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Alex Neil rues Norwich City’s soft centre in Newcastle United’s 6-2 Premier League blitz

19:03 18 October 2015

Norwich City

Norwich City's players look dejected after a 6-2 Premier League defeat at Newcastle United. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City boss Alex Neil admitted Newcastle United dished out a painful Premier League lesson in a 6-2 rout at St James’ Park on Sunday.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s four-goal salvo inflicted the heaviest defeat of Neil’s Norwich reign, and the Scot had no complaints after Dieumerci Mbokani and Nathan Redmond had dragged his side back into the game at the interval.

Aleksandar Mitrovic notched midway through a second period City were dominating, in terms of territory and possession, before Wijnaldum completed his hat-trick and then thumped home a late sixth.

“I can break it down into two parts. Offensively we looked pretty dangerous and hit the post twice, had other good opportunities to score and we got two goals but defensively as a team I thought to be honest it was like a basketball match. It was too wide open, and that applied to both teams,” said Neil. “It could have ended up 8-8. We had as many opportunities as Newcastle but most of their ones ended up in the back of the net.

“It is difficult for me to say it is a harsh scoreline because it sounds like sour grapes but I thought it was really open. We could have scored four or five ourselves. For them to score six you could argue it was harsh but we have to defend better.

“That is the Premier League for you. At 3-2 it is all about the next goal but if you concede it you end up chasing your tail and get punished. That is ultimately what happened.”

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52 comments

  • I fail to see the reluctance of some fans to give Wisdom a try.The lad is young so needs a run,but he is a powerful lad who knows how to defend.Players don't get past him as easy as Whittaker and he is hard to knock off the ball. I know the cup game against WBA [with a weakened side] was not the best game to assess him,but in my opinion he was sound. Norwich seem to be unable to assess players and their contribution.Hooper is a perfect example.He is a good striker, but no manager as given him a run of say 810 games.Why? Others have been given many more chances, but not delivered. Ryan Benett is another who sits on the bench watching players who who are no where near as good!! His aerial strength both in defending and attacking at set pieces would be a real boost

    Report this comment

    AGT

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • The call to bring in Ryan Bennett is fair enough but how many games has he played for city in the last two seasons?He's all we have at the moment and will hopefully do a decent job if rightly selected but he's not the answer for this league.We hoped at least 3 decent defenders would be brought in over the summer,instead we got one average one,so do the management rate the ones highly who started the season?,could we not attract anyone?,OR as I would guess the board being tight as usual!Not having a decent RB and a solid CB pairing is probably going to cost us our prem status,just for the sake of £10 million?

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • So I know in training, games will sometimes be played on half pitches but we mustn't translate that into the league fixture! Only played in our attacking half - defence was a nightmare....one off?..... Need to get more help in, in January.

    Report this comment

    Meds

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • It hurts that our house of cards defensive approach is still alive. We are scoring more goals than we did previously but this is not sustainable and the fans have been unanimous about this for a long while. Come on Norwich you can do better than this.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • Same defensive line up for the last 3 seasons says it all. The only reason the defence looked good last season was because we were mostly on the attack against worse teams (and so we should have with plenty of Premier League players and money in the tank). There isn't a club in the land that is playing essentially the same back four for 3 consecutive seasons (and are still successful). Norwich City's board are hypocrites - They do not run the 'Team' in the same ruthless way that they run the Club and back office staff operation - If they did the results might be different.

    Report this comment

    Raisedeyebrows

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • I am sure the players and manager will do their best to turn things around although there is not much you can do when our strength is honest endeavour and the opposition's is quality. But dont expect any window signings that will transform our fortunes because the board will have the purse strings pulled tight.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • Thankyou David Mc for subsidising the away fans yesterday to the tune of £42,500 ( 2500 x £17 ) yesterday, as a result we turned up in force to support our team even after a ten hour round trip and getting home well after midnight just one comment to make, why didn't our defence bother to turn up? Delia and Michael plus the rest of the board, you are all very loyal BUT we need two reinforce our entire defensive unit, or we will be playing the Scum next year.

