Norwich City’s gamble backfires at Swansea City

Norwich City had no answer to Swansea's two-goal midfielder Jonathan De Guzman and the rest of the Swans in a 3-0 Premier League defeat at the Liberty Stadium. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City had no answer to Swansea's two-goal midfielder Jonathan De Guzman and the rest of the Swans in a 3-0 Premier League defeat at the Liberty Stadium. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, March 31, 2014
8:05 AM

The bitter irony at the heart of another inept Premier League away offering is Norwich City paid a high price for their boldness.

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"The energy and the urgency mustered at Carrow Road against the very best appears lost in transit."

Paddy Davitt

Chris Hughton’s circumspection and inherent caution are projected by his critics as evidence of his managerial limitations. Here he brokered a gamble not out of step with the man he replaced at Carrow Road and watched helplessly as Swansea profited from such adventurous intent.

Apportioning blame squarely at what many will perceive as the manager’s flawed approach or shifting it to those incapable or carrying out his instructions misses the point. It was a collective failure and Hughton’s double change at the interval was a tacit admission.

Swansea’s plight was no less precarious than the visitors, which only served to magnify the scale of Norwich’s anaemic effort. This was not the Swansea of last season. This was a club weighed down by their Europa League involvement and the blood-letting that saw Michael Laudrup depart to be replaced by a player with no previous managerial experience.

The 2013 League Cup winners had also lost to West Brom at home last time out and that anxiety was evident in the briefest flurries of early possession Norwich pieced together.

But the lack of conviction that has defined City on the road since the turn of this year is never far from the surface. When Wes Hoolahan’s most meaningful contribution prior to his sacrifical half-time exit along with Jonny Howson is a sliding challenge deep inside his own penalty box to halt Jonathan de Guzman you know the Canaries are in trouble.

Hughton has rotated personnel and tweaked formations in a search to replicate the consistent productivity seen at Carrow Road, but the men he entrusts continue to commit the same crimes. De Guzman’s second goal, racing through unattended to despatch Wilfried Bony’s back heel, echoed Morgan Schneiderlin’s early strike for Southampton when City’s midfielders had also abdicated responsibility and displayed a chronic lack of concentration to track runners. They had already been warned once when Jonjo Shelvey leisurely ranged forward to trigger the opening goal.

Norwich look alarmingly vulnerable to pace and direct intent in wide areas. The Saints probed relentlessly in those channels, so too Aston Villa through Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann, and Wayne Routledge was unstoppable here through fair means or foul. Angel Rangel routinely broke free in the initial skirmishes on the opposite flank, with Shelvey afforded the freedom to set the tone and tempo in a key battleground where Norwich’s main tactical thrust appeared to hinge on Johan Elmander or Ricky van Wolfswinkel shuffling back behind the ball.

It is easy and lazy to castigate the visiting frontmen who, bar van Wolfswinkel’s tame second half header at Michel Vorm and Elmander’s near post flick parried by the Dutchman, were again lightweight, but Norwich’s collective urgings when they travel away are torturously ponderous and predictable.

City’s build up is slow, stilted and more often than not blunted by well-drilled defensive lines dug in around the vicinty of the opposition penalty area; when they eventually get that far.

The energy and the urgency mustered at Carrow Road against the very best appears lost in transit. Norwich squeezed the play and pressed from the front against the Black Cats but the experiment’s limitations were exposed by a Swansea side who, given their cultural commitment to playing through midfield, were always going to dominate possession and with it, territory. The hosts’ numerical advantage in the centre of the park merely

magnified that painful imbalance.

Norwich exhibit so many recurring structural weaknesses on the road there appears no end in sight to the misery; certainly not for the remainder of a season which involves trips to Fulham, Chelsea and Manchester United. Instead they must go to the well again back on home soil against a West Brom side desperate to ease their own suffering and recover from the psychological blow of conceding a stoppage time equaliser to Cardiff City on Saturday at the Hawthorns.

The Canaries will respond from this latest forgettable episode in Wales because they have no other choice, but the pressure they are putting on their residual ability to mine points in Norfolk is approaching unbearable proportions at such a fraught stage of the season.

West Brom’s league visit 12 months ago proved no less pivotal in shaping the club’s short-term destiny, but Albion’s own relative decline since changes the whole dynamic.

Hughton was calm and measured in his post-match dealings with the media in the darkest recesses of the Liberty Stadium, but there was no disguising the sense of exasperation. City’s boss was right to focus on what Norwich must do – starting with the Baggies – rather than rely on slips from rivals, but that focus can be narrowed even further.

