Swansea (H), The ACN Review

08/11/20

A huge win for Norwich, against a side who look like they'll be a serious promotion rival come May. Nick and Jon get their teeth into all the talking points.....

Biggest Positive

What an outstanding performance by Bali Mumba from the bench. Wow! From out of position at left back he completely changed the game from what was a tight spell of Swansea pressure. After the goal Nick started a one-man chant of “Yoof! Yoof! Yoof!” from his living room, not quite believing how good Norwich have been at producing young talent for the last few years.

So we need a song for him right? La Bamba might be a start, Mumba Number 5 if we’re looking for a 90s pop vibe, but we’re sure someone can come up with something much, much better before we finally get back in the stands…

Weekend Whinge

Norwich, not for the first time in the last 24 months, had a lightning first 20 minutes which they failed to capitalise on. After being unable to make the breakthrough, City then turned sloppy in possession for the rest of the first half, Swansea settled into their game and it all became rather more difficult from then on.

However, the visitors were a side who looked excellent at times and the threat of Ayew was almost constant throughout, his clever movement and ability causing trouble on a number of occasions. Maybe the lesson here is for Norwich to be more ruthless when they have sides where they want them, especially those who will contest promotion with them.

Moment of the Match

Not so much a moment, but more a period of five to ten minutes which was pretty fucking amazing. Marco Stiepermann finally realised what he was born to do, grabbing his first goal since April 2019 with an excellent and clinical finish. Kings Lynn then found a way to put Football League opposition to the sword, leaving them one victory away from a potentially massive tie against one of the big boys. And to top it all, around the same time the leader of the free world was no longer a massive orange dickhead.

Farke Watch

A few knocks and niggles forced Farke to shuffle the pack slightly, opting for returns to the side for McLean and Zimmermann. The latter was quietly excellent, while McLean offered energy and slightly more forward momentum than Rupp, although probably with a little less quality on the ball.

It wasn’t really about the starting line-up though. With Swansea enjoying probably their best spell in the game, most people would have been forgiven for smashing the glass and pressing the emergency Mario Vrancic button. Farke had other ideas, which included pushing back the influential Ayew, which meant more of an offensive threat was needed from deep on the left. Step forward Bali Mumba, who along with fellow youngster Josh Martin, turned the tide in a fairly tight encounter. The head coach has received a fair amount of stick around his substitutions during his tenure, so it’s only fair he receives the plaudits when he’s changed the game from the bench, which is becoming a regular feature of this season so far.

Random Star Performer

Timothy Krul, who made several critical saves throughout the game, notably twice from Jamal Lowe who has a canny knack of finding himself in the right place at the right time. Luckily Krul was up to the task. He is currently in the form of his life, having been solid from the word go this season, and he has made an appearance in this section of the match review many times already. His presence cannot be underestimated, the Dutchman has already gained City several points with some vital stops at vital times, and the campaign is only 11 games old. It wouldn’t be going overboard to state he’s probably our most important player right now.

Summary

This was a tense game against a team who have an excellent defensive record and, conversely, defended excellently today. Both sides enjoyed good spells where they were very much on top,  Krul’s brilliant form keeping Norwich in the game when under pressure, and, just like two years ago, they just keep making things happen towards the end of games. Again, however, it’s another late home goal that causes a pang of regret that we all weren’t there to celebrate it. Nevertheless, a massive win and a second clean sheet in the space of a week.

An international break is hardly welcome when City are gathering up a head of steam, and the coaching staff will be keeping close tabs on the amount of work some of the squad are asked to undertake for their national sides, especially as the niggling injuries are starting to mount up.

Boro up next, who’ve kept six clean sheets in their last seven and are on a ten game unbeaten run. Along Come…….

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Ahead of a big top of the table game this weekend, Nick Hayhoe sat down to have a chat with Steven Carroll of the Swansea Oh Swansea fanzine

Punt and Parsley are joined by former Little Yellow Birders, Clare Thomas and Dan Brigham. They debate Farke's new knack for substitutions, who is the most important player we couldn't be without and 7 points in 7 days. They also take your questions from the mailbag and round off with the as always factually inaccurate quiz....