    Report this comment

    SinguptheJarrold

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • Just watched a video on you tube called "a little girl gives coins to a street musician".What follows is a musical delight .Oh what an Ode to Joy.Now't to do with football but there are other delights.OTBC.

    Report this comment

    rikki nadir

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • Haven't noticed Gary Holt so involved on the touchline recently... we need him back there standing up all game... today 4 of the goals came form us attacking... this disease of being most vulnerable when we are in the oppositions penalty area has been going on for almost 15 years now... and the main reason why it was so horrible to watch today... the other lesson was just how much we need a switched on Alex Tettey for every game... when he plays badly (or not at all) we play badly

    Report this comment

    jops

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • Just watched Homeland.Well done Quinn.

    Report this comment

    rikki nadir

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • Amazing isn't it over 100 posts when we play badly ,especially from people we rarely have the pleasure of hearing from when we play well.Respect the views of fans like Barking,DJF, Malaga,spanish et al ,good points were made.For all you occasional posters don't just vent your feelings when we do in fact play badly,come online and praise the team when we play well.End of sermon.COYY.

    Report this comment

    rikki nadir

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • just back home from match 0032am - just one comment - just give Russell Martin away to anyone who will take him he is beyond useless

    Report this comment

    citizen

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • I don't always understand all the winging on here,the Norwich squad never was strong enough for long term premier league existence,anyone could see they would be embroiled in a relegation dogfight,there are seven to eight clubs in the same boat,Norwich need to pick up points from their equels and hope to pick up enough to stay up.A handful of bad results isn't going to cause a great deal of harm,as long as its only a handful.

    Report this comment

    trev57

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • On this form, 9 points from 9 games, the best we can hope for is 39 points, come the seasons end. We haven't played any decent teams yet, if no points are won in the next game v WBA, we will be doomed!

    Report this comment

    Sanjeev

    Monday, October 19, 2015

  • About the only thing to cheer me up today was Gary Guymer wondering what the next thirty four months would achieve. If he can think about the future, why can't the board sign a decent defender? Now there's a task for Monday morning. The most dispiriting thing was watching those four players trotting back as their third went in [courtesy of Mark Lawrenson and MOTD]. If I was Alex, I'd send them on community service for that.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Having watched and suffered another total embarrassment on live tv today I feel sorry for the loyal fans who made the long journey up to Newcastle and could be heard trying to lift the team when the defence was simply imploding! No doubt most fans had to make the trek by road while I guess the Norwich players flew up there. So you'd think they would have arrived fresh and relaxed? But it was the fans who showed more commitment. AN simply cannot go on fielding the same central midfield unit as week in, week out, they continue to turn in performances that at best are poor, at worst pathetic.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • I see that n6rwi2h has the worst defence in the league.

    Report this comment

    Max

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Fcuking embarrassment. Whittaker, Martin,Bassong and Ruddy should be dropped complete lack of ability to play at this level. Good championship players at best .

    Report this comment

    mattc1

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • We have 2 centre backs and a right back who simply don't have the quality to operate on a regular basis in the Premier League. They have let the team and the fans down on too many occasions already this season. They need replacing ASAP. Hopefully the board won't dilly dally around (like in the summer) in enabling AN to get in some quality new faces to fill those positions pronto. Any delay could potentially lead to loss of PL membership and all that goes with that.