Really it is all about what Norwich can produce in familiar surroundings because another fruitless road trip served to highlight this group of players under this management do not appear to have the answers to the away conundrum.

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50 comments

  • wow truly out done myself with that rant! Fingers on fire now! Apologies all and im sure many wont bother reading. Wish you could display it a little better but old archant likes to make everything look doom & gloom and typically boring Hughton-esqe on the boards.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Ken Foggo: the stats say it all. Every week Hughton and his team talk the talk. But they simply cannot walk the walk. If they played as well as they talked we'd be home and dry by now. I agree with the post here - this is a clueless coaching regime, some dreadfully overpriced summer purchases and nowadays some gutless, spineless, displays out on the pitch. Again, the Board has to shoulder some responsibility because it has been clear for anyone to see that Hughton has been poor since his arrival and has steadily got worse to the point where you wonder how he could possibly trump the last show which masqueraded as football? Get the bean counters out Mr McN and the Board because you will need them come May when you will be able to count the cost at your leisure!

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    malaga flier

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Hughton CANNOT blame anyone but himself . HIS team which he has recruited over 2 years. HIS team selections for match day. HIS choice of tactics. HIS choice of team Captain. HIS choice of substitutions. HIS choice of training and ancillary staff. HIS management of the training ground to prepare the team for the next game. HIS motivation of the team to produce a Premier standard performance. If he had any integrity he would have already resigned for not being equal to the task.

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    kenfoggo

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I didnt quite realise i'd typed so much. got totally lost within a massive rant being let out! ;) I agree with you on the hero personna. My issue is what happys to Super Chris is this saturday he doesn't ride in and save the day in another must win game. Scary thought as in reality this is the biggest & toughest must win foe hes faced yet.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • 35 away games in charge and only 4 wins! This season 12 losses away from home , no Premier team has lost more away. 39 goals conceded away from home , no Premier team has conceded more. Is there any point in sending a team to Fulham, Man Utd or Chelsea? This embarrassing farce continues with no intervention from the Board which must mean they are derelict in their duty to the Club in supporting the WORST manager this Club has EVER had, official!

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    kenfoggo

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • 3 articles from Divott this morning. The first says Gary Monk wants to keep his job and beating Norwich will do his prospects no harm. The second says that Hughton is angry that the players are angry that the team is useless. And the third one says that the team and the manager were useless on Saturday? What a waste of midnight oil, Paddy.. Wonder what the 4th article will say : "Breaking news: it's Monday morning".

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    User Removed

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Where's your tongue now Steady On?

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    waclor

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I really do not believe that Hughton is capable of creative thought. As waclor says, he appeared to yield to fan pressure. Crafty ploy, he can imply it was the fans` fault. Like playing (an ineffectual) 2-up-front at Everton. At Swansea, his reaction to being 2-0 down was to switch to damage-limitation mode. Gutierrez and Bradders for Howson and Wes. The man is an absolute clot. Where the hell are our "Directors" hiding? I doubt that even Bench-Boy Lucifer could light our fire now. Happy Hansen was almost speechless at the feeble defensive efforts of our brave boys. This has gone on too long - about 50 games too long. If only we had the use of Mattias`s Time Machine. Nice posting Matt, if a tad curt. You really must try not to be so abrupt. ;-) Keep it coming - you are a legend in the making! I`ve said it before, Hughton is setting himself up to be the Superhero, rescuing us from the disaster his ineffectual alter-ego, Chrissy Kent, created. That`ll never wash, Chrissy. We all know you are out of your depth. Except the board? what are they afraid of?

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • 12 losses out of 16: 75% Failure: The worst in the league: Last Season won 2 out of 19: So Chris in 35 away games in charge you have managed 4 wins: How can you be in charge... that is just over 10%.... the stats dont lie. That is a record that brings relegation.....

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    Robin Sydney

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Are we still calling RVW a striker?

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    Robin Sydney

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Tactically inept, out of his depth. Only positive is that nightmare has to end soon. Only surprise for me is how calm we supporters remain with the continued presence of this man in charge. Tonight's match for S'land is critical for us. Lose that and a home win for us Saturday will be a big stumble towards the finishing line. It should never have come to this. HUGHTON OUT. OTBC

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I don't understand what the gamble was, or why there needed to be a gamble? I thought the manager created a squad of players for an array of tactical plans that he feels would be equal to all the playing styles within the division, and that for any game he and his coaches would analyze the opposition ahead of the game and pick a team that he believes would best neutralize their style and give us the upper hand. He would also have a bench and a second and thrid tactical plan that would be implemented if his primary plan was not working. My worry is that our current manager and coaches are not capable of this type of approach, or if even if they are, they are failing badly to implement it, and need to be fired.

