Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 2-1 Championship win at Nottingham Forest
PUBLISHED: 23:55 20 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:24 21 October 2018
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from the City Ground
1. Can you hear it?
Surely it is audible by now? It’s the sound of a genuine Championship promotion push gathering pace. What other conclusion can one draw after becoming the first team in 13 to win at the City Ground.
All the more impressive given the Reds’ started like a team who believed they are on the up in front of an expectant full house by the River Trent.
Norwich had to dig in, but dig in they did.
This was no smash and grab. Norwich’s final margin of victory could and should have been even more handsome. The scenes of celebration at the away rivalled any seen this season. They may not be the last either.
2. Clinical Klose
In the side for his defensive expertise, big Timm rampaged his way to a match-winning brace at the other end of the park.
To be fair, he was probably desperate to cancel out his role in Lewis Grabban’s opening strike, when along with the rest of the Norwich backline he appeared mesmerised by Joao Cavalho’s cheeky chip in allowing the ex-City striker a free shot at Tim Krul.
But what a riposte. The run and glancing flick despatched Moritz Leitner’s free kick before he again showed anticipation Jordan Rhodes would be proud off to slam home the rebound after Costel Pantilimon could only parry Rhodes’ header.
3. Pretty in Pink
Among all the clever technical flourishes in Norwich’s midfield, there is the brooding presence of Alex Tettey.
The partnership forged with Moritz Leitner looks every bit as transformative as the one he formed with Tom Trybull around this time 12 months ago.
Tettey has the experience and the muscular presence to offer a soothing foil for Leitner to get on the ball and probe in more advanced areas.
There is also the insurance in front of the back four and to free two attack-minded young full backs when the Norwegian drops anchor.
He might not catch the eye in the same manner but it would be no surprise if the pink-booted Tettey is one of the first names on Farke’s team sheet at present.
Many would have expected Farke to restore Onel Hernandez to his starting line up after a cameo following his recovery from injury prior to the international break. Not many, perhaps, would have felt Emi Buendia was likely to make way instead of Todd Cantwell.
That underlines the huge progress made from the academy starlet.
Such faith did not looked misplaced at the City Ground.
In the first half, a noticeable feature of the Canaries play was Cantwell’s licence to veer infield looking for work to showcase his creative intent. Norwich’s best two chances prior to the interval owed everything to Cantwell’s vision and ability to pick a pass in moves that led to big openings for Hernandez and in particular Marco Stiepermann.
Perhaps Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis have earned more of the spotlight in recent weeks but Cantwell’s turn will come if he maintains this level.
5. Sluggish Stiepi
Plenty of positives again wherever you looked but this was arguably Marco Stiepermann’s poorest outing since being re-deployed in that attacking central role behind the lone striker.
Stiepermann spurned a glorious close range first half chance when Jamal Lewis rolled the ball into the near post.
Stiepermann thrust his hands to his head as he slid to a halt on his knees.
It was a big miss and he knew it. But there was a lack of precision to his all round game. It came as no surprise to see him withdrawn late on. With the depth seemingly available to Farke in his squad, the bar is rising every week.