Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City's 2-1 Championship defeat against Rotherham
PUBLISHED: 17:28 14 January 2017 | UPDATED: 22:58 14 January 2017
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his snap verdict from the New York stadium
1. Neil Out - It was a small pocket of disgruntled away supporters in the closing seconds of another abject display. But it was audible. And it was laced with not just frustration but barely controlled fury. Whether it was heard by those in the directors’ box remains to be seen. This felt like the final act.
2. Big calls, wrong calls - Martin Olsson was left out as he looks to finalise a move to Premier League Swansea City. Alex Neil claimed on Friday even with Robbie Brady suspended he had the options in a deep squad to cope. Step forward Steven Whittaker but this was another shift to file in the same nightmare category as Birmingham, away. Tom Adeyemi ran off the back of the Scot to provide the first and then rose powerfully above Whittaker in a man-on-man duel at the far post to head the winner.
3. Rotherham red mist - What is it about this corner of South Yorkshire and Norwich City strikers? Lewis Grabban let his side down with a furious reaction to the close attentions of a Rotherham defender in a Championship tussle back in April 2015. For Grabban, read Nelson Oliveira. The Portuguese was still clearly seething from a stiff Kirk Broadfoot challenge moments earlier that went unpunished and left him needing treatment. When the duo re-opposed at a corner and ended up in a heap on the floor it was Oliveira who got his retaliation in first. The referee had no hesitation in producing a fourth red card to a Norwich player in the last six away league meetings. A damning statistic that underlines the ill-discipline in this set of footballers.
4. Calamity collapses - Norwich’s speciality. This is turning into a memorable season. For all the wrong reasons. Martin Olsson’s ridiculously early red card as he tried to touchdown at QPR - gifting Ian Holloway his first win since returning to Loftus Road. Jonny Howson similarly dismissed at Reading for handling on the line on Boxing Day. Now Nelson Oliveira reacting in a violent fashion to Kirk Broadfoot’s attentions as they tangled on the floor at the New York. Still, Norwich managed to hit back and threaten a stirring comeback but fresh defensive frailty proved their undoing. A common theme.
5. Lambert next - Alex Neil’s future will now be the subject of fresh and intense speculation in the coming hours and days. Forget Southampton in midweek. If Neil is in the home dugout when Paul Lambert comes to town next weekend, and his fellow Scot inflicts another Championship defeat on his old club, then this season of abject misery will plunge towards a new low.