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    MichiganCanary

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Well defined Matt, always honest reflections on the game, players and management, enjoy your comments...keep the fingers going at 100mph !!

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    tom the taxi

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Save your fingers Matt as you may end up with arthritis in later years. Pop into the Plasterers instead to get it off your chest. A willing audience awaits.

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    Steely Dan

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • A point likely missed in my long essay but its not so much the losing thats an issue to me. At the end of the day even with the correct manager at this club to get the very best from the current squad and achieve the boards ambition of mid table we are never going to be more than that....mid table. With that we have to accept we are going to lose more than we win (more than likely). However what im not willing to accept is the constantly landslide defeats. I honestly mean this, I wouldnt be bothered had we lost 1-0, 2-1....heck even 4-0.....had we have been able to come off the pitch at full time and be able to say "we gave it all we had but was beaten by the better side". Like wise id also be willing to accept a heavy defeat and no show had it been once in a blue moon. It isnt though, under chris hughton its heavy defeat after heavy no show defeat away from home. More often than not its not even against a top 4 side either! Swansea were without a win in 9, and hadnt kept a clean sheet in about as long as well but I find myself saying the same thing I keep saying which is (Insert latest team here) were gifted the easiest 3 points they will achieve all season against NCFC.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Under the guidance of Mr Hughton, we have picked up points in two games this season when we were in a losing position, both at home. One win and one draw. Other than that, if the opposition scored first, we have come away with no points at all. What a marvellous manager of tactics he is ! At Swansea, as in every game, the ball was punted to Snodgrass, a man who isn't the best header of a ball, let alone the best at jumping. Only once did we try something different and that was a punt down the middle. There was no variation, no ingenuity and no intent to do anything different at all. As has already been mentioned, we were about as quick as a racing slug up front but we still left Redmond to watch the game from the bench. We simply had nothing to offer in terms of keeping Swansea in their own half. It was embarrassing to watch and damned annoying to have paid to go and watch. Hughton has no idea what he's doing, at all, he must leave this fine City and the sooner the better, the man is incompetent.

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    Bootneck R.M.

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Good post from the frequent flyer to kick start this cubicle wall. Have some extra air miles, Malaga. I agree with TK Maxx, you should take over Divott's desk at Ruin Towers. You would be to journalism what Mattias has become to novelists......the new Leo Tallstory. Btw, Matt, I've got a great new plot line you might like to develop for you next "grand oeuvre". Spoiler alert prevents mefrom saying any more here, so another reason to join us tomorrow. No excuses, it's a stone's throw from Angular Square and Fagen has already reserved you a seat at the high table.

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    User Removed

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Once again, there was no evidence that the players were fighting for their PL survival. Where was the fire and the passion? Look what it did for Palace against Chelsea! It seems to me that either they were told to stand off, lacked organisation, were just not motivated, etc. Or more probably all of the above and more. If we stay up, and I hope we do of course, CH has to go because even those few who support him must realise that he has produced nothing that gives us any confidence that things will get better.

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    andy

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I think Hughton bottled out again. he feared the wrath of the fans if he changed the team but he clearly redefined Howson's role to one which he cannot play. This man is such a loser.

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    waclor

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • At least two of the goals were due to bad passes in the area in front of the defence, giving Swansea the ball in dangerous poisitions. We can't even pass to one another. It wasn't like we were being pressed particularly hard at the time. I can only echo the sentiments of malage flyer, below.

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    Sprowstonboy

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Some excellent posts here as usual, Mag maybe you need to work in the media. One thing is for sure, there is little sign of the current coaching team being able to assess the strengths of any opposition and set their team up accordingly. Given the way Swansea have played all season, it was suicidal to have a team set up with Howson and Hoolahan included. I would have stuck with Hoolahan as he offers something going forward but I would never have started the game with two strikers who only have a couple of goals between them. How did we ever expect to recover if we went a goal down.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Oh ye of little faith, panic not! The next game after WBA is Fulham away, whilst watching them against Everton yesterday the commentator remaked that they had not won a game this year. On their display yesterday I would be surprised if City even manage to get NIL at Craven Cottage as their fprm is that dire! Why has McNasty and the directors been so silent, have they all themselves, they ought to as they are as responsible for the plight as the supposed team of clowns that pass for management! Fulhame must be licking their lips at the prospect of an east three points.

