Never before have four games so perfectly encapsulated a season for a club than Norwich`s last four matches. Each goal scored better than the last, each goal conceded as embarrassingly avoidable as the last. The strength and weaknesses of the squad plain for everybody to see. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I was off on my Easter holiday caravanning in Wales during Friday`s game against Fulham, when I tuned in to see the highlights on Saturday morning I found myself wondering if our centre-backs had gone on holiday too.
The third goal was the most telling, a complete lack of leadership and confidence in the defence. None of the centre-backs doing themselves any favours if they want to find themselves at the club next season. But lets face it, the fact that Norwich`s defence aren’t up to scratch is a truth universally acknowledged. There are no surprises when they have a bad afternoon anymore, its just par for the course of this season.
Beyond the defence, the overall performance wasn`t good enough, a tad unlucky perhaps. When you compare it to the 7-1 thrashing of Reading (by the same starting line up) just 6 days earlier you wonder what on earth must go through the players’ minds when their performances fluctuate so massively from one game to the next.
Three days later the Canaries travelled to Preston and all the usual ingredients were there. Norwich, check; away, check; strong opponent, check; Norwich stronger than them (on paper), check. We are gonna lose right? We`ve seen it twelve times before this season? No, instead we put in a decent performance and score some good goals. Predictably unpredictable. That is Norwich all over this season, you just never know if they are going to turn up on the day.
When you add into the mix a 3-0 drubbing by Huddersfield you have yourself a neat little package of games perfect to write an analytical article about, thanks Norwich!
Not to say I wasn’t pleased with the win though. Because the other thing I see from the previous four games is some players with a bright future. Alex Pritchard has been at the centre of everything since Irvine took charge and goals from Josh Murphy and James Maddison paint a picture of a bright future.
I just hope now to see these, as well as players like Ben Godfrey, given minutes on the pitch to show their quality in the final three matches and stake their claim for next season.
I think when Norwich fans look back on this season they need not look further than these four results when considering why we weren’t flying high in the table with the seagulls. Norwich City: the free scoring, defensively shaky, inconsistent, ‘the future’s bright`, glass cannons.
The players at Norwich now have three matches to prove they deserve to be part of the plans for next season. With some big back room departures already, even the longest serving will be watching over their shoulders for Stuart Webber`s axe.
P.S: I recently started on Twitter, if you feel like discussing Norwich, or just football in general (or anything else for that matter) follow me: @LewisNich123