Jonny Howson bossing games, a left back in goal and the first time we've ever done the double over the bastards, Saturday was a good day. Reminisce with Jon Punt.
Random star performer
For his exorbitant levels of blubbing on Twitter afterwards, and the audacity to lay hands on Wes, it has to be Carl Ikeme. OK, he was the pantomime villain, but without his poorly judged scything of Wes (alright, lightly touching him before he went down) the match was starting to show signs of a late trademark Lambert style winner from a Wolves side growing into the match.
Moment of the match
Obviously it has to be something Jonny Howson did, because for large spells he was the only player on the pitch who looked even remotely worthy of stepping up to the Premier League. It can be easy to overlook how influential the former Leeds man has become, but it was blindingly obvious on Saturday. Whenever he received the ball he looked to make something happen or drive Norwich forward, real leadership by example. His left foot exocet, which must have full tested the strength of his recently injured ankle, rattled the bar before Naismith coolly guided in the opener with some aplomb. The initial shot itself deserved a goal, but that was to come later courtesy of some keystone cops defending. It was just the most obvious example of an absolutely dominant display.
David Coote had two penalty calls to make, and in my opinion, both were correct. You could argue the toss over either, Wes drew contact by deliberately running into the keeper but there was clear contact nonetheless. Ivo’s push was featherlight but stupid – you don’t shove someone in the back in your own box. However, it’s brave man that criticises Pinto, his song competition has further cemented his cult status with the Yellow Army and he is now obviously impervious to any kind of harsh words.
So the ref gets two of the big calls right at least. However, surely the man has to take a long hard look at himself for allowing the teams to even start the match at all. Wolves poorly judged and frankly rancid luminous green away attire was way too similar to Canary yellow. Even in Sunday morning leagues the referee would have sent the away side straight back to the dressing room to find something more suitable. A complete shithouse call.
Biggest positive to take
Say it quietly, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with Norwich’s home form. City’s woes on their travels are well documented, but the weekend’s victory was the fourth at Carrow Road in their last five outings in the league.
This includes comprehensively despatching Brentford and Derby with a hard fought win over Villa thrown in the mix. The only blemish was the defeat to a very impressive Huddersfield. 3 clean sheets, 13 goals scored, 3 conceded, almost sounds like promotion form. Ok, we’re well overdue performances like this on the road, but it’s a base to build from.
Chanting ‘We want Moxey out’ after five minutes does not help the team. In fact it helped to bring the away fans to life who were strangely silent for once. The fact people need someone to blame for this season is absolutely understandable, but I doubt it’s the CEO who needs to be drawing our attention – yet. Moxey has been here for five minutes, and although he’s seemingly made a hash of some things, the desire to make him public enemy number one seems a little churlish.
However, I respect the right of anyone to make their views known, just maybe try calling for the chief executive’s head AFTER the game, if you’re going to do it at all? While we’re playing, back the boys.
Until Steven Naismith put Norwich in front, and just after the visitors had equalised (the bastards), the crowd were ready to turn. It may well be the aforementioned solid home form has actually kept Alex Neil in a job, there’s no margin for error when the masses are baying for blood.
As expected, it was largely quiet until the sending off ended the game as a contest and everyone could relax a little bit. However, it’s understandably hard for Norwich fans to know what to do at the moment. Some will feel by backing the team they’re endorsing a regime they feel is out of touch with the fans. Others have a growing sense of apathy which is brought about by the fact it’s probable that Norwich, for the first time in a number of years, could well have nothing to play for come March. Luckily most chose to enjoy the occasion when the game was effectively won, which was made even more enjoyable by virtue of the fact it was over those Muscat loving bastards.
For all the pre-game trepidation about the return of the messiah and Wolves’ current run of form, the Midlanders were surprisingly average. Martin and Klose generally dealt admirably with the visitors’ tactic of getting it forward quickly, snuffing out any aerial threat swiftly. Naismith and Wes continue to impress, their growing synergy caused problems for most of the afternoon.
The team’s performance wasn’t pretty, but with Howson at his industrious best the result didn’t really look in doubt. In fact Norwich could and should have been out of sight before the break. You get the sense had Nelson Oliveira been available, his movement and clever hold up play would have seen an even wider margin of victory.
AND we beat Lambo at home. Good, innit?