Well wasn't that fun. On the back of being shit-housed by Burton, we went and shit-housed Sheffield United, whisking away their long unbeaten home record in a classic of the AlongComeNorwich genre. A cracking post-match managerial rant about our coach driver made some rather delicious icing. Here's Dughall McCormick to talk you through it.
Random star performer
Many of Saturday's team could lay claim to the ‘star-performer’ title, so it’s a tough one to call. Collectively, the defence are in with a strong shout, however, edging it with a robust and committed performance, I’d say Tom Trybull should take the honours. Once again, he put in a shift proving to be a solid and influential midfield contributor. He looks to be a great signing and I have high hopes for this player.
Moment of the match
In the 17th minute, United’s Brooks managed to mug-off Tim Klose with a nutmeg that saw him clean through on goal with just Gunn to beat. As Gunn pulled off a crucial save, I thought to myself, “that’s the moment of the match, right there.” A goal at that time of the game, for a confident team in the ascendency who are yet to concede at home would surely have been a significant nail in the canary coffin. That save of Gunn’s was absolutely crucial.
This was a game though that yielded more than a single moment. There were two fairly convincing penalty shouts from both sides that were denied but there was also a significant moment in the second half worthy of note. In a moment of petulence, the Blades’ manager Chris Wilder sent the water bottles in the Norwich technical area flying. What followed appeared to be some protracted discussions resulting in Wilder being sent to the stands. On second viewing, this ‘petulence’ on the part of Wilder could be seen to be a very canny move. The atmosphere amongst the home fans took a significant turn for the ‘passionate’, with a smattering of ‘toxic’ which will have undoubtedly stirred the Sheffield players. A momentary loss of control by Wilder? Or a calculated, considered bit of gamesmanship? Possibly the latter but after seeing his post-match interview, probably the former.
Pretty much a shocker. There were the aforementioned penalty shouts which did little to endear the man in black to either set of fans. Having said that, I think United may have the stronger claim to call out the ref: a disallowed penalty shout, manager sent to the stands, allowing (supposed) time-wasting to go unpunished etc. The lino did little better and seemed to defer every decision to the ref, despite being the nearest to the scene...
Biggest positive to take
Third clean sheet in a row, an away win and (dare I say it) a solid defensive performance. I wonder if we are finally beginning to see the pieces fitting more snugly together. The fact that Farke seems to be finally delivering on the defensive promise he arrived with must be seen as a massive positive.
Has to be Josh Murphy. I’m hoping this is something of a one-off but this was not Murphy’s best performance in the yellow and green. To be fair, I think Sheffield United had his number to a certain extent but he just seemed less willing to take them on and exercise the skill and pace that we’ve seen in abundance on other occasions. Rightly an early(ish) substitution.
Decent away support from a couple of thousand Canaries whose vocal contribution was recognised by a few blades on social media. The home support went in fits and starts, peaking with Wilder’s misdemeanours before finally descending into frustration and an increasing toxicity as our (Burton-esque) game plan denied them anything in the last 20 minutes.
Nothing feels better than getting something from a game that you go to fully expecting to get little and this was Norwich’s best result of the season by far. Not a thing of beauty (and how many times have we ourselves been on the end of this sort of frustrating game-play) but we’ll take that. All day long.
The disgraceful assault of some Norwich fans as they left the away end was the only downer on a great day out. The final cherry on the icing was Wilder’s infantile interview in which he seemed to blame the driver of the Norwich team coach for the defeat... I imagine he’s still searching around the wheels of his pram for any stray toys.
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