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Following Norwich City is like a box of chocolates...

09:07 23 January 2016

Robbie Brady - a round peg in a square hole against Bournemouth.

Robbie Brady - a round peg in a square hole against Bournemouth.

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Anyone who doesn’t enjoy having their emotions put through the wringer on a regular basis would be well advised not to become a Norwich City fan.

After the encouraging renaissance over Christmas we experienced a spectacular return to earth at Bournemouth as a display that was barely lively enough to be called lethargic resulted in a defeat that could have been much, much worse. Bournemouth were excellent: Eddie Howe had clearly done his homework and exacted full revenge for being out-thought by Alex Neil back in September.

In that he was undoubtedly helped by the Scot’s use of numerous square pegs in round holes, with Robbie Brady once again showing his naivety as a defender by allowing his man to run across him to score the opening goal for the second consecutive game, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, a natural central midfielder, struggling defensively in the wide right position and Jonny Howson, a genuine goal threat and a player with the ability to take the game to the opposition, restricted by being used in a deeper midfield role.

With Wes Hoolahan finding it hard to make much impact in recent games City’s midfield was neither fish nor fowl at Dean Court, lacking in physical presence centrally but also failing to provide any real support or creativity for Dieumerci Mbokani.

While the back four inevitably received plenty of criticism, much of it justified, the game was effectively won and lost in midfield where Bournemouth gave City a lesson in how to maintain possession while moving the ball quickly.

It was a thoroughly abject display, but while it would be easy to accentuate the negatives it’s important to remember that this is the same group of players that won three games out of four over the Christmas period. They haven’t become awful overnight.

While the mood over the weekend was inevitably sombre, the transfer news at the start of this week was the shot in the arm that the Canary faithful desperately needed. Timm Klose is just the sort of seasoned centre back that the squad has been crying out for, with international and Champions League experience behind him.

However, his arrival may have been overshadowed slightly by City finally securing the services of Steven Naismith after a lengthy courtship that started back in the summer. I have always rated Naismith and his aggression and commitment seem to be exactly what’s required to galvanise a squad that seems to find it hard to achieve the necessary intensity for every game.

With plenty of time still to go this is already a very good window, with quality players coming in and something of a clearing of the decks as fringe players are moved on. One hopes that the board, who have taken a fair bit of stick about lack of ambition and a reluctance to spend, will now receive the plaudits that are due to them.

This week’s activity is a very clear statement of intent and the recent boardroom changes also suggest that we are seeing the start of a new era at the club and a tweaking of the self-funding approach that has held sway since the dark days of 2009. While the spending has hardly been profligate, a calculated investment has been made to try to ensure that the club stays in the Premier League and hopefully most fans will applaud that.

Of course, it remains to be seen how quickly the newcomers can get up to speed, but I suspect that all of us feel significantly more optimistic about the club’s prospects than we did at 5pm last Saturday.

With Liverpool in transition and the feelgood factor hopefully getting Carrow Road rocking, the scene is set this afternoon. Now it’s up to the players to deliver the goods.

7 comments

  • When the transfer window is complete and we have (we hope) the incoming players we require then I suspect a great deal of the player juggling going on with the team will cease . What will be revealed will be plan A and plan B players in their best role.

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    mardler

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • The above article has the key words in one paragraph 'boardroom changes' I view the appointment of Thomas Smith as a vote for continuity and keeping predators at bay while the manager upgrades the Canaries on the pitch not simply to avoid relegation but to provide us with a competitive edge for future days. Canaries on the pitch,Canaries in the stands,Canaries in the boardroom unite and WIN! Of course our manager has played players out of position trying everything to find exactly what he needs a skillful team full of gutsy players (it is to his credit that he has done this disregarding all the shouting from the sidelines) - now he knows exactly what is required and is busily bringing in players in key areas to sharpen our whole team approach at match time.

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    mardler

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Following Norwich City is like a box of chocolates... very true someone pinches the decent ones whilst enduring the leftovers often leaves you sick

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    Big Bonce

    Monday, January 25, 2016

  • I still cannot believe what I have seen lunchtime. The good news that Pinto was making a debut at RB was blown away by Martin being accommodated at CB. Please, ball boy, anyone, hide Mr Martin's football boots just prior to kick-off against Spurs. Excellent shifts by Mbokani and Naismith thrown away by total stupidity in defence.

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    NorwichAbs

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

  • This is worse than schoolboy defending.....its absolute mindless, for me we gave away at least four goals today just through not thinking. I am 70 years old and would not have made those mistakes that was made today, I think its madness not to have played Klose since he could not have been any worse and when is Lafferty going to get a kick if hes important to us? The guy isn't get anywhere with NCFC yet we are told or he is told he is important to us....doing what?

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    vmarshall

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

  • I cannot argue with you right now Stew, but even worse to put Martin back in at centre back is even more unbelievable. Even a half fit Klose would surely have been a better choice, our defence was so wide open even a pensioner could have scored today. I cannot believe Radio Norfolk were even present at the game today given their comments on how some of the players played well. Howson and Dorrans were hardly in the game for me and Wes is never a winger.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

  • ….Robby Brady playing at left back is about as sensible as putting Wes Hoolahan in goal!….Axle has had time (12months) to get this act together, and seems to be getting further and further away from a sensible solution!….He has now gone into the market to buy sticking plaster in the hope that this will cure his weaknesses! …. Sorry to all you AN fanatics, but this is a repeat of Hughton at his best, and I hope Ed Ba!! s and D.McN will also see through the smoke and act quickly this time instead of dithering!…..

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Saturday, January 23, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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