Fanzone: Lack of belief at Bournemouth needs to be addressed quickly
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
A week is a long time in football, as Matt Howman has learned of late. As Norwich look to get back on track, the City fan wonders what has temporarily gone wrong.
The January fixture list is guaranteed to be frantic, demanding and testing for every team in the league as the games come thick and fast, and the chance to accrue more points presents itself every few days.
The transfer window is still wild with speculation and supporters of every team in the country are passionately debating who their board needs to bring in, who they should sell and who their dream signings might be.
So, in the midst of all this – where does that leave Norwich City?
If I were to be writing this prior to the home FA Cup fixture against Manchester City I would no doubt be eulogising over the way Norwich had only lost one game in five, beaten Aston Villa and kept back-to-back clean sheets. Fast forward two weeks from the Southampton victory and everything is looking a tad doom and gloom.
I continue to be fascinated with the vast difference a week can make in the footballing world. Players and managers can be elevated to hero and, within days, be cast aside and languishing as zero after being singled out as the root cause of the club's poor form.
With a clear mind, what I have to surmise from our poor week is that actually, it's recoverable.
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Another part of me wants to look at what the cause of it might be.
Is the transfer window messing with the players' minds? Has the manager picked the wrong formation? To be honest, I'm not sure. My gut feeling is that it's a dip in form due to lack of tactical discipline and being on a mid-season hangover, which has been made worse by the number of fixtures within it.
From anyone who has read my previous articles (and debated them on YouTube), you will know I love to throw in a stat – Norwich have only scored three goals in the last 10 minutes of a game this season. Only on one occasion have we won that match.
Having the ability to make teams worry about conceding in the final moments of the game is crucial. The Championship season that we scored so many goals in the last minutes of the game was because teams subconsciously believed we would; Alex Ferguson said the same about his Manchester United sides.
Staying up this season is going to require that same belief; against Bournemouth we looked beaten before half-time. Alex Neil, right, can't let that happen again.