SHEFF UTD 2-1 NORWICH; THE REVIEW

20/08/18

Urgh. Just like that a fair start to the season, becomes a meltdown. Dughall McCormick headed off to Brammall Lane and found it was actually not the end of days.

Biggest positive
This wasn't dreadful. This could easily have brought home 1, if not 3, points. So often in this league games hinge on fine margins and this was no exception. Sitters converted rather than missed, getting to the final whistle, the width of a post, a momentary lapse of concentration, a stray pass, even a bit of good luck - it could so easily have gone the other way.

Moment of the match
Here it comes! Three players in yellow and green surge towards us, clean through with only the keeper to beat! We must score! Surely! But no... Leitner fails to beat Henderson with the lamest of efforts. On reflection of course, pretty much any other option would have resulted in a goal, there was even a split second when I thought Pukki might get the rebound. But no... Fine margins and all that.

Random star performer
Hernandez once again acquitted himself well. He is pacey, tenacious and everything you want in a winger and, again, provided the assist that yielded Rhodes' goal. I'm excited by him and he is a player that has the potential to regularly get the heart racing - albeit within the confines of the patient Farke way of things. I do feel that yesterday, not enough was made of the potential that Jamal and Onel have to light up the left hand side - hopefully something we'll see more of over the season - if those two can click as a pairing there could be rewards aplenty.

Weekend whinge
I am absolutely sick to death of the sheer volume of negativity I am seeing on social media at the moment. I'm considering muting some of the NCFC feeds just to get a break from it all. There seems to be a relentless drip, drip, drip of moaning. I call myself a supporter of the club (the clue is in the word). Being Yorkshire-based, I generally don't do Canary-Call but I guess that's probably similar.

Farke watch
We have yet to properly see how well DF deals with real pressure. While I hope it doesn't come to it, should we get to the East Anglian derby (and even beyond it) without a first league win of the season (or any much needed points) then significant pressure will begin to bear. How he and (by association) the players deal with that pressure will be critical.

Match by match it is easy to forget that we are still mid-project. The project is profound, fundamental and long term and has required the keeping of faith. In the large part patience has been exercised by the majority of fans, faith has also been kept but patience and faith are not in unlimited supply. I worry about the next few fixtures, the corresponding pressure and the impact this will have on those precious supplies. I have said in these pages that I'll give it til Christmas. The project is bigger than Farke, my confidence and trust in Webber remains strong. The board is another matter...

Atmosphere rating
Excellent concourse-based, pre-match excitement set the tone well, a symptom of the optimism that accompanies the early season games maybe. It was nice (on my first outing of the season) to become acquainted with some new songs - interesting that one of the 'new entries' this season is about 'taking your time to play football the Norwich way'. I wonder how long that one will be in the charts.

Pretty good support throughout the game too with not much coming from The Blades aside from some justified ecstasy at the final minute winner.

Summary
Promotion material? Top 6? On this performance not really.

As I've already said, this one could have gone either way, however, promoted teams seem to have more of these sorts of games go their way than not and we've had three go the wrong way now. It was definitely interesting to see a City team lacking the departed crown jewels and I suppose, in mitigation, there is still some 'gelling' to do.

As for incomers,Marshall and Pukki gave a decent account of themselves. Rhodes! A striker! Who seems to be able to find the net! How I'd love him to score on 2/9 against his former lot! Krul, more of a mixed bag - whilst pulling off a few great saves, his distribution left a lot to be desired.

All in all, could do better. I hope we will do better. These next three fixtures are huge. How we emerge the other side and into September may well have a significant bearing on our season. My sense of dread is slightly outweighing the optimism. I hope I'm wrong.

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Everyone hates a late bus, but possibly no-one hates them more than Chris Wilder. Sure the traffic was awful, but then you should leave a little earlier shouldn't you? Definitely don't turn up late, annoy the hosts and steal 3 points. If you do that, you're likely to make them mad. City head to Brammall Lane as Public Enemy Number 2, so we spoke to the charming Gav Puszczalowskyi for the lowdown.

3 games in and already matchday 4 feels like it could be hugely pivotal in the futures of both Norwich City and Daniel Farke. 3 encouraging performances, coupled with 3 disappointing results does not a happy ship make. Step forward old flame Alex Neil who brings his Preston side to an expectant Carra. Andrew Lawn spoke to Aaron Briggs for the lowdown.