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    blackdog2

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Johny - apologies! Im known for long posts but that was clearly taking the 'P'. honestly didnt know it gone on that long! In terms of Player of the Season....me and a friend in the lower barclay were going to start a campaign for Carlo Nash but I think one to get Becchio POTS may obtain more votes!

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I agree Matt. Just having the board correctly parsing new line characters would be a massive step forward.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I wonder where all the "Hughton is the best thing since sliced bread" merchants are from last week? fingers crossed for West Ham to beat Sunderland tonight and us to scrape a win against West Brom on Saturday. Then I look forward to Fulham away . . . Or rather the curry and a few jars afterwards. Even a point at Craven Cottage would be a miracle. It could all go down to Arsenal at home and us praying that they're on the beach. One can only wonder what hold Hughton has over the board. Having witnessed our League Cup win at Yeovil, Holt's hat-trick, I learnt of Gunn's sacking whilst driving home on the M25. If the board can act so decisively then, why have two seasons of dross under this joker?

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    NorwichAbs

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • We are virtually certain to be relegated. Hughton and his management crew should be sacked now and not be allowed to creep away at the end of the season with a pot of gold. Sack him .

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    VictorM

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Bold? We were bold. Clueless would be more suitable. Once again a side who couldnt win for love or money easily brushed us aside. Swansea were 9 games without a win & pretty much the same without keeping a clean sheet, yet as per usual whose that coming over the hill....Chris Hughton and the happy happy losing machine otherwise known as Norwich City. Its not the losing that bothers me. We are Norwich City, end of the day we are never going to be more than a midtable team so we have to accept we will lose a fair few away games. However in the style we keep waving the white its truly sickening and exactly why people ask questions regarding Hughton and his future with the club. I could honestly handle losing against swansea, 1-0,2-1, heck even 4-0....had we put on some kind of display and been able to come off the pitch saying "well we gave it everything we had but was beaten by the better team". Personally for me subbing BOTH Howson & Hoolahan off at HT was pure insanity and should be grounds for instant dismissal under the mental heath order act. I know once again the game looks beyond us (only in Chris Hughton's eyes because any other manager would still battle on and give it a....real good go as a wise man once said) and ill sub off our best 2 attacking midfielders and bring on a technically lacking defensive central midfielder & a slow, likely not match fit left winger. MADNESS!!!! Usually out of respect i'd say "Not saying I know more than Hughton" but I cant anymore. I along with 1000's of others clearly do know more because those subs at HT were completely gutless and about on par with his Villa away and Man C away exploits where he basically admitted he'd given up and was going for damage limitation. Madness! We were out numbered in the middle first half but he didnt add a number to the central area he just took away a creative one and added a technically lacking defensive one. Soon as Rangel & Routledge saw Gutierrez I bet they were shaking in their boots. Not a knock on Jonas as I like the guy, but when your 2 nil down what truly would've worried them was raw pace and someone genuinely chasing the game, not that we had anyone like that on the bench.....REDMOND. Then we move onto mr RVW. Someone on Canary Call tried claiming Steve Morison was better than RVW because he scored 9 Premier League goals. More Madness on par with the kind Hughton regularly shows. Morison played under a different manager, within a different style where it didnt matter if he missed a chance because he (like Holt) would get 2 or 3 more. Id bet good money if RVW (and Hooper for that matter whose not exactly doing much better than RVW) played within the Lambert era or now under someone with a different outlook on the way the games played, he'd score more than the 9 goals Steve Morison did! What truly worries me more than anything else is we now play WBA. Another team struggling to win a game who no doubt will relish the chance to change their fortunes against NCFC. We are the exact team they, like Swansea, Villa, Cardiff etc were....need to play at this moment. Its more scary because once again im hearing the sentence "must win game". Everyone is basically saying "well Hughton always manages to win these must win games". Thats true in itself, but what happens if he doesn't win this one? Win it and fair enough like ive said all along im confident we will still just about make it over the finish line. Without a win against WBA I truly fear we are done for. No pressure then Hughton! Like we say though these must win games are almost like Hughton planned it all along. Make a mess of things via his own doing and then ride in and be the hero in the must win game. Then repeat! Im disappointed more than anything because I dont enjoy all the negative vibes im feeling and others are feeling. I want Hughton to work out as much as any fan but after the 10000th game billed a 'must win' against sunderland we had yet another chance to mend the bridges totally destroyed by Hughton and he blew it again.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • To give him his full title Robin: "City's record signing striker". If a box of matches was as poor at striking as he is, they would call it a box full of small wooden sticks.

