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That win ratio is abysmal. I guarantee if this was any other club he would have been sacked or his position would have been made untenable by the fans at match days. People moan about our atmosphere but I think we''re doing ourselves credit inspire of the situation. At least the next manager will know he''ll be given time and patience....

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[quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)[/quote]

Well, the bit I''ve highlighted in red seems to have blown the whole thing out of the water....Sorry. [:$]

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Lol are you kiddin? Hughton''s the biggest bogeyman going!

And lol to lappin too... You really think so? You think me getting that prediction wrong "blows the whole thing out"? Lol....

A) it''s one guess of 150... Got plenty others wrong already too... No one could have predicted nil nil... Hoped for, maybe

B) that only is a part about the rest of the season.... At a guess... Id say my essay was 40% talking about opinions and explaining my logic, 30% looking at the season so far, 20% comparing to previous seasons and only 10% looking at the rest of this one.... "whole thing" haha...

C) we''re still 2 points down on where we thought I''d be ;-)

You really should put more effort into how you phrase things ;-)

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[quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally... and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this

actually turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I understand if you

feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so :-) Hours and hours and

even no sleep went into this... I may have got a bit carried away, granted...

but it was a project I felt really passionate about I guess. The title is

actually deliberately misleading. It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw

that despite being nothing compared to some of the irritating things I see,

managed to ignite my anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of

the same old arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap and

analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is an incredulously blind and dismissive point

of view. I don''t mean blind because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it

completely ignores the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk

about. The performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to say that

very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you seriously claiming

that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and causing such a

divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2 labels, like some kind of

West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s not great but it does sum up what

I think every fan, to one degree or another, falls in to. To be fair, they are

quicker to type than "people that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning,

are willing to at least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked

asap"

There is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea that

we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way longer than

others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many people (sadly) forget

is that these things are just opinions. There can never really be a "right"

opinion in football... just widely agreed theories and conclusions. In the adult

world, theories and conclusions are looked at as more credible if you can back

them up using research and data. That being said, here are to name a few things

that should be talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in players not taking to his style like Holt

    and now Wes wanting to go) and figuratively (as in players that were class are

    suddenly playing  crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been

    worth his price tag?).

  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the right players? Do you not think (like

    me) that certain players aren''t getting played enough and out of form players

    should have to earn their place? What about the popular opinion that his style

    and setup is too negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does

    he play about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?

  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend to leave it? Does he

    "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game? Sometimes he only makes one sub

    when needing just one goal (I remember once at least anyway)... and honestly,

    IMO his substitutions are often baffling.

  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are the ones playing the game but they are

    instructed and coached by Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than

    a team of players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.

  • Signings      -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking worryingly

    like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why but I feel he (and

    Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style of play. What about his

    latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger on loan, that apparently got 10

    goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle (source: wiki so please correct it if

    wrong) and only had 2 appearances this season before coming to us... What about

    some of the names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with

    enthusiasm? 

  • Ambition      -     Before and after every game people will disagree on

    whether a defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for? Does the

    enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment, I''ll

first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us, as although

stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be used to side an

argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t be argued with.

Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At first, I was only going to

look at Hull and Villa above us as they are substantially nearer to us in points

than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have

a great squad, plus the way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a

top-end mid table club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I

feel we''ve dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more,

let in less and have miles better GD.

As I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll look

at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and find a "flip"

view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than

    us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have

    1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4)

    goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8)

    goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double

    than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the

    same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things matter

and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just how well we are

performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will ultimately have their say

on where we finish. They are a fair reflection on our performances by the way...

of course they are! You could look at Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet

on their defense having been rubbish so far... you could look at our goals

scored and be able to assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly

for whatever reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters

is goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least goals

conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more money (and sounds

better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a new set of peers and a

clean slate. What happened before obviously holds no relevance to the current

season. However, it is relevant if you want to evaluate a team or, say, a

manager. So let''s compare now to the 22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position -

12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position -

12th

So while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we also

have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having conceded 1

less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note, if we swap last

season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better off (and visa versa other

way round). To me, everything points to the fact that we''re going backwards, or

as I like to say: being dragged backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea

further we can compare his 1st full season to the one before (also our 1st

season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position -

11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position -

12th

Interestingly again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season

in EPL would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last season:

S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we

    managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet

    in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything is

doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear to see? I

will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3 places (he also

decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has drastically improved our

clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons of exciting goal fests). He

managed to lose one less game (a whole 1... only 50% of how many less games he

managed to win). We also did concede 8 less goals (yet despite this ended up

with a worse goal difference). So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s

much more to moan about than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up, clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is

that marvelous 10 game unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last

season, early on (or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been

sucked out) makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how

close it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK. That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be wrong:

the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this made it clear to

see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so strong that you think we

should give him the rest of the season and then replace him? It''s not been

unknown for a new manager to bring a big boost for the team, if even just a

"honeymoon period". At what point does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea

then finally Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home games are

"tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup half full or half

empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home advantage for the tougher

games, or look at it as though you don''t expect anything from Man C and Spurs

anyway (plus the lesser teams have the home advantage) so would rather the run

of fixtures was reversed. I can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and

Hughton''s lack of progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for alliteration that

day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must not lose games (I''d hope

for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most doom and gloom fan couldn''t

seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points from the other 33 available, but

even still: take that optimistic 11 points and add it to our current total (23),

that''s only 34 points... 6 away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches

there is only 6 points between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the

rarities where a team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard

for me to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I think

that is! 

When McNally said in that interview that the task of staying out of bottom 3

was currently being met, it gave me the impression it was reassurance without

really showing proper support. That target may currently be being met, but that

is just the bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel progress

would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the middle of the

table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen no evidence of the

necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I should give more faith to

Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do think we''ll survive this season even

if we''re stuck with Hughton. But only because I believe our team to be good

enough, and that other teams will do worse... that will just about save us. It

shouldn''t be like that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may remind me that not long ago we

were in League 1, but to that I say: And? Did we not win that title in one? Did

we not then go up in runners up spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong

but, hasn''t every team earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re

in? Isn''t the very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the

ultimate aim promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a league

prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to achieving it? Yes,

teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland are examples against that

last sentence... but it could be said that for whatever reasons, they are

failing to do what''s necessary to "stay good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope

that we can achieve what others have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn around and everything Hughton does

might actually pay off... if by some miracle that was to happen, no point trying

to goad me because, simply, I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if

we don''t get relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t

say "he kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s performance, and

lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much lol), is unacceptable. I

don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy (too nice? More a mate than a boss?

I just don''t know). It could be argued that his style of football just doesn''t

suit our club, no matter how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again

somewhere else... I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact

he''s our manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I can''t

hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find much good to

say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy clapper, please explain

to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo! Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12

minutes we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the tethering... so I

figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I had a few more other

ideas... and turns out I was still working on this after the Cardiff game...

quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing as it''s a top 9 opposition and

then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I thought to title this note what I have...

it may now be out of date, but when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was

how we were 12th and 6 points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points

safe.... Kind of illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading

this (thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our

peers as the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating

Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how much there

is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t rate Johnson and

am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him either. Snoddy, as inferred

earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how poor his form is. The sooner Howson

gets back the better if you ask me. One huge problem (to me) of course, was the

complete exclusion of Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an

important part of the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this

miffed me even more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd

half was only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still had one

shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20. It''s not as if we

can say it was our great defending that kept them out either... how many times

did they hit the woodwork? We could have been 3-4 nil down by half time had we

been less lucky. Then there was the penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether

there was contact or not, it was close and could have easily been given. Don''t

get me wrong: I appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough

with the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance was

poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few brief okay

spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker (why on Earth he

still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know) and the Wolf was pretty

weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was making a double sub I thought "my

word... he''s actually trying to change things!", even if I personally would have

done it with 30 minutes to go instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both

changes were very like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks

for Redmond was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over Elmander but

at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment Redmond came on, he

showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11 no brainer; getting in some

nice crosses. Then there was the double sending off. Johnson should be

embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say "well you shouldn''t put your head to

another''s" but Remy didn''t even look like he moved his head at all... was just

two players being equally testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the

opponent lose their top scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and

bring on Tettey? It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than

10 minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they were

forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for the win? To

cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his tendency to play

players out of position, he could figure out a way to stay attacking while

shuffling those on the pitch about... but that would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in survival.

If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the form table AND

home form table... even our away form was 6 places better than theirs...  they

had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were defeats!)... they were one of

the few cubs to have scored less and conceded more than us.... even considering

the clubs'' all time head to head we had beat them double the amount of times

they had beat us... how are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The

result was bad enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing

us this game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what to read

into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against Hull and tbf, his

starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general feeling on our starting 11

wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I couldn''t believe it! I thought I was

going to be proved right to think that no matter how much they need/want the

win, we should out-perform them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30

minutes. As I had to listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my

opinion on the commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were

looking good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how crazy bad

the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal droughts within a

few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next half an hour too (just look

at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the 2nd half!), until Hughton made the

triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75 minutes... our performance improved

drastically as Fer and Redmond both shined almost immediately (the ball even

ended up in the net twice, once being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was

only a matter of time away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only

gave them 15 minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of positive

input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be a good signing

and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So... after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we only

weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the necessary results

(Palace needing just a draw) the next day... personally, I''d rather we kept our

fate firmly in our own hands by having good performances and getting better

results. Seeing as Newcastle went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below

par attacking failed to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it

was the case that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous for us. There is now only 5 points

separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from 10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland

and West Ham all gained 3 points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving

just 4 of the bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and

Hull picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff effectively gained

6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t look too great either. I

can''t see anything other than defeat to Man City. Only 2 other clubs in the

bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham travel to an out of sorts United and

Stoke, buzzing from their win, travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher

than them in the table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal difference holds no meaning

at all) and another tool to try and hush our concerns is pointing out we''re one

win off 10th place. This is not about whether your cup is half full or half

empty. Ironically, as you happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about

being realistic. Our current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams

below us, only Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we

done against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of an

advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we SHOULD be

looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of the

season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be taken too

seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But it does offer up a

handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we are... and I promise I had

no agenda when making predictions for the teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere hours after finishing this prediction, I

found out there''s a tool on the internet that would have made it 10 times

quicker and easier! Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just

how I came to the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us

the win against Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as

required, plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents''

next 5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents'' and

so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the prediction for

their match had already been determined. Once done, I totaled up the points and

worked out how the league would look. When points were equal I put it to current

GD. I also used our last results to make a predicted form league (when they were

equal I looked at who had the least defeats and then where they stood in the

table). Then I  predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time

I used the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5 games to go

point to work out what points total they might reach (I did throw in some

surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well... it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an injection of

hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and Stoke beating United

to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we would rely on having a better GD

than Fulham and Stoke. This is another reason why having THE toughest end of

season matters... not only are we likely to not be picking up points, but our GD

might take a battering too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more

clean sheets means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total.