    Report this comment

    Honest Injun

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Disappointing but not Armageddon, lessons to be learned and we move on. Have this group of players become predictable? Have others figured us out? Surely some changes next time out. Perhaps it's time to try out Ryan Bennett, if I'm not mistaken was he not in the side during the (dare I mention) 10 game unbeaten run a few years back? Midfield is supposed to be Norwich's strongest zone but it didn't happen today. Redmond caused problems going forward but didn't track back enough for me. Howson looked unsure what his job was, Dorrans was a passenger today and Tettey had too much to do. Brady for me did okay. Where could Jarvis fit in? Is Redmond more effective off the bench? Is it time to give Ofoe a chance? Will Mulumbu make a difference? What about Wes Hoolahan? So many questions after today's scoreline, onwards and upwards

    Report this comment

    paddycanary

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Far too many lightweight performances from at least half the team today. How can professional footballers defend so badly? Third goal was a horrendous example with the usual marking of space between the opposing forwards, with not a hint of daring to get close enough to even consider a tackle. Fair enough that AN has admitted that taking off Tettey was a mistake, even though his was having a half poor game, although he was in thr right place at the right time as usual. Going forward we were half decent and could have had a couple more goals at least. This defence has to be sorted, along with the defensive duties of the midfielders who have to contribute to that end. Moreover tackling an opponent has to be reintroduced to the to the present back four, as this quality seems totally lacking. We are going to struggle this season, and are equally going to find it difficult to recruit new, excing players to east anglia, but to set aside the basic tactics of defending at this level is not an option in my book. I don't mind loosng to a better team on the day, but to give a performance such as todays is definately not acceptable

    Report this comment

    Yellowfirebird

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • you have brought home the bacon wackers,however by and large,his signings have yet to make an impression ?

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Why were no players interested in coming to City at the start of the season? OK the road network in Norfolk belongs to the 1950's and the Offsted reports on Norfolk's schools puts the county into third world status but joining Norwich City would put any players onto the biggest stage in world football. What better opportunity to strut their stuff and make a name for themselves. Given that Norwich have a record of not standing in the way of players who want to leave following a relegation, the threat of dropping down a division at the end of the season would not be a career tragedy. So why could we not find adequate reinforcements for know weak positions? I winder if any of these played a part: 1. Not being impressed with the way Norwich approached the player, 2. Being unimpressed with Norwich's ambition, 3. Being aware that seemingly good players had failed to shine as Norwich players, 4. Feeling undervalued by initially being offered a poor deal. etc etc. Other teams made good signings, we failed to do so. No eggs - no omelette. Simple really.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • gary guymer i think 34 months might be more apt

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Always the same no matter what league we are in when norwich play a team down one their luck we always lose.

    Report this comment

    Jamie Knights

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • will continue to bang the same drum of the last year,unabashed,2 defensive midfielders to protect our sluggish defense does not work,thats not an opinion ,its borne out by the facts,no clean sheets by today,s back four,all season ,and yet,amazingly this remains the unchanged unit in an ever changing,side. Firstly,my opinion.the nice man martin should go ,he is not dominant in the heart of defense,appears not to be able to time his jumps to head the ball,and yet he has the height,slow on turn ,but worst of all is a ball watcher,is rarely seen marking a man when goals are scored and other defenders are dragged out of position and get the blame. Bassong started the season well but is now losing confidence. I suggest bennett comes in now,he needs 2 or 3 matches to determine if he can grow into the position,rarely is success instantaneous and gives him the opportunity before the january window when other pressing issues need to be addressed Tactically, as holding midfielders,has never worked for us ,could i suggest pressing higher up the field,and given our lack of pace ,have a sweeper BEHIND the defense,dont bother to critizise,,,,i,m off,seen enough lol

    Report this comment

    dis dressed

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Dear oh, dear, we really have to defend much better than this at PL level........

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • No players were interested in coming to Norwich at the start of the season - We have got no chance of attracting any 'decent' players in January. The board have let the club down big time with the fiscal policy that they run - It is not compatible with the Premier League. Plenty to talk about for those loyal city fans on their long journey home tonight - I hope that the board and players know what is coming to them on Saturday if they fail to win. Add your comment | Report this comment

    Report this comment

    Raisedeyebrows

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Oh and If you are going to play Hoolahan, he has to start, I cannot recall a game he has changed as a second half sub.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Interesting to see a couple of posts on here slating AN and his decisions. What a fickle bunch we are, he admitted on camera that he got it wrong, give the guy a break. After all with this defence, you can,t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • 2013\2014 season back four of Whittaker ,Martin, Bassong ,Ollsen = relegation. 2015\2016 back four of Whittaker, Martin Bassong Ollsen[Brady out of position]= maybe the same. Cant get new players in till jan, so its Wisdom and Bennett. Please play Bennett..

