Not one to write home about, here's Nick Hayhoe on what could have been a big night in the promotion race.....
Biggest Positive to Take
We are still top of the league and Emi is back next week after a good rest. Not much else to be quite honest.
Uh oh. A blimp is becoming a slide, and we urgently need to arrest it from becoming a collapse. While the poor return of points from the last couple of weeks is an issue right now, despite being top still, a real serious concern from the last few matches – which you must believe no matter how positive you are – is the lack of shots on target and direct opportunities.
It’s easy to say Emi this and Emi that when it comes to looking for answers to this thorny question, the reality is that a football team cannot rely so much wholly on one player – especially if that football team has aspirations in what will hopefully be the Premier League next season. Players who we all know are absolute world beaters on their day, suddenly seem completely nullified going forward with Swansea shirts swarming around any Norwich player with the ball in the final third and, while some excellent defensive work has saved us from losing the games against Millwall and Boro, we were found out by an extremely well organised and up-for-it team this time round.
Time for a week’s rest, a reset and a rethink.
The Grant Hanley Award for Random Star Performer
While Hanley himself had an excellent game (and is my player of the season to be quite honest), and Todd was probably our best player, I actually think Hernandez offered just a little something different when he came on and, as Płacheta appears to have been somewhat found out by each of our opposition the last few weeks I hope Onel starts with Emi next week, not that they have historically played that well together mind. But what do you want from me? I know nothing about football. I’d still play Darren Huckerby on the left if I had my way.
Moment of the Match
An extremely rare mistake from Krul saw us concede a very poor goal and, with the lack of opportunities we are creating ourselves at the moment, that meant that was that.
By the way, while it wasn’t a foul on Tim, I have seen free kicks given for less in those situations where the keeper is challenged (notably a goal Southampton scored against Aston Villa last week that was ruled out for a supposed “foul” and wasn’t even referred to VAR), but there’s no way another decision would have meant a different result. We were second best all night.
Hmm…there’s a lot to consider right now. Questions are being asked of Rupp that aren’t particularly being well answered, no one other than Steipermann seems to be linking up with Pukki as a number 10 this season and Norwich appear to be obtaining an early-2000s England style left-sided defensive problem.
Then, ultimately, the biggest quandary of them all. How are we going to start actually making chances again? Like, actual shots on target. Goals! Remember scoring goals? Scoring goals was great. I miss it. Can we please find out why we have stopped scoring goals? As far as I am aware you need to score goals to win football matches so it’d be handy to work that one out.
Don’t let those thoughts of 1989 and 1994 get into your head – fight them off with all of your might! HMS PTL is entering some very choppy waters. All hands on deck and make sure you know where your mustering station is; things are getting rough. Did we always think that Norwich were going to make things easy for us? No of course not.
Luckily, we still have the best possible captain on the bridge to guide us through the eye of the storm to the calm, tropical waters of paradise.