Norwich managed to avoid two defeats in a row for the first time this season courtesy of Timm Klose’s 83rd minute equaliser at Brentford.
There were several talking points before and after, the first of which was Daniel Farke’s decision to field the same team that were beaten by Derby.
The way that game ended up was a bitter pill to have to swallow but no worse than City have served up several times of their own this season to other teams. Brentford were the better team for certainly the first half in this match and at least until the formation changed when Tettey was forced off on 51 minutes.
The Bees started the game on the front foot and looked more up for it and seemed to have more energy than City did from the outset.
I wrote before the game that if I were Farke that I would make a few changes. If City had won this game then he would’ve been hailed a tactical genius, had they lost then he would’ve been questioned. That, I suppose, is just the way it goes for any manager/head coach.
This draw was hard fought, there’s no question about that and Brentford proved to be as tough a nut to crack as I suspected they might be. I still think that they are one of the best sides I’ve seen come to Carrow Road this season and their points tally doesn’t reflect their ability, I’d say. I still maintain though that any away point is a good point.
Two points from nine over Christmas and New Year isn’t great, especially with two home games, but I do think that the current injury status has been taking it’s toll. That could get worse too with both Marco Stiepermann and Alex Tettey having been substituted through injury in this game as well. The talk, as I write, is that these could be muscular injuries. Will the twelve day break until West Brom be enough for these two key players?
I guess we’ll find out on Friday.
They’re literally dropping like flies at the moment and the depth of the squad is being severely tested. Kenny McLean is on his way back and looks likely to play against Portsmouth in the FA Cup but the end of January and the return of Buendia and Leitner can’t come soon enough, not to mention Jamal Lewis, who will hopefully (keep everything crossed) be available for the trip to West Brom.
The FA Cup will give Farke a chance to rest a few and give others a chance. It is really important that we don’t pick up any more injuries now, so if I were in charge, I would be looking at the fringe players and maybe even a couple of U23s for the Cup game.
Make no mistake, I’m not talking about throwing it but our season won’t stand or fall on the result of this game.
The lack of energy in this game suggests that a little break is needed, which the FA Cup should hopefully provide. Having said that though, having hit back through Timm Klose’s header, the Canaries were on the front foot and could’ve won it, with Brentford hanging on at the end. That would’ve been harsh on the hosts, with a point each being about right.
There have been a few moans and groans about Tim Krul of late, not from here I should say, but he didn’t put a foot wrong here and pulled off two superb saves from Neal Maupay in the second half. The first, a close range header, was so good that Maupay just stood still and watched as the ball was tipped to Krul’s left. I think he just couldn’t believe he hadn’t scored.
It does seem as though some sections of our support, mostly those that post on the Pink ‘Un forum, need a whipping boy. They always have done and I guess they always will. Big Timm was right on his game here though.
This game was a tale of two corners and yet again, a set-piece was our undoing. Now that Farke has some time to get the squad on the pitches at Colney, he needs to be working on the marking from corners. It looks like zonal marking to me and I just don’t like it. Never have done, never will. It is, I think, a continental concept but you just can’t beat picking a man and sticking with him at a set-piece.
Will Farke change it? Probably not but something needs to change, that’s for sure.
It may well turn out that this point becomes crucial, you never know. With both Leeds and the Baggies losing while we drew at Brentford, the Christmas period could’ve been a lot worse. Sheffield United are in a rich vein of form while we are having a bit of a blip, which happens to every team at some stage. With games against all three of these teams to come very soon, we’re reaching an important stage.
Hopefully, the physios can work their magic and get some of these important lads back as soon as possible.
Happy New Year.
You can read about the draw with Brentford here.