Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 3-1 League Cup romp at Brentford
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Brentford
1. Sublime Mario - Norwich City’s head coach admitted afterwards the Bosnian international was left out at Sheffield United after showing visible signs of fatigue, in his bid to adapt to the rigours of English football. There have been occasions already this season when Vrancic looks vulnerable out of possession or too slow to shift the ball when markers close in. But there had also been plenty of glimpses of his quality. That clever pass for Nelson Oliveira to notch at Carrow Road against QPR was a thing of beauty. Here he also took centre stage. The early penalty was almost impudent as he waited for Luke Daniels to make his mind up. The second half free kick was pure class; whipped around the wall with the perfect trajectory to nestle inside the post. You could get hung up on what Vrancic does not bring to Norwich’s midfield, but this was a performance to relish what he can.
2. Trybull is the real deal - Another of City’s summer recruits is emerging as a class act. One should perhaps avoid definitive judgements so early in his Norwich spell but it is increasingly difficult not to feel the Canaries’ have unearthed a gem. He looks equally at ease breaking up play as he is on the ball. The turn and cushioned pass that meant Josh Murphy did not have to break stride to notch Norwich’s third was almost balletic. Trybull spoke recently about wanting to find a more permanent footballing home after some nomadic seasons. There is already a growing number of City fans who hope that is Norfolk.
3. Fringe benefits - Murphy’s impudent chip sealed not only Norwich City’s passage to the last-16 but could have greater significance beyond the club’s League Cup quest. Murphy has played of late like a young man just striving for a shot of confidence. Chances have been snatched at, full-backs have managed to halt those mazy runs, but not at Griffin Park. Murphy’s perfectly-weighted pass led to the early penalty. There was two sights of goal immediately after the interval before he raced clear to draw Daniels and produce a composed slot in front of the travelling support. It was an instinctive finish that underlined City have an attacking weapon capable of scoring and creating in large quantities.
4. High standards - Daniel Farke strode into his post-match media conference with the air of a man who feels he is getting his message across, after an understandably difficult opening phase to his Championship baptism. There has been much to admire in the last four games from his side but Farke admitted the late concession that wrecked the bid for a fourth consecutive clean sheet had irked him. He qualified that somewhat by saying progress to the next round was all that mattered, but it was a reminder for his side never to let their guard down. Farke wants the same hunger in the last minute as the first.
5. Nice and simple, please - After the fiasco of an apparent home draw against Charlton that was called an away draw before common sense prevailed, plus the torrent of negative publicity that accompanied a draw conducted on the other side of the world in the middle of the night in the UK, let’s hope when the last-16 shakedown is unveiled on Wednesday evening the headlines this time focus on eye-catching ties. Some City fans might fancy a trip to the Olympic Stadium or Wembley or maybe a packed house at Carrow Road but either way Farke wants to prolong his cup adventure. That will be music to the ears of most Norwich fans fed on slim rations in recent seasons of knockout football.