Our intrepid away day traveller continues his jaunts around Britain, with a Tuesday night in Yorkshire, to enjoy City's re-arranged visit to Barnsley.
Random star performer
I’m going to say Wes, albeit he saw a mere 15 minutes of action.
He is still the darling of the Norwich faithful and every little warm-up sortie taken up the touchline drew adoring renditions of his unique chant - or were these the crowd’s way to nudge Farke into introducing the mercurial irishman?
Whatever, he made his entrance in the latter stages of a turgid affair and the bit of me that thought, “Come on Wesley, don’t let us down, be good. Don’t be past it...” was not let down. He brought something to the game: excitement.
Furthermore, there were a couple of sublime, telepathic exchanges between him and James Maddison that raised the pulse and left me thinking we probably haven’t seen enough of the pair of them together and I hope there might be more midfield magic to be had between the two before the inevitable departure… (I’m not talking about Wes’ retirement there).
Moment of the match
This was a match with little to write home about and notable for a paucity of moments.
Josh Murphy’s miss from a golden opportunity in the dying minutes would have to go down as one of the more significant moments. There was a sense that Norwich would get their chance for a decider in the 6 additional minutes and that miss was definitely a gilt edged chance for all 3 points missed. We’ll let Josh off though on account of his 71st minute equaliser.
I still worry about Josh. He has flashes of brilliance but still, for me, lacks the consistency that would elevate him to greatness. That goal at The Emirates. Confidently dancing towards and beyond defenders. Let’s have more of that please Josh.
Fairly widespread injuries heralded a number of changes from the side beaten by Hull 4 days earlier. The 3-5-2 remained despite changes to personnel.
The first half in particular felt to have departed a little from the ‘Farke Way’. As a regular away fan, I have seen plenty of the patient, sideways/backwards, stroking it around, (frustrating) build-up stuff but there was significantly less of this at Barnsley, in fact at times, the ball was actually lumped forward (well, maybe not ‘lumped’ as such, but a more progressive approach was in evidence). Was this the boss taking the opportunity to try a few things out now that any hopes and dreams for the season have dwindled to nothing? Possibly. It was definitely a different approach in comparison to recent away tactics (cf Wolves, where we enjoyed long spells of supine possession).
Once again too, Farke showed a willingness to show some flexibility as a change to Christoph Zimmerman heralded a change to formation too in the second half.
Biggest positive to take
I’m struggling here. Wes and Maddison cooking up some magic? Oh wait, how much of that will we enjoy before time is called on that one? A goal for Josh who hasn’t scored for a while? Erm...
This is a personal view. I respect the right of any fan to reasonably and lawfully express their opinion however, I really struggle with fans booing the team when the game isn’t over. I don’t even like it after the final whistle but there were boos at half time at Oakwell.
OK, we were 1-0 down against league strugglers but will booing the players as they leave the field change things for the better? Personally, I don’t think so. I think our players need our support and encouragement. Maybe that’s just me.
A cold Tuesday night in Barnsley might not be the thing of packed stands and a thronging away contingent. Having said that, a decent turn-out under the circumstances gave some pretty sustained support.
Well done to those gathered at the back who passionately kept things going throughout.
Barnsley…? Where were you? Very muted home support, even after going a goal up. My son remarked as we trudged away from the ground, “Dad, imagine having a season ticket there’. I refrained from making reference to Carrow Road but I thought it.
Pretty dreary stuff for much of the game. The first half, in particular, was lacking inspiration. Given the league position and despite Farke’s recent ‘fight to the bitter end’ rhetoric, I wondered if we were witnessing a touch of early, ‘one-foot-in-the-flipflop’ syndrome from the side who may now be beginning to prematurely wind-down.
There were too few adequate performances, admittedly some of these were from second string players (Watkins and Husband (at times) would fall into this category). Tettey was also far from his best and despite his usual fairly robust defensive performance was relieved of possession a little too often. Hopefully, the injury that led to a stretchering off will not be too serious.
Maybe these last few games will provide the canvas on which Farke can practise his painting. Question is, will we get a masterpiece or an eyesore?