Clean sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take comfort

in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and would prefer a

nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but those 3 goals COULD be

the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers will

have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago

    (even considering the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register

    our first back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5 games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better

    than 18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that it will

    be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us regarding

how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into our survival... so

let''s look at how many points we have (out of how many available) so far and,

just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm.... it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when

predicting the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as you

know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that game

again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be even

more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw) but frankly,

I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take Ip5h1t''s crown of record

defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their

goals per game was at 2.96. Their home failed to score record stretched back to

2010! Chelsea got the double on them, but their other failed to win games makes

interesting reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our

bottom 11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this reverse

fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9 better). They

are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home form is slightly

better than our own. Having managed that miraculous draw against Chelsea and

then getting a win, I can''t help but think that they will score more than we

will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well... it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their previous 2

games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all cylinders (is that

the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing to Cardiff, things could be

looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have to

say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for the 4-1

cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win here. However, I

think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton (and Cardiff have to win

some games, how I''d love one of them to be to Villa) so things may not be so

good at Villa. Also, although they sit smack bang in the middle of the form

table (above us), they are bottom of the home form and we''re not doing too bad

(comparatively) away (12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring,

exciting game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th) thanks to

their win against United; also they are still bottom of the away form, and

again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home (11th). Despite them

being above us in the league, they are still one of only 3 clubs to have

conceded more than us. This should be an easier game... but then I thought that

about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I imagine that

to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us) considered... I

smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too

(5th). But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the 10

games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal on points,

and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the club that''s one

place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but like to think we can

avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table

(because they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and one

place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the previous 9

fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history things between us are

amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and there''s been 10 draws. We''ve

scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just think this will be a boring draw...

but then they could be the object of my envy and enjoying life under a new

manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in

my predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their last

6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning they have 4

draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when considering everything I

have on other games, I should lean towards us getting the win.... I guess my

faith has took such a knock that I find it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in

all last 5 fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK.... if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol.

I promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left to

say...

Because I compared our first season in the Premier League to our second, one

happy clappy chappy decided I need to "stop wanking over Lambert". While I do

miss having a good manager, I do realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The

reason I compare the 2 seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are

still Norwich City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re

capable of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t fathom, he''s

not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to address it. You can''t

compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios (what some narrow minded people

think is all that matters) as they have bigger clubs and are expected to win

more. But they are still managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such

as getting tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some! It''s like:

you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but as they are both

cars, you can compare them on affordability, practicality and comfort etc. I''m

not saying Hughton should be as good as Jose, but it would be nice to not have

what I deem to be the 20th best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots about the whole "more clean sheets" and the

statistical tightening of our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph...

a good manager gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make

their defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a defensive one

because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you need to make sure you

score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough" mentalities... not to mention

it''s more exciting and likely to improve the things that matter (aka wins, goals

scored and goal difference).

Despite my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to replace

Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated... why? I''m not the

one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s about and make the

appointment! While some reserve the right to not make a suggestion, some of us

do. I personally think Malky would be a better appointment than most people give

credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We

don''t have Tan on our board and look at his achievements before this season...

not too shabby really.

Some happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think replacing him

now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should wait until the end of

the season to get rid. I already was a hobber before this project of mine, but

now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how anyone can still have faith in him. Before

the Cardiff game, I was about 70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70%

sure we''re heading down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m

concerned: there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are

plentiful. If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can keep us

up?

As I said right at the start, I understand that whether we will stay up is a

matter of opinion and so there is no "right" answer. I can understand people

feeling 100% sure of our relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our

survival. Yes, the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do

over a season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are performing

against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6 of the bottom 11,

regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s also these omens to

consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the

    table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run

    without a win.

Additionally, regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it

January or April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so far has

not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a must not lose game,

but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been doing well, then a defeat

would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced them final game: how we''ve

performed before will factor in how important the game is. This is why a run of

winnable games is much more favourable than hard games. The even more crucial

factor, which despite being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say

our tough end run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle

it tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you wouldn''t

rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that then put fate into

your own hands even more because you have the opportunity to stop others from

gaining points on you? You may point out that we could be mathematically safe

with 4 games to go. But that conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had

gone better (to be honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our

run of results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those teams! Then

the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how high up we finish!

Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of regarding why when you face a team

matters: mitigating circumstances such as injuries and suspensions that affect

how strong your team is at the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real fan" rubbish!? To cut a long

rant short: if you think being a "real" fan means you get behind the manager no

matter how poor things are, please at least say "good fan"... it may still be

ludicrously wrong, but at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about

what''s going on, raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen

to try and fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that front. I

actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read this but if you

do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter".... I''ve put bucket loads of

effort into this and would love for some articulate and mature happy clapper to

put in even half as much effort into trying to show why they have faith in

Hughton.... I can''t help but feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a few little factoids I gathered in my research...

mostly relating to our clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this

season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals

against)

  • Swansea (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a

    close second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big

    clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff

    (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be

    our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62

    meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63

    meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we

    haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3

    seasons ;-).

Just a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is 1,400

times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always have been and

always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for

Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to

be common sense ;-)

[/quote]
 
 
I highlighted the interesting part in red. I make that 2 predictions out of the 2 so far down the swanny. 100% wrong but 13 games to go so all is not lost. How did your predictions for the other games go? Did you have Hull to win? Or Fulham to get a draw?
 
 

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]
[quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally... and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this

actually turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I understand if you

feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so :-) Hours and hours and

even no sleep went into this... I may have got a bit carried away, granted...

but it was a project I felt really passionate about I guess. The title is

actually deliberately misleading. It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw

that despite being nothing compared to some of the irritating things I see,

managed to ignite my anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of

the same old arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap and

analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is an incredulously blind and dismissive point

of view. I don''t mean blind because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it

completely ignores the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk

about. The performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to say that

very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you seriously claiming

that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and causing such a

divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2 labels, like some kind of

West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s not great but it does sum up what

I think every fan, to one degree or another, falls in to. To be fair, they are

quicker to type than "people that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning,

are willing to at least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked

asap"

There is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea that

we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way longer than

others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many people (sadly) forget

is that these things are just opinions. There can never really be a "right"

opinion in football... just widely agreed theories and conclusions. In the adult

world, theories and conclusions are looked at as more credible if you can back

them up using research and data. That being said, here are to name a few things

that should be talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in players not taking to his style like Holt

    and now Wes wanting to go) and figuratively (as in players that were class are

    suddenly playing  crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been

    worth his price tag?).

  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the right players? Do you not think (like

    me) that certain players aren''t getting played enough and out of form players

    should have to earn their place? What about the popular opinion that his style

    and setup is too negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does

    he play about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?

  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend to leave it? Does he

    "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game? Sometimes he only makes one sub

    when needing just one goal (I remember once at least anyway)... and honestly,

    IMO his substitutions are often baffling.

  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are the ones playing the game but they are

    instructed and coached by Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than

    a team of players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.

  • Signings      -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking worryingly

    like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why but I feel he (and

    Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style of play. What about his

    latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger on loan, that apparently got 10

    goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle (source: wiki so please correct it if

    wrong) and only had 2 appearances this season before coming to us... What about

    some of the names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with

    enthusiasm? 

  • Ambition      -     Before and after every game people will disagree on

    whether a defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for? Does the

    enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment, I''ll

first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us, as although

stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be used to side an

argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t be argued with.

Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At first, I was only going to

look at Hull and Villa above us as they are substantially nearer to us in points

than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have

a great squad, plus the way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a

top-end mid table club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I

feel we''ve dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more,

let in less and have miles better GD.

As I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll look

at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and find a "flip"

view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than

    us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have

    1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4)

    goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8)

    goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double

    than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the

    same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things matter

and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just how well we are

performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will ultimately have their say

on where we finish. They are a fair reflection on our performances by the way...

of course they are! You could look at Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet

on their defense having been rubbish so far... you could look at our goals

scored and be able to assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly

for whatever reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters

is goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least goals

conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more money (and sounds

better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a new set of peers and a

clean slate. What happened before obviously holds no relevance to the current

season. However, it is relevant if you want to evaluate a team or, say, a

manager. So let''s compare now to the 22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position -

12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position -

12th

So while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we also

have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having conceded 1

less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note, if we swap last

season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better off (and visa versa other

way round). To me, everything points to the fact that we''re going backwards, or

as I like to say: being dragged backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea

further we can compare his 1st full season to the one before (also our 1st

season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position -

11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position -

12th

Interestingly again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season

in EPL would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last season:

S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we

    managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet

    in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything is

doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear to see? I

will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3 places (he also

decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has drastically improved our

clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons of exciting goal fests). He

managed to lose one less game (a whole 1... only 50% of how many less games he

managed to win). We also did concede 8 less goals (yet despite this ended up

with a worse goal difference). So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s

much more to moan about than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up, clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is

that marvelous 10 game unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last

season, early on (or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been

sucked out) makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how

close it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK. That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be wrong:

the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this made it clear to

see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so strong that you think we

should give him the rest of the season and then replace him? It''s not been

unknown for a new manager to bring a big boost for the team, if even just a

"honeymoon period". At what point does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea

then finally Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home games are

"tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup half full or half

empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home advantage for the tougher

games, or look at it as though you don''t expect anything from Man C and Spurs

anyway (plus the lesser teams have the home advantage) so would rather the run

of fixtures was reversed. I can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and

Hughton''s lack of progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for alliteration that

day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must not lose games (I''d hope

for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most doom and gloom fan couldn''t

seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points from the other 33 available, but

even still: take that optimistic 11 points and add it to our current total (23),

that''s only 34 points... 6 away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches

there is only 6 points between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the

rarities where a team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard

for me to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I think

that is! 