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Waclor makes telling points which cannot be buried and must be answered. My fear apart from the need to recruit is we may part company with some who have not had a fair run in the first team when the January window arrives. Analysing this defeat it was a tactical disaster BUT we did have some ill luck with bar and post. In addition the Geordies have some skillful players who have hugely underperformed for a long time and are now under the management of an ex-England manager with bags of experience but who has been on the backfoot himself. It had to break - but overall we made it easy for them, Note for Board:- Keep a sharp view on things and do not go to sleep like last time around! .

    Report this comment

    mardler

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Most of our defenders on the pitch today were playing under Houghton and it was clear then that all attempts he made to get us to defend (and that's about all he did) proved fruitless. So being unable to defend when set up as a defensive unit, it has been all too obvious for too long that our defence is pretty awful. Add to that we started the season with no real cover in central midfield and it was obvious we were going to struggle. Up to today, however, I had maintained a "glass half full" fan, more probably in hope than expectation. But I am now re-evaluating that stance. Rather than point the finger of blame any more at specific players, I would rather say that the only two who started today and looked the part were Ollson and Brady.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Yes Surrey, the only clean sheet was against West Brom when Martin wasn't playing. He is totally inadequate at this level.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Sadly, tactically inept. We should have put them under pressure from the start - starting with them seeing Hoolahan's name in the starting line-up. They would have been nervy and we should never had let their goalkeeper settle. You could see our defence was struggling again - Tettey was not the man to come off - Howsen probably was. We are missing Johnson's power and tenacity running into the box - Brady stays out of the box. Mbokani is far too static. Hardly ever (from the TV) saw him run after laying off the ball and he's often not in the centre. Yes, he's a handful and has the touch in the 6 yard box, but we needed Wes's magic touch to get the ball to him; and he would have needed to be there to get it. As for the defence, God help us. OK, these games happen, but players are not learning basics. Only clean sheet so far was against West Brom. Rudd, Wisdom, Bennett, Bassong and Brady.... and interestingly without Tettey, though we do need some defensive midfield muscle and nouse...

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Once again Whittaker is found out as the weakest link. Defence was easily opened up. Poor defence, and it is poor.

    Report this comment

    Cris Reynolds

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • When you appoint a young Manager one thing you don't get with him is experience. He showed Naivety today and there will be more occasions when his lack of it will cost us. He will have learned that at this level you cannot throw caution to the wind even against the bottom team and not get punished.As a result the Home team were hitting us on the break rather than the other way round.Defensively we are not as strong as we might be and away from home 2 holding midfielders protecting the back 4 is worth considering and I am sure AN will consider it

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • This season had failure written all over it as the transfer deadline loomed and there was a lack of inward investment in playing personel. To start a season in the Premier League with only three central defenders was absolutely criminal. Add to that relying on Whittaker at right back (Wisdom being no better) and selling probably the only player who could have played as a stand-in central defender and you have negligence at best, gross dereliction of duty being a better description. We now also have "Teacher's Pets" ie Howson, Martin and Whittaker who only have to declare themselves fit to be certainties for selection. We have had a very very easy start to the Premier league and have messed it up. Look at the last few fixtures and you should be afraid.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Gary Guymers first two sentences summed it all up and now we better get cracking putting it right otherwise it will be much more difficult as time moves on.

