So what did you make of the win over Wolves?
The first thing of note was the lack of noise and atmosphere in the ground, particularly in the first half. Things did of course catch light in the second half after the Wolves penalty and then the Norwich penalty and Carl Ikeme’s subsequent sending off.
Those sorts of incidents will always spark a bit of feeling and emotion in the crowd and it was no different here. City had the upper hand for most of the game and as Alex Neil said on Radio Norfolk after the match, his players won their individual battles.
Martin and Klose had no trouble from Bodvarsson and Mason and won all their headers. I was surprised that Lambert chose to substitute Ivan Cavaleiro at half time because he was a real threat in the first 45. Quick, skilful and with a little stardust in his feet, he was causing trouble before PL opted to bring on newly signed Andreas Weimann.
Alex Tettey and Jonny Howson dominated the centre of midfield and Howson caught the eye for his 30 yard shot that struck the bar and led to the first goal and his late volleyed goal. He could’ve had a hat trick and really was everywhere.
I also thought that Pinto and Brady played well and the latter scored a very well taken penalty in the aftermath of the Ikeme red card. I bet there were a few racing hearts in the directors’ box when he went down in the first half after a bang to the knee though.
Steven Naismith was excellent as well and linked up well with Wes Hoolahan, who was just his usual magic self. Naismith was involved throughout and his passing and movement were great at times as the front four ran the Wolves defence ragged.
Jacob Murphy is quick but he’s still quite weak on the ball. He needs to hit the weights a little and maybe eat some red meat. I’m sure it’ll come but it is frustrating to watch at times as he’s shrugged off the ball.
Up top, Cameron Jerome cut a frustrated figure at times as he ran his socks off but struggled for end product. He’s a quick, strong lad but consistently not composed or skilful. Nelson Oliveira’s ball control is much better and Jerome embarrassed himself in the first half when he tried a running back heel but only succeeded in hitting the ball with his shin and knocking it out for a Wolves throw, much to the visiting fans’ delight.
He then showed what he can be capable of when he struck a post from 20 yards with a curling effort. If that goes in then it would probably have been a much more comfortable afternoon for all of a Canary persuasion.
To be fair to him, he’s missed quite a bit of football of late, so perhaps he’s just feeling his way back in, perhaps.
Norwich should’ve been 2 or 3 goals to the good by the time that Wolves got a lucky break with the penalty. I’ve watched it back and Pinto’s hands are on Doherty and it looks like a push, however light the physical contact, so what is the referee supposed to do?
It was a chance that they shouldn’t have had but grabbed with both hands. At that point the game was finely balanced and arguably could’ve gone either way. Wolves certainly got a lift from the equaliser and I was fully expecting us to throw it away.
As it turned out, I needn’t have worried after the nonsense surrounding the Ikeme red card and resulting penalty.
I don’t know about you but I went to the game with a negative attitude and a very real fear that we may lose. That’s the way that things have been lately and it’s just so disappointing to be feeling like this about my club.
The early chants of ‘Moxey Out, We Want Moxey Out’ were slightly unexpected from the Barclay but show how the fans are feeling. Jez Moxey has only been the Chief Executive for five months and is already catching vitriol from the stands. By the time he left Wolves I’m sure he was used to it, having ‘presided over thirteen years of failure’ according to the Wolves fans.
That chant was as much a dig at the club and board of directors as a whole rather than just Jez Moxey, I suspect. It seems that there are baffling decision making processes going on, to us fans at any rate. The number of players that arrive and then don’t play, some, like Alex Pritchard, for big money and then he warms the bench.
On Canary Call after the game, a caller suggested that he thought we needed five new players and was laughed down by Cedric Anselin and Rob Butler.
The absolute reality of that is that we need a left back, a central defender, a midfielder and a striker, so that caller wasn’t too far out. That’s also not allowing for the sale of Robbie Brady – if that happens then we might need a left winger too. Having said that, if Naismith plays like he did against Wolves regularly, then it wouldn’t be a problem – assuming we don’t sell him either.
Any incoming signings naturally need to improve the squad or there’s no point to them and that means a large outlay of cash. Have we got that? I’m not so sure.
Of course, it might just be that Alex Neil is right when he says that we have a large quality squad. What we really need in that case is a manager who can get a tune out of them.