When McNally said in that interview that the task of staying out of bottom 3

was currently being met, it gave me the impression it was reassurance without

really showing proper support. That target may currently be being met, but that

is just the bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel progress

would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the middle of the

table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen no evidence of the

necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I should give more faith to

Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do think we''ll survive this season even

if we''re stuck with Hughton. But only because I believe our team to be good

enough, and that other teams will do worse... that will just about save us. It

shouldn''t be like that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may remind me that not long ago we

were in League 1, but to that I say: And? Did we not win that title in one? Did

we not then go up in runners up spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong

but, hasn''t every team earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re

in? Isn''t the very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the

ultimate aim promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a league

prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to achieving it? Yes,

teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland are examples against that

last sentence... but it could be said that for whatever reasons, they are

failing to do what''s necessary to "stay good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope

that we can achieve what others have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn around and everything Hughton does

might actually pay off... if by some miracle that was to happen, no point trying

to goad me because, simply, I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if

we don''t get relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t

say "he kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s performance, and

lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much lol), is unacceptable. I

don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy (too nice? More a mate than a boss?

I just don''t know). It could be argued that his style of football just doesn''t

suit our club, no matter how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again

somewhere else... I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact

he''s our manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I can''t

hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find much good to

say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy clapper, please explain

to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo! Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12

minutes we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the tethering... so I

figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I had a few more other

ideas... and turns out I was still working on this after the Cardiff game...

quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing as it''s a top 9 opposition and

then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I thought to title this note what I have...

it may now be out of date, but when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was

how we were 12th and 6 points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points

safe.... Kind of illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading

this (thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our

peers as the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating

Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how much there

is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t rate Johnson and

am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him either. Snoddy, as inferred

earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how poor his form is. The sooner Howson

gets back the better if you ask me. One huge problem (to me) of course, was the

complete exclusion of Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an

important part of the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this

miffed me even more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd

half was only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still had one

shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20. It''s not as if we

can say it was our great defending that kept them out either... how many times

did they hit the woodwork? We could have been 3-4 nil down by half time had we

been less lucky. Then there was the penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether

there was contact or not, it was close and could have easily been given. Don''t

get me wrong: I appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough

with the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance was

poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few brief okay

spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker (why on Earth he

still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know) and the Wolf was pretty

weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was making a double sub I thought "my

word... he''s actually trying to change things!", even if I personally would have

done it with 30 minutes to go instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both

changes were very like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks

for Redmond was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over Elmander but

at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment Redmond came on, he

showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11 no brainer; getting in some

nice crosses. Then there was the double sending off. Johnson should be

embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say "well you shouldn''t put your head to

another''s" but Remy didn''t even look like he moved his head at all... was just

two players being equally testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the

opponent lose their top scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and

bring on Tettey? It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than

10 minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they were

forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for the win? To

cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his tendency to play

players out of position, he could figure out a way to stay attacking while

shuffling those on the pitch about... but that would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in survival.

If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the form table AND

home form table... even our away form was 6 places better than theirs...  they

had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were defeats!)... they were one of

the few cubs to have scored less and conceded more than us.... even considering

the clubs'' all time head to head we had beat them double the amount of times

they had beat us... how are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The

result was bad enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing

us this game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what to read

into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against Hull and tbf, his

starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general feeling on our starting 11

wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I couldn''t believe it! I thought I was

going to be proved right to think that no matter how much they need/want the

win, we should out-perform them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30

minutes. As I had to listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my

opinion on the commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were

looking good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how crazy bad

the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal droughts within a

few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next half an hour too (just look

at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the 2nd half!), until Hughton made the

triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75 minutes... our performance improved

drastically as Fer and Redmond both shined almost immediately (the ball even

ended up in the net twice, once being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was

only a matter of time away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only

gave them 15 minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of positive

input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be a good signing

and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So... after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we only

weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the necessary results

(Palace needing just a draw) the next day... personally, I''d rather we kept our

fate firmly in our own hands by having good performances and getting better

results. Seeing as Newcastle went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below

par attacking failed to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it

was the case that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous for us. There is now only 5 points

separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from 10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland

and West Ham all gained 3 points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving

just 4 of the bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and

Hull picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff effectively gained

6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t look too great either. I

can''t see anything other than defeat to Man City. Only 2 other clubs in the

bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham travel to an out of sorts United and

Stoke, buzzing from their win, travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher

than them in the table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal difference holds no meaning

at all) and another tool to try and hush our concerns is pointing out we''re one

win off 10th place. This is not about whether your cup is half full or half

empty. Ironically, as you happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about

being realistic. Our current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams

below us, only Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we

done against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of an

advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we SHOULD be

looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of the

season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be taken too

seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But it does offer up a

handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we are... and I promise I had

no agenda when making predictions for the teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere hours after finishing this prediction, I

found out there''s a tool on the internet that would have made it 10 times

quicker and easier! Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just

how I came to the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us

the win against Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as

required, plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents''

next 5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents'' and

so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the prediction for

their match had already been determined. Once done, I totaled up the points and

worked out how the league would look. When points were equal I put it to current

GD. I also used our last results to make a predicted form league (when they were

equal I looked at who had the least defeats and then where they stood in the

table). Then I  predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time

I used the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5 games to go

point to work out what points total they might reach (I did throw in some

surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well... it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an injection of

hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and Stoke beating United

to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we would rely on having a better GD

than Fulham and Stoke. This is another reason why having THE toughest end of

season matters... not only are we likely to not be picking up points, but our GD

might take a battering too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more

clean sheets means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total.

Clean sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take comfort

in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and would prefer a

nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but those 3 goals COULD be

the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers will

have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago

    (even considering the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register

    our first back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5 games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better

    than 18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that it will

    be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us regarding

how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into our survival... so

let''s look at how many points we have (out of how many available) so far and,

just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm.... it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when

predicting the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as you

know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that game

again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be even

more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw) but frankly,

I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take Ip5h1t''s crown of record

defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their

goals per game was at 2.96. Their home failed to score record stretched back to

2010! Chelsea got the double on them, but their other failed to win games makes

interesting reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our

bottom 11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this reverse

fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9 better). They

are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home form is slightly

better than our own. Having managed that miraculous draw against Chelsea and

then getting a win, I can''t help but think that they will score more than we

will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well... it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their previous 2

games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all cylinders (is that

the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing to Cardiff, things could be

looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have to

say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for the 4-1

cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win here. However, I

think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton (and Cardiff have to win

some games, how I''d love one of them to be to Villa) so things may not be so

good at Villa. Also, although they sit smack bang in the middle of the form

table (above us), they are bottom of the home form and we''re not doing too bad

(comparatively) away (12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring,

exciting game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th) thanks to

their win against United; also they are still bottom of the away form, and

again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home (11th). Despite them

being above us in the league, they are still one of only 3 clubs to have

conceded more than us. This should be an easier game... but then I thought that

about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I imagine that

to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us) considered... I

smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too

(5th). But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the 10

games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal on points,

and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the club that''s one

place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but like to think we can

avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table

(because they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and one

place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the previous 9

fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history things between us are

amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and there''s been 10 draws. We''ve

scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just think this will be a boring draw...

but then they could be the object of my envy and enjoying life under a new

manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in

my predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their last

6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning they have 4

draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when considering everything I

have on other games, I should lean towards us getting the win.... I guess my

faith has took such a knock that I find it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in

all last 5 fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK.... if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol.

I promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left to

say...

Because I compared our first season in the Premier League to our second, one

happy clappy chappy decided I need to "stop wanking over Lambert". While I do

miss having a good manager, I do realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The

reason I compare the 2 seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are

still Norwich City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re

capable of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t fathom, he''s

not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to address it. You can''t

compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios (what some narrow minded people

think is all that matters) as they have bigger clubs and are expected to win

more. But they are still managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such

as getting tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some! It''s like:

you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but as they are both

cars, you can compare them on affordability, practicality and comfort etc. I''m

not saying Hughton should be as good as Jose, but it would be nice to not have

what I deem to be the 20th best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots about the whole "more clean sheets" and the

statistical tightening of our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph...

a good manager gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make

their defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a defensive one

because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you need to make sure you

score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough" mentalities... not to mention

it''s more exciting and likely to improve the things that matter (aka wins, goals

scored and goal difference).

Despite my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to replace

Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated... why? I''m not the

one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s about and make the

appointment! While some reserve the right to not make a suggestion, some of us

do. I personally think Malky would be a better appointment than most people give

credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We

don''t have Tan on our board and look at his achievements before this season...

not too shabby really.

Some happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think replacing him

now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should wait until the end of

the season to get rid. I already was a hobber before this project of mine, but

now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how anyone can still have faith in him. Before

the Cardiff game, I was about 70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70%

sure we''re heading down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m

concerned: there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are

plentiful. If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can keep us

up?

As I said right at the start, I understand that whether we will stay up is a

matter of opinion and so there is no "right" answer. I can understand people

feeling 100% sure of our relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our

survival. Yes, the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do

over a season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are performing

against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6 of the bottom 11,

regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s also these omens to

consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the

    table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run

    without a win.

Additionally, regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it

January or April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so far has

not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a must not lose game,

but also feeling a draw won''t do
. Had we have been doing well, then a defeat

would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced them final game: how we''ve

performed before will factor in how important the game is. This is why a run of

winnable games is much more favourable than hard games. The even more crucial

factor, which despite being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say

our tough end run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle

it tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you wouldn''t

rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that then put fate into

your own hands even more because you have the opportunity to stop others from

gaining points on you? You may point out that we could be mathematically safe

with 4 games to go. But that conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had

gone better (to be honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our

run of results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those teams! Then

the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how high up we finish!

Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of regarding why when you face a team

matters: mitigating circumstances such as injuries and suspensions that affect

how strong your team is at the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real fan" rubbish!? To cut a long

rant short: if you think being a "real" fan means you get behind the manager no

matter how poor things are, please at least say "good fan"... it may still be

ludicrously wrong, but at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about

what''s going on, raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen

to try and fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that front. I

actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read this but if you

do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter".... I''ve put bucket loads of

effort into this and would love for some articulate and mature happy clapper to

put in even half as much effort into trying to show why they have faith in

Hughton.... I can''t help but feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a few little factoids I gathered in my research...

mostly relating to our clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this

season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals

against)

  • Swansea (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a

    close second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big

    clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff

    (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be

    our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62

    meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63

    meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we

    haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3

    seasons ;-).

