Chris Hughton was an international class defender of repute in his own playing days. The Norwich City manager is acutely aware just what it will take to prevent Arsenal ruthlessly exposing any fresh traces of defensive frailty within the Canaries’ ranks at Carrow Road this evening.

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"They have a wonderful manager who keeps re-inventing the team and has done in all the time he has been there. I know him and have been involved in games against him as well as a manager and I very much appreciate the job he has done and how long he has been there. When you look at the teams he has built, it is extraordinary. He is an incredibly good and big football man. I don’t think it would be an understatement to say he revolutionised the English game. "

Chris Hughton, on his Arsenal counterpart

City staggered into the international shut down on the back of consecutive drubbings against Liverpool and Chelsea, notable as much for individual errors as wonderful artistry from the opposition. Hughton accepts the mood music has to change in a bid to ignite the club’s faltering Premier League season.

“You can chop and change but you need the consistency as well,” he said. “The players are very receptive to what we want and the mood around the place is good. I would have to say that. There are two trains of thought regarding the amount of goals we have conceded, but we also have to take on board we have played top quality opposition.

“There were a lot of plusses in the last game. We were disappointed with the last goal we conceded at Chelsea but it was certainly a better second half performance and we also started the game well. That has to be our outlook.

“We are going to have down days and we need to bounce back and carry a threat and give a good Arsenal side more competition than perhaps we have done in the last two games.”

Hughton insists it is too simplistic to try and hide behind the struggles seemingly inherent in attempting to replicate their initial Premier League success last season.

“That is something we all knew about and I was the same when I took this job. This league is tougher than last season. The teams coming up now are better equipped to stay in the division,” he said.

“If you are a team that has been there for two or three seasons you would like to think you are even better equipped. It is about going on a run to give us a comfort zone. We have to remember we are seven games into a season. There are a group of teams down there with us so we need to go on a run at some stage to give us the points we need.

“We have to get back to where we were two games ago. If we look at our season in the league we have had seven games and three of those have been very disappointing, where we have conceded goals. In the middle of that we had four very good performances. We needed to get our points in those games and they are all games we could have got maximum points and turned draws into wins.”

Hughton may well get the uplifting response from his players he expects after a fortnight out of the firing line, but Arsenal present a formidable obstacle.

“We know we are up against a wonderful team who have added already to what was a very good squad,” he said. “Defensively, they have started the season very well and they are on the back of a good result at West Ham. We certainly know the qualities they have but we have to have our game plan on the day and make it as difficult as we can.

“Are they title contenders? Yes. Very much so. They have added some real quality and in (Santi) Carzola they have a player who has started the season fabulously well and who is a real threat for them.

“I think we expected them to be there or thereabouts and perhaps with the signings they have made, even more so. These tests don’t come any bigger.

“Not only are they a top team but they are a top team in form. They have a great balance between youth and experience in the squad.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has long been feted for his impact on the English game and Hughton believes the Frenchman’s impact should not be over-stated.

“They have a wonderful manager who keeps re-inventing the team and has done in all the time he has been there,” said Hughton. “I know him and have been involved in games against him as well as a manager and I very much appreciate the job he has done and how long he has been there. When you look at the teams he has built, it is extraordinary. He is an incredibly good and big football man. I don’t think it would be an understatement to say he revolutionised the English game.

“The best testament you can pay to him is the individual players who have worked with him and spoken so well about how he put another two or three seasons at the top level on their careers. In this day and age to be managing a club as long as he has is remarkable, as of course with Sir Alex (Ferguson).”

Hughton insists the adaptability of those two modern-day icons in his profession is what sets them apart from the rest.

“What they have both continued to do is almost make different teams and re-invent themselves,” he said. “When you lose a (Robin) van Persie that is a massive player to lose. Bringing in a Cazorla has altered slightly how they play, but he has been able to do that.

“Whenever he has lost the big players he has brought in others and continued the same quality. I’m quite sure if they had the choice they would have preferred to keep van Persie, but they have changed the centre forward option with (Olivier) Giroud, who perhaps didn’t start so well but played well against West Ham and scored midweek for France and allied to that defensively, they have started very, very well.”

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29 comments

  • There he goes again..praising everyone else except his own team...

    Report this comment

    Norfolk'n'good

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Great result. Notice anything? Hoolihan behind Holt with Bennett and Pilkington wide. Only took 8 games to get there but maybe our man is learning. Well done, everybody at CR. Gooners hardly created a chance and the spirit was back. Always know you have done well when Wenger struggles with a handshake at the end.

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • I would like chips and gravy with my humble pie please, I'm sure many other NCFC supporters would too.

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    Billy

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Kent Anglian, Animal Farm still rules OK! Orwell and Bad, by George! Specially in the stratospheric world of Politics and`Celebrity`. Perhaps Ed had to buy the teas, programmes and pies all round? That`d cost him an arm & a leg! Then he`d get it back on expenses...... I wonder if he`s getting tips on fiscal probity from McGnarly? OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • After we lose today and CH tells us what a wonderful performance from Arsenal being such a wonderful team and how we must defend better,then the next 3 games become crucial.They are all "winable" and unless we come away with 4-5 points min then I think it is time for a change,Harry Redknapp is avail!!! Be interesting to see todays line up,must surely recall Ryan Bennett and would like to see Pilks and Elliott Bennett on the flanks with Holts and Hools alonside him-but hey thats a bit attacking when playing such a wonderful team,we are at home so lets just defend with one up top and try and keep the score down!! Be interesting to see CH comments about Villa and their manager next week.

