Preston (A) – The ACN Review


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Biggest Positive

The performance of 18-year-old centre-back Andrew Omobamidele has to be the biggest positive out of this match. Given we have yet another injury crisis at the heart of the defence, we needed somebody to step-up and he certainly did that. He’s secured his spot in the side for the next game (and probably beyond) and was desperately unlucky that the last touch he had in this game saw him lose a deserved debut clean sheet.

His dominance in the air especially stood out in this one as did his proactiveness. It is too early to say for sure how good he will be, but based on first impressions his ceiling appears to be high. It was perhaps the most assured performance from a Norwich youngster on his debut during the Farke reign, which is no mean feat.

Reporters and co-commentators won’t be able to get away with avoiding saying his surname much longer.

Weekend Whinge

Another game where Buendía got hacked all game and still managed to somehow stay cool despite getting no protection from the referee. It really was another appalling refereeing display and a costly one from a Norwich perspective. The referee basically admitting he forgot to look at his watch when Krul kicked it up field on 94:00 says all you need to know.

My other whinge is that the lucky PNE equaliser meant that my 100% record of doing these ACN match reviews has now come to an end. That’s the real sickener.

Moment of the Match

One thing I learnt fairly quickly playing football in South America is you don’t wind up the most talented South American on the pitch. Emi Buendia in the 76th minute of this match made sure Ryan Ledson never forgets this lesson.

First, Ledson fouls Buendía for what must have been the seventy-seventh time in the match. And with Buendía on the floor, Ledson then stamps on Buendía’s foot. Emi reacts, shouts and goes to chase after him before realising “it ain’t worth it mate”.

Revenge will come in a different, cleaner yet also filthier form.

Seconds later he precedes to humiliate Ledson by back-heeling the ball through the legs of the Preston carthorse leaving him wondering what the hell had just happened. In the next phase of play, Stiepermann then loses Ledson to lay off to Buendía who played a perfect through-ball into the path of Pukki who should have sealed the three points for Norwich and made this whole incident I’ve had to explain here even more memorable.


Farke Watch

I was against selecting Hanley and I remain concerned about his muscles, but I suspect Farke trusted the player’s judgement on whether he felt ready to go again for another 90 minutes.  Our captain was always going to say yes.

Other than that, no grumbles with the selection, I was pleased he threw in Mumba and Omobamidele for their full league debuts rather than falling back on experienced options playing out of position.

He also did the right thing by taking Buendía off and protecting him because the referee wasn’t going to do it.

Random Star Performer

Kenny McLean’s energy in midfield was exceptional given he had played a full 90 minutes less than 48 hours before. After our initial shaky opening, he was often driving us up the pitch and helped turn the tide. He also remained responsible in covering for Quintilla and snuffed out some potential dangerous furrows forward from the home side. There’s no doubt this second half of the season has been his peak extended spell in a Norwich shirt. Hats off to the Mayor.


It was a shame we didn’t hold out for a few seconds more, but it won’t change the outcome of the season if we keep playing like this – Norwich will be promoted as champions.


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