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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Fulham FA Cup

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Third round day at Carrow Rd in blustery, damp, but mild conditions. Inevitably my mind turnd back to 1958 and that crisp snow covered surface where Charlton, Violett, Quixhall and all were unceremoniously dumped out of the cup in a famous win that signaled City''s rise from a near extinction event.Oh how we loved the FA Cup. Third round day was a high point in the calendar, something to be looked forward to, and savoured. Our only gates of over 40k have been in this competition and I''ve been fortunate enough to witness three of them first hand. Some will have never experienced the excitement of standing in a packed terrace with the crowd swaying back and forth as play moved up and downfield. Nor will they ever hear forty thousand voices actually singing OTBC again, just that dreadful chant.We used to call it "Cup Tie Football", for it was different to the humdrum League fare. End to end stuff, goalmouth action, cut and thrust, winner takes all. There may have been fewer silky skills on display but those that were, shone like a blazing beacon through a fog of mediocrity. It still brings a lump to the throat of those who can remember it but the past is another country and there are fewer of us every year who lived in it. For the rest it''s a place they can never visit. It''s lost forever in a time beyond their recall.However lets not get maudlin, so, on to the game. As expected it was a time for experiment and a time to air the second stringers. Fox and surprisingly Garrido appeared in midfield and also Snoddy lined up inside instead of on the wing. Young Murphy was given his chance and sparkled from the off as the game began with City on the front foot. Elmanders early cross looked destined for Ricky''s head until a defender intervened then Murphy was only a couple of feet over the top with a 25 yarder. It was near total domination in the early minutes with City passing the ball about with some style. Elmander hit one just wide, then Murphy picked out Stockdale when he had a choice of strikers better placed.We saw little from Fulham apart from a Demsey long range effort that was too high to trouble Mark Bunn. City kept piling forward with Snoddy and Fox pulling all sorts of levers but time and again the crosses picked out the keeper or a white shirt. I just knew Snoddy would suit that position and it surprises me that Hughton hadn''t tried it earlier. Despite the pressure a goal refused to come and just as I remarked to my son "I can see where this is going", it went. A perfect cross found Bents head and with Martin out-jumped and Bunn in no-mans land it was an easy task for an experienced striker to steer it into the net. To their credit City were straight back on the offensive,  RVW was foiled only by a superb save from Stockdale low to his right but with time running out, Murphy at last produced a decent cross and there was Snoddy to nod low past the keeper.Those who like it pretty should have been well pleased at half time because much of it was very pretty indeed. With the addition of a few good crosses City would have been out of sight. It was a decent crowd as well but the Snakepit was again two thirds empty seasts and if around me was anything to go by the plastics were there in high numbers. It is right to say the atmosphere was more than a little flat.The second half was more closly fought though I could never see Fulham scoring. Murphy again made the wrong choices when well placed, hopefully he will learn with time. Snoddy was only inches out with a free kick then came the chance of the game. Olsson showed how it should be done with a cross that found Ricky in a similar position to Bents first half header. He did everything right with a powerful header that looked destined for the corner. The difference was that while Bunn  had lost his position, Stockdale stayed on his line and produced a most wonderful save low to his right. Ricky just needs a goal the rest of his game was superb.Redmond came on for Elmaner and the Murphy brothers swapped but the quality of crossing remained low and despite sparkiling runs from Redmond everything ended in a blind alley. So it ended all square and once again the booers let rip. What is it exactly that these people want? They don''t like ugly wins so they ask for pretty, they get pretty and they still boo. It''s enough to make you weep.I''m going for RVW as my MOM.There can be no doubting his talent. I also liked Snoddy in the middle. But the modern FA Cup, God, where has all the passion gone? Should we win the replay I know for certain that there will never be thousands queing for tickets halfway up King Street again no matter who we draw. I swear I once joined the queue for  Cup tickets near the County Hall roundabout, but that''s another story.[;)]

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What more could he have done? He gave people what they wanted. The fault is the players who despite numerous chances, fail to produce more than one telling cross per game. I t has nothing to do with wingers tracking back, They had ample opportunity today but produced few of any quality.