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    waclor

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Mel, I agree with you totally, Hooper is without doubt our best striker but that is not saying much given the record of the other three. In fact, on recent form we could even consider Snodgrass to be our best striker and I wonder if we could do worse than play him and Hooper as a strike partnership with Hoolahan in the hole. Then we could also play correct footed wingers, Redmond and Murphy perhaps as Pilkington looks woeful and JG is far too slow to bother any defence.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Thanks Dan, just had some plastering done at my new house ill put your advice to work this evening ;) Some quite valid points despite the ranting rage of an essay I wrote!

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Luciano Becchio, now there's a name that must be riding high for player of the season. Consider it, if the current pool of players and subs that take to the pitch are not worthy of a vote, then Luciano must be a shoe in as he's not done anything wrong and can't be blamed for the malaise of the team.

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    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Great sermon, Matt. Wish you would post on a Sunday. My vicar is so dull. Glad the new house is coming along. You must have saved a few bob buying a house with bare brick walls. Do you need any landscape gardening done? I offer competitive rates and a discount for cubicle posters (well, most of them).

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    User Removed

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Another week of big talk in the press followed by another gutless capitulation on the road when it really matters. Man management is about getting the best out of the people at your disposal, does anyone really believe that was the best these players could offer? This is a failure of management and it has gone on too long. It is hard to see us getting beyond 36 points now, that may be enough but I doubt it.. Either way we need to find a manager who can get the best out of the squad we have. The line that really frightens me is "Norwich look alarmingly vulnerable to pace and direct intent in wide areas." I think I'll buy an abacus before the Liverpool game!

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    dumpcanary

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • the more I think about it Kent the better the idea sounds. Becchio for Player of the season. On a serious note who can we actually vote for? For me it likely be Olsson. Not for being outstanding but for being the most consistent player in the squad and playing through injury. Howson before his injury but other than that every player hasnt done it consistently in my eyes.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • Agree, said happy claps usually vanish until around wednesday time when they pipe up with some stat of how everything is sunshine & lollypops! Also its around the same time some poor unfortunate player is put infront of someone from the media to proclaim some super positive pr story for the week. hughton had a real genuine chance to repair a few bridges destroyed by himself but like all the other times we suffered defeat after horrific defeat followed by a win in a 'must win' we blew it

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • A point likely missed in my long essay but its not so much the losing thats an issue to me. At the end of the day even with the correct manager at this club to get the very best from the current squad and achieve the boards ambition of mid table we are never going to be more than that....mid table. With that we have to accept we are going to lose more than we win (more than likely). However what im not willing to accept is the constantly landslide defeats. I honestly mean this, I wouldnt be bothered had we lost 1-0, 2-1....heck even 4-0.....had we have been able to come off the pitch at full time and be able to say "we gave it all we had but was beaten by the better side". Like wise id also be willing to accept a heavy defeat and no show had it been once in a blue moon. It isnt though, under chris hughton its heavy defeat after heavy no show defeat away from home. More often than not its not even against a top 4 side either! Swansea were without a win in 9, and hadnt kept a clean sheet in about as long as well but I find myself saying the same thing I keep saying which is <insert latest team here> were gifted the easiest 3 points they will achieve all season against NCFC.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • I have said to myself that I will not post any more comments here until CH and his motley crew have packed their bags but what a great idea for us all to vote for Becchio as 'Player of the Season'!! What a Hoot!! Poor guy deserves great credit as he spends all week having splinters removed from his rear and, since the first game of the season, has scored as many goals as our £8.5m 'record signing' striker without even playing. Very impressive.

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    Kent Anglian

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Haven't seen the word 'hungry' mentioned for some time. Frequent word used by PL. Are NCFC players 'hungry' for winning, or hungry for a nice transfer % in the summer? Assuming we beat West Brom we can then only wait to see if a team can stay up on 35 points... We won't beat Fulham, we'll be full of nerves and they'll have the confidence of knowing they have such a good record against us. As for the last 4 games, God help us...

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    Surrey Canary

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • God i wish our posting were as well writen as most that our on here. Mad Brewer stands out plus he's fair minded when it come's to me. As i do try to wind you lot up. Think you deserve to stay up on passion alone..

