Watford (H) – The ACN Review

21/04/21

A second home defeat in a row for City. Here's Jon Punt on people power, Kenny's powers of recovery and tuba induced tinnutis......

Biggest Positive

The cushion Norwich have built themselves will more than likely be plenty to get them over the line.  Had Watford changed manager earlier in the season the title race would have been a much closer run thing.

Midweek moan

Maybe it was to be expected given just how vigorously the City squad celebrated promotion on Saturday, maybe close proximity to a tuba had left the squad with collective tinnitus rendering them unable to communicate properly, but whatever the reason Norwich were very clearly second best in this encounter. Watford’s shape and educated press was difficult to deal with, certainly in the opening exchanges and they remained steadfast at the back where others have wilted in the face of our attacking prowess. In isolation that might not be of concern, but a huge part of relegation was this team’s inability to beat the teams around them. That trend has continued into this campaign and it will need to change come August.

Moment of the match

Forget the actual game, but as proceedings at Carrow Road were playing out on our TV screens, something much more important happened. Chelsea became the first to blink, withdrawing from the ill-conceived but hardly surprising European Super League. Manchester City were quick to follow, and the rest of the English clubs followed suit.

This matters. It’s been a horrendous couple of days for anyone who loves football, as the divide between the have and have nots threatened to become ever wider. More worryingly, the supporters of these clubs were not consulted, at all. The owners couldn’t care less, the disdain for fans became clear as the teams’ greed finally got the better of them.

Out of it all though, genuine change may come about. Forget politicians jumping on this for their own approval ratings, what has been clearly demonstrated is that when an issue really matters to people, those very people can rise up, make their voices heard and stop it happening. Collectively football tribalism was forgotten for a greater cause, and we all won.

Now there is an opportunity to look properly at the wider football governance in this country to ensure we do not stand on this precipice again. Many of us have cast an envious eye at the German model for too long, and it is telling that the likes of Dortmund weren’t considered as part of the breakaway, because the simple truth is it just wouldn’t wash with their fans. Do not forget this, and do not stop here. The power resides with the people when they come together, maybe now we can do something about climate change and all the racists, yeah?

Random Star Performer

Purely for shaking off his hangover and putting on a few more clothes, Kenny McLean gets the nod. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t play very well, but the man’s powers of recovery are remarkable.

Farke Watch

Just the one change, the inclusion of Xavi Quintilla which was enforced upon Farke. Plenty were calling out the Spaniard after a shaky opening spell, but to expect him to perform at a level which kept the best out and out winger in the league quiet after a few weeks off was optimistic.

A change of formation failed to really cause the kind of momentum swing which was required to force an equaliser and in the dying embers of the game City resorted to a more direct route to goal, with Hugill and Hernandez supposedly the bulldozers. It didn’t work, we’re not good at it and I’d be perfectly happy if we continued with Farkeball until the 97th minute thank you very much Daniel.

Summary

We wouldn’t be Norwich City if we didn’t limp over the line. It just felt like it might be different this time out given this team’s superiority and consistency for much of the season.

Big picture time however, if anyone offered you promotion wrapped up and five points clear with three games to go you’d take it. Farke now needs to push this team over the line and all signs point to him being able to do that.

Comments

  1. Robert says:

    Good review. Farke needs to send a dvd of this game to Delia and Michael with a note that reads, “Please send money”

  2. Big Matt says:

    agree with all of this. see you next season (almost certainly…), and hopefully at the Vic/Carrow Road

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We wanted to find a personal way to say thank you to each and every one of the playing staff who have made this season so memorable. So we did. These messages were waiting for the players on their training stations on Monday 19 April, the next session after the lads had sealed promotion....

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