Yo-yos, vegetarian sausages, games of fetch, clear-outs and the Wes and Redmond quandary: Jon Rogers and Dan Brigham dissect Norwich’s defeat to Arsenal, and where it leaves them (in the poo, mostly)
Nothing to see here
So what have we learned? That’s idea of this feature isn’t it?
I learned nothing. Nothing. Ok? Not a sausage. Not even a vegetarian sausage. Close this window down, and go and take up a much more rewarding hobby than watching Norwich. Like puppy drowning, loaded-gun cleaning or, cricket.
As the final whistle went and we all thought we deserved more, my mind slipped into just wanting closure.
Popping on your shirt, parking, walking, thinking, thinking constantly thinking of what and if. That routine of a match day. That expectation. It’s not the defeats that hurt, it’s the hope.
So maybe for once, we can break that routine and put on a run of extraordinary proportions and be the one who comes out on top, and put Fulham so firmly in the ground, we can focus our memes on Ricky again.
Haha. Ricky was shit wasn’t he? Haha. JR
Oh, for a draw
There’s been a lot of talk about narrow defeats to teams like Arsenal not being the reason we’re in such a pickle, but rather that it’s down to the ‘no-shows’ (or, rather, being a bit shite) against the likes of Villa, Bournemouth, Swansea and Sunderland. There’s some truth in that. But, let’s face it, every team in the bottom half of the table are going to be terrible in half a dozen games or so across a 38-game season. Sometimes, poor teams play below average. It’s always going to happen.
What really sets us apart unfavourably from our rivals is the number of games we’ve drawn. Or, rather, haven’t drawn. Norwich have drawn seven of their 35 matches – no team in the league have drawn fewer than us. Sunderland and West Brom have drawn 11, Swansea 10, Crystal Palace and Newcastle nine. Yet, crucially, fatally, 10 of our defeats have been by a single goal – games in which one quality finisher, or one quality piece of defending would have earned us a point. Turn just three of those 10 one-goal defeats into a draw, and our destiny would still be in our own hands.
Yet too often this season we’ve lost out on precious points because of missed chances to score and missed chances to clear the ball. One goal, either way, is all it would have taken in those 10 matches. A bit of stardust at either end of the pitch – like a Jermain Defoe or a Timm Klose for a full season – and those narrow defeats would have turned into season-saving draws. DB
Help might be needed
We’re glaringly close to treating the Premier League like your auntie and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary party. Turn up, show your face and get out of there before your other uncle puts his penis in the trifle again.
We just cant seem to stick around and maybe we need an external person who is clued up in how successful football works – who isn’t connected to anyone at the top of Carrow Road – to do a root analysis. Where are we going wrong? Why can’t we progress? Remember, it wasn’t massively long ago that we were on par with Southampton, West Ham and Leicester.
I guess the common denominator is cash and sound, understanding mindful owners. So for the first time, I am starting to reconsider having a different ownership at the club. Delia and Michael deserve nothing but our grateful, humble admiration and thanks but they also need support. We could be missing the train that’s topped full of Bisto. JR
Stick or twist
Clear-outs. Wholesale changes. Burn everyone. KILL THEM ALL. There’s a bit of a mood among the Norwich fans – ranging from thoughtful to I’ve-just-dropped-my-late-night-pizza-on-the-pavement anger – that suggests Norwich should kick out the old and bring in the new at the end of the season.
Well, it all depends what division we’re in. If we do hang on and survive then, yes, the majority of these players have shown that perhaps they’re not quite good enough for the Premier League. Subtractions and additions will be necessary.
But, if we’re relegated? I’m not so sure. We have a group of players who have shown they are good enough – some too good – for the Championship. Seb Bassong? He transformed our season last year when he returned. Russell Martin? He’s a good Championship right-back. Cameron Jerome? Give him chances, and he won’t score. Give him more chances, and he probably will. Graham Dorrans, Alex Tettey, Jonny Howson and Gary O’Neil? All excellent central midfielders below the Premier League (Alex Neil barely playing Howson and Tettey together centrally this season is still my biggest source of frustration).
The squad will still need a bit of polishing, and a bit of freshening up if we go down – James Maddison and perhaps Ben Godfrey will help in that department – and there will be inevitable departures. But the current squad knows how to get promoted. If we are relegated, it would be madness to tear it up entirely. DB
I’m going to start a campaign: why haven’t club haven’t released the Official Norwich City Yo-Yo?
Those little spinny fuckers on a string would bring in more money than the End of Season DVD – which is going to be more depressing than a Werner Herzog documentary.
Who wants a yo-yo? JR
Woe Wes and Redmond
Nathan Redmond and Wes Hoolahan should have played together in most matches this season. But we knew that already, right? There are reasons why they haven’t: Redmond treats his defensive duties like a teenage boy asked to buy new pants, and Hoolahan… actually I struggle to think of a good reason why he doesn’t start nearly every game.
It’s just a shame, really, that Norwich haven’t possessed a striker good enough to benefit from their creativity (twice on Saturday Wes played through-balls that Jerome failed to anticipate, like a dog who charges in the wrong direction when you throw it a stick to fetch).
With just three games remaining – at least two of which we surely we must win – Norwich need their most creative players on the pitch. DB
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