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Iwan Roberts: Haller was naughty... but I used to do those challenges all the time

PUBLISHED: 13:58 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:58 05 September 2019

Christoph Zimmermann lies prone after being scythed down by West Ham striker Sebastien Haller. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Christoph Zimmermann lies prone after being scythed down by West Ham striker Sebastien Haller. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Let's be honest about last Saturday the lads were second best against a rejuvenated West Ham who were going into the game after two consecutive wins.

The boys fell well short of the very high standards that they had set themselves in their last two games and that second half up at Anfield, it was a bad afternoon at the office at The London Stadium.

This won't be their last setback this season especially away from home, the important thing is how they respond to this disappointment and move on and learn from it.

I've seen a lot of negative comments about VAR since its introduction at the start of the season and is it actually helping the referees and improving the game?

Against West Ham Daniel Farke wasn't happy with a couple of decisions and thought VAR should have intervened, especially Sebastien Haller's challenge on Christoph Zimmermann which left the big German defender writhing on the floor in agony.

It was a naughty challenge by the big centre-forward, one that most certainly deserved a yellow card but how Paul Tierny failed to even book Haller is beyond me. However, had VAR suggested to the ref that the incident was worth another look in my opinion he still wouldn't have shown a red card which I think Daniel thought the challenge was worthy of.

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It a challenge I've done many, many times and never been sent off for. I've picked up a fair few yellow cards mind! With no real intention of getting the ball but making sure I get plenty of the defender by lunging in studs showing I made it look as if I was making an honest attempt to win the ball and stop the defender playing the ball down the line.

I perfected the challenge by just getting there half a second too late as the defender played the ball down the line, I'd make sure that I caught him on his ankle or on top of his foot either which is very painful as it's all bone and then my arms would both go in the air and I'd plead my innocence before making a token gesture apology to the defender which were always of course insincere!

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West Ham's first goal was a disappointing one for me and Daniel blamed Zimmermann's lack of mobility as he was still injured and limping when he was out sprinted down the left hand side and couldn't stop the cross into the six yard box where to rub salt into the wound Haller was there to smash the ball past Tim Krul who was exceptional on the day making a string of top class saves.

For me the problem wasn't the cross it was the fact that Haller had got himself in front of Ben Godfrey and once that happened a goal was inevitable. In a perfect world you stop the source, however you're not always going to stop crosses from coming into your box so as defenders you have to react quicker than the forward. Make sure you anticipate every eventuality and that you are in the right place at the right time and make sure you clear the danger.

Let's not get too downhearted though, as I said it's the first time we've left a Norwich game this season with that feeling of disappointment after the performance. You have to look at the bigger picture and where this club has come from in such a short space of time.

Before the first international break last season Norwich had won just one game, conceded 14 goals and had scrambled back to draw 1-1 at Portman Road to one of the worst Ipswich sides I've seen, a game that had Norwich lost many people think Daniel Farke would have lost his job.

Norwich City have come such a long way in 12 months so let's not get too frustrated with one bad performance. After all I am sure we have all had a bad day at the office!

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