Search

Norwich Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 13°C

Brand new issue 5 of the Pink Un Magazine is out now! ORDER YOURS TODAY

Paddy Davitt verdict: Time to let Norwich City’s new wave off the leash

PUBLISHED: 06:05 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 07:34 18 April 2017

James Maddison made his mark at Deepdale. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

James Maddison made his mark at Deepdale. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Youth brings maddening frustration but it also carries a whiff of renewal for Norwich City.

To salvage something, anything from a season of unfulfilled expectations the sight of Josh Murphy and James Maddison both on target in a precious 3-1 Championship away win at Preston can lift spirits.

Maddison showed composure to coolly roll Steven Naismith’s pass underneath the advancing Chris Maxwell to seal a first success on the road since February 4.

The spontaneous celebration spoke volumes. Maddison proudly ran towards the pocket of away fans before turning his back and motioning to the name on his shirt.

Josh Murphy was on target in Norwich City's 3-1 Championship win at Preston. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Josh Murphy was on target in Norwich City's 3-1 Championship win at Preston. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

City’s support need little convincing the time is right to unleash the 20-year-old midfielder, who was lauded as one of the best prospects in the country when Norwich swooped ahead of the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool.

Maddison’s career to date has been limited to the odd cup cameo and development outings. An extended loan stint at Aberdeen showcased his skills to a wider audience but the refusal to depart for a second spell was the actions of a man who believes he is good enough to feature right now at Norwich City.

Alan Irvine and before him Alex Neil sought to protect Maddison, Ben Godfrey and many of the younger talents who have not made the transition in the same seamless manner as Jacob Murphy.

James Maddison had a Norwich City league debut to savour. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd James Maddison had a Norwich City league debut to savour. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Given a downward spiral that eventually claimed Neil there was merit in such a protective policy. Not any more. Not over the remaining few games. Irvine was again keen to stress Maddison is just at the start of his journey but even in a brief cameo there was enough circumstantial evidence to suggest he did not look out of place.

Josh Murphy proved no less impressive or productive in the north-west. This must have been a difficult campaign on many levels for the flying wide man as his twin blazed a trail. Josh has the same reservoir of talent. We saw that again in the pivotal role he played in Norwich’s second goal. Much like Jacob stepped out of Nathan Redmond’s shadow following his departure to Southampton, Josh must grasp the chance to fill any such vacancy on the left. Preston should not simply be savoured for a rare away success. It could mark the emergence of two bright young things.

Irvine has so far been unable to cure the huge inconsistency in performance levels that produce superb shows against Reading or a hard fought win at one of the most difficult Championship outposts, mixed in with abject displays at Aston Villa or Huddersfield.

City's long suffering travelling supporters finally had something to celebrate yesterday. City's long suffering travelling supporters finally had something to celebrate yesterday.

But when you sit and listen to the wise Scot you hear plenty of common sense. He knows there is a demand from the terraces for something to cling onto; a reason to believe again and some hope for better times ahead. Much is invested in a crop of exciting talent largely untainted by the miserable downturn over the past 15 months or so. But Irvine also knows the perils of exposing such precociousness within the wrong environment.

That is why Fulham’s slick, streetwise squad hardly offered fertile ground on Good Friday for a Maddison or a Josh Murphy. That is why perhaps Preston, for all their fearsome home record, did, given Norwich’s control either side of Tommy Spurr’s free second half header.

Irvine wants an experienced framework to integrate a seam of raw potential, and there was clear signs at Deepdale players like Steven Naismith and Cameron Jerome can serve that purpose.

Graham Dorrans has been linked with Rangers all summer. Picture: Focus Images Graham Dorrans has been linked with Rangers all summer. Picture: Focus Images

Newly-promoted Brighton under Chris Hughton may prove less accommodating at Carrow Road on Friday but the impact of Maddison and Murphy is grounds for renewed optimism.

