Just like the gentlemen's clothing shop, Burton came to the city, and eventually left empty handed. Luckily, Clare Thomas and Zoe Whitford were there to absorb the atmosphere and top of the league winning performance.
Burton was the most relaxed I have seen the Norwich team this season, and by relaxed I don’t mean central defenders pondering on the ball for so long they fall asleep, and the opposition striker sneaks in and scores. I mean they seemed happier in their own skin and confident that they were the better, more capable side. Little Wes had a smile on his face all game and seemed to be really enjoying his football. This is a good thing. Remember, this was a team that got relegated last season and were used to losing. It’s not that easy to suddenly become a side used to winning. They’ll get there, and they seem well on their way. ZW.
No Pinto No Party
Back in early August, The Little Yellow Birdies did a pre-season review. Not all of our answers made it through Dear Departed Dan’s edit. One not to survive his cull was ‘Surprise Player to Star This Season’. Perhaps DDD was scared of my Clare-voyancey, because eight games in my prediction seems rather accurate...
Now I'm not one to gloat but…No. Actually I am.
Ivo’s only gone and scored his first ever goal in front of our own little eyes AND dedicated it to us. His actual defending may be a little bit dubious at times but we’ll gloss over that. Perfection's overrated. And what defenders are good at defending these days anyway?
Sing! Ivo, Ivo Ivo, Ivo Ivo, Ivo, I've oh...lost count. CT.
Olsson has got his hat on.
As I drove back to Yorkshire’s welcoming bosom on Saturday evening, I subjected myself to as much as I could bear of Robbie Savage’s 606 phone-in. One question they raised was ‘Is James Milner the best left back in the country right now?’ This got me thinking: 1) what a load of nonsense; and 2) would you swap Martin Olsson for anyone? He had another excellent game on Saturday, getting forward at will. What he was doing in the penalty area for his goal is beyond me, but it was well-taken and deserved for his attacking intent. Olsson has been criticised for trying to move away from the club but whether he wants to play in the Premier League or not, it doesn’t seem to affect his on-field performances. Photos of him celebrating from the last couple of matches have even suggested - shock horror - that he might even care. In Pinto and Olsson we have players who fit the Alex Neil way and we’re lucky. James Milner (probably) wouldn’t even get in our side. ZW
It's been a while since we've had the luxury of having three substitutions to make at our leisure during the second half, what with bad luck with injuries. So, at 70 minutes, when things were getting a bit stale and a few legs were tiring, my head turned to the touchline. Who was warming up? NOBODY.
Surely Pritchard needed to come on for Wes, Cam needed someone to get on to all those knock downs, and surely Brady looked like he was wading through a vat of Colman’s? (Imagine how clear his nasal passage would have been though...)
Alex certainly did make the substitutions at his ‘leisure’. All leisurely 84 and 88 minutes of it. Hardly time for them to make a mark on the game. The hesitance was baffling. Especially when he's got one of the easiest substitutions in the world to make. In Josh Murphy you literally have an identical replacement for Jacob. I mean. How cool is that? Replacing one player with exactly the same player, just with fresh legs. It's genius. Imagine a world where all footballers are twins. Substitutions would be no brainers. CT
Robbie's doing the Jobbie.
I was absolutely delighted (and gobsmacked, if I’m honest) we kept hold of Robbie Brady over the summer. I thought he was brilliant during the first half of last season, and it was a shame that his form faded at the same time as the team’s did. He looked exhausted, and then of course he had to go off to France and tire himself out even more both physically and emotionally. He’s improving gradually, but he’s not yet back to his best. We forget how young he still is - he’s still learning as a player. After missing the penalty (good save, by the way) and the chance which followed soon after he was holding his hands up to the South Stand and apologising. He did the same thing at the end of the game. He knows he’s not quite there yet, but he will be, soon. ZW
Cam in a Jam
One of the most frustrating sights on Saturday was the otherwise magnificent CamJam reluctance to shoot towards the goal. Just when you thought he was about to unleash a strike, he chose to look for an extra touch, or a lay off, or kick it nowhere near the actual goal.
To be fair he wasn't the only guilty party. But when you are the only striker, and you aren’t actually striking, the collective angst is vented in your direction. Arms were flung up all around with cries of ‘SHOOT MAN!’ ‘WHY DIDN'T HE JUST SHOOT?!’
Well I'll tell you why. Confidence. Or lack of. All you arm-flingers and whingers, have a little think about the reason he lacks confidence. I'll take a bet that it's because of all the arm-flinging and whinging. The man played a blinder. He won virtually every header. Ran every channel. Worked his backside off. He was MOTM in my eyes.
Rather than pick out the negative, embrace the positive. Maybe next time, arms will be flung in the air in celebration instead. CT