Andrew Lawn and Jon Punt sum up a welcome home win, both getting a little moist at the thought of Moritz Leitner continuing to strut his stuff at Carrow Road for the next few months at least.
Random star performer
The sponsor’s award went to goal-scoring, contract-signing, midfield-maestro Tommy Trybull, but there were many contenders. Hanley and Zimmermann were colossal again, while Klose added his usual composure on the ball from a position that almost became left wing-back – Timm’s forays forward are obviously no coincidence and allow Lewis to play further up the park.
A word here though for Josh Murphy, who brought a directness and energy to proceedings at the top end of the pitch which warranted tangible reward. While his end product is still in need of fine tuning, Murph looks a player whose confidence is returning and with some tough assignments to come, his improving link-up play with Oliveira is encouraging.
Moment of the match
Increasingly football sees minute silences for the most tenuous of events that are almost morbidity porn, but the applause on 52 minutes here for Michelle Dack showed the power of everyone coming together for something and someone closely connected to our club. 900+ consecutive games affords Michelle a place in City history and it was right to mark her death as a yellow and green family. A note too to the club, who relaxed their “no flags being held up while the game is in progress” rule, to allow the ‘One City Strong’ banner to accompany the applause. At times like today, we are.
With Boro reduced early on and Trybull finding a way through an even more Pulis-esque Pulis side, Farke resisted the temptation to go all-out attack and sensibly killed the game dead, resting key men and ensuring Boro never got a glimpse of Angus’ goal.
His substitutions were also earlier and more proactive, possibly enforced by the fitness of Trybull and Maddison, allowing for Leitner and Hernandez to provide promising cameos. It’s clear neither would be at the club had it not been for the influence of their new head coach and both appear to have qualities that will benefit the team.
Interesting too that Farke waited to have a friendly-looking chat with the departing Jonny Howson at the final whistle. There’s caption competition potential in any accompanying photos of that.
Biggest positive to take
City’s has long been a fractured fan base, but there are signs it is starting to come back together, through a combination of tragedy and on-field performances. Remain unbeaten in Derby and then in ‘the Derby’ and that feeling of togetherness will only grow. Zusammen.
Couple that with the fact Oliveira, although yet to score for some time, appears to be returning to somewhere near the player of 2016/17. Nelson was unlucky with a couple of decent half chances, but led the line admirably with the kind of work-rate which was absent only a few short weeks ago. A motivated Oliveira is a potent weapon in this division, Srbeny’s arrival might just have given him the competition he needs to thrive once again.
It’s easy to whine about Tony Pulis. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. However, his post match comments borderline on the ridiculous. First good old Tony suggests Boro were full value for a point, then he reveals he’s seriously considering appealing Gestede’s dismissal. Pretty sure N.W.A. had it right when they proclaimed “Fuck Tha Pulis”. Something like that anyway.
A minute’s applause (or silence) will always spark a rousing chorus of On the Ball City. This one felt special though. It was sandwiched by some enigmatic support, probably hamstrung by virtue of the fact the contest wasn’t particularly enthralling as City went about their task in a decisive but rarely awe-inspiring manner. That said, when it was good, it was really good. Gone was the negativity when City's play became more pedestrian. When it was bad, it was just horrible. We’ve been criticised for telling people how to support their team on many an occasion, but repeatedly shouting “She’s a whore” at an opposition supporter isn’t really acceptable, regardless of the shade of orange she chooses to shade her skin. This was also preceded with some morons mocking sections of the Boro disabled support. Classy.
Next up at the Carra needs to be louder and prouder – we all know why. News to follow in the early part of next week on plans from the Barclay End Norwich supporters’ group on how they intend to get things started off.
A capable team performance, whose task became potentially more difficult against an organised side once they were down to 10 men. The aforementioned introduction of Moritz Leitner was more than promising. Social media talk had centred around the man’s dishy good looks prior to kick off, yet come 5pm most were left more than a little moist by his quality on the ball. Hardly a pass misplaced and some incisive and arrowed balls into the channels offered glimpses of what we might hope to see in the months to come. If Saturday’s showing is anything to go by, it may just be a case of enjoy him while he’s here. Plus, he comes across as a thoroughly nice guy. We’re wagering Moritz wouldn’t even dream of letting you sleep in the damp patch afterwards.
Another solid, if unspectacular 1-0 win, but who’s complaining? That’s 6 points taken off Boro this season and with 2017/18 heading into it’s final straight City are nicely placed to trouble the top 6, if they can continue this impressive post-Christmas run. There is a long way to go and success this season should remain an unexpected surprise if it comes, but signs of progress continue to bloom.
While you're here. 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. Bundesliga and Premier League commentator Dan O'Hagan was our recent guest as we debated the latest talking points regarding NCFC.
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 two t-shirts, the Farke Fussball and Canary Cosmos, celebrating the further German invasion at Carra Rud. As always, we take no profit from these and put all the revenue back into the site and things we can all enjoy.