Paddy’s Pointers (with Gavin Caney): Five observations from Norwich City’s 3-2 Championship win against Cardiff City
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Sports reporter Gavin Caney, filling in for our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt, delivers his snap verdict from Carrow Road.
1) No left-back dilemma - As Robbie Brady exited the pitch early on, and with Martin Olsson still not fit enough to take a place in the squad, a simple question was being asked all around the home of the Canaries. Can Harry Toffolo be recalled from his loan at Scunthorpe? An answer to that query is seemingly not needed now given how well Russell Martin fared when filling the position. If Olsson, or Brady, aren't fit enough for Tuesday then Martin is clearly a more than reliable enough short-term option to plug the gap.
2) A problem like Jerome - Not good enough to be the leading man in the Premier League, Cameron Jerome can terrorise defences in English football's second tier for City. That fact doesn't stop him from puzzling even the most ardent of City supporters though. The striker continues to be a real mixed bag. Take his goal. He made a real hash of his first attempt, the easier chance, and then somehow slotted home his second from the tightest of angles. Explain that.
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3) Right is wrong for Howson - There's few players that have outperformed Jonny Howson, consistently, over the last couple of seasons. He oozes class and is a driving force in the middle of the pitch. Yet Alex Neil has a habit of shifting Howson out wide to accomodate other players, like Graham Dorrans today. While the former Leeds United man uses the ball well on the right-hand side, Howson's impact decreases almost 10-fold and that's a real waste given how good he is.
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4) Twins on right path – Jacob and Josh Murphy have been talked up for years. But is this the season they finally make a real, real impact at first-team level? Jacob was involved in the first two goals while his twin – who has made a less significant breakthrough so far this term – showed his promise and class by coming on and scoring a wonderful goal. You wouldn't bet against both lining up alongside each other in a Championship game from the word go soon if they continue to impress.
5) Time to be cross – With only one position up for grabs, debate will always rage about who should be in goal for City. The current custodian is Michael McGovern. And while he has made some top-drawer saves – one notably from Rickie Lambert this afternoon – the truth is the Northern Ireland international has got to start dealing with crosses, and command his box, better to ensure that he doesn't lose his place to John Ruddy.