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Graphic: Relegation has turned world upside down for Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy

12:32 03 December 2014

John Ruddy and Michael Turner look dejected after conceding their side

John Ruddy and Michael Turner look dejected after conceding their side's second goal during Norwich City's 2-1 loss to Reading at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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With John Ruddy being criticised by some supporters, reporter David Freezer assesses what has gone wrong for Norwich City’s goalkeeper.

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How quickly times have changed for Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy.

This summer Canaries fans were annoyed to see the club’s number one left out of England’s squad for the World Cup, despite regularly featuring in Roy Hodgson’s squad during qualification.

The big shot-stopper had just completed his third season as one of the busiest keepers in the Premier League with City and still retained plenty of credit despite the club’s relegation to the Championship.

There were howls of derision from City fans that Ruddy had been ignored in favour of Fraser Forster and Ben Foster – yet on Saturday the 28-year-old was being jeered by some supporters at Carrow Road.

City’s keeper had flapped at the second corner which Jake Cooper headed home to put Reading 2-1 in front and then spilled a tame long-range shot midway through the second half, only just preventing the loose ball from crossing the line.

Subsequently some Canaries supporters started directing ironic cheers when Ruddy collected any loose balls in his box, directing their frustrations of the team’s poor performance in his direction.

Angry scenes at full-time, after Reading held out for the victory, prompted Ruddy to take to his Twitter account to say: “Five years of LOYAL service for this club and that’s how some fans act after a couple of bad performances #disappointed.”

Many City supporters responded in Ruddy’s defence, but plenty bit back and made it clear to Ruddy they thought he was out of order to send the tweet.

How do the statistics stack up though? Has Ruddy really been that bad or has he been let down badly by his outfield team-mates?

With Mark Bunn coming back from injury still and Declan Rudd seemingly consigned to the substitutes bench, despite playing a full season in League One with Preston last season, Ruddy’s place in the team seems safe.

Yet the former Everton trainee has made just 40 saves in his 19 games, compared to the division’s busiest goalkeeper, David Button of third-placed surprise package Brentford, who has made 65 saves in 19 games.

In total, 18 keepers in the Championship have made more saves than Ruddy so far this season, but that does not necessarily mean Ruddy is not playing well.

Unlike the past three seasons when the Canaries have been dining at English football’s top table and Ruddy has been one of the busiest keepers in the division.

Whereas this season, he has been one of the least busy.

Neil Adams’ side have conceded an average of 10.8 shots per game in the league, with only Middlesbrough (10.4) conceding fewer.

In total, Ruddy and his defence have conceded just 24 goals in their 19 games and only eight teams in the division have conceded fewer.

It is a total which is far from disastrous but with five of City’s six defeats being because of a one-goal difference, a leaky defence is at the heart of City’s slide down the table.

Against Reading on Saturday, as with most of the City players and coaching staff, Ruddy’s body language seemed to tell the majority of the story.

Has the exit of goalkeeping coach Dave Watson to Southampton played a part? The highly-rated coach had worked with Ruddy at club and international level but, unlike Ruddy, decided to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

Ruddy was linked with top-flight clubs Crystal Palace and Sunderland during the summer – having reportedly turned down a move to Chelsea a year before to sign a new four-year contract – but instead committed to City.

It is often said in football that form is temporary but class is permanent, so some clean sheets will surely help to change that body language drastically.

One thing is certain though, whether Ruddy was right to send an angry tweet or not, jeering your own goalkeeper is not going to help him to keep those clean sheets.

Bryan Gunn backs goalkeeper John Ruddy to prove his Norwich City doubters wrong

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40 comments

  • Ruddy looks a tad overweight and consistently out of sorts. He is not alone as Turner is not playing well and both full-backs are bereft of confidence. Yes, Ruddy should be dropped, as should others, to give them the kick up the derrière they need. I'm judged daily on my results at work and wouldn't get away with weeks of under-performing like these clowns.

    Report this comment

    NorwichAbs

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

  • Alright Cutty, so long as its friendly banter its all good, there are some proper wind up merchants around and it gives me joy to show them up as the hypocrites they are (it dosnt half get to them when you do that) As a whole I am not here to wind you up (much). I have seen Knotty on both here and the Greenun, some chap called Cyril who is also a few marbles short

    Report this comment

    TrueBlue

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

  • JR shouldnt be taking any notice of twitter comments, whose to say they're even from Norwich fans! Prob from blue tribe just winding him up.......successfully!

