Norwich City were overdue some ill-feeling at Bournemouth, says Simon Francis

22:45 17 January 2016

Nathan Redmond and Simon Francis battle for possession at Bournemouth
. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Nathan Redmond and Simon Francis battle for possession at Bournemouth . Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

As soon as the team sheet came out, there was the buzz – where was Lewis Grabban?

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The striker had completed his £8m move from Norwich City, to rejoin all his former team-mates at Bournemouth. He had even made his second debut from the bench, in Tuesday’s home defeat to West Ham.

Yet Grabban’s name was nowhere to be seen in Eddie Howe’s starting XI or among his substitutes.

Illness was the given reason – although no one appeared to tell Cherries captain Simon Francis.

Either way, Norwich City’s problems ran far deeper than their former striker on Saturday – while Bournemouth clearly felt the lift of beating a side they had struggled to conquer in recent battles; a win they hope sets the tone over the rest of their debut Premier League campaign. Next stop, Sunderland.

“He was gutted not to feature today,” said Francis of Grabban. “I don’t know the ins and outs of the transfer really, but I presume there’s some sort of agreement that it wouldn’t be right if he played today. You can understand that with the transfer only being a few days ago.

“So he just wanted the lads to put in a performance and get a win – and it was nice to do that for him.

“Grabs is a funny one really. It’s almost like he’s never been away.

“There are a lot of the same lads here so it just feels like we’ve been away for the summer, come back and Grabs is back again. He gets on with the lads really well so he’s settled back in fairly easily and he knows our style of play. We know how to utilise him and he will be a real asset for us this season.”

Setting the record straight with Norwich on the pitch will have to wait for Grabban but not so Bournemouth, who beat the Canaries for the first time since 1959 – although their one point from three previous league games over the last two seasons was perhaps the painful part.

“This is a huge lift for everyone,” added Francis. “Norwich had the better of the games we’d played over the last couple of years so we wanted to put that right, put it to bed, and it was the perfect way to do it.

“I think it proves our progress. Norwich have got some good players and have had some excellent results this season, but we just felt it was our time today.

“Despite the loss against West Ham I thought we’d been on a great run. Not necessarily always winning but playing some great stuff and putting in good performances. We knew results would follow. So to keep a clean sheet and score three in the Premier League against anyone is always tough, but we did it.

“Without sounding too confident or arrogant, we do try to outrun a lot of teams in this division. The stats will back that up. We’re up there for our work rate, our pressing and winning the ball back – and then we show the quality on the ball that we’ve got.

“I thought we did that today – we outworked them, outran them, outpassed them as well, and it led to the chances we had.”

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

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  • Think positive, Foggo. At least we won't have a Manager gunning for L1, achieving that and yet still keeping his job. For one more game. We may have a manager who has done his best and decides to leave. My optimistic guess is that wee Alex will keep us up. Then we must see whether this achievement is valued by the club's hierarchy. Or whether another club values him more.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • played like a bunch of spineless dollops on saturday , pretty embarrassing , not withstanding Bournemouths ability , ..only one outcome on that evidence im afraid , back to our old friend the championship

    Report this comment


    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • SOC - to be fair to AN, if there is any blame to be laid regarding our failures in the transfer market I would suggest they lie with our scouting and recruitment set-up. AN would most likely identify the players or at least the types and positions he want but then I think it is up to our backroom staff to comply. I have said many times our scouting and recruitment set-up is flawed and see nothing to change my mind, although I do hope we can get the Naismith and Klose options across the line. I entirely agree with you Mad Brewer - we do need an on field general, a strong character who commands respect and can encourage, cajole and make sure everyone are doing their jobs.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • ..."list" some targets...

    Report this comment


    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • SOC - if that's your realistic January wish list I think you're going to be very disappointed come 1 Feb...mind you, I often feel like we could sign Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Bale and win every game from now to the end of the season, and there'd still be a number of contributors to these pages that would find things to be disappointed about! Re a couple of your points: I'm dubious to the extent most managers have much influence on transfers. As I understand it, most of the time, managers will let some targets and then it's others who handle the negotiations (think Woodward, Levi, etc). Also not sure how you've formed a view on Pinto yet.

    Report this comment


    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • I wouldn't believe anybodies signed until they're sat at the press conference. I'd hate for the Naismith deal to go the same way as Hallar. The trouble is attracting players who's agents are pressing for a relegation release clause. I've heard of a player at a very large club pulling out of the deal 30mins before the press conference as a better offer came in. I wonder how much pulling power a young manager like AN has? Is his inexperience in the transfer market costing us deals? Would somebody like Moyes be better placed? We still need another RB as I'm not sure Pinto is the answer. 2x CB cover (1 if Klose joins) and 1xCentre Midfield creative type player. Another winger (Noone) or bring Murphy brothers back in. An out and out striker with pace in addition to bringing in Naismith and Hooper back from loan.

    Report this comment

    Single Origin Coffee

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Monday morning's BeebGossip says Naismith has agreed to join Norwich. Believe it when we see the de rigueur shirt\scarf photoshoot. Kent Anglian, I still believe Norwich needs a strong Captain; somebody who can stop the rot and influence events. Once a poor performance starts, it just seems to drift from bad to worse (mostly). A rudderless ship. I think that limp headline may have been an oblique reference to Grabban's convenient "illness". Simon Francis was probably telling the truth, as he clearly had not been apprised of the lie. How refreshing; an inefficient spin machine resulting in the truth! Brave New World. I wish.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, January 18, 2016

  • Somewhat strange headline. Not 'at the races' on Saturday, sorry to say. Outplayed in every position. Must be very frustrating to AN, never knowing until the game is under way, which 'Norwich City' will turn up for each match

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

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