Ah, the international break. A time to take stock and reassess. So Mr X gives his early verdict on how every Norwich player has performed so far this season. Lewis Grabban, and a few others, should probably look away now
Seeing your team head into an international break on the back of a defeat is far from ideal. Particularly when it was a defeat that left Norwich with just one home triumph from what appeared to be four winnable fixtures.
Two massive points were tossed away in the dying seconds at Upton Park and the single point we had to settle for in East London coupled with a creditable point from the trip to Anfield only really serve to replace the two we dropped by failing to beat Stoke at home. Therefore with just nine points on the board from what appeared, in Premier League terms, to be a fairly kind opening eight games does tend to leave this rather pessimistic Canary fan fearing a long, hard winter ahead should Alex Neil’s men fail to beat either Newcastle or West Brom in our next two crucial games.
Despite some impressive performances and an attacking attitude we simply have not amassed the points we should have done and that could well see us become this season’s Burnley.
With a reasonable chunk of the season played, let’s run the rule over the players to have regularly figured so far. There’s no marks out of 10 here though. Instead, I have compared City’s class of 2015-16 to the reign of various Norwich City bosses – good and bad.
A decent showing so far from big John. That said, we are still awaiting a first clean sheet of the campaign and despite a really impressive performance at Anfield the last-gasp clanger at West Ham showed us that he is about as near to being England’s No.1 one as Jeremy Corbyn is to No 10.
Verdict: Can do better. John, you’re Mike Walker (second time around though…).
Poor old Whitts is never going to win any popularity contests among the Carrow Road faithful. However, Southampton apart, I think he’s stood up well despite performing at a level of quality in the Premier League that is always going to challenge him.
Verdict: A willing trier. Whitts, you’re Bruce Ricoh.
Apart from the Palace match I think it’s fair to say we’ve all been impressed with his contribution while covering for Martin Olsson at left-back, while the West Ham game showed his potential in a more advanced position. I imagine there’s also a lot more to come from this quality performer.
Verdict: A solid start. A glowing tribute to you Robbie – you’re Dave Stringer.
Lots more of the same from the skipper – great guy, great attitude, great goals too. But he’s just not a central defender. Can we read anything into a clean sheet in the Cup in his absence? Right-back remains his best position.
Verdict: Would be better at full-back. Russ, you’re Peter Grant. He was a number two, not a manager and you are a full-back and not a central defender.
Oh dear, a tough one to call this. Not the player he was when he first arrived at the club and always looks capable of an error. Would be nice to see him chip in with a goal or two from set plays. Very difficult to big up any defender who has not seen his side record one league shut-out in eight games.
Verdict: Must do better. Sorry Seb, you’re Chris Hughton.
Seeing a game without Alex Tettey picking up a yellow card is about as likely as a positive sighting of Elvis Presley. That said, he does a good job for the team but one can only think his opportunities will be limited once Youssouf Mulumbu regains full fitness.
Verdict: Committed but careless and will be replaced – Alex, you’re John Deehan.
Capable of running the show when things are going well. However, I’d back him with all I’ve got in a game of hide and seek if his St Mary’s performance (sorry disappearance) was anything to by. As my mum used to say about my little brother, “when he’s good he’s very, very good but when he’s bad he’s horrid”.
Verdict: We need to see more of you. Graham, you’re Martin O’Neill.
A solid if unspectacular opening to the season from Jonny. Clearly capable of starring at this level, he has everything in his locker to succeed in the Premier League and could even be knocking on the England door if he performed to his best on a regular basis.
Verdict: Needs to perform consistently. Jonny, you’re Ken Brown. Capable of Wembley glory and relegation.
A real star performer and the creative spark that this team still has to be built around. Always looking to get City on the attack and a player who just seems to improve with age. A joy to watch.
Verdict: On course to be Player of the Season 2015-16? Wes, you’re John Bond. And he would have picked you too.
Already looking a far more dangerous prospect than he did two years ago at this level. With goals and an end product to his game, Redmond is delivering the goods. A really exciting and attacking start to his 2015-16 season.
Verdict: Carry on the good work. Big honour here: Nathan, you’re Paul Lambert.
A surprise package and a positive start to his Canary career. Jarvis appears a likeable guy with an attacking attitude to his game. With a turn of pace and goals too let’s hope he continue to keep getting us off of our seats at Carrow Road.
Verdict: A pleasant surprise. Matt, you’re Mike Walker (first time around).
Too good for the Championship but really labouring at this level. Has missed chances that could and should have turned draws into wins. Could be a long season if Jerome is our only striking threat. We can’t afford misses like we saw at home to Stoke. Dieumerci Mbokani time?
Verdict: Struggling. Cameron, you’re Bryan Gunn.
Not only does his attitude stink the place out but his ability (or lack or it at this level) matches it too. Why on earth did the Carrow Road crowd not give this guy a harder time against the Baggies in the Cup? And why on earth did David McNally not sell him when we had the chance?
Verdict: A January exit (hopefully) – Lewis, you’re Glenn Roeder.