when something different might have been tried, when substitutions could have been made earlier.

But I, in reality, know nothing & have no responsibility. His only aim is to keep us up - this year.

I doubt he''s enjoyed it much. His previous record does not suggest a Pulis type mentality, & the signing of RVW (plus others rumoured) suggest he wants player upgrades all over the pitch.

If he gets the players he wants but continues in the same vein then, yes, I won''t want him either.

We''ll see.

Firstly, there''s the small matter of staying up![/quote]
[Y] 
Great post Ron. 

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Well I guess you''d call it artistic licence but to say only two home games were worth the money isn''t remotely true in my book. And the two selected games even less so. Two great results maybe and the Man Utd game was probably the best but Arsenal? We''ve had loads better games than that! For me Arsenal, Man U, Sunderland, Spurs, Man City, Chelsea, Everton, Swansea, Reading and Villa have been worth the money. But I guess I''m alone in that...

 

 

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Fully agree Birchfest.

And let us not forget that we may, at last, be having some young players coming through who might, just might, be good enough to be part of a Premiership set up.

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If he really thought we were that poor he should never have taken the job, your analysis of our performance last year is absolute nonsense, what we did have was a team spirit and a group of players that bought into the managers style.,our current group of players hate the way Hughton wants them to play, and before you ask no I will not be able to substantiate that, but if anyone else has any contacts at player level they will confirm it. You must either accept what I say or reject it.

Apart from the 10 game run our performance this season has been clueless, his job is to make the best of what we have, he has completely failed to do that, individual,player performances are far off the standards they set last year. What you describe is a defeatist who only sees our team as a group far weaker than our opponents, thats an extremely negative approach which almost failed, he must not be given the opportunity to do it again.

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Excellent piece of analysis Ron, I agree completely

His record at Brum and Newcastle doesn''t bear out the negative approach pinned on him by many. And look at the players we''ve shipped out, regulars last year who are now I the Champ

Let''s get to safety then see how he strengthens the squad and judge him on our performances next season.

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Complacency is creeping in like a rising tide since Wigan. lost last night.

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Assuming your above post is in reply to mine, Vanwink, then I would only add that my assessment of our squad is based on observation of their performance together with the market appraisal of their value to competing clubs.

Presumably Hughton was taking a long term view of the overall possibilities & what he could achieve with the club.

I neither accept nor reject what you say, since it is based on something you cannot substantiate & I cannot repudiate.

Incidentally, from nowhere you are piling up posts at an amazing, some might say alarming, rate.

The tone seems to be changing from reasonableness to something more ... bombastic? ...Confrontational?

Is the mask slipping??

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Tired. Knackered really. Through playing against tough opposition every week, containing generally better (or more consistently better) players.

But they''re still doing their best. Good on ''em I say.

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Tired and knackered because the squad has not been used to enable players to rest, unsure of a game plan and often lost when in posession with limited options for a pass, getting forward into good positions but nobody in the box to receive a pass, nervous and lacking in confidence, finally taking part in a comedy sketch when Garrido was subbed on Saturday.

And you want more of this next season?

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one point I''d just like to add.

It seems that all neutrals, and many pundits, see Norwich last season as a lucky, plucky side, who got many-a-goal from long balls.

the only people who seemed to think that the same squad with a few additions would push up the league was... I''ll go ahead and let you guess that yourself.

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Ron O

Thank you for your great post - said exactly what I think but much better!

I don''t want to watch turgid football all the time- but the again I don''t think have even this season. I don''t recall the matches against Man U, Arsenal, Spurs, Swansea or even the Man City game as being unexciting. I seriously think some of our fans have delusions of grandeur. At the start of the season we were bookies favourites for promotion and I was expecting a tough season. CH has just about done enough to keep us up - that to my mind means he deserves to continue to have the chance to improve us next season. Yes I want to see more attacking flair then, but that equally doesn''t mean I want us to become a long ball team, or one that can''t defend.

I must confess to feeling a bit uneasy about some of the venom being directed at our manager. I really think some of it has been way over the top for someone in his first season at the club.

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A very interesting perspective on the pre season odds killie.

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