Well that didn’t go so well, did it. Jon Rogers and Dan Brigham try and work out what went so wrong for Norwich against Watford on Saturday. It took them a while, and it ain’t so pretty…
There’s only one way to describe that
Anthropologist Franz Boas once alleged that Eskimo have 50 words for snow.
I wish I had 50 words to describe Norwich’s performance, but I only have two.
Utter shit. JR
Watford have become seriously good at frustrating opponents and stopping them playing at home. Fans from West Ham, Swansea, Southampton and West Brom have come away moaning about the lack of chances created and the lack of cohesion. Between those four sides, and across 360 minutes, they had only 10 shots on target (and no goals). So, it may be a small consolation, but it’s not just Norwich who have struggled at Vicarage Road.
The fact it's Watford – promoted with us, poor at the back last season and Watford – makes it difficult to take. But they're good at what they do. Norwich won't be the first, and nor will they be the last, to learn that. DB
Bassong tempted fate
Having spent a good few months training and playing with Watford last season, Seb Bassong was quoted in a few newspapers with the strong headline: “I can control Watford’s front two”. It was one of those headlines that you just knew would tempt fate.
In the end, he looked in about as much as control as your nan trying to use Sky Plus.
He was hustled, bustled and made to look a worse player than he was by Watford’s strike-force, and it made me yearn for that quick, strong, skilful-yet-deadly player ourselves. JR
It's hard to tell what Neil's plan was
So, Lewis Grabban up-front. Graham Dorrans in central midfield. Two pacy wingers. That's an attacking team, right? One that wants to keep possession and stretch Watford. The reaction to the starting line-up seemed very positive.
So the relentless long-balling and heavy-hoofing was a total mystery. Did the players drop the system and adapt to conditions? If so, Neil should've got Dieumerci Mbokani or Cameron Jerome on earlier, as well as taking Dorrans off. Or did Neil send the wrong team out to do the right job?
Either way, for the first time since Newcastle, the plan looked muddled. DB
Don’t blame the conditions
MotM? I don’t think I can name a decent performance. Maybe Dec Rudd, who kept us in the game until the final few moments when we were finally put to sleep, like a 27-year-old dog with severe bladder issues.
Where had everyone’s form gone? It was mostly unrecognisable from Arsenal. Neil mentioned that the conditions didn’t help, and how Watford adapted better. I disagree.
They caused us no problems in the air at all. Each time the ball was down and they had it, we looked suspect. When we had it, we were closed down or kicked it long and high. We didn’t move the ball well, we didn’t play any quick first-touch football, and we looked like a team who are going down. January isn’t a magic wand to cure us of Championship football either. JR
Tettey is good at football
There were some poor episodes of Breaking Bad. Robert De Niro has turned in some wooden performances. There's an occasional joke in Peep Show that isn't funny. It happens. But, when it does, no ones says Breaking Bad is shithouse, you don't call De Niro a dreadful actor and you don't accuse Peep Show of never being funny (unless, of course, you are a mad person).
Alex Tettey has been outstanding this season. He made a mistake on Saturday. This doesn't suddenly turn him into a bad player; just one who made a rare error. The same goes for Bassong: he was awful on Saturday, but against Arsenal he had one of his finest performances in a Norwich shirt.
The problem is, with Norwich’s squad, it takes only a couple of bad performances to affect the entire team. DB
Boo Grabban? Get in Bennett's hole
Six days after Grabban scored the equaliser against Arsenal, six days after he stretched the Arsenal defence in the second half to finally get Norwich attacking with verve again, and some people booed him when he was substituted. Many slagged him off on social media again.
These people are the worst of football fans.
Grabban was dreadful (who wasn't?), but his game doesn't suit the way Norwich were hoofing it. He should either never have started, or Norwich should've played to the strengths of the starting XI. DB
The wrong way round
Last week every outfield player was excellent while the goalkeeper was rubbish. This week the goalkeeper was excellent while every outfield player was rubbish.
I prefer the first option. DB