    Report this comment

    canaryjon

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Getting rapidly fed up with our Mr Nice Guy that heaps praise onto the best of the premier league, giving them way too much respect rather than getting at them, he seems a bit starstruck. And I don't like the silver lining being club profit, what entitled us to that profit is not financially competing with our rivals, despite McNally saying "all money is reinvested into the football club" I'm afraid we should be like every other team trying to establish themselves in the premier league, you need to put nearly all of that money into players and be prepared for higher wages, otherwise you sink right back down again.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Congratulations to the team and management on a great victory today and a special thanks to all those who pointed out that Ells, Pilks and Wes were essential ingredients of a successful Norwich side. Still think Benno would have put that header away though.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • There he goes again,"The mood amongst the players is good" The manager of Arsenal is a wonderful chap with brilliant players. He wants to look at the terraces and see the mood of the home supporters who have had nothing to put them in a good mood this season. C H haven't you realised yet that your reverse psychology is not working, get a grip, praise your hardworking players and put a boot up the a**es of the ones that are giving up the ghost as soon as the opposition score!

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Also be interested to see todays line up-would like to see Ryan Bennett back with Pilks and Benno on the flanks and Holts and Hools playing of him.But hey thats probably far too attacking for a home side playing such a wonderful team,better to defend and keep the score down.I wonder what praise Hoots will heap on PL next week!!

    Report this comment

    canaryjon

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • But on the bright side after two years of making a loss, the club made a £13.5 million profit last year and the external debt is down nearly 40%. I am surprised that this is not reported instead of the wonders of Arsne Wenger. Those are great figures and really help the club's financial sustainability. Now we need some results on the pitch and I don't give a tinker's cuss about the opposition, a point well made below. Let's be 'avin you!

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Stop creeping on another fellow Premier League Manager Hughton and get a win on the board. Wenger is the biggest bad loser in the game, another heavy defeat and its getting near the time you'll be looking at the Jobs section on here

    Report this comment

    Smudger

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • The Crab`s Fragmentation Method got most of it through. Hard work.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • Never mind all the managers paying respect to eachother - this is the game for Norwich to get their season off and running. A win today will settle everyone a set us up for the season. OTBC

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    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • After we lose today and CH tells us what a wonderful display from such a wonderful team and how we must defend better then the next 3 games are vital.They are all winable and unless we come away with 4-5 points min then I think it is time for a change-Harry is available!!!

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    canaryjon

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Any more of that forelock tugging and Hoots will have a rapidly receding hairline.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Ethered twice on 2 different and perfectly polite, on-topic comments. Too much. Change my allegiance to Leeds under the pseudonym "S.A.Vile"?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • Same old, same old - yet more praising and admiring the opposing manager and team. Respect them, maybe, but praising, no. Would I be a cynic if I said it looks like a case of getting your excuses in early?? Last season we went to Highbury and took the game to them and got right in their faces. More of the same, please.

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Sorry, Emirates Stadium, not Highbury!! Old habits die hard!!

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Why does CH always heap massive praise on the opposition,the players must be in a negative frame of mind before we even kick off. What happened to "we dont fear anybody",its 11 verses 11 its almost as if he is covering himself in advance for the defeat. The power of positive thought is a great thing,but CH does not have it!!

    Report this comment

    canaryjon

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • I couldn't understand what Lambo said half the time and with CH I sometimes wish I couldn't, sycophantic twaddle

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • And Turner had only a couple of relatively minor "Ginger Pelé" moments!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • Hypocrisy is positively thriving, Kent Anglian! Animal Farm rules OK. Glad to see Hoots buried Arsene Caesar, rather than praise him. That`s more like it!! That formation & team selection worked. Tettey will enrich Johnson`s game. The two wingers, Pilks & Benno the Smaller, also did their share of defending. Wessi looked like a Genie freshly released from his lamp. Holty was .... Holty. Garrido was fine and Cafu did as much attacking as Benno. Even Turner had only a few minor "Ginger Pelé" moments & Ruddy had little to do, but what he did was authoratively done. Bassong is absolutely the King of our defence. Top man. Hope this is not a false dawn!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • What an hopeless little brown nose Whooton is!!! I know we are rubbish, I know we are going to get hammered but really?? Clubs a joke. Ged - Getting disgruntled.

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Kick C H out of football

    Report this comment

    billythebookie

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • I wonder if by being respectful (sycophantic) to other managers in this way, Hoots keeps open a wider selection of future employment. I really hate to be a "knocker" but this trait is getting on my t*ts.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • like you guys i dont like to to hear our manager praising our opponents.i remember reading that bill shankly use to rubbish all the best teams and tell his players they had nothing to beat.it certainly worked for him.otbc.

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    bluelight

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Good to see our Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer sitting next to Delia and Michael today. He will be talking about the Tory party using their privileges next week. Wonder how much he paid for those tickets and obvious hospitality. First class seats and not even paying a standard seat price!! Hypocricy lives.

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    Kent Anglian

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • What on earth are the "Two trains of thought regarding the goals we have conceded"? Trust me Hoots, there is one train of thought which goes along the lines of: "Turner is useless, the team are not fired up, we need another striker and the tacticsteam selection are pathetically negative". If you mean your pitiful diatribe along the lines of "What do you expect this is only Norwich and all the other teams are so brilliant", for heavens sake forget it. If you have no self belief, neither will the players.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • Just pleased to see a good performance, good team selection, appropriate formation, freeing Wessi to wreak havoc and most importantly, Hoots burying Wenger instead of praising him. More of it Hoots!!!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

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