Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s emphatic 4-1 Championship win against Swansea City
PUBLISHED: 22:07 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 22:07 24 November 2018
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from the Liberty Stadium
1. Rope a dope
Swansea City looked as good as anything the Canaries had faced in possession at times during this Championship promotion surge.
But the hosts’ defending was abject. Perhaps Farke’s men sensed as much. His side rolled with the punches, when the Swans tried to pierce holes in the yellow wall.
Perhaps rode their luck a touch or two as well, from a succession of inswinging corners. Then they simply moved through the gears with a strut and arrogance befitting an outfit who knew they simply had too much for the Swans.
Graham Potter’s side contributed to their own downfall. Yet there was no need for too much introspection. Norwich have been toying with rivals quiet often of late on this dizzying ascent to the summit.
2. Pick a number. Any number
Six league wins on the spin. A third consecutive Championship outing when Norwich cut loose and rifled four or more goals.
Or an 11th strike in 17 for Mr Teemu Pukki. Each statistic more impressive than the next. But arguably the most impressive number was 14.
As in days since that tumultuous end to proceedings at Carrow Road when Norwich sunk Millwall in such dramatic fashion.
There may have been some concern at the loss of precious momentum, not to mention a number of key players scattered far and wide on international duty or a long haul warm weather training camp to Tampa. But this Norwich collective do not deal in excuses. Farke demanded they carry on where they left off. His players listened.
3. Classy Emi
How good a signing is Mr Buendia? There was another confidently taken first half finish to cash in on a calamitous mix up sparked by Swansea keeper Erwin Mulder.
Then there was the raking crossfield ball into the path of Onel Hernandez that led to Norwich’s fourth goal for Pukki.
The Argentine youth international looks like he has been playing in England for years not months. Much has been made of Norwich’s astute recruitment in terms of Pukki’s capture.
Do not underestimate what a coup it was to pluck Buendia from a loan stint in the Spanish second tier. As chairman Ed Balls reiterated at the midweek annual meeting. It is not all about zeros on the cheque book when it comes to unleashing a great leap forward.
4. Aarons v James
It was duel between two rising young Championship talents. Daniel James is now a full Welsh international. A pacy, direct wide player.
Max Aarons was away on international duty with England’s Under-19s over the same international period as his breakthrough campaign continues.
It looked an even contest before the game. No quarter asked or given. James may have slotted Swansea’s first half response after Tim Krul spilled Kyle Naughton’s long range shot.
Aarons was then carded for blocking off James in the second period. Jamal Lewis went into the book for the same offence when the young flyer switched flanks.
But Aarons earned an assist for Marco Stiepermann’s goal and was again secure for the most part in his defensive work. Let’s call it honours even. But it was great to see the next generation at work.
5. Off to Humberside we go
Norwich will head to Hull City in midweek leading the Championship. It will be two points if Middlesbrough win in the late Saturday evening kick off. The Tigers are locked in an altogether different tussle at the wrong end of the table. A 2-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest left only Ipswich Town below them.
That brings it own challenge for Farke’s side. The expectation will be on them to maintain their upward curve.
City will not lack for confidence but it is a quick turnaround and another long haul trip. Time to rest up, recover and go again. Get the mentality right and there is more joy to be hand.