    Report this comment

    JOROBIT

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

  • That table doesn't compare goalkeepers , it compares the defences IN FRONT of the keepers , fewer saves made simply = less opposition attackers striking at our goal . Pretty wafty , statistically speaking a deffo C minus and see me afterwards . And given the recent state of city's defence an obvious erroneous conclusion to be drawing . I dont like Ruddy as a keeper , other than that his sheer size blocks proportionately more of the area of the goalmouth than a littler feller , I think he is quite clumsy . And he has his own coach . Keelan never had his own coach . Nor Sandy Kennon , nor Ken Nethercott . Time to give one of the reserves a chance if this guy cant or wont do what he's paid for .

    Report this comment

    Bring on Foggo

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Wow! The appearance of Robsteroo, the mythical brother of the mythical Ged Steroo and the re-materialisation of Steady On. The simultaneous manifestation of these arch-villains just before Christmas is like a holiday edition of Dr Who. Things might be rough up at Carra, but I think that the Doctor and Amy Pond are about to fix it for us. That's a relief.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • True Blue, there are some strange 'wind up' merchants out there. I've noticed Liz Knot is another one who takes the p'ss on the Greenun. You don't fly false colours and I can respect that, a bit of open banter is fine by me.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Defense or the odd goalkeeping mistake is not our main problem , we certainly are missing the influence Grant Holt .

    Report this comment

    spark

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • We Rob? That suggests you would be a Norwich fan, yet for the last 5 years you've been on the greenun claiming to be a town fan. Odd that, one might suggest you are not what you seem, perhaps on either site?

    Report this comment

    TrueBlue

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • MB, it was a bit of a hairy moment. But I thought, what the heck, and just (muff)dived right in. "Qu!msical" is just too good. Our whole defence at the moment looks like it's got a massive axe wound right down the middle - it's spread wider than a hippos yawn. Most of the mistakes they've been making are probably just a little clungey though. Mind you, I imagine Ruddy on the Broads just looks like a bald man in a boat...

    Report this comment

    PutneyCanary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Good Keeper, having a few confidence issues but who wouldn't with Martin and Turner in front of him, both have been useless this season!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • I'm on the case Mr Brewer. It seems good old Samuel Pepys loved a bit; Delia would be most proud: 5th July 1662 - "I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done." After all, who doesn't love a nice bit of roasted animal guts? Pepys loved it so much he said, please sir, I want some more: 8th July 1663 - "Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good. We then retired to the bedroom and had a good hard sh*g." Well, I made that last bit up myself. But they probably did. Umble sounds a tad like humble and so eating umble pie become a phrase for showing humility. Personally, I think we should go butcher a few deers, bake their tenders in a pie (adding herbs and spices as per the advice on deliaonline) and dish it up to the board. If it was good enough for Pepys, then they can certainly tuck in. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    DeanConeyLegend

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Interesting that our very poor defence has only conceded 10.8 shots per game. Only one team has done better.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • I wish somebody, other than our erudite Chief MOG, cutty, would look up the clichéd "Humble Pie". Yaaawn... Putney!! How did you get away with your qu!msical comment?? Quality - & respect for embracing a touchy subject.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • It`s a hard-knock life earning, sorry, getting £2m a year. How do the poor dears cope? Counselling, paid for by the Club? For S\O; slander is spoken, libel is written. Just saying... just trying to help you, for you are my hero.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • He's paid a lot of money and isn't doing a decent job, in many walks of life that would mean dismissal, so drop him.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • I am not surpised Ruddy's confidence is down - being dropped (unfairly) from the England team for the World Cup, relegation from the EPL, playing infront of a very suspect set of backs, and the goalkeeper coach bailing. All credit to him for staying. However, the players need experienced manager and coaches they can respect, and who have the ability to bolster them up and build their confidence. This we do have not had at NCFC - another board failing, who should have seen this need in appointing the new manager.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Statistics can be used to say anything but are always misleading. Surely a table showing how many shots on target to shots saved would be more appropriate in any case. The thing getting to most supporters right now is the very bad run over the last 10 games, even the one we did win was not convincing and so some fans over react but they pay their money so it is their choice. I have never seen any point in booing the team nor in entering into personal insults with any player. All keepers get beating now and again and likewise have drops in form from time to time, Ruddy is no different but likewise is not un-droppable either. It will be NA's decision to make next Saturday and that will be a difficult choice to make I am sure, meanwhile lets try to move on from this and hope there is a winning run just around the corner.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Well said, JimBob.