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    User Removed

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • With no chance of any points in the last 4 games it looks like the oven is warming up for a Sunday roast canary....one Yorkshire pudding or eleven CH?

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    KeithS

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • The headline contrives to make Hughton look like a Cavalier Hero. Our salvation. What utter nonsense. FINN.BLUE, I admire your modest self-parody in that last post! Good man.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Sorry but I missed out the "Hung" when referring to the directors

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    blackdog2

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • One thing I find quite interesting is that they put up some training videos before the Sunderland game where one person noted on the comments how worried they were that none of the players were looking at all happy and quite grim. I read it another way, that they were focussed and taking it seriously. They went on to perform excellently. They did another training video in the run-up to Swansea where there were loads of smiling faces among the players , presumably from the buzz of the win. Follow up to this was a complete train crash. I could very well be wrong, but perhaps there's a collective problem after a win beyond the superstitious 'away game hex' of thinking 'yes we've cracked it' and taking the foot off the pedal, which then leads to the follow-up being a train crash. If that is a fair observation, then that does have to be laid at CH's door and he needs to find a way of addressing it.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Gamble? What gamble? I asked as many as possible of my 'City fan' friends as possible just one question... Who is our current best striker? The replies were exactly the same - 100% said Gary Hooper! So where was our best striker in this so-called gamble? Sitting on the bench! Look EDP sports writers, can one of you just have the courage to say, point blank, that Hughton is a complete failure. He is wasting the club's precious time to survive and we are wasting our precious money on a lost cause!

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    Mel Lacey

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Mattias333 - I've booked a day off work to read your comments but can I just say... why is everyone panicking ? We have Luciano Becchio and I just know that he will finish top scorer and everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about.

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    Johny

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • It has been said time and again: but what on earth do our coaching team and players do all day at the training ground? There is no sense that they have developed any kind of coherent system or strategy. The team has not been drilled properly so when they get on the pitch nobody seems sure what they job is, who they are to mark, whether they should be pressing or sitting back. It is a shambles. Hughton must shoulder the blame for this, but the players as well because many of them don't appear interested or concerned. Away from home in particular they stroll about the pitch as though it were a light training session. No commitment, no passion, no desire. Hope they all watched the Liverpool game yesterday. if so they may have noticed that even world class players like Suarez put in a big shift, work hard and show commitment. None of our squad come anywhere near close to these players in terms of technique and ability. But that doesn't excuse them from not giving 100% effort. PL had an even less talented squad when he was here - some were probably Div 1 standard - but he welded them into a productive unit, based on using their abilities to the maximum and instilling into every one of them a desire to win and a never say die attitude. Witness how many late, late, goals that team scored. This one won't average anything like a goal a game over this dreadful season. It is a team game and we aren't a team, just a collection of individuals, some of whom probably think they are better than they are and should be playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid! As if!

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    malaga flier

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Haven't seen the word 'hungry' mentioned for some time. Frequent word used by PL. Are NCFC players 'hungry' for winning, or hungry for a nice transfer % in the summer? Assuming we beat West Brom we can then only wait to see if a team can stay up on 35 points... We won't beat Fulham, we'll be full of nerves and they'll have the confidence of knowing they have such a good record against us. As for the last 4 games, God help us...

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    Surrey Canary

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • A point likely missed in my long essay but its not so much the losing thats an issue to me. At the end of the day even with the correct manager at this club to get the very best from the current squad and achieve the boards ambition of mid table we are never going to be more than that....mid table. With that we have to accept we are going to lose more than we win (more than likely). However what im not willing to accept is the constantly landslide defeats. I honestly mean this, I wouldnt be bothered had we lost 1-0, 2-1....heck even 4-0.....had we have been able to come off the pitch at full time and be able to say "we gave it all we had but was beaten by the better side". Like wise id also be willing to accept a heavy defeat and no show had it been once in a blue moon. It isnt though, under chris hughton its heavy defeat after heavy no show defeat away from home. More often than not its not even against a top 4 side either! Swansea were without a win in 9, and hadnt kept a clean sheet in about as long as well but I find myself saying the same thing I keep saying which is <insert latest team here> were gifted the easiest 3 points they will achieve all season against NCFC.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • McNally , there is a truth in the old adage that "you only get what you pay for" and "if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys". Failure to procure a decent staff is a Board failure and they must be held accountable.

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    kenfoggo

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Agreed, kenfoggo. Even if you're not THE Ken Foggo, you should still stoke your bile with a pint of proverbial tomorrow.

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    User Removed

    Monday, March 31, 2014

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