Norwich City haven’t been brilliant but we’re looking ok at half-time

11:33 31 December 2015

Dieumerci Mbokani runs off to celebrate scoring Norwich City

Dieumerci Mbokani runs off to celebrate scoring Norwich City's second goal at home to Aston Villa. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

Even the City fan with the most yellow and green tinted glasses must have been a bit surprised by Alan Shearer’s verdict on the Canaries on Monday night.

Even the City fan with the most yellow and green tinted glasses must have been a bit surprised by Alan Shearer’s verdict on the Canaries on Monday night.

The Match of the Day pundit used the word “brilliant” to sum up the progress so far this season. Really?

I’d suggest our manager Alex Neil was closer to the mark when he said (and I’m paraphrasing) “We’ve done ok so far but we have a lot of work to do in January and the next 19 games are huge.”

Half-time in the season is a good time to stop, reflect and look at the positives and negatives.

Before the season started, would we have taken 20 points from 19 games and being 15th? Yes, I think we would. Things, of course, could have been better.

City should have beaten West Ham and Stoke, got a point against Palace and maybe turned over Arsenal.

With Villa virtually gone, we’re realistically looking at two more relegation places from Sunderland, Newcastle, Swansea, Bournemouth and City (but don’t totally rule out Southampton and WBA).

I have been massively impressed with Declan Rudd since he came in and believe he is equipped to be the number one for the rest of the campaign. He is calm, assured, quick and pulling off save after save.

Ryan Bennett has cemented his place, while Seb has good and not so good days. Quality central defensive strength is definitely needed in the window.

The reported fee of £2.5m for Matt Jarvis looks a snip and he will seem like a new signing when he’s back.

I was surprised that we saw so little of Gary O’Neil over Christmas and I think we look at our most solid when he’s in the engine room.

The big talking point among fans remains the hunt for another striker.

Jerome has impressed at times this year and Mbokani was a constant threat on Monday - and took his goal really well.

Getting a frontman guaranteed to bang them in will be really tough in January.

No stone should be left unturned in the hunt for that man - but we have to be realistic. Most teams in our league are trying to do the same.

Also, don’t forget City have scored more than Liverpool and Stoke and the same as Man United and Chelsea.


• HERO OF THE WEEK: We’ve probably all got stories of getting injured celebrating City goals. My mate Jon “Gibbo” Gibson spent Christmas with a broken toe after stubbing it in his lounge while jumping around following Tettey’s strike at Old Trafford. That’s what I call taking one for the team.

• VILLAIN OF THE WEEK: I’m not a journalist who will always blindly back the actions of fellow pros at other media organisations. However, I fully support those who have criticised Louis van Gaal and had to endure his self pitying rant when he walked out of his press conference.

• HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: It’s been quite a year for the Canaries. The unforgettable day at Wembley, those derby wins and a triumph at Old Trafford are among the highlights. Victory over Villa was so important in the battle to survive and as a positive way to sign off 2015. Bring on more great times in 2016.

• FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: it was generally a very good day for Arsenal on Monday as they went back top. But defender Per Mertesacker was left as red-faced as the team’s famous shirts after he headed the ball wide from about a yard out. Find the footage on Youtube.

• PREDICTION OF THE WEEK: We’ve now played every team in the top flight and I think Spurs are the best we’ve come up against. I really fancy them to come very close to winning the title this year – and if they don’t they will get pipped by the Gunners.


  • @MellowYellow The reason we didn't beat Stoke was Jack Buttland the best performance by any player I have seen at Carrow Road this year

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    Thursday, December 31, 2015

  • If our season is anything like some our matches, in that we start slowly and pull it out in the 2nd half, then we should be fine. For me we should really have 24pts, how we didn't beat Stoke i'll never know and the West Ham game...

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    Thursday, December 31, 2015

  • Shearer's a sh!thouse pundit. And I hope Newcastle go down because of it!

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    Thursday, December 31, 2015

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