August 1 2015 Latest news:
Monday, February 24, 2014
The reaction to Norwich City’s win over Tottenham was triumphant.
At last, the Canaries got it right. But what changed – if anything?
For those who observe from a distance – a TV studio perhaps – it may have been a performance out of the blue, it may have been a performance of a team fighting for survival. Indeed, it may be that Spurs, who, three days earlier, had been playing a Europa League game, were tired, jaded and, therefore ineffective. It was all handed on a plate.
For those working from a more knowledgeable base, perhaps it was just that the plan of recent games finally came to fruition. Performances of late have not been that of a side struggling to keep their heads above water. You do not hold Manchester City to a goalless draw unless you have something about you.
City should have had more from games against West Ham and Cardiff – so there has to be a time when “should have” became “did”.
One thing is certain: City deserved to beat Spurs. No question. Not even an argument.
What might not be so certain is what turned decent performances but no points into a better performance, with points.
What happens between the ears of footballers and football managers is sometimes as important as what they do with a ball. You can see how confidence inspires improved performances. You can see how fear can have positive and negative effects; some players thrive on it, others sink into their shells.
Did the words of City’s chief executive David McNally have an effect in the build-up to the game. The headline from an interview with local media was that McNally was, as every CEO should be, prepared if change were necessary at the top. He didn’t put overt pressure on Chris Hughton, he didn’t back him to the hilt. He made it clear that the club was ready for any eventuality.
But if you are the sort that takes an implied message, reads between the lines, then it may have had an effect. Imagine you are a player; you like Hughton, you don’t fancy a change, you accept that, perhaps, you could do a little more, give a bit more effort. So you do. You realise the precarious position the club is in and you want to keep your manager in a job. Between your ears, the words from the chief executive may have acted as a stimulus.
We are all, thankfully, different. We react in different ways.
If Norwich players have reacted positively, job done.
Just another 11 games then.
Will City survive? Post your comments below....