Just a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is 1,400

times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always have been and

always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for

Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to

be common sense ;-)

[/quote]
 
 
I highlighted the interesting part in red. I make that 2 predictions out of the 2 so far down the swanny. 100% wrong but 13 games to go so all is not lost. How did your predictions for the other games go? Did you have Hull to win? Or Fulham to get a draw?[/quote]Since the OP predicted "a massive defeat" yesterday it surely means the bit I''ve highlighted in blue means a draw Tuesday would be a massive result. In fact, yesterday''s result must have blown many "doomsday" predictions out of the water. [;)]

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Why has no one highlighted I know that it''s not to be taken seriously... Or I still predict survival... Or the fact it''s just to be used as a yardstick for just one survival scenario.... Oh that''s right.... A lot of people suffer from "ignore things that contradict my pre-set opinions on someone"-syndrome.

You keep mocking my predictions guys.... Considering my last latest post, all you''re doing is amusing me :-)

And must ya quote the entire thing? Lol

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[quote user="RodneyTrottersFC"]Why has no one highlighted I know that it''s not to be taken seriously... Or I still predict survival... Or the fact it''s just to be used as a yardstick for just one survival scenario.... Oh that''s right.... A lot of people suffer from "ignore things that contradict my pre-set opinions on someone"-syndrome.

You keep mocking my predictions guys.... Considering my last latest post, all you''re doing is amusing me :-)

And must ya quote the entire thing? Lol[/quote]

 

Well the last thing I''d do is mock anyone''s predictions. People in glass houses and all that..

 

But I have put a challenge out to anyone on here who has claimed we''d get nothing from the last 5 games. So I''ll repeat it to you Rodders. If we get nothing from the last 5 games I''ll put an extra tenner for the CSF. But in return if we get something you send me a tenner for Rays Funds next season and take part in it. As someone into making predictions it should be right up your street[Y]

 

 

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[quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven ¬†- Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes ¬† ¬†- ¬† ¬†However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us.¬†
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14).¬†

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†0/33 (1/21) ¬†= 1 (from 54)
  • Palace¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†1/33 (5/21) ¬†= 6
  • Swansea¬† ¬† ¬†¬†4/36 (3/18) ¬†= 7
  • Cardiff¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†5/36 (1/18) ¬†= 6
  • NORWICH¬† ¬† ¬†5/33 (0/21) ¬†= 5
  • West Ham ¬†¬†¬†6/33 (5/21) ¬†= 11
  • Hull¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†7/36 (7/18) ¬†= 14
  • Stoke¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†9/36 (2/18) ¬†= 11
  • Villa ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† 10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom¬†¬†12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?

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[quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?[/quote]I must admit I''ve only got as far as chapter 17 verse 8 so far, but I aint gonna let it beat me. [;)]

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Actually, Lapp, I did read it all the way through and, despite the length, the poster is to be commended for the passion shown. I have had occasions where I get a little long-winded, particularly when I need to vent. However, I don''t think I''ve yet vented my spleen. [:D]

I''m genuinely concerned for the young man''s health.

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[quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?[/quote]I must admit I''ve only got as far as chapter 17 verse 8 so far, but I aint gonna let it beat me. [;)]

[/quote]

 

I read a little bit more every time I sit down. Rather like the wife''s "soap magazine" often left in the carsey. Then I find something that seems odd but when I go to quote it I often can''t find it again...

 

 

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[quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally... and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so :-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading. It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap and analyse things.


So for one thing: the comment is an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?


There is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2 labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"


There is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing  crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his price tag?).

  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for you?

  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game? Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions are often baffling.

  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play. Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.

  • Signings      -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2 appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 

  • Ambition      -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does. Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for? Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?


To keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment, I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us, as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)


Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.

  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.

  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.


As I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...


Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 

  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.

  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.


Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.

  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.

  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 


Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.


In an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the 22 game point of last season.


This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th


So while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note, if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his 1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).


Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th


Interestingly again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.

  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen

  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)

  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)

  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)

  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)

  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)

  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.


To make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3 places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1... only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8 less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference). So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about than there is to cheer.


One straw that still pops up, clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on (or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out) makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form now!


And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 


OK. That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point does it become too late to sack him?


We all know our last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against "lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton, Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11 points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6 away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I think that is! 


When McNally said in that interview that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job. Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like that. 


I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And? Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others have failed?


You never know... things may suddenly turn around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply, I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy (too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else... I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.


Woohoo! Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw would be lucky given everything considered.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Well this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6 points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this (thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...


NB: I stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.


 Norwich V Newcastle 


Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks


                           Wolf

                           Hooper


Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       


The game:


The fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me. One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40 minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20. It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been 3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker (why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know) and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11 no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say "well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey? It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10 minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that would require a gameplan. 



Cardiff V Norwich 


Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez


                           Elmander

                           Hooper


Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)


The game:


I never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the 2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75 minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15 minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


So... after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day... personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good. Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both opponents.


This last round of results was disastrous for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from 10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3 points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win, travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the table.


Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Because I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5 games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the teams around us :-). 


The hilarious thing is, only mere hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier! Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required, plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next 5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents'' and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I  predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5 games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya go:


1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30


Well... it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.


Assuming my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.

  • At the 5 games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than 18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 


As I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)

  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6

  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7

  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6

  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5

  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11

  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14

  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11

  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12

  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12

  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm.... it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.


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So now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that game again.


Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.


I hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw) but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom 11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this reverse fixture?


West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.


The Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us) but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9 better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that they will score more than we will.


Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.


Well... it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot, currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...


Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!


And what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton (and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away (12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting game.... I doubt it will though.


Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.


Stoke have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th) thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home (11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/


Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.


They''re up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us) considered... I smell defeat.


Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.


Sunderland''s current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th). But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the 10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but like to think we can avoid defeat too.


Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 


Currently level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.


West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.


Despite them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find it too hard to back us winning.


As you know, for the purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5 fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.


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OK.... if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left to say...


Because I compared our first season in the Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to "stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2 seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios (what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some! It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability, practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th best manager in the league!


I''ve already said lots about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough" mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).


Despite my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated... why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.


Some happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about 70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned: there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful. If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can keep us up?


As I said right at the start, I understand that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no "right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes, the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A) how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6 of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.

  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.

  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.

  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.

  • We lost to 10-man Hull.

  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.


Additionally, regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at the time!


Finaly, can people please stop with the "real fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real" fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are, please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on, raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and fix things love the club less than you do!


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Well that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter".... I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but feel I''m asking for too much...


To finish up, here''s a few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.

  • Man C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109), despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their place".

  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.

  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).

  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.

  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.

  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).

  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).

  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).

  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.

  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.

  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.

  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).


Just a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is 1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!


Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)


[/quote] Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?

[/quote]

MEGALOL

 

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[quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?[/quote]I must admit I''ve only got as far as chapter 17 verse 8 so far, but I aint gonna let it beat me. [;)]

[/quote]

 

I read a little bit more every time I sit down. Rather like the wife''s "soap magazine" often left in the carsey. Then I find something that seems odd but when I go to quote it I often can''t find it again...[/quote]

Funny you should say that, I read it on my tablet in the carsey (that''s the reason I changed to Wi-Fi).

Didn''t Moses find the Ten Commandments on a tablet?

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[quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven ¬†- Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes ¬† ¬†- ¬† ¬†However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us.¬†
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14).¬†

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†0/33 (1/21) ¬†= 1 (from 54)
  • Palace¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†1/33 (5/21) ¬†= 6
  • Swansea¬† ¬† ¬†¬†4/36 (3/18) ¬†= 7
  • Cardiff¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†5/36 (1/18) ¬†= 6
  • NORWICH¬† ¬† ¬†5/33 (0/21) ¬†= 5
  • West Ham ¬†¬†¬†6/33 (5/21) ¬†= 11
  • Hull¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†7/36 (7/18) ¬†= 14
  • Stoke¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†9/36 (2/18) ¬†= 11
  • Villa ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† 10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom¬†¬†12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?[/quote]I must admit I''ve only got as far as chapter 17 verse 8 so far, but I aint gonna let it beat me. [;)]

[/quote]

 

I read a little bit more every time I sit down. Rather like the wife''s "soap magazine" often left in the carsey. Then I find something that seems odd but when I go to quote it I often can''t find it again...[/quote]

Funny you should say that, I read it on my tablet in the carsey (that''s the reason I changed to Wi-Fi).

Didn''t Moses find the Ten Commandments on a tablet?

[/quote]

If Moses had have had a scroll facility on his tablet we could have had 10,000 commandments........

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[quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?[/quote]I must admit I''ve only got as far as chapter 17 verse 8 so far, but I aint gonna let it beat me. [;)]

[/quote]

 

I read a little bit more every time I sit down. Rather like the wife''s "soap magazine" often left in the carsey. Then I find something that seems odd but when I go to quote it I often can''t find it again...[/quote]

Funny you should say that, I read it on my tablet in the carsey (that''s the reason I changed to Wi-Fi).

Didn''t Moses find the Ten Commandments on a tablet?

[/quote]

If Moses had have had a scroll facility on his tablet we could have had 10,000 commandments........[/quote]

LOL!! [:D]

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[quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Rock The Boat"][quote user="lappinitup"]Hope this helps vlad..........

We''re 12th in the Premier League, stop moaning!

6 February 2014 at 22:45

Finally...

and so begins typing it up. I dread to think how long this actually

turns out. Final draft took up 6 sides of A4, a further 5 sides of

planning, calculations, research and even a brainstorm haha. I

understand if you feel this is "TL:DR" but if so, no need to comment so

:-) Hours and hours and even no sleep went into this... I may have got a

bit carried away, granted... but it was a project I felt really

passionate about I guess. The title is actually deliberately misleading.

It''s not my view, but it''s a comment I saw that despite being nothing

compared to some of the irritating things I see, managed to ignite my

anger and prompt this note. I guess I was getting sick of the same old

arguments over and over, and this way I can say everything I could

possibly want to say at once. It also gives a chance to thoroughly recap

and analyse things.

So for one thing: the comment is

an incredulously blind and dismissive point of view. I don''t mean blind

because it''s said by the pro-Hughton, but because it completely ignores

the fact that there''s so much more to consider and talk about. The

performance of the team, the manager and individual players is always

valuable to consider... let alone the table. In fact, I''d go as far to

say that very few things in life are as cut and dry as that. Are you

seriously claiming that being currently 12th is ALL that matters?

