Nights under the lights at Carra Rud, can't beat em, right? Maybe not on this showing, Jon Punt sums up a frustrating encounter for those of a yellow and green persuasion.....
Random star performer
Not much to choose from here now is there? Trybull looked neat and tidy once more, while Wildschut’s late cameo at least gave the team the sort of drive and presence on the right hand side Norwich had been devoid of for the best part of 75 minutes.
However, for sheer bloody-minded-ness in trying to move the team forward the majority of time he was given the ball, it’s Marco Stiepermann. In a game where urgency was at a premium, the German at least did the best he could to offer an offensive threat, although we’ll overlook the fact he likes to hang a cross up at the far post when those in the box have decided to attack the near.
Moment of the match
Slim pickings again, isn’t it? Little verve, even less swagger until James Maddison’s floppy locks were introduced into the fray, there really was a distinct lack of purpose to City’s play. However. There was a moment in the opening 45 minutes when Trybull broke up play and initiated a slick interchange through the midfield, resulting in the aforementioned Stiepermann being found in space deep in the Burton half. All that was required was a ball whipped with pace into the box, alas he chose the wrong option. Told you it was slim pickings.
As tepid as the team’s performance. This was one for those who sit on the side of the argument that the crowd need the players to lift them. In a scrappy affair short on real quality or chances the Barclay and Snakepit can be forgiven for being altogether quiet. The fact the loudest the crowd got was reserved for an outpouring of frustration towards referee Andy Davies spoke volumes for just how turgid an affair this match really was.
Davies incurred the wrath of Carrow Road, yet he was nowhere near as bad as the masses made out. The Canaries failure to fire and Russell Martin’s continued absence meant a scapegoat was sorely needed, step forward the man in black.
That being said, late on in proceedings clear fouls committed by the Brewers with the intention of breaking up play went unpunished, especially in congested midfield areas. The fact it took Davies the full 90 minutes to brandish a yellow card for time wasting was also ridiculous, yet he can’t be blamed for a result that was of City’s own making.
Biggest positive to take
Those of a bed wetting persuasion can at least take solace in the fact our sheets have been kept clean for a full 180 minutes. After those performances at Villa and Millwall, two consecutive shut outs seemed improbable. Clearly there is much work to do in balancing a side still in the embryonic stage, but most successful teams are built from a solid base.
Sidenote – Farke has a new parka and it looked mighty fine. Full on football casual khaki green and he wore it well.
Our new head coach has not learnt the lessons of his predecessors. WES HOOLAHAN IS WASTED IN WIDE POSITIONS, unless the setup is a fluid one which allows interchanging of the forward options. Two holding midfielders should have afforded City the luxury of being able to field a genuine number 10, in reality Vrancic took up the central attacking position more often than not and was too pedestrian in his play to ever really help Norwich play through the thirds effectively.
Wes being asked to play wide right meant Pinto was essentially asked to plough up and down the flank with little support, an issue which was only addressed by the lively Wildschut’s introduction. Play Wes at 10, get pace around him and Norwich will look more purposeful as a result.
Farke has up until now been correctly applauded for his intentions when trying to change games. This was the first time when a Plan B was executed 15 minutes too late. Yanic, Jerome and Maddison were clear alternatives from the bench who all offered something a little different. The fact they were employed in the dying embers of a match which had rarely looked like it was about to spark was perhaps the first suggestion Norwich’s head coach is starting to place more importance on solidity rather than attacking intent.
Had you asked supporters if they’d have taken 4 points from two winnable home games on the trains or coaches home from The Den, the majority would have bitten most of your limbs off for it. However, supporting a team means perspective can be difficult to grasp when an infinitely beatable Burton side have just left with a valuable point.
Credit to the visitors though, they came to frustrate and performed admirably given the preceding circumstances of an Elland Road shellacking. Project Farke continues to stutter, but this was to be expected. Maybe not at home to Burton though, yet this isn’t the disaster some will make it out to be.
Matches such as this are often decided by whether your big game players are able to produce one moment of real quality. Unfortunately Oliveira’s altogether languid evening and Murphy’s tendency to run into cul-de-sacs meant all but 50 or so intrepid Albion fans left exasperated.
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