The morning after the night before.
Here we are again, folks. Norwich City have failed to win for the sixth game in a row, slumping to a 1-0 loss against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, courtesy of a goal that bounced off Daryl Murphy’s face and into the net.
Yet again, the problem was chance creation and just two shots on target tells it’s own story. A couple of games ago, the Canary faithful were calling and hoping for the return of Nelson Oliveira, thinking then it will be alright, we’ll start scoring again.
He’s back and we have still struggled to create. Having someone to finish created chances off is crucial but if you’re not creating then it’s going to be a long 90 minutes.
Nelson’s best chance last night was a free kick that was palmed away.
On the plus side (I’m trying to be positive) Mario Vrancic put himself about a bit more than he has done of late. It doesn’t surprise me that a deeper lying position, alongside a tough tackler (Reed) has allowed him to get more involved and his set piece delivery was good, as it usually is to be fair. He needs to be more physical but he was better.
The hip injury that Tom Trybull is struggling with means that we will probably see these two in tandem against Preston too. I would really like to see Marco Stiepermann play centrally, to see how that goes but injury to our only recognised left back denies us that chance at the moment.
A return to the 4-2-3-1 formation away from home seemed sensible and Oliveira starting successive games inside three days is cause for optimism but I question Daniel Farke’s decision to play Marley Watkins ahead of either Murphy or Wildschut.
Murphy was poor last Saturday but the directness of Wildschut offers something else going forward and I’d be starting him against Preston. At this point, I’m ready to try just about anything to create chances for Oliveira.
I am well aware that transition means a period of change from one state to another but I was hoping for a little more by this stage of the season, if I’m honest.
I’m starting to think that we are going to have to grit our teeth and just get through this season and give Farke and Webber another summer transfer window to really see the fruits of the revolution.
Having said that, I still cling to the hope that once Alex Tettey, Alex Pritchard and Steven Naismith are all fit, we may have a squad fit for a top six challenge.
For both Tettey and Naismith, this may be their last season at Carrow Road. Tettey is out of contract in the summer and both men are on big money.
Tettey alongside Trybull though was a winning partnership and even though he’s been lacklustre in the last two seasons, I still think Naismith can play a part. He could play either side of the front three or even in the centre if Maddison or Wes were unavailable and he does have talent – we’re yet to see it in anything other than fits and starts though.
You’re sitting in the last chance saloon, Steven and the bar tender is pouring your last drink.
Saturday sees the return of Alex Neil with Preston, a side that have won more games than they’ve lost and are two points above us. It hasn’t happened yet but people on social media are already talking about getting beaten by PNE.
Negativity is a disease in any walk of life but in sport it can be particularly crippling. I know it’s easier to say than do but we really need to support our team.
I’m passionate about Norwich City and if you’re reading this then I assume you are too. My feelings are that we need to stick with it and support. Negativity and criticism are easy traps to fall into.
Will Farke change things up a little? Will his side persist with the ponderous possession game loosely based on that played by Pep’s Manchester City?
By all means persist with the style but the application needs to change. Last summer’s talk of being ‘protagonists with the ball’ seems a little silly now because this Norwich City team are not forcing anything but they are testing our patience.