There

is, unavoidably, a massive chasm of a divide between fans at the

moment. Whether you feel he can be blamed for just being here and

causing such a divide is up to you. The fans have even divided into 2

labels, like some kind of West End show: Happy clappers Vs The HOB. It''s

not great but it does sum up what I think every fan, to one degree or

another, falls in to. To be fair, they are quicker to type than "people

that, despite everything, for whatever reasoning, are willing to at

least give him more time" and "anyone who wants Hughton sacked asap"

There

is so much that we argue about and that divides opinion. Even among the

same camp, people still disagree on things. That goes against the idea

that we''re just jumping on a bandwagon. Some of us hobbers took way

longer than others to join the "he needs to go" mindset. What too many

people (sadly) forget is that these things are just opinions. There can

never really be a "right" opinion in football... just widely agreed

theories and conclusions. In the adult world, theories and conclusions

are looked at as more credible if you can back them up using research

and data. That being said, here are to name a few things that should be

talked about and debated:

  • Losing players? - Literally (as in

    players not taking to his style like Holt and now Wes wanting to go) and

    figuratively (as in players that were class are suddenly playing

     crap like Snoddy and Fer; not forgetting Ricky must have been worth his

    price tag?).
  • Starting eleven  - Does he choose the

    right players? Do you not think (like me) that certain players aren''t

    getting played enough and out of form players should have to earn their

    place? What about the popular opinion that his style and setup is too

    negative and often looks like he''s going out for a draw? Does he play

    about with             player''s positions too much or not enough for

    you?
  • Substitutes    -    However late does Hughton tend

    to leave it? Does he "have a plan B" aka know how to change a game?

    Sometimes he only makes one sub when needing just one goal (I

    remember once at least anyway)... and honestly, IMO his substitutions

    are often baffling.
  • Who to blame? - Yes the players are

    the ones playing the game but they are instructed and coached by

    Hughton. One accountable man is easier to replace than a team of

    players that aren''t performing for the style they''re forced to play.

    Each to their own regarding how much blame you attach to where.
  • Signings

         -     Credit where it''s due: Fer, Redmond and Hooper (forget

    Elmander) have impressed me. The Wolf (our record signing) is looking

    worryingly like a potential flop. There are varied reasons as to why

    but I feel he (and Hooper) prefer play to feet and Wes suits that style

    of play. What about his latest acquisition, Gutierrez? A 30yo winger

    on loan, that apparently got 10 goals in 177 appearances for Newcastle

    (source: wiki so please correct it if wrong) and only had 2

    appearances this season before coming to us... What about some of the

    names we''re apparently going for? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? 
  • Ambition

         -     Before and after every game people will disagree on whether a

    defeat or draw is acceptable, and even what damage it really does.

    Where do you feel Norwich City FC should be standing/aiming for?

    Does the enjoyment factor weigh in at all compared to results to you?

To

keep my argument akin to the statistical nature of the title comment,

I''ll first evaluate this season so far compared to the teams around us,

as although stats don''t show the whole story (by themselves) and can be

used to side an argument, they are also clear, factual data that can''t

be argued with. Obviously, there are 8 teams currently below us. At

first, I was only going to look at Hull and Villa above us as they are

substantially nearer to us in points than 8th and 9th. However, as it''s

our 3rd season, we''ve spent lots and IMO have a great squad, plus the

way our club is ran (eg finances) means we should be a top-end mid table

club (say 8th, max) either now or by a season or two. Plus I feel we''ve

dropped a lot of points this season anyway... and plus: 4 teams to

reference is slightly more balanced than just 2 :-)

Of the 8 teams below us:-

  • 6 of them have scored more than us.
  • 4 of them have conceded less than us.
  • 5 of them have a better goal difference.

As might be expected (but NOT a given) the 4 teams above us have scored more, let in less and have miles better GD.

As

I am rather fond of stats, maths, making a point and analysing: I''ll

look at things a bit deeper.. I''ll look at it one way and then try and

find a "flip" view to give a very broad and in-depth look into things...

Goals for:

  • The mode goals scored more than us is 22 (5/10). That''s 4 more goals than us. 
  • Only Sunderland have scored 21.
  • The remaining 4 teams are at least 6 goals better off.

The flip doesn''t make me too cheerful either: 

  • Only 2 teams have scored less than us: Palace have 4 less and Cardiff have 1.

Goals against:

  • The total average of the 4 teams to have conceded more is +4.5 (18/4) goals.
  • But that is baring in mind Fulham accounts for 13 of that 18.

The flip, to be fair, is only slightly worse: 

  • The total average of the 8 teams to have conceded less is +5.5 (44/8) goals.
  • But that''s baring in mind the 4 above us (30) account for more than double than the 4 below us (14). 

Goal difference:

  • Only 3 teams do not have a better GD but Palace does have the same.

The flip is again something that you could moan about:

  • Of the 9 teams to have a better GD only 3 are less than 10 away.

In

an attempt to pre-empt any silly questions: The reason these things

matter and are worth comparing is you get a much clearer idea of just

how well we are performing compared to our peers; who, after all, will

ultimately have their say on where we finish. They are a fair reflection

on our performances by the way... of course they are! You could look at

Fulham''s goals conceded and put a safe bet on their defense having been

rubbish so far... you could look at our goals scored and be able to

assess that our striking force isn''t quite firing properly for whatever

reasons. Shouldn''t need reminding that, after points, what matters is

goal difference and then goals scored... worth noting it''s not least

goals conceded. Not forgetting that every position higher means more

money (and sounds better off the tongue)! Every season starts off with a

new set of peers and a clean slate. What happened before obviously

holds no relevance to the current season. However, it is relevant if you

want to evaluate a team or, say, a manager. So let''s compare now to the

22 game point of last season.

This season: W-6 D-5 L-11 GF-18 GA-34 GD- -17 Pts-23 Position - 12th

Last season: W-6 D-8 L-8  GF-24 GA-35 GD- -10 Pts-26 Position - 12th

So

while we have same amount of wins and were in the same position, we

also have 3 more defeats and 6 less goals. I''m not entirely sure having

conceded 1 less goal offers much of a morale boost. Interesting to note,

if we swap last season''s form with this, we would be 2 places better

off (and visa versa other way round). To me, everything points to the

fact that we''re going backwards, or as I like to say: being dragged

backwards by Hughton. To explore that idea further we can compare his

1st full season to the one before (also our 1st season in EPL).

Last season: W-10 D-14 L-14 GF-41 GA-58 GD- -17 Pts-44 Position - 11th

Season B4:   W-12 D-11 L-15 GF-52 GA-66 GD- -14 Pts-47 Position - 12th

Interestingly

again: if you swap the form to the 2 seasons, our first season in EPL

would have been 14th and last season would have been 9th (NB: assuming

the teams around us keep their form). Before I go on, here''s some more

comparable stats between those 2 seasons (1st season up: S1, last

season: S2):- 

  • In S1 out of the 18 points available V the relegated teams, we got 11; S2 we managed 9.
  • In S1 we got 6/6 points V 3 teams; S2 it didn''t happen
  • In S1 we got just 3 clean sheets, S2 we got 10 (currently: 7)
  • Our goals per game in S1 was 1.37, S2 was 1.08 (currently: 0.82)
  • Our failed to score % in S1 was 24%, S2 was 34% (currently: 36%)
  • Our attacking ranking in S1 was 7th, S2 it was 17th (currently: 18th)
  • Our defensive ranking in S1 was 16th, S2 it was 13th (currently: 16th)
  • An interesting fact: in S1 we dropped BELOW 13th only once all season, yet in S2 we got ABOVE 11th only twice.

To

make sure this note isn''t too long (lovl) I won''t detail how everything

is doing the exact opposite of progressing... surely that''s now clear

to see? I will say though: He did improve our defensive ranking by 3

places (he also decreased our attacking ranking by 10 places). He has

drastically improved our clean sheet frequency (clearly served up tons

of exciting goal fests). He managed to lose one less game (a whole 1...

only 50% of how many less games he managed to win). We also did concede 8

less goals (yet despite this ended up with a worse goal difference).

So, reading between the lines, I''d say there''s much more to moan about

than there is to cheer.

One straw that still pops up,

clutched desperately in someone''s "debate", is that marvelous 10 game

unbeaten run... well... if something that happened last season, early on

(or, if you like, before all momentum and belief had been sucked out)

makes up for everything else... well OK then... do you realise how close

it came, at Hull, to being 9 games without a win? And that''s the form

now!

And now, for his WDL stats (league only) :-

WINS: 16/60 (26.66%) DRAWS: 19/60 (31.66%) LOSSES: 25/60 (41.66%) 

OK.

That''s everything thoroughly looked at in my books. There is still one

huge thing you''ve probably thought I''d forgot to mention, but you''d be

wrong: the season is, of course, not over yet. But hasn''t all of this

made it clear to see the drastic reversal of progress? Is your faith so

strong that you think we should give him the rest of the season and then

replace him? It''s not been unknown for a new manager to bring a big

boost for the team, if even just a "honeymoon period". At what point

does it become too late to sack him?

We all know our

last 5 games are: "Bogey" Fulham, Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea then finally

Arsenal. But also consider that our next 3 away games are against

"lesser" teams (Cardiff, West Ham and Villa), while our next 3 home

games are "tougher" (Newcastle, Man C and Spurs). This is purely a "cup

half full or half empty" type thing:You can be happy that you have home

advantage for the tougher games, or look at it as though you don''t

expect anything from Man C and Spurs anyway (plus the lesser teams have

the home advantage) so would rather the run of fixtures was reversed. I

can''t help but feel half empty due to our form and Hughton''s lack of

progress. This leaves just 5  "meh" games (Stoke, Southampton,

Sunderland, Swansea [I think Mr Fixtures man had a thing for

alliteration that day] then West Brom) to stand as more important must

not lose games (I''d hope for maybe 11 points from 15). Even the most

doom and gloom fan couldn''t seriously claim to think we''ll get 0 points

from the other 33 available, but even still: take that optimistic 11

points and add it to our current total (23), that''s only 34 points... 6

away from the magic 40 (consider after 22 matches there is only 6 points

between 10th and 20th though... might be one of the rarities where a

team goes down with a high points total). Considering it''s hard for me

to see us winning most of the time, full stop, that means I should hope

to draw 6 of the other 11 games... manageable? To be fair, even still: I

think that is! 

When McNally said in that interview

that the task of staying out of bottom 3 was currently being met, it

gave me the impression it was reassurance without really showing proper

support. That target may currently be being met, but that is just the

bottom of the ratings... it''s the minimum necessity to keep his job.

