JAMES_SHIPLEE has a bit of a weird superstition related to penalties, and hopes he isn’t going to have to keep going back to it every week.
Confused by the title? Don`t worry, I`ll get to that later but now let`s look at the more important things.
I wasn`t at the game Sunday due to being on a course but managed to catch the last 20 minutes. Now, sitting with a group of coaches who support teams all around the country and seeing your team concede the fourth penalty in four games is a tad awkward. That is, until the young ‘keeper on his first Premier League start pulls off a stunning save to keep his side in the game.
A lot of people said Declan Rudd wasn`t up to it and on one performance I`m not saying he is. From highlights, he looked a little shaky but what do you expect from a lad who has played twice as many internationals (Under 16s to Under 20s) than he has club games? The save will have done wonders for his confidence and though John Ruddy should have that spot tied-up he`s given himself a big chance of starting the next game.
It was a game with which we should have been looking for three points; one of the games that are usually dubbed ‘have to win’, but after three minutes it was battling for one point instead. Poor defending let in Baggies forward Peter Odemwingie who took advantage and put his side in front.
The penalty came with around fifteen minutes to go, as soft a penalty as you will see but it`s where the game is now. The slightest of touches from Steve Morison on Steven Reid and he fell over as if he`d been shot. They have to start thinking about WHEN to tackle and when to pressure.
Players go down so easily it`s an art to tackle inside the box now, so you need to just keep pressuring and force them away from goal and out of the box. It`s something the Norwich side need to adapt too quickly or they`ll just keep on falling and the points will keep on avoiding our tally.
Defending and conceding is one thing, scoring is another. The games I have seen this year has involved plenty of possession play, forward play, pinging it around, looking nice and pretty but it means nothing without any end product and we end up looking like Arsenal, which at the moment is not a good thing. We have to start taking our chances, you don`t get as many in this league and ones like Morison against Chelsea have to be scored or you will live to regret it.
One thing that has been talked about is ‘Are we still enjoying the Premier League?’ Well, the penalties, the lack of wins and points is disappointing, the diving, cheating and refereeing is frustrating but I still love it. Ask yourself, would you rather be watching Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe) at Adams Park, Paddy McCarthy (Crystal Palace) at Selhurst Park or John Terry at Stamford Bridge?
Now, to quickly explain the randomness of the title; I can`t watch penalties when I`m at a game. I struggle on TV but when I`m there I just can`t do it and since that penalty late on against Swansea last season I`ve looked at this light on the roof of the Barclay and it`s worked in Norwich`s favour – either opponent`s penalty saved and City`s scored – every time that I can remember except one (Wes Hoolahan against Preston).
I call it my lucky light. Superstitions, eh!?
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