Michael Bailey: In flux and embarrassed – Norwich City have a void that needs filling, and needs filling quickly following their latest capitulation away from Carrow Road, at impressive Huddersfield Town
PUBLISHED: 05:58 06 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 April 2017
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In flux, embarrassed – and boy did Norwich City look it as they received their latest away day Championship humiliation.
As Stuart Webber waits for his grand public unveiling as Norwich’s new sporting director, caretaker boss Alan Irvine remains stood on the sidelines shaking his head at the state of the squad in front of him.
The Scot knows the seven-minute, three-goal capitulation that put another dagger in the City cause was nothing new. Norwich’s defensive dozing and soon-to-follow surrenders away from Carrow Road have littered a season that was supposed to be a replay of their glorious 2015 promotion .
Instead, it’s a nightmare no one can wake up from.
Irvine himself looked exasperated after the game. He claimed no solutions. Put forward no reaction. He is the caretaker, not the leader – that void of leadership was etched over City’s second half like a Premier League wound that won’t heal.
Captain Russell Martin was delicately persuaded to speak for his equally experienced team-mates, but he didn’t have any words to soothe. Only realisation the lack of top-flight spotlight brought an apathy to the squad – that and underlining the embarrassment of a football schooling dished out by high-flying Huddersfield.
The Terriers are the side Webber built, or at least helped to. As City’s own expectations flatline, those on Webber repeating his Huddersfield revolution escalate.
That was perhaps the biggest realisation on a torrid Wednesday night in front of a few hundred hardy City souls and TV watchers.
For the second time this season Huddersfield showed they play football at twice the speed of Norwich, with twice the heart and even more conviction.
Bridging that gap won’t happen with these players. It won’t happen with Webber alone. And it won’t happen without the City board getting some crucial decisions right over the coming days – it doesn’t feel like they have weeks.
The fixtures are relentless. The players who look able to could cope with any sort of test on the pitch are becoming impossible to find.
Even Alex Pritchard excelling left you to wonder about those watching. They know when they see a good player in a poor side, at a club with financial issues on the horizon. In flux and embarrassed.
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