Surely progress is what is really wanted? As I said earlier, I feel

progress would be establishing us as a team that is comfortably in the

middle of the table. As so far everything is in decline and I have seen

no evidence of the necessary capability to get better, I can''t see why I

should give more faith to Hughton to keep us up. As it happens, I do

think we''ll survive this season even if we''re stuck with Hughton. But

only because I believe our team to be good enough, and that other teams

will do worse... that will just about save us. It shouldn''t be like

that. 

I don''t think I''m being unrealistic. You may

remind me that not long ago we were in League 1, but to that I say: And?

Did we not win that title in one? Did we not then go up in runners up

spot straight away too? Forgive me if I''m wrong but, hasn''t every team

earnt (+ or -) the right to be in whatever league they''re in? Isn''t the

very nature of leagues one of proving your worth? Isn''t the ultimate aim

promotion, or in EPL: breaking into the top half and achieving

stability/avoiding relegation battles? Shouldn''t the longer you''re in a

league prove you''re doing that aim well enough and getting nearer to

achieving it? Yes, teams like Fuham, West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland

are examples against that last sentence... but it could be said that for

whatever reasons, they are failing to do what''s necessary to "stay

good".... why shouldn''t any fan hope that we can achieve what others

have failed?

You never know... things may suddenly turn

around and everything Hughton does might actually pay off... if by some

miracle that was to happen, no point trying to goad me because, simply,

I have nothing to apologise for. The same is true if we don''t get

relegated. If we stay up (like I still think we will) I wouldn''t say "he

kept us up", I''d say "we stayed up despite him". If there''s anything

I''ve hoped you''ve absorbed from this it''s that I find Hughton''s

performance, and lack of progress (that''s why I used that word so much

lol), is unacceptable. I don''t hate Hughton. I''m sure he''s a nice guy

(too nice? More a mate than a boss? I just don''t know). It could be

argued that his style of football just doesn''t suit our club, no matter

how hard he tries to force it. He might do well again somewhere else...

I''d wish him well (not thank him though). I do hate the fact he''s our

manager. It''s beyond me how/why people still back him, let alone why he

isn''t sacked yet. While I did try and look at the statistics fairly, I

can''t hide the fact I''m a hobber. But even for trying I couldn''t find

much good to say. So please... if, by my definition, you are a happy

clapper, please explain to me why. Seriously... please.

Woohoo!

Finished! Just in time for footy too.... It''s 7:33pm and in 12 minutes

we begin battle with the Toon..... I hope for a win but feel a draw

would be lucky given everything considered.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

this note has just got considerably EVEN longer lol! It turned out that

I wasn''t able to upload it before GiffGaff clocked on to the

tethering... so I figured why not review a game as a case study? Then I

had a few more other ideas... and turns out I was still working on this

after the Cardiff game... quite a handy pair of games to land on, seeing

as it''s a top 9 opposition and then the bottom club. I''m quite glad I

thought to title this note what I have... it may now be out of date, but

when I started just 2 games ago: all the rage was how we were 12th and 6

points safe from bottom 3. Now we''re 15th and 2 points safe.... Kind of

illustrates my point quite well haha. If you''re still reading this

(thank you!), take this opportunity to get a brew and some biscuits...

NB: I

stop using Newcastle and Southampton (8th & 9th) as our peers as

the rest is about evaluating survival, rather than evaluating Hughton.

 Norwich V Newcastle 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy     Bench: Bunn

                                                     Whittaker

                           Martin                 Garrido

                           Bennet                Redmond

                           Bassong              Tettey

                           Olsson                Elmander

                                                     Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Fer

                           Johnson

                           Pilks

                           Wolf

                           Hooper

Norwich                Newcastle

    0           FT (HT)      0       

    2 (1)         SOnT      3 (2)

    3 (3)         SOffT      9 (8)

    9 (3)     Attempts     22 (16)

    7 (2)      Corners      7 (6)

 45.7 (42.8) Possession 54.3 (57.2)       

The game:

The

fact Ruddy (note: not a defender) was Man Of The Match paints an

accurately grim picture. Looking at the starting 11, considering how

much there is usually to complain about, I was relatively happy. I don''t

rate Johnson and am glad Turner wasn''t available as I don''t rate him

either. Snoddy, as inferred earlier, is an auto-starter no matter how

poor his form is. The sooner Howson gets back the better if you ask me.

One huge problem (to me) of course, was the complete exclusion of

Hoolahan... after again re-alliterating how he''s an important part of

the team/plans after the Hull game, I have to admit this miffed me even

more. Anyway: The 1st half was an absolute shambles and the 2nd half was

only marginally better! Just like the Hull game before, it took over 40

minutes to register our 1st shot on target... at 70 minutes we still

had one shot on target out of 5 attempts; compared to Newcastle''s 20.

It''s not as if we can say it was our great defending that kept them out

either... how many times did they hit the woodwork? We could have been

3-4 nil down by half time had we been less lucky. Then there was the

penalty claim in the 2nd half... whether there was contact or not, it

was close and could have easily been given. Don''t get me wrong: I

appreciate they are a good team and up high and I''m happy enough with

the draw... but that doesn''t take away from the facts our performance

was poor, we got lucky and we made it easy for them! We did have a few

brief okay spells, just too brief. I think Snoddy had another shocker

(why on Earth he still takes our set pieces at the moment, I don''t know)

and the Wolf was pretty weak too. When I first saw that Hughton was

making a double sub I thought "my word... he''s actually trying to change

things!", even if I personally would have done it with 30 minutes to go

instead of 20. On closer inspection though, both changes were very

like-for-like, so hardly "mixing it up" much. Swapping Pilks for Redmond

was just what me and my brother had called for moments before it

happened. I would have rather "forgotten-man" Becchio came on over

Elmander but at least he did take Wolf off over Hoops. From the moment

Redmond came on, he showed the class he has that makes him a starting 11

no brainer; getting in some nice crosses. Then there was the double

sending off. Johnson should be embarrassed by that. Usually I''d say

"well you shouldn''t put your head to another''s" but Remy didn''t even

look like he moved his head at all... was just two players being equally

testosterone-ey. So the reaction to having the opponent lose their top

scorer with 10 minutes to go, is to take off Hooper and bring on Tettey?

It is nice to see Tettey back (even if he got given less than 10

minutes to see what he could do) but Cabaye had already gone and they

were forced to take off Ben Arfa too so why wouldn''t we go gun-ho for

the win? To cover the gap left by Johnson, right? You''d think with his

tendency to play players out of position, he could figure out a way to

stay attacking while shuffling those on the pitch about... but that

would require a gameplan. 

Cardiff V Norwich 

Our Starting 11: Ruddy Bench: Bunn

                                                 Whittaker

                           Martin             Fer

                           Bennet            Redmond

                           Bassong          Pilks

                           Olsson            Wolf

                                                 Bechio

                           Snoddy

                           Tettey

                           Johnson

                           Gutierrez

                           Elmander

                           Hooper

Norwich                          Cardiff

    1 (1)         FT (HT)        2 (0)      

    5 (2)          SOnT          6 (1)

    8 (5)          SOffT          9 (2)

   14 (7)         Attempts     27 (5)

    7 (3)          Corners      14 (2)

 49.3 (56.3) Possession %  50.7 (44.7)

The game:

I

never knew just how easily one game could decimate my belief in

survival. If we can''t beat the bottom club, who were also bottom of the

form table AND home form table... even our away form was 6 places better

than theirs...  they had won 1 in last 13 and 0 in 7 (6 of them were

defeats!)... they were one of the few cubs to have scored less and

conceded more than us.... even considering the clubs'' all time head to

head we had beat them double the amount of times they had beat us... how

are we going to pick up enough points for survival? The result was bad

enough but to be honest, I (yet again) blame Hughton for losing us this

game. Having mentioned earlier about Fer''s drop in class, it was good to

see him starting on the bench. Again, no Wes at all... don''t know what

to read into that but I don''t like it. Gutierrez impressed me against

Hull and tbf, his starting over Pilks was to be expected. So my general

feeling on our starting 11 wasn''t too bad. When we scored so quickly I

couldn''t believe it! I thought I was going to be proved right to think

that no matter how much they need/want the win, we should out-perform

them. But our impressive dominance lasted maybe 30 minutes. As I had to

listen instead of watch this game, I can only base my opinion on the

commentator''s analysis; and they were saying that while we were looking

good, Cardiff''s defense was looking very poor.... and yet we still

couldn''t extend our lead, or later equalize! Let''s skip past just how

crazy bad the 2nd half started... we all know we broke 2 players'' goal

droughts within a few minutes. I feel they stayed on top for the next

half an hour too (just look at Cardiff''s 1st half stats compared to the

2nd half!), until Hughton made the triple sub. Yes, a triple sub! On 75

minutes... our performance improved drastically as Fer and Redmond both

shined almost immediately (the ball even ended up in the net twice, once

being "only just" offside). It seemed a goal was only a matter of time

away... and that''s the crux of the issue: Hughton only gave them 15

minutes to try and change the game! It''s a rather sad fact that we

haven''t had one player come on to score all season. Wolf''s lack of

positive input, AGAIN, is worth noting. At least Olsson is proving to be

a good signing and Gutirrez impressed me again too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So...

after the Newcastle game, one happy clapper proudly pointed out how we

were still 12th. Never-mind the fact the gap was now 5 points and we

only weren''t 14th because Palace and West Brom failed to get the

necessary results (Palace needing just a draw) the next day...

personally, I''d rather we kept our fate firmly in our own hands by

having good performances and getting better results. Seeing as Newcastle

went on to lose 3 nil to Sunderland, and our below par attacking failed

to pull this game back despite crap defending: I''d say it was the case

that Cardiff made us look good like we made Newcastle look good.

Interesting to notice that we were statistically inferior to both

opponents.

This last round of results was disastrous

for us. There is now only 5 points separating 10th from 18th (and 8 from

10th-20th!). Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland and West Ham all gained 3

points on us while WBA and Hull earnt a point; leaving just 4 of the

bottom 11 also getting 0 points. Sunderland, Stoke, West Brom and Hull

picked up their points against top 8 teams. Of the top 9 teams to face

bottom 11 (7) only 3 got the win. Not forgetting that Cardiff

effectively gained 6 points on us.... The next round of fixtures don''t

look too great either. I can''t see anything other than defeat to Man

City. Only 2 other clubs in the bottom 11 face top half teams: Fulham

travel to an out of sorts United and Stoke, buzzing from their win,

travel to Sunderland who are only 2 places higher than them in the

table.

