Jamie Allison urges a balanced view of what Steve Morison brings to the team and asserts the view not all players need to run around like headless chickens to demonstrate their worth…
On Saturday Norwich fans were cursing a disappointing performance as the Canaries were knocked out of the F.A Cup by Championship side Leicester City. There was one player that was singled out though – Steve Morison.
Morison, 28, has divided the opinions of fans since joining the club last summer from Millwall, and this looks set to continue in the near future. The main outburst of opinions about the Welsh International concerns his work rate – or lack of it according to some.
The striker has managed to score 9 goals in all competitions this season for the Canaries, but has struggled recently, losing his first team place to Simeon Jackson as he has been unable to find the net since the 14th January against West Brom. Despite this recent drop of form though, he has started 19 games in the league, with half of these leading the line up front on his own.
Many have called for Morison to be dropped further down the pecking order with the return of James Vaughan from injury, while a few others have been extreme enough to suggest that Morison should be sold in the summer. But is he being treated unfairly?
In recent years I have heard and seen the work rate of a few players questioned. Most notably before Morison was Chris Martin. Both of these players are strikers who have played with or replaced Grant Holt in the team, who is loved by fans for his exceptional work rate.
Holt`s work rate is a major part of his game, unnerving defenders by getting in their faces and chasing down every ball. Both Morison and Martin`s play isn`t based around this, so the comparisons that come can sometimes be harsh on the players. Morison prefers the ball to be played to him rather than chasing down balls that there isn`t much chance of getting to like Holt does.
Ironically enough when Norwich were talked about the other week on the BBC Radio 5 Live phone-in 606 the work rate of Morison, along with Grant Holt, was saluted by not only the presenters, but also Stevenage fans that had been calling into the programme.
Morison has managed to grab 8 goals in the Premier League so far though, equalling the amount of goals scored by the leading Norwich goal scorers after the club`s last stint in the top division. Some of the goals scored by the Welsh International have been crucial to help Norwich get to 8th in the league – coming off the bench to score winners against QPR and West Brom.
There are obvious areas of Morison`s game that he can improve, one on ones being a troubled point for him this season, but no player is perfect. There is also no arguing that there has been a dip in form for the Norwich striker which is why his work rate is currently being looked at; but we need to get behind him and show support rather than getting on his back and potentially making his form get worse.
I shall leave you with this question. Would you rather Morison to run around like a headless chicken and have no effect on the game or for him to continue to score important goals for the team?