Norwich City players must find that missing passion
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It's the same old story. Norwich City were architects of their own destiny against Leeds – luckily for us, the international break couldn't come at a better time.
This is the biggest test Alex Neil has faced throughout his Norwich City tenure. The pressure is well and truly on. It seems a lot of supporters have already reached boiling point with the Scot, after not managing to obtain a single point in the last three games. I completely understand this stance, as the manner in which we've been defeated of late has been disgusting to watch.
On paper, this squad is almost certainly within the top three for the whole division. Right now, on the pitch, City look like nothing more than an average mid-table side at best.
In my opinion, there has been a handful of Norwich City players who have shown they do want it and can fight when they need to. However, there's also a group who clearly don't. There is still a lot of dead weight that wasn't shipped out last summer and that's what will continue to throw Neil under the bus. It seems the togetherness of the squad we were all praising a few games back has completely dried up.
I really want Neil to succeed, but if results don't change and City fail to start to climbing back into the automatic promotion places, this could end up like Neil Adams all over again...
If the team you support goes out there on the pitch, gives absolutely everything and gets outclassed by a moment of magic or individual talent, then so be it. Sometimes, in football, you have to hold your hands up.
This is not the case for Norwich City right now. It's the crux of what Neil prides his teams on – work ethic, fight, determination and beating your man. There are only a few players who have held those qualities in the last four games.
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You can tell times are desperate when the manager brings on what was once his squad outcast, Kyle Lafferty, to try and save the game. Huge kudos to Lafferty, though. He worked extremely hard, chased every ball and, of course, took his goal very well.
In light of both Lafferty's and Louis Thompson's latest performances, it surely proves to Neil that big changes will have to be made in order to drive on and get back to winning ways. Say what you like about the quality of players, but right now, the single most important trait we need back in that changing room is the passion to play for our great football club.
We need Jonny Howson and Ivo Pinto back in that changing room, too. It's so glaringly obvious it may as well be official – the last handful of games have highlighted just how desperately Norwich City miss them. Their drive and determination to win the ball back is key. If there is a football god out there, please may they return in that yellow jersey as soon as possible.
City supporters really did need a break this weekend from what seems to be one hell of a negative spiral. Losing games through individual errors, not learning from them, not showing enough respect to supporters post-match, then repeating the same post-match media-robot answers. It's got to change.
Actions count louder than words...
But for us fans it's back to business as usual next week. We'll be at QPR in our thousands as always, along with restored hope we can turn this season back around. Hopefully the lads on the pitch will give us something to cheer.
On The Ball, City!