Thursday, February 20, 2014
Reader Tony Moore believes Norwich City are virtually certain to get relegated.
Over the past 18 months Chris Hughton has gradually attacked (an ironic choice of word) the culture of Norwich City and has transformed them, slowly but surely, from a team with a culture of “winning” to one of “not losing”.
At first glance this appears to be a subtle change, but I believe it strikes at the heart of our present predicament.
Just 18 months ago players would go into games really believing they could win against anyone.
Obviously they didn’t win them all, but there was always the next game they were convinced they would win.
We now hear Chris Hughton consistently and infuriatingly “bigging up” the opposition.
We also see some perplexing substitutions (often made too late to have any impact on the game).
Of the past 63 substitutions made by Chris Hughton, not one has scored or assisted in a goal.
Of course the bedrock of this belief in not losing is sound, providing you avoid relegation, as we did last season.
This season, we have become a team that has the second worst defensive record in the division. That puts real pressure on the strikers to score more goals. But with our culture change comes a very different view from the strikers.
It’s no longer “I’m going to score”, more like “Will I miss?”.
The result is there for all to see – one of the worst goals-for tallies in the division, and strikers who, despite their previous excellent records at their previous clubs, have, for the most part, failed dismally this season.
This is certainly not a criticism of our strikers because I believe Norwich could play with the best striker in the land up front and the outcome would be pretty much the same.
And the current debate is about whether Chris Hughton should stay or go?
Sadly, it’s too late for that. If a change were to have been made that would have been effective it would have needed to be last December at the latest.
Culture change cannot be reversed in the few remaining Premier League games this season.
Church Street, Horsford.