Some like to say we''re "joint 12th" (as if goal

difference holds no meaning at all) and another tool to try and hush our

concerns is pointing out we''re one win off 10th place. This is not

about whether your cup is half full or half empty. Ironically, as you

happy clappers rave about it so much, this is about being realistic. Our

current form is 14th best in the league and of the teams below us, only

Cardiff and Fulham are also lower in the league (just how have we done

against them? 1 point from 9 and a cup knock out? ok...). We''re dropping

points left right and center. Add this to the fact we need as good of

an advantage as possible from the next 9 games, and you''ll find we

SHOULD be looking below us as opposed to above!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because

I was curious as to if we could survive even with losing the last 5

games, I thought I''d put the effort into running a hypothetical rest of

the season to see. Before I go on, I am well aware that this isn''t to be

taken too seriously, after-all, it is based on 150 guessed results. But

it does offer up a handy yardstick to see how on course to survival we

are... and I promise I had no agenda when making predictions for the

teams around us :-). 

The hilarious thing is, only mere

hours after finishing this prediction, I found out there''s a tool on

the internet that would have made it 10 times quicker and easier!

Because I put so much effort into it, I want to share just how I came to

the end result... feel free to skip this paragraph haha. Well, I

started by predicting our next 5 games (I gave us the win against

Cardiff!) based on comparing recent form and home/away form as required,

plus looking at goals for/against. Then I looked at our opponents'' next

5 fixtures and predicted them on the same basis. Then their opponents''

and so on.... obviously the more I did, the quicker it became as the

prediction for their match had already been determined. Once done, I

totaled up the points and worked out how the league would look. When

points were equal I put it to current GD. I also used our last results

to make a predicted form league (when they were equal I looked at who

had the least defeats and then where they stood in the table). Then I

 predicted the next 5 fixtures in the same process, but this time I used

the toughness of their last fixtures, their predicted form and current

form to make the predictions. Then I used the form table from the 5

games to go point to work out what points total they might reach (I did

throw in some surprise wins and draws to the mix too). So.... here ya

go:

1:   Man City         91

2:   Chelsea          87

3:   Arsenal           83

4:   Spurs             75

-------------------------------

5:   Man U            74

6:   Liverpool         72

7:   Everton           66

8:   Southampton   56

9:   Newcastle       52

10: Swansea         41

11: Hull                 40

12: Palace             37

13: NORWICH       36

14: Sunderland      35

15: Villa                34

16: West Ham       34

17: Cardiff             34

-------------------------------

18: Fulham            33

19: WBA               31

20: Stoke              30

Well...

it does follow the trend of doing worse than the previous season and

the position being flattering over the reality. This did give me an

injection of hope... but then we lost to Cardiff. If you factor that and

Stoke beating United to the mix... we''re "joint 18th" which means we

would rely on having a better GD than Fulham and Stoke. This is another

reason why having THE toughest end of season matters... not only are we

likely to not be picking up points, but our GD might take a battering

too. So let me just re-illiterate how little having more clean sheets

means: like before, they don''t help our GD or goals scored total. Clean

sheets are all well and good if you''re getting the goals and wins to go

with it, but we''re not getting enough of those! So while some may take

comfort in the fact Hughton has statistically improved our defense and

would prefer a nil nil to a goal draw, not only is 3-3 more exciting but

those 3 goals COULD be the difference between 17th and 18th.

Assuming

my predictions are anyway near accurate: I can see 2 points in the

future where happy clappers will be foaming at the mouth and us hobbers

will have to put up with so much drivel...

  • At the 10 games to

    go point, we look about as good as we did 2 games ago (even considering

    the Cardiff result). Then, after beating Villa, we register our first

    back-to-back win of the season against Stoke, which would incidentally

    be our 1st maximum points under Hughton''s entire tenure.
  • At the 5

    games to go point, we sit in 10th place and are 9 points better than

    18th (11 from bottom). Despite giving us 3 wins from last 10, I have us

    sitting up at 9th in the form league. This backs up my hypothesis that

    it will be only thanks to other teams doing worse that we survive. 

As

I''m sure everyone can agree: how we compare to those around us

regarding how we do against those teams not in the mix will factor into

our survival... so let''s look at how many points we have (out of how

many available) so far and, just for fun, add my predictions too...

  • Fulham         0/33 (1/21)  = 1 (from 54)
  • Palace          1/33 (5/21)  = 6
  • Swansea      4/36 (3/18)  = 7
  • Cardiff          5/36 (1/18)  = 6
  • NORWICH     5/33 (0/21)  = 5
  • West Ham    6/33 (5/21)  = 11
  • Hull              7/36 (7/18)  = 14
  • Stoke           9/36 (2/18)  = 11
  • Villa            10/36 (2/18) = 12
  • West Brom  12/39 (0/15) = 12
  • Sunderland 14/33 (0/21) = 14

Hmm....

it seems I overlooked those currently better than ours when predicting

the rest of the season. Oh well, too late to change it now haha.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So

now let''s look at how I thought the rest of our season pans out... as

you know: I predicted we''d beat Cardiff.... I don''t want to visit that

game again.

Manchester City, Home Prediction: a massive defeat.

I

hate predicting things like this, but let''s face it: Man C are simply

scary. And now, they''ve just lost to Chelsea, I feel they''re going to be

even more fired up. I can always dream of an upset (or managing a draw)

but frankly, I think my wishes are better spent hoping we don''t take

Ip5h1t''s crown of record defeat! Before the Chelsea game, they were

undefeated in 12 with 11 wins. Their goals per game was at 2.96. Their

home failed to score record stretched back to 2010! Chelsea got the

double on them, but their other failed to win games makes interesting

reading: They lost to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland (all in our bottom

11) and drew against Hull and Southampton (both bottom 13... and not

forgetting Blackburn)..... but, need I remind you the result to this

reverse fixture?

West Ham, Away Prediction: a narrow defeat.

The

Hammers may be in the relegation zone (2 points and 3 places behind us)

but they have scored 5 more and conceded 4 less (making their GD 9

better). They are also 5 places higher in the form table and their home

form is slightly better than our own. Having managed that miraculous

draw against Chelsea and then getting a win, I can''t help but think that

they will score more than we will.

Tottenham, Home Prediction: another defeat.

Well...

it''s Tottenham, isn''t it? They are competing for the 4th spot,

currently have the 4th best form and 2nd best away form... Their

previous 2 games you''d think are winnable so they could be firing on all

cylinders (is that the phrase?). At this point, especially after losing

to Cardiff, things could be looking very bad indeed...

Aston Villa, Away Prediction: a narrow win!

And

what tends to happen when things are looking bad? We get a win! I have

to say, given the whole Lambert thing (and Holt) and wanting revenge for

the 4-1 cup defeat I went to, I can quite happily predict an away win

here. However, I think they would have lost to Newcastle and Everton

(and Cardiff have to win some games, how I''d love one of them to be to

Villa) so things may not be so good at Villa. Also, although they sit

smack bang in the middle of the form table (above us), they are bottom

of the home form and we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) away

(12th). This game has the potential to be a high scoring, exciting

game.... I doubt it will though.

Stoke, Home Prediction: a more comfortable win.

Stoke

have one of the toughest runs over the previous 5 fixtures. They are

also in worse current form than us and went up one place (to 18th)

thanks to their win against United; also they are still bottom of the

away form, and again, we''re not doing too bad (comparatively) at home

(11th). Despite them being above us in the league, they are still one of

only 3 clubs to have conceded more than us. This should be an easier

game... but then I thought that about Cardiff :-/

Southampton, Away Prediction: a defeat.

They''re

up there doing well. Their current form is better than ours and in

their previous 7 fixtures, they face just 1 top nine opponent, so I

imagine that to stay the same. All of this (and my depleted faith in us)

considered... I smell defeat.

Sunderland, Home Prediction: we''ll steal the draw.

Sunderland''s

current form is very impressive (6th) and their away form is too (5th).

But my predictions mean our form standing improves by 5 places (at the

10 games to go point) and their''s has dropped by 2. They are now equal

on points, and despite their GD being 7 better than ours, they are the

club that''s one place better off. I can''t see us winning this game, but

like to think we can avoid defeat too.

Swansea, Away Prediction: a goalless draw. 

Currently

level on points, just 2 places lower in the current form table (because

they''ve lost 1 more in last 6 games than us) and, according to my

predictions, at the 10 game to go point they still sit just 2 points and

one place ahead of us. Like us, they face 3 top 9 clubs out of the

previous 9 fixtures. Even looking at our clubs'' head-to-head history

things between us are amazingly close (we have won 20, as have they and

there''s been 10 draws. We''ve scored 76 and they have scored 73)! I just

think this will be a boring draw... but then they could be the object of

my envy and enjoying life under a new manager.

West Brom, Home Prediction: they''ll steal the draw.

Despite

them too having faced 3 top 9s, I have been pretty harsh to Brom in my

predictions. They too have won once in their last 6 games, but in their

last 6 away games they have won and lost one more game than us (meaning

they have 4 draws). I don''t really know why I say a draw... when

considering everything I have on other games, I should lean towards us

getting the win.... I guess my faith has took such a knock that I find

it too hard to back us winning.

As you know, for the

purposes of "worst case scenario", I gave us defeats in all last 5

fixtures. Only last season I believed we could cause an upset.... but

now all I can bring myself to hope for is at least 1 or 2 draws.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK....

if there actually is anyone still reading this, again: thank you lol. I

promise not too much longer now... I only have a few more things left

to say...

Because I compared our first season in the

Premier League to our second, one happy clappy chappy decided I need to

"stop wanking over Lambert". While I do miss having a good manager, I do

realise he''s gone and isn''t coming back. The reason I compare the 2

seasons is because, no matter who our manager is, we are still Norwich

City FC! It''s not my fault that Lambert proved just what we''re capable

of. Also, some guy claimed that we can''t compare Hughton to Jose (after

he oversaw their win over Man C).... because, for reasons I can''t

fathom, he''s not the only one to think like that, I feel I have to

address it. You can''t compare Hughton to Jose or AVB etc on win ratios

(what some narrow minded people think is all that matters) as they have

bigger clubs and are expected to win more. But they are still

managers.... you can compare shed-loads of things, such as getting

tactics right, substitutions changing games, picking the best team to

start, man-management skills and handing the press to name just some!

It''s like: you can''t compare a family car to a sports car for speed, but

as they are both cars, you can compare them on affordability,

practicality and comfort etc. I''m not saying Hughton should be as good

as Jose, but it would be nice to not have what I deem to be the 20th

best manager in the league!