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Fantastic report as usual Ricardo, I agree 100%.

The atmosphere was terrible today. I was sitting right next to the away fans today (Row MM) and we were being totally out-sung, it was pathetic. A blind man would think Carrow Road was as empty as Nick Griffin''s bank account.

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[quote user="Fr. Chewy Louie"]We had some good moments, but i''d say "pretty" is pushing it a bit.[/quote]55% possession, 19 shots 6 on target. A full of good movement and control.  Apart from the goal City were never seriously troubled. What exactly is it that you want?

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[quote user="Fr. Chewy Louie"]I''m just saying it was hardly a great spectacle. Did you enjoy that game, really?

This is not necessarily a criticism of the manager.[/quote]The atmosphere certainly didn''t make for that and only Stockdale kept Fulham in the game. I was very pleased to see some experimentation and blooding of the Murphy boy''s. Yes, I enjoyed it, it was entertaining and on another day it could so easily have been 3-1. If you are expecting every opposing team to crumble you are in for a lot of disappointment.

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It feels this season that we have to work so so hard for a goal.

I''m glad RVW played well let''s hope he gets a bit of fortune and the flood gates open for the second half of the season.

Ricardo - after watching the match today would you put Fox in the team for league games?

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[quote user="Fr. Chewy Louie"]Yes, some positives, but didn''t leave the ground feeling uplifted. Agreed, atmos contributed.[/quote]As I''ve said so many times before, only a win gives me that feeling, no matter how scruffy. But today weren''t scruffy by any means. I should also have praised Foxy who was sheer class in the passing dept. In a first team outing against Everton we may need a more competent ball winner. In the Premier League you can''t get by on style alone.

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Good report Ricardo and the first game I have enjoyed for some time!

 

A lot of the regulars missing from around my seating but not bad turn out considering it was Fulham (Bogie Team :-) )

 

Anyhow I too was impressed with RVW, thought his hold up and link play was outstanding, Snodders was just MOM for me but Murphy too was top class, for an 18 year old he is impressive! Do we really need another winger or gamble on using this lad more his pace and ability to run at defenders scared them.....his final ball at times was questionable but the cross for Snodders outstanding.

 

Not a great Fox fan as some on here but he did his job very well, is he good enough for a full competative premiership start, no not in my book, but can''t argue that he might deserve a go!

 

Elmander was the only truely dire performer again today, for me overrated and over paid to be here, I hope that we could cut the loan spell short bag the money saved and buy or loan another attacker, clearly not good enough and wasn''t good enough during his peek with Bolton.

We were unlucky today.

 

On the whole I can see glimpse off football being played today! Please let it continue by playing RVW & Hooper and giving Murphy & Redmond the wings! Their pace will open up space for the attackers!IMO

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[quote user="ricardo"][quote user="Fr. Chewy Louie"]I''m just saying it was hardly a great spectacle. Did you enjoy that game, really?

This is not necessarily a criticism of the manager.[/quote]The atmosphere certainly didn''t make for that and only Stockdale kept Fulham in the game. I was very pleased to see some experimentation and blooding of the Murphy boy''s. Yes, I enjoyed it, it was entertaining and on another day it could so easily have been 3-1. If you are expecting every opposing team to crumble you are in for a lot of disappointment.[/quote]

So you''re blaming the fans...

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Excellent report as always Ricardo. But I''ts no good telling us not to get too maudlin about those good old cup days. I was already gone by the middle of your second paragraph.