    Report this comment

    jigs69

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Bring back Theo's Clitoris.

    Report this comment

    PutneyCanary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Let's give some credit where credit is due. Ruddy could have been earning a much bigger wage warming the bench at a "bigger" club but he chose to stay with us and sign another contract. His lack of confidence at the moment is reflected throughout the team. There's nowhere to hide if you're a goalkeeper and you make a mistake. As has already been said, you don't become a bad keeper overnight. He is one of eleven plus players who have lost their way and need to regroup. They'll do that quicker if we get fully behind them regardless of who the manager is.

    Report this comment

    Flying Canary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • …..Come along everyone!.... It is Norwich City we all support!...not just one particular player!....If we adopt that attitude we have to consider also the feelings of the other players...those that believe they are good enough to do more than warm the bench game after game!...What must be going through the mind of Declan Rudd as he watches the No1 choice let in another soft goal? ….what does Garrido think when his 'superior' excels at taking throw-ins and offering little else?....O'Neil must squirm at the sight of Howson taking the corners and having little involvement in progressive play-making!....Ruddy has been a shadow of his former self this season, and is becoming a cross that others have to bear!....He does not offer the same stimulus to his defence as he did in the past, and has become a liability to those just ahead of him.....Mr Adams!.. Sort him out!,...and don't spend your time looking over your shoulder! ...I think you can do the job, and do it well!....It's up to you to prove me and many others right!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Like many I don't like to hear the crowd get on the players' backs. However, they have done little in the past couple of months to get the fans singing. Many of the senior players who performed so feebly last season and not cutting it again this season either. I suspect much of this is psychological. In which case it will be hard to turn round because even when we go a goal up you feel they don't have the collective will to sustain it. Trying to be constructive about the situation, we may as well bring on some of the better young players who hopefully wouldn't be tainted by the past and who would just go out, give us 100 per cent effort and play their hearts out. In turn they would motivate the crowd - which is now a necessity because there is an air of depression hanging over Carrow Road at present. I am sure that, providing they tried their best and gave all, even in defeat most of us would support and encourage them. If bringing in younger players is going to improve morale on and off the pitch it would be worth doing.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • I wouldn't be surprised to see Ruddy and a few other players leave in the two transfer windows regardless of final league position. Why? Because when it comes to making valuable , well timed decisions this board are damn useless. If a sacking had took place this time last year I doubt. We would be in this mess in the first place. And as for the future of the players who will leave, just watch their careers take a change for the better . It was interesting to read what an ex player had to say about his present manager at Burnley...

    Report this comment

    pug

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Fair enough Erpingham but at least you and I were there to interpret it. ALL my lot thought he called and came out in a panic but nobody in the Upper Barclay was booing (groaning a bit, sure) because we don't loudly badmouth players during games - as much as we might feel like it:)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • I think all the "so called supporters" who have contributed to this negative vibe around the club should hold their heads in shame. These im sure are the same "so called supporters" who were saying how we would walk the league this year... The man has been fantastic to the club for 5 years. No wonder everybody is laughing at us and it feels sometimes like its justified...

    Report this comment

    Rob Sterooo

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Yes but there are ways and means of doing so goldie. Unfortunately we live in a society nowadays where there are those that think it acceptable to insult and abuse in the process. It's as if we think we can say what we want to football players just because they are highly paid and that they should accept it as 'part of the job'. I see the Leicester City manager is in today's news for bighting back at a fan last night - good on him I say. There comes a point when enough is enough; if not, what next?

