Not a vintage display from players and fans alike. That said, not the end of the world like many made it out to be. Let Andy and Jon talk you through some of the key discussion points from another home game without a win.
Random star performer
Grant Hanley had his best game in a City shirt so far, not putting a foot wrong and consistently reading the game well enough to bail out issues higher up the pitch. His strength in aerial duels and no nonsense approach may just provide a decent foil to the more cultured Timm Klose. One notable hurtle across the back line to smash man and ball into the City Stand was a sight to behold. A name check too for Ivo Pinto and Christopher Zimmermann, who both performed admirably on a day when there was little to smile about.
Moment of the match
Josh Murphy’s telling cupped ear to the Barclay as his well struck shot slammed into a defender, wrong-footing Davies and giving City the lead. He’s the future of this club and if he is making a point about either (or more likely both) the levels of unnecessary abuse he is subjected to, or the lack of atmosphere, we need to listen.
It’s all very well singing that he’s “one of our own” when he’s enjoyed some decent form, but backing the player when inconsistency sets in is much more important. Wingers are a breed that thrive on confidence, Murphy knowing he has backing from the supporters could really help in that regard.
Less animated than normal, spending longer and longer on the bench seemingly frozen in frustration as another simple pass wrong-footed its intended recipient. The German’s timing of his substitutions could be called into question and the half time switch to a back three looked ill judged as Pinto and Hanley never really worked out who was marking the far post when Barnsley swept in their equaliser. The worrying part of that post goal inquest was players looking for anyone to blame but themselves, and that goes for the skipper too.
Post-match Farke’s comments again show a sharp footballing mind which knows where the problems lie, but patience remains the watch word. When it clicks, we look threatening but it currently isn’t clicking. It’s barely spluttering.
Biggest positive to take
We didn’t lose. Was it a vintage performance? Obviously not. But we stood firm when we were under pressure and when we finally picked up the tempo with 5 minutes to go, we looked dangerous.
The return of Oliveira was also a welcome sight. There were visible signs of ring rust, but the Portuguese’s link play and desire to conjure something from nothing (see Murphy’s goal) is a timely boost to a currently beleaguered set of players.
We’re all frustrated, and that is understandable. However, the vilification from some in the stands is now at fever pitch. James Maddison being labelled a “stupid ponce” and Nelson Oliveira a “lazy shitbag” were two notable cases in point. The aforementioned treatment of Murphy is another stain on our support. Creating an environment for players to flourish doesn’t appear high on many people’s agenda right now.
Awful, the worst it has been for some time.
The team will get the criticism, but our fans have been truly dire recently. The bollocks about “the best fans in the world” could barely be further from the truth as another 90 minutes of borderline silence in which the loudest noise anyone made was to boo at the end or chat among themselves about the atmosphere being poor. It’s poor because people aren’t singing, not because the team aren’t playing well. The argument that the players lift the fans holds some weight if you’ve sat through a large portion of the game already becoming increasingly disconnected, but to not back the boys from kick off is lazier as some are now calling Mario Vrancic.
While ourselves, Forces2Canaries and Barclay End Norwich are doing all they can to bring about a positive change, all the meetings, flags and new songs will do nothing if we all don’t contribute. If you’re situated in the Lower Barclay and you’re not contributing then perhaps some introspection is required. Going to the football is supposed to be fun, but increasingly it is 90 minutes of wondering what the point is. We all have a part to play in it, can you really say you’re playing yours?
It is a long season and we’re not yet in December let alone into the business end, but this was a tepid showing that does nothing to raise expectations about what is to come. Perhaps that is a good thing. The sooner we lose this entitled shit summed up with the “we should be smashing shit teams like that” comments overheard on the walk home, then perhaps the simple pleasure of going to football with your mates will return.
Norwich’s performance aside, the visitors were workmanlike, organised and up for the fight. Paul Heckingbottom deserves immense credit for continuing to defy expectations with a small pool of resources and his best talent being sold from under him.
Two things; first, did you know we have a new podcast? It's available via iTunes and Soundcloud. Alternatively you can just listen to it in your browser via our podcast page. Chris Goreham was our latest guest and he was fab.
Second, to keep AlongComeNorwich advert free and to help us fund additional initiatives aimed at improving the Carrow Road atmosphere, we occasionally produce exclusive t-shirts/merchandise.
This time we've produced garments celebrating our rightful place as the Pride of Anglia. As always, we take no profit from these and put all the revenue back into the site and things we can all enjoy.