I''ve already said lots

about the whole "more clean sheets" and the statistical tightening of

our defense. But to tie it into the above paragraph... a good manager

gets the balance right. Yes, the big teams have the means to make their

defense as strong as their attack, but it is exactly that that makes a

good team. I think an attack minded manager is miles better than a

defensive one because I believe in the "if the opponent score 3, you

need to make sure you score 4" and "a one goal lead is never enough"

mentalities... not to mention it''s more exciting and likely to improve

the things that matter (aka wins, goals scored and goal difference).

Despite

my asking, whenever challenged, not one person has yet managed to

sufficiently explain why they think we need to know who to bring in to

replace Hughton, in order for our wanting him sacked to be validated...

why? I''m not the one in the business, whoes job it is to know who''s

about and make the appointment! While some reserve the right to not make

a suggestion, some of us do. I personally think Malky would be a better

appointment than most people give credit for. He''s an NCFC legend with

managerial experience (unlike Gunn). We don''t have Tan on our board and

look at his achievements before this season... not too shabby really.

Some

happy clappers aren''t technically happy with Hughton, but because (I

assume) their faith in our survival is so strong, or they think

replacing him now would be detrimental to the club, they think we should

wait until the end of the season to get rid. I already was a hobber

before this project of mine, but now ... I''m EVEN MORE perplexed how

anyone can still have faith in him. Before the Cardiff game, I was about

70% sure we''d stay up despite him... now I''m 70% sure we''re heading

down. What damage can a new manager really do? As far as I''m concerned:

there is no cons to replacing him now. The potential pros are plentiful.

If we do and we still go down... it would be because of the damage

Hughton has done... what has Hughton done that makes you so sure he can

keep us up?

As I said right at the start, I understand

that whether we will stay up is a matter of opinion and so there is no

"right" answer. I can understand people feeling 100% sure of our

relegation far more than I can people 100% sure of our survival. Yes,

the rest of the teams have to face the same opponents as we do over a

season, but to really evaluate survival chances you have to look at A)

how everyone else are performing against each other and B) how we are

performing against others. Not only have we so far performed worse than 6

of the bottom 11, regarding our results against the top 9, but there''s

also these omens to consider:

  • We lost to Fulham, who we all seem to agree look poorer than us.
  • We drew with Sunderland when they were doing poor and were bottom of the table.
  • We lost to Cardiff despite their shocking run.
  • In the reverse fixture, we only drew despite being totally dominant.
  • We lost to 10-man Hull.
  • In the reverse fixture, we snatched a late winner to end our 8 game run without a win.

Additionally,

regarding the fact we have to play the same teams, be it January or

April, it does matter when you face them! Take, for example, the

upcoming West Ham game. It''s a winnable game. Because our performance so

far has not been up to standards, you could understand calling it a

must not lose game, but also feeling a draw won''t do. Had we have been

doing well, then a defeat would not be so bad. Same is true if we faced

them final game: how we''ve performed before will factor in how important

the game is. This is why a run of winnable games is much more

favourable than hard games. The even more crucial factor, which despite

being glaring, some how gets missed by the people that say our tough end

run of fixtures doesn''t mean jack, is that in a relegation battle it

tends to come down to the last few games... are you telling me you

wouldn''t rather face Cardiff, Stoke, Swansea and Villa? Doesn''t that

then put fate into your own hands even more because you have the

opportunity to stop others from gaining points on you? You may point out

that we could be mathematically safe with 4 games to go. But that

conveniently overlooks the flip-side. If things had gone better (to be

honest, with how tight it is, you''re already inferring our run of

results drastically improves; plus a lot of results would have to go our

way) we could be safe with 4 games to go having already faced those

teams! Then the last 4 would be winnable games that determine just how

high up we finish! Yet another factor that I''ve just thought of

regarding why when you face a team matters: mitigating circumstances

such as injuries and suspensions that affect how strong your team is at

the time!

Finaly, can people please stop with the "real

fan" rubbish!? To cut a long rant short: if you think being a "real"

fan means you get behind the manager no matter how poor things are,

please at least say "good fan"... it may still be ludicrously wrong, but

at least it doesn''t infer that people who care about what''s going on,

raise their concerns to be known and want something to happen to try and

fix things love the club less than you do!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well

that''s everything! I am aware this is huge and perhaps geekily (is that

a word?) heavy on facts and figures so I expect some banter on that

front. I actually sincerely doubt any happy clappers will bother to read

this but if you do: I don''t want your only input to be "banter"....

I''ve put bucket loads of effort into this and would love for some

articulate and mature happy clapper to put in even half as much effort

into trying to show why they have faith in Hughton.... I can''t help but

feel I''m asking for too much...

To finish up, here''s a

few little factoids I gathered in my research... mostly relating to our

clubs'' history against our fellow 19 EPL teams this season....

(Head to head''s will be "Norwich wins - losses - draws - goals for - goals against)

  • Swansea

    (20-20-10-76-73) are our closest rival. Hull (13-14-8-36-39) is a close

    second but Palace (44-46-20-144-160) is tight over many more games.
  • Man

    C (9-34-21-65-135) have a better record than United (16-35-15-62-109),

    despite the whole "dirty money" thing and United having "earnt their

    place".
  • Chelsea (14-19-16-55-70) is the best record for us against the big clubs.
  • In terms of victories, we only have the upper hand on 2 teams: Cardiff (26-14-9-79-60) and Sunderland (25-17-15-74-67).
  • We are level on goals (60 each over 50 meetings) with Stoke.
  • Fulham have beat us double what we''ve beat them. Should we score, it''ll be our 50th goal.
  • If Villa ship 3 past us (possible) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 62 meetings).
  • If Arsenal get 2 (likely) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 55 meetings).
  • If Tottenham score 1 (almost certain) they''ll reach 100 goals (from 63 meetings).
  • Sunderland, Stoke and Villa finished below us in both previous seasons.
  • Wigan and QPR did too, but obviously they''re not our peers this season.
  • Southampton, Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves did too if considering those we haven''t battled in both seasons.
  • Cardiff, Hull, Palace and Reading finished below us in the previous 3 seasons ;-).

Just

a little something to add perspective to this whole thing... The Sun

could fit 109 Earths across it''s diameter and the largest known star is

1,400 times wider than the Sun! And no matter what happens... we always

have been and always will be the pride of Anglia!

Sources: Match statistics: BBC and Sky. The Sun fact: a book I got for Christmas. All statistics from www.statto.com Opinions within: what I think to be common sense ;-)

[/quote]

Be honest now, boys and girls, anybody apart from the poster read the post all the way through?[/quote]I must admit I''ve only got as far as chapter 17 verse 8 so far, but I aint gonna let it beat me. [;)]

[/quote]

 

I read a little bit more every time I sit down. Rather like the wife''s "soap magazine" often left in the carsey. Then I find something that seems odd but when I go to quote it I often can''t find it again...[/quote]

Funny you should say that, I read it on my tablet in the carsey (that''s the reason I changed to Wi-Fi).

Didn''t Moses find the Ten Commandments on a tablet?

[/quote]

If Moses had have had a scroll facility on his tablet we could have had 10,000 commandments........[/quote]

LOL!! [:D][/quote]I wonder if they had a "PontiusUn" message board back then?  Can you imagine it?"ere, did you see that Jesus geezer walking on water just then?  Who does he think he is...Paul bloody Lambert?"  [:@]

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"...anyone but Op read it all?" is mocking its length supposed to hurt me? Only that.... Anyone with 2 eyes can see its bloody gigantic lol

at the end of the day... I wrote this to show exactly why I want Hughton out. I''ve done that. So far ive had mostly banter about it''s length, closely followed by some nice people complimenting my dedication and passion.

As for the actual content, considering there''s so much of it, i''m a bit disapointed so far its just been seen as either an attack on happy clappers or means nothing because I thought we''d be thumped by Man City.

I really dont care if people dont read it. I dont even care if you read it and hate it. But to dismiss it without even reading it..... Well I pity you. There''s nothing worse than pity.

And God said ''are you sure you''ll remember all 14 commandments?

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]

[quote user="RodneyTrottersFC"]Why has no one highlighted I know that it''s not to be taken seriously... Or I still predict survival... Or the fact it''s just to be used as a yardstick for just one survival scenario.... Oh that''s right.... A lot of people suffer from "ignore things that contradict my pre-set opinions on someone"-syndrome.

You keep mocking my predictions guys.... Considering my last latest post, all you''re doing is amusing me :-)

And must ya quote the entire thing? Lol[/quote]

 

Well the last thing I''d do is mock anyone''s predictions. People in glass houses and all that..

 

But I have put a challenge out to anyone on here who has claimed we''d get nothing from the last 5 games. So I''ll repeat it to you Rodders. If we get nothing from the last 5 games I''ll put an extra tenner for the CSF. But in return if we get something you send me a tenner for Rays Funds next season and take part in it. As someone into making predictions it should be right up your street[Y]

 

 

[/quote]

 

Bumped for Rodderz.

 

 

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A) i actually dont think we will get nothing... Just find it hard to hope for more than 1 or 2 points...

B) money is a touchy subject for me as late... All wagers are off for me untill further notice :-)

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But surely your predictions are based on the premise we''ll get nothin''.....

 

Forget the wager then. Just stick around an play Rays funds for free this season. I''ll even let you spend my fiver for the Spurs game as The Butler isn''t up for it. 

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They are :-) but like i explained, the whole reason I started the predictions was for woste case scenario... To see if I thought we''d do enough with the 10 games before for survival. And, again, like I said... My predictions for those games are made with my depleated faith in NCFC under Hughton... I used to be an eternal optimist regarding playing the big teams but now not so much.... Anything above 0 points and I''m more pleased than I expected.

My credit runs out at midnight so ill check out this Rays Fumds thing when I have more time

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In a discussion the other day, I was asked my high point and low point so far. For me it was the last 2 games... I was so sure we''d beat Cardiff and so sure we''d get thumped by City... My survival hopes have been like a yo yo haha

The only result I got right Tuesday was ours :-( my first correct Norwich result and it''s a defeat :-( The win would have balanced out the Cardiff loss and we''d be +1 up on my final standings ;-)

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Feel free to have a read.... Or if you like: not read it and still tell me to stop worrying, Hughton will defo keep us up.

I''d love for someone to read it and tell me things I overlooked or stats that shine a positive light or articulate why they disagree with some of my points made.... One can dream

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