Friday, August 29, 2014
It’s been a fantastic start to the season for Norwich City after that disappointing defeat on the opening day of the campaign.
The team has now won four games in a row and I for one can’t remember the last time this was achieved. The victory against Ipswich Town was hard fought but very well deserved. I only managed to watch the first half because I was working at the Swansea v Burnley game, but what I saw in that first half was that Norwich were the better side. I thought the Canaries controlled long periods and never really looked like conceding.
What a start Lewis Grabban has made to his Norwich City career. It is what centre forwards dream of; getting up and running quickly and boy has he certainly done that. He couldn’t quite top his relative Leon McKenzie on Saturday, who scored two at Portman Road on his debut for Norwich, but I suppose scoring the winner and making it four goals in four games will soften the blow for Lewis.
To be fair Lewis could have had a hat-trick last weekend but he missed two good opportunities to add to his tally, however I’m sure you won’t hold that against him.
At the start of the season if you’d said that Norwich would have nine points from a possible 12 from their opening four games I think the majority of you would have taken that.
I have to say I was shocked by the revelations that came to light last Thursday of the texts that Malky Mackay and his former head of recruitment Ian Moody had shared.
I am not going to try and defend Malky for his part in what’s happened as it’s indefensible. He knows he’s been very naive and stupid and has paid the price by losing the opportunity of once again managing in the Premier League with Crystal Palace. However, what I will defend Malky for is him as a person. I have known him for 16 years and sat next to him for six of those on a daily basis at Colney. You get to know someone very well when you spend as much time as we did together and I can say I never heard Malky make one single racist comment.
I’ve argued and fallen out with Malky over the years as many a player did up at the training ground but with my hand on my heart he never reduced himself to having a go at someone for the colour of their skin. We all make mistakes, nobody’s an angel, and everyone deserves a second chance. Malky might have to wait a while before he gets another chance to manage but I do hope that in time people will forgive him.
The one major disappointment from the derby game was the nasty injury to Ryan Bennett which will keep him out for a while.
It looked a nasty one – I should know I’ve had a glass ankle since my younger days at Watford.
I went over on it badly when I was 18 and have gone over on it many times since. I always used to have to have it strapped up for support for training and games as it was such a weakness of mine.
Ryan had surgery this week and I’m sure we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back to full fitness sooner rather than later. It was a good win in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night against a very spirited Crawley side.
I expected Neil Adams to make a few changes with so many games in the opening few weeks of the season. Let’s be honest, a good cup run isn’t a priority for the club this season, the main target is getting back into the Premier League. But like many Championship managers these days Neil saw it as an ideal opportunity to give some of the promising youngsters at the club a chance to show what they can do.
Kyle McFadden made a steady debut at the heart of defence. The Murphy twins started with Josh grabbing the headlines with two goals, both of which were top class finishes that showed he’s ready to play on a regular basis. Jamar Loza started his first game and is definitely one for the future if he keeps listening and learning from the coaching staff.
Cameron Jerome got off to a flying start with a goal in his first appearance for the club, scoring after just 14 minutes. His physical presence and strength will offer something different to the team, they are attributes that you probably need more in the Championship than you do the Premier League.
• IT WILL NOT BE EASY FOR LVG
What on earth is going on at Old Trafford?
Having appointed Louis Van Gaal to take over from the luckless David Moyes, everybody thought the Dutchman was just the man to bring the good old days back after a shocker of a season under Moyes. However, it has been anything but a revival under Van Gaal having lost to Swansea and drawn with Sunderland.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse they were well and truly embarrassed at MK Dons on Tuesday. They put four past Van Gaal’s men and they fully deserved the victory. I can’t give Karl Robinson and his players enough credit for their performance and they deserve all their plaudits.
It certainly points out what a huge task Van Gaal has got in turning one of the biggest clubs in the world fortunes around.