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • The table posted is totally irrelevant. Saves to shots made would make it a better study. Not quite right Dingo. Ruddy came for the corner because it was in his 6 yard box, just like the first one, which he should of also come for. Turner was on Cooper for both goals conceded and didn't get near him on either occasion. Didn't help that we had a left-footed player on the left post and a right-footed on right post, instead of the other way round. Just little things that make all the difference. Ruddy is seriously lacking in confidence at the moment. Drop him or not. Wreck his confidence completely or leave him out of the firing line for a while. It's a difficult one...but I think I would go with Rudd for a while. I think Ruddy is a big enough person to come back a better player. I like him, but he shouldn't of had a go back. He is getting paid to do a job and didn't do it...and the people moaning are paying his wages after all.

    Report this comment

    Erpingham Tractor

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • It's his job and anyone not doing their job properly has to be informed of this.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Because he is always on the touchline with Gary holt and very emotive. It's not fair at all to state Adams spends all his time in the dugout as it's just not true

    Report this comment

    Steady On

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • To those who criticise Ruddy I am led to believe he is carrying a bit of a knock that will not go away. If true, it cannot help him. Nor can playing behind our back four. He only called for the ball at the second Reading goal because he knew we'd left the big lad Cooper free at the back stick. If, like me, you sit in the Barclay you can see and hear these things. And as for abusing him on Twitter, that is really out of order. He is not having the best of times just now. If we had a proper manager SOMETHING would have been sorted by now.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • How is it slander to describe a manager's physical actions (or lack of them) on matchday? Ye gods and little fishes.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • S O . I was referring to match time. Believe me I do not want him to fail because I really thought that his appointment would be good for us. IF he does I'm going to have to eat loads of humble pie. Some fans told me at the start that it wouldn't work to which I replied " we'll see" rather sarcastically.

    Report this comment

    Egyptian canary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Well said Freezer......jeering him is the last thing that will help. Unfortunately CR is blighted with a small section of fans that think the best way to motivate is to boo, heckle, and constantly berate.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Let's not pander to his ego. The back five have not been a unit, and Ruddy has to be questioned. We constantly look like conceding a goal per shot at the moment so Ruddy has to come in for criticism. They are paid handsomely to take this sort of stick and then come back stronger. I have always thought very highly of Ruddy, but he's acting like a child...and playing like one. People protecting him are pathetic. Play Rudd and show John he's not untouchable, and that Declan does have a future. As fans, we wouldn't want a striker up top if he was playing as badly as Ruddy. A determined Rudd is better than a poor Ruddy.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Egyptian canary. Neil Adams does not just "Sit in the dugout" I don't mind criticism but this is just simply not true and blatant slander.

    Report this comment

    Steady On

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Has anyone thought that the lack of vocal motivation from the technical area isn't helping. Most Managershead coaches are at pitch side encouraging the team on. NA seems to spend most of the time in the dugout.

    Report this comment

    Egyptian canary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • As I posted on another board JR isn't the root cause of his dip in form, more likely to be the very questionable use of defenders and their lack of confidence which, is spreading throughout the whole team. Come on big man and boss the area tell them what you expect and, see where that takes us.

    Report this comment

    Egyptian canary

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • the big man hasn't become a bad goalkeeper overnight. He is still a class act, and will prove this to be the case in time. He should not be singled out and castigated for he suffering the same fate as the whole squad, in seemingly being out of sorts and lacking in confidence. The problems we're currently facing run much deeper. The run of poor performance is like a cancer eating away at the players, the management, board, and the supporters, and it has to stop. Those fortunate enough to be able to attend games can play their part by creating a positive performance regardless of who the manager is, and whether the 11 on the pitch are those they would have chosen. It is difficult as I can understand that if we're served up the same below-par performances week in and week out the supporters will eventually have enough, but something has to happen and it can begin in the terraces. I have supported Norwich City since my brother took me to my first game way back at the end of the 1960's, I will always support them even if it is from afar. My support is unconditional, and will never waiver. We will get back to the Premier League, we will be successful, we will prevail. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    kevt

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • The man is badly out of sorts and has to be dropped, it's got to Declan Rudd for me.

    Report this comment

    Mohamoud Ali Shire

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

  • Of course John has been let down by playing behind a constantly changing and increasingly fragile back four. Full marks to him for not saying so in public anyway. Give him a rest over Christmas, time with his family and he will be back as good as ever in January.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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