Things we sort of learned - Preston (H)

Preston North End beat us fair and square. Doesnt mean we can't go and have a bit of a moan. So we have two of the best moaners in the business with Clare Thomas and Richard Jeffery. 

So, due to Ivo’s groin twinge, (We’ve all had one of those eh? Eh?) a lot of people got their wish today and RyBen started at CB. It made no difference to the general unsturdiness of our defence.

His distribution was actually good today, normally my main bug bear with him, but he failed to deal with the aerial threat of Preston as well as you’d expect.

We still looked shaky, susceptible to the long ball and were fortunate not to concede more to the several one on ones that Preston had.

This is not RyBen’s fault though. We are and have been terrible at defending for several seasons now. Preston’s goal came from a free header which, good ball in aside, just shouldn’t happen. It’s actually hard to tell from the highlights who should have been marking the goal scorer, one of Tetts, R:Mart, NOlly or MOlss, so I guess you can choose your own escape goat from that lot depending on your preference.

Worryingly, our defence shows no signs of improving, though it’s long been clear that it’s an issue.

Fresh blood is required, but in the meantime what do they do in traynun Nayul?  RJ

I predict a riot
Norfolk has descended into chaos again. We lost. Therefore the following happens:

  1. The crowd boo.
  2. Twitter explodes.
  3. Everyone argues.

Sadly all of the above are as predictable as Donald Trump being a womaniser.

But in reality all that has happened is that we lost a game. 1-0. Yes, at home. Yes, to a ‘smaller’ team. But is this really a reason for the level of panic that engulfs us? Ok, we have some issues. We haven't been playing brilliantly all season. We've ridden our luck lately, and today that luck eluded us. But Preston are in-form. They played like a team. They all know their jobs. They had a game plan and it came off. And good for them. Here's the thing. And it's something that bugs me regularly. Many of our fans don't seem to appreciate that there is actually another team on the pitch with us, who are also trying their very best to win. And sometimes they will. Football is not as simple as the ‘better’ team beating the ‘lesser’ team. That's why we all love football. Why we rejoiced at Leicester last season.  Our squad is stronger than most in the league. And capable of much, much better. There are issues that need rectifying. But don't be fooled into thinking that the smaller teams in the league are vastly inferior. Even if we were firing on all cylinders there will be games like yesterday's. We just need to make sure they are rarities. Fourteen games in, eight wins. And all whilst not playing to our capabilities. It's not time for riots just yet. CT

Didn’t he do MaxWell?
I was watching Preston’s keeper, Chris Maxwell, in the warm ups. He seemed perky, confident, ready. He had something about him.

This proved to be the case as the afternoon unfolded. He had an excellent game. His handling was solid, caught a lot of crosses/corners, commanded his defence, made a great save from P:Chard’s free kick and was generally faultless.

He also, in the modern style, played as a sweeper keeper. Often way out of his box, in the centre circle when Preston had a corner for example, he was generally out quickly to snuff out danger before it arose, was available to his defenders for a pass, and distributed the ball well. Good feet for a big man etc.

Pep could do a lot worse that take a shufty up the M61. RJ

Brady on borrowed time.
If you were wandering around Norwich at 2pm you may have heard the cries of ‘BRADY?!’ closely followed by ‘WHERE'S PRITCHARD?!’ I was one of the exasperated. The Robster has simply not been up to scratch this season, Wolves goal apart. Is it because he can't be bothered? Is it because he missed pre season? Is it because he came back from the Euros as a creature of myth and legend and we expect too much? It's hard to put your phalanx on it. Whatever his affliction is, he's on borrowed time. Pritchard shows more desire, determination, movement and creativity. All things we desperately lacked yesterday, and certainly we were better for his appearance in the second half. Right now, if Robbie wants out I'm not sure there would be too many crying...CT

Lethargy (noun)

1.    a lack of energy and enthusiasm.

You could almost call this game before kick off. It felt like one of those days. Preston had a reputation for pressing and hustling, are a good side and have some impressive results. We would need to be at our best to get the win, which we haven’t been. We weren’t.

It was clear that we weren’t on it today. The players were trying, but there just seemed to be a flatness and lack of intensity about us. The crowd were also a bit flat, possibly as a result, but also possibly expecting a win and wanting to know why it wasn’t delivered. I think, like many, that P:Chard was hard done by not being in the team at Foolham (A), but could understand that away from home. Not yesterday though.

Against a team who will press and defend in numbers, surely the game is tailor made for him to pull the strings in tandem with Wes. Indeed when he came on we had our brightest moments of the game.

So, a week of two halves. We won the first half 5-1, and lost the second 3-0, dropping five points in the process. Tough games to come, we need to find ourselves and sharpish. RJ

Marvellous McGovern
I'm still not quite used to seeing Little Mick in goal rather than Big John. But that's not to say I don't like it. It's more that you just get used to things looking a certain way, a bit like when you replace a bit of old furniture. It takes a while to get used to, though it's definitely better. And the change of furniture between the posts is just that. McGovern commands his goal. He doesn't flap. And in a one on one situation he is simply outstanding. There was one moment yesterday that it seemed certain the Preston player would get to the ball first and poke it round McGovern to score. Yet somehow the ball started flying away to the halfway line rather than towards to goal. There were audible gasps. He’s simply brilliant at it. I almost look forward to our defence cocking things up so we get to see him do it again. It's like he plays a little game of tease…’come on then, how close can you get? Come on..closer... closer. NOPE. I win. Nah nah na na nah’.

I think we may just have got ourselves a little gem in little Mick. CT

Richard tweets at @twitchut
Clare tweets at @clarebearthomas