Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City's 2-1 Championship win against Aston Villa
PUBLISHED: 09:38 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:03 25 October 2018
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road
1. Comeback kings
Once might be open to debate but to hit back twice in identical fashion in the space of four delicious days of Championship combat tells you something is stirring.
Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, by common consent, have spent considerably more than Norwich in recent times to assemble a promotion-challenging squads.
City head both at this stage, and plenty more besides, after powering up to fourth ahead of Wednesday’s Championship fixtures.
To dredge two league wins after conceding first speaks volumes for the character and the self belief.
Pertinent perhaps on the day that City’s financial accounts are published to reiterate it is not solely about pounds, shillings and pence.
2. Fashionably different
Teemu Pukki and Jordan Rhodes may adopt contrasting styles outside the penalty area but the pair are deadly inside it.
Pukki is all high energy pressing and harassment of opposition centre backs. Rhodes is a willing targetman but perhaps lacks the natural inclination to hare into channels.
Yet provide the Sheffield Wednesday loanee with the type of service he gorged on against Aston Villa and he will ccontinue to make a compelling case for inclusion once Pukki returns to fitness. His second and the match-winning goal was poetry from start to finish.
A flowing 18-pass move ended with Marco Stiepermann’s drilled low cross but it owed everything to Rhodes’ trigger move, darting in front of James Chester to divert the ball home before Orjan Nyland could move.
It was a fantastic piece of predatory forward play.
Rhodes now has seven goals in 16 appearances and in all probability another couple of bites at the cherry, before Daniel Farke faces a devilish selection dilemma.
3. Terrible for Thommo
Farke spoke eloquently in his post-match debrief about the horrendous luck and catalogue of injuries that have beset Louis Thompson.
If anyone deserved a free run it is the likeable 23-year-old midfielder. Not one but two Achilles operations robbed him of two years of a career which was just starting to flicker at Carrow Road.
A muscle problem at Ipswich forced him to be piggy-backed away from Portman Road and temporarily halted his progress after an encouraging pre-season return. But his latest injury setback was cruel beyond belief.
Thrown on in stoppage time to add ballast to Norwich’s defensive effort he twisted and landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
The brave manner he tried to run back into position while clutching his right arm spoke volumes. A suspected dislocated shoulder in all probability ensures another lay-off. But he deserves a rapturous round of applause when he returns again.
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4. Marvellous Max
Rhodes and Moritz Leitner merited all the plaudits going for their pivotal roles in halting Dean Smith’s honeymoon at Aston Villa but how good was Mr Aarons? This was a dazzlingly mature display in front of a live television audience.
If the teenage full back was not already on the radar of the big boys, following his stunning breakthrough, this particular showreel is likely to pique the interest of many a Premier League recruitment department.
That is the inevitable by-product from performances that underline how assured and how comfortable Aarons already looks in Championship company. There is no sign yet of those inconsistencies that blight raw talent.
Aarons has not had it all his own way at times in his short senior career, but the intelligence and the awareness was stamped through his forays up and down the right flank against Albert Adomah and Neil Taylor.
5. Tap in to Tettey
In the final analysis, Norwich coped without their combative holding midfielder. Family duties called, following another addition to the Norwegian’s young family.
Farke joked afterwards he toyed with sending his physio to the birth when Tettey rang him on the morning of the game to inform him he was not coming into work.
Tom Trybull got the nod but Trybull’s game tilts on a different axis.
Leitner was no less effective alongside his compatriot but for prolonged periods Villa, and Jack Grealish in particular, carried a threat in between the lines and in front of a City backline shorn of their insurance policy.
Tettey must return against Brentford this weekend to help re-establish the levels of control that have marked much of this rich seam of results.