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Today was the first time for along time that I didnt at the very least watch the game on even a dodgy stream, and considering I have now just about stopped reading most threads on here (just in case they do push me over the edge and I do top myself), it was great to read your usual balanced report. Delighted that there were some decent performances from what was a strange line up, and always thought that regardless of what team Hughton put out today he would be criticised, likewise regardless of how the team played it would be also criticised, this is just the way it is I''m afraid, sad but true. Reading the media its clear we were unlucky and Fulham owe the draw to their GK, shame we have a replay, I''m not sure our squad can cope with the extra game....but I personally still want us to win and progress, its a great chance to give the Murphy''s, Garrido, Fox and the like some game time. 

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[quote user="Mind the gap"]Excellent report as always Ricardo. But I''ts no good telling us not to get too maudlin about those good old cup days. I was already gone by the middle of your second paragraph.[/quote]Sorry mate but it will always bring a lump to my throat. I pity the young un''s who never knew those days. We will never see their like again.

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The bottom line is whatever system or team Chris Hughton puts out, he sadly doesn''t get the best out of his players, week in, week out.

That is enough of a reason for him not to be in charge of this Football Club.

As for the F.A cup, I loved the days where it actually meant something, but the price of staying in the Premiership means it has almost has reserve status. The F.A Cup as we used to know it will never happen again in my lifetime and I''ve hopefully got quite a way to go yet!

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[quote user="CANARYKING"]19 shots only 6 on target - sums it for me. Why can''t we work the keeper more ?[/quote] Premier League average is a little under 4 shots for every one on target.And 1 goal for about every 6 on target.Goals are rare events in football.

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Great report as usual. I wonder if you realise just how many people look for Ricardo''s report before anything else as it is usually spot on, as it was today

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Thanks for the report Ricardo, always first thing I read after a game. Due to other commitments and living in Rutland I don''t get to many games and just watch on a stream when possible so always like your way of watching city,

We have too many fans who forget where we''ve been and expect us to challenge for Europe or something.

Supporting city is a roller coaster. Enjoy it all, that''s all we can do ain''t it

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Many thanks Ricardo. Must say your report backs up what I heard on the audio stream; one reason to be cheerful is the good performances by squad players - & it sounds like Ricky will start scoring soon (please God he stays fit!).

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Ricky just needs a goal to get him going..at times he looks every inch an £8 million striker but we have to play to his strengths which isn''t with his back to goal. He needs decent crosses and we don''t do that enough.

I''ve come to the conclusion that Premier League football is like a game of chess rather than an all out battle or onslaught..Each side wants to give nothing away but also looks to negate their opponent first and foremost.

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[Y]Thanks Ricardo, your reports are a great read for us who have to work overseas. Good to read about the match from a Norwich fans perspective. Really hope we make some cup progress this year to get some of the excitement back at the Carra.

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[quote user="It''s Character Forming"]I''m currently in Cambodia so great to be able to read this. Shame we couldn''t squeeze out the win, we don''t need a replay but at least it sounds like plenty of good squad performances.

Good report as always

Taking plasticity to a whole new level

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[quote user="ricardo"][quote user="Mind the gap"]Excellent report as always Ricardo. But I''ts no good telling us not to get too maudlin about those good old cup days. I was already gone by the middle of your second paragraph.[/quote]Sorry mate but it will always bring a lump to my throat. I pity the young un''s who never knew those days. We will never see their like again.[/quote]

Maybe we will Ricardo, there''s been allot of talk in the news about bringing back ''safe standing'' areas in English football grounds. That would bring some atmosphere into carrow road.

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[quote user="ricardo"]Third round day at Carrow Rd in blustery, damp, but mild conditions. Inevitably my mind turnd back to 1958 and that crisp snow covered surface where Charlton, Violett, Quixhall and all were unceremoniously dumped out of the cup in a famous win[/quote]Actually it was January 1959.I was there, 10 years old & because of the large crowd all us kids got sat on the cinder track round the pitch.Magic memories, not least queuing up half the night round the back streets hoping to get tickets for the replays & next rounds.  .

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