    Report this comment

    mardler

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • No need to panic , Big Sam has been snapped up , and Jurgen`s gone elsewhere , but there are still two outstanding candidates . Carlo Ancelotti might find Norwich a bit of a backwater , but Nigel Pearson appears to be a perfect match for NCFC . Grab him before Aston Villa does . If not , a bit of humble pie on both sides , and PL is stil at a loose end .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Not the last time we will concede 6 this season I fancy. Was goal number 5 offside? Hey ho that's football. Roll on the next game.

    Report this comment

    Cornwall Canary

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • bradley had a great game for derby today

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    harry mcardle

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Listened to Michael Nelson on the Radio Norfolk commentary. Seems he would have been an improvement if he was still playing for us at centre back. Very frustrating that known weaknesses were not addressed pre season.

    Report this comment

    Diss man

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • My previous comments should have read 3 to 4 months...not 34 months!!

    Report this comment

    Gary Guymer

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Agree Hurdy , AN is wel; versed in tactics or so we are to believe , how he and the powers to be can't see what the problem is, is beyond me . I have always been a JR fan but I think he should be rested , his display today was awful from the goals I saw on the tv . ,I think its to late now we need decent defenders now , Jan will be to late I fear

    Report this comment

    iMac

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • May I suggest Alex takes his back four to a local park next Sunday and see how defending should be done!! An absolute shambles and disgrace today!! Schoolboy errors from so called professional footballers...I think my granny could have defended better than that lot today.. Get it sorted Alex, cos we are in for a long long season. We havnt even played the 'big' clubs yet so..what the next 34 months hold I hate to think, if today is anything to go by..

    Report this comment

    Gary Guymer

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Many fans are rightly calling for a change in defence but because of our failure to go out and bring a couple of decent right sided defenders in during the transfer window, I fear we have nobody to actually bring in. Ryan Bennett is nowhere near match fit party due to far too many injuries and Wisdom likewise did not really impress when played at right back.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • It baffles me as to why AN took off the only midfielder who was actually doing anything. Howson was woeful all game and yet stayed on for the whole match. We were only loosing 3-2 when he decided to bring Wes on, a move my son and I both thought was a good move but we naturally expected Howson to make way but feared that Alex somehow seems blind to his faults, however Dorrans was not playing much better so either could have made way. Had we kept Tettey on we would still have had some defence a least. The stats say it all with regard to the keeper Newcastle had 11 shots, 6 on target, ie Ruddy no saves. We had 18 shots with 6 on target and 56% possession.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Why can't the management see what so many of us saw prior to the summer window closure? We were all urging the powers that be to shore up the defence and bring in at least one centre back. We also provided sound advice during Houghton's tenure. We are in for a rocky season once again. To the management, please don't treat the fans as morons.

    Report this comment

    Hurdy Gurdy Man

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • Alex Neil has taken the plaudits, and rightly so, during his time as City's Manager, but today he has to take some of the responsibility for our drubbing. To withdraw Tettey was crazy. Next Saturday he must select Ryan Bennett and switch Martin to right back. It's also possibly time to rest Ruddy and Howson and give Rudd and Odjidja-Offoe a chance.

    Report this comment

    Newmarket Canary

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • I hate to say it, but I said to my wife, Newcastle haven't until City go there. always seems the same. I cannot say I am surprised but the amount of goals let in but I am by who scored them. If lowly Newcastle can do this. what the hell can The manchesters do along with the Londoner's Arsenal and Chelsea. The defence has been the weakest point, I think everyone and their aunties could see it before the window slammed shut ..and there we were chasing strikers.... from Palarse and Neverton.

    Report this comment

    sixtiesbarclayboy

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

  • I thought the first half was bad enough, but i was wrong! Hope AN takes a good look at the defence in the coming week, Whitaker, Martin and even Ruddy all had bad games, ( o and Howson) taking off Tetey was the tuning point for me though. AN is a young manager and he will make mistakes, he is but human. How they react against WBA will be worth watching and i hope we see some changes. Hard times ahead but I believe we will get through it, AN has the ability to lift them back up. OTBC

    Report this comment

    MrCarrowIsInTheHouse

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

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