Iwan Roberts: Lady Luck deserts Norwich City when they need her most
- Credit: PA
If ever there was a game that summed up this season for Norwich City it was the 90 minutes on Wednesday night at the Emirates.
The lads played well in spells, especially in the second half, but once again poor mistakes and a lack of luck in front of goal came back to haunt them – and, sadly, that’s why they look certain for a quick return to the Championship.
I was critical in last Friday’s column of their lack of hunger and desire in that performance against Everton, but I can’t be critical of the last two performances, even though they’ve come away empty-handed.
I felt for the boys on Saturday night, they didn’t deserve to lose the way they did against Manchester United after all the effort they put in. After going down to 10 men the least they deserved was for the game to be ended on penalties, but when you’re down there fighting you know what it’s like, you get zero luck at all.
I thought Wednesday evening’s game against Arsenal could be a good opportunity for the lads to pick up some valuable points as Arsenal are fragile at the minute, even though they went into the game having reached the FA Cup semi-final and beaten Southampton in their previous Premier League game.
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If there’s one stadium you would usually want to visit when the home team is not playing well it’s the Emirates.
I’ve been there on a few occasions and when things aren’t going their way it doesn’t take long for those Gunners fans to turn on their own players, and they can be venomous. I can imagine that after a goalless 30 minutes on Wednesday night the stick that would have been coming heavily from those Arsenal fans.
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For the first half an hour Norwich kept the home team very quiet. In fact, they were unlucky not to be ahead after a thunderous right-footed strike that smashed the post from Ben Godfrey. That’s what I mean about a bit of luck going against you when your down there. If you’re mid-table and cruising that strike hits the inside of the post and Norwich are 1-0 up.
I have to say I felt for big Timm Klose after he was sent off against Manchester United. He’s missed nearly all the season after picking up a knee injury back in August at Crawley, and because of the injury crisis Daniel has defensively, he’s had to throw the big Swiss international straight in after the season restarted.
Tim Krul has been brilliant this season and I was gutted to see him make the error that gifted Arsenal their first goal.
He’s been faultless this season, and Daniel wants him to pass out from the back and not be too direct. He tried a Cruyff turn in his own box – if it comes off he looks an unbelievable player, but if it doesn’t he gets punished in the worst way possible, which is unfortunately what happened to him.
Arsenal’s third goal summed up Norwich’s season for me. The goal came from Norwich’s own throw-in opposite their own penalty box, and once again they were punished for trying to play out from the back.
Sadly, it’s been too frequent an occurrence this season and that’s why Norwich are where they are in the league.
I don’t even think that winning their next three games, against Brighton, Watford and West Ham, would be enough to save them from the dreaded drop.