What was worse at Carrow Road on Saturday? Norwich’s attacking? Norwich's defending? Alex Neil's management? Or the Norwich fans booing at the final whistle? Jon Rogers and Dan Brigham get a bit ranty
The snot is out again
Imagine the man next door heroically saved your dog when your house was burning down. He stepped up, took on the heat and came away with a very precious reward. Superhero.
Now fast-forward six months, and that same bloke is cutting his lawn for the final time of the year on a Sunday morning at 8am.
Do you smile, and think, “You know what? If you think that’s best thing to do at this time, fair enough.” Or stand up and scream words out of the window until snot bubbles appear.
Well, the latter was starting to surface at ole Carra. By complete morons. Snot-bubble Morons. I heard three snot-induced rants from the Jarrold at various targets. Russell Martin, Nathan Redmond and Mr Alex Neil mostly.
Sure, all three didn’t have the best game again, and to some it looks like the superheroes are losing their powers. But keep the snot in. JR
Jonny Howson off the boil
Jonny Howson is Norwich’s most complete midfielder for 20 years. It must be true, because I wrote about it. But ever since that vibrant, dynamic display against West Ham his touch has been less sure, his passing less incisive. He’s become less of a combination of Jeremy Goss, Ian Crook and Damien Francis, and more like a combination of Mark Fotheringham, Mark Fotheringham and Mark Fotheringham.
Before this slump his one poor game this season had come against Southampton: his form is crucial to Norwich’s form. It hasn’t helped that he’s been shunted around the midfield – he’s played on both wings, at No.10 and as a holding midfielder – but he looks like he needs a game off to recharge the batteries. Norwich are far stronger with a strong Howson. DB
Norwich not as brave
Do you remember the first five minutes of the second half of the play-off semi-final against Ipswich at Carrow Road? The flatness of the first half evaporated immediately and suddenly Norwich were passing it forward, taking the riskier option rather than safe option. It paid off immediately.
After the thumping by Newcastle it seems Norwich’s confidence has been given a kicking. Their passing was too safe on Saturday, which meant they never really looked like scoring. After being hit for six it’s no real surprise that the players were more cautious and less inclined to pick out a risky pass, but Neil needs to remind them they’ve created their own success by being brave.
Which is why those dicks who booed on the final whistle need to take a look at themselves. Want Norwich to be less edgy, less brittle? Want them to be play with more confidence? Then, please, shut up. DB
Neil not getting substitutions right
For about 60 minutes, we didn’t have a shot towards goal. A change was needed. More than change was needed and yet it didn’t come.
The substitution is both an art and a calculated gamble.
Sometimes it’s not the personnel you bring on, it is the timing of it. Around the 60-minute mark, we needed something new: fresh legs and fresh mind. West Brom’s back four were dominating Dieumerci Mbokani and we need to shuffle the pack, but Neil has yet to make that impact in this unrelenting punishing overbalanced circus-top we call the Premier League.
It looks like a bumpy road up ahead. JR
Striker problems continue
Who is our best striker? I just don’t know.
If you want a little more, I really don’t know.
Looking at the evidence, it’s hard to judge Mbokani as he looked good in some situations and invisible in large sections against Newcastle and West Brom.
Cameron Jerome has had plenty of opportunity, but provided little reward.
Lewis Grabban seems like a Father Christmas impersonator, waiting for January to find a new employer.
Kyle Lafferty has the fans clambering for him because of a funny freak interesting fact of the day – but Neil just doesn’t seem to trust or want him in the team.
And as for Gary Hooper, I’ve forgotten what he even looks like.
Which brings me onto… Who is our best central defender?
*shoots self* JR
Russell Martin needs putting out of his misery
Moving Martin out to the right was a wimpy reaction from Neil to his poor form. It was like telling your partner that you need to take a short break because you’re too timid to tell them that you actually never want to see their face again.
He needs to be dropped. DB