The Norwich board during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 The Norwich board during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Ryan Bennett of Norwich wins a header but fouls Jordan Hugill of Preston North End in the process during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 Ryan Bennett of Norwich wins a header but fouls Jordan Hugill of Preston North End in the process during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Alex Pritchard was involved in Norwich City's first two goals. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Alex Pritchard was involved in Norwich City's first two goals. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jordan Hugill of Preston North End and Ryan Bennett of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 Jordan Hugill of Preston North End and Ryan Bennett of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Ryan Bennett of Norwich wins a header but fouls Jordan Hugill of Preston North End in the process during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 Ryan Bennett of Norwich wins a header but fouls Jordan Hugill of Preston North End in the process during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Alex Pritchard of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 Alex Pritchard of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Former Norwich City loanee Mitchell Dijks has been linked with a permanent switch to Birmingham City from Ajax. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Former Norwich City loanee Mitchell Dijks has been linked with a permanent switch to Birmingham City from Ajax. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

James Maddison of Norwich prepares to make his debut during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 James Maddison of Norwich prepares to make his debut during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Tommy Spurr of Preston North End celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 Tommy Spurr of Preston North End celebrates scoring his sides 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

James Maddison notched on his City league debut in a 3-1 win at Preston. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd James Maddison notched on his City league debut in a 3-1 win at Preston. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Norwich players look dejected after conceding their side’s 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
17/04/2017 The Norwich players look dejected after conceding their side’s 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 17/04/2017

Related articles

6 comments

  • Hear! Hear! @Houstoncanary. Therein lies the problem. Many managers had not been great players, and knew that. Arséne Wenger is an example. They were comfortable with their limitations and happy to help develop ability in others. Many record producers knew little about music, but they had the vision to see genius in others. No envy. No jealousy. Just respect. Fred Foster of Monument records is an example. He was the wind beneath Roy Orbison's wings. Alex Neil? A bog-standard lower league hoofer with attitude, and overweening ambitions of becoming a Super-Manager to make up for that. Massive ego; Minuscule ability. As was demonstrated at Graveyard Carra. QED.. Btw & off-topic: Houston, DO you have connections with Houston, Renfrewshire? The noo. :-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • The only thing AN and now Irvine mean in protecting these players is that they now that these players are better than they ever were and don't want to be shown up by the players talents...

    Report this comment

    Houstoncanary

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • These lads need 'protecting'!!!!!!!! From what. What a typical (but diabolical) attitude. Good job Ferguson didn't say that in 1992! But of course, you won't win anything with kids, more, you won't win anything with negative attitudes! These lads want the opportunity - give it them, nothing to lose. Let them gain the experience,....... Simply remove the negativity by removing the old guard and changing the focus, let them know there is no pressure, go out, express and enjoy..... The fans will back them....... NEED PROTECTING, DIABOLICAL!

    Report this comment

    Ged in the onion bag

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • They are now going through the motions until the under achieve down right poor season is finally over and then we wait for the next shock appointment of a manager I'll stick to my guns when I say if this board get it wrong again with the next manager witch they will . Go down the cheap route again just appoint a manager with a bit more knowledge but not achieved or won anything just been around a few clubs in 18-24 months time we will still be in the same situation as we are know because they will never achieve promotion when you appoint as manager they will never learn .

    Report this comment

    City M

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Quite right Paddy. One of my fellow commenters asked on the comments board during the game yesterday what the financial gain per finishing position was in the championship - not sure there was an answer to that, but it seems we have little to lose in letting the young players show what they can offer prior to the end of the season, and just maybe we find we have more than we can hope for with home grown talent! Fingers crossed...!

    Report this comment

    CreuseCanary

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • There is no doubting that we have an abundance of good quality players so the only reason why we have under-achieved this season, has to go down to team set up and team spirit. Hopefully, the introduction of a new Head Coach next season will remedy the first but the second problem will require a good turnover of playing staff, this summer might turn out to be exciting. Maddison certainly would appear to be a player for next season but can he play beside Pritchard in the same team.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Sport Most Read

Sport Most Commented

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter