Norwich City’s players have to prove there’s a bit of fight left in them

John Ruddy consoles Robert Snodgrass after the full-time whistle at Old Trafford. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images John Ruddy consoles Robert Snodgrass after the full-time whistle at Old Trafford. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, April 28, 2014
5:29 PM

No Norwich City players came out to comment on their Premier League defeat at Manchester United on Saturday evening. Or their performance. Or on their second-half Old Trafford collapse – something that has been a regular, but sadly not exclusive feature, of City’s trips to Manchester this term.

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The weekend made it 15 goals conceded in their three games in the city this season.

That isn’t to say none of the players would have wanted to speak. Just like the fact some of the City players do continue to answer questions about their character in the right way on the pitch.

But some don’t. And maybe, like the chance to speak after another dispiriting defeat, some won’t.

For most of what has proved a horrible season to endure – especially away from Carrow Road – it has been the manager who has taken blame; who has been pointed at. All failings falling at his door.

Yet with Neil Adams now in charge following Chris Hughton’s eventual dispatching, there is little left to protect the players. And there are a number of things that deserve to be questioned.

For example, the character. Clearly the players care – but the collective way they have dealt with setbacks as simple as conceding a goal, both home and away, hasn’t been good enough all season.

The support that has followed the club across the country, and almost always started off in good voice for each fixture, has deserved better than to see their side fail to get themselves back into a game – or worse, concede a handful more.

We’ve repeatedly heard the players are desperate to fight for each other – but even they would struggle to point out as many examples of when it’s happened on the pitch.

By this point in the season, you can also start to look at the summer recruits. Those aimed at improving the Canaries’ squad on the club’s third season in the top flight.

Too many have failed to take their chance, been found wanting or are simply not ready for the step up.

The fact one or all of these applies to so many of them, means Norwich City almost certainly won’t be able to afford the patience for them to come good and reap that benefit in the Premier League.

Of course, it’s not over yet. And perhaps it’s a minor achievement that it can’t be over next weekend either. Norwich City may yet pull off one of the greatest escapes in their history – and prove they do have the character, the fight and the ability currently being doubted.

But if they don’t, then Ryan Giggs’ first game as interim manager at Old Trafford will be only a footnote in City’s relegation story. It was possibly the unluckiest of timings for them – but only as unlucky as failing to equalise away from home all season, losing twice to Fulham, taking one point off Cardiff and so far proving they are not good enough to stay in the Premier League for another season.

7 comments

  • For once I agree with every word of a Michael Bailey article. Spot on, the players have nowhere to hide, any excuse for their failure has been removed and it is clear they are a failing team in every sense, professionally, individually and collectively.

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    kenfoggo

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Spot on Jimhow. Tried making that point yesterday ref Johnson & Tettey. Huddlestone would've been a dream come true. Often i've assumed we will never get 'those' kinda players due to our location but the fact he went to Hull of all places shows, if we offer the right wages players like him would've come. We lose possession so much with it firmly at Johnson's feet. Stats can be misleading but incomplete passes is a pretty clear one. Fair enough Man Utd despite their poor season contain some quality players, but we should still be able to keep possession better than we have. We have very few players who can trap a ball in 1 touches and then distribute it to another player on our side. Too many players of championship standard ability wise technically. With the right manager you can compensate that but as we all know we've not had that for 2 years.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • Spot on Jimhow. Tried making that point yesterday ref Johnson & Tettey. Huddlestone would've been a dream come true. Often i've assumed we will never get 'those' kinda players due to our location but the fact he went to Hull of all places shows, if we offer the right wages players like him would've come. We lose possession so much with it firmly at Johnson's feet. Stats can be misleading but incomplete passes is a pretty clear one. Fair enough Man Utd despite their poor season contain some quality players, but we should still be able to keep possession better than we have. We have very few players who can kill a ball in 12 touches and then distribute it to another player on our side. Too many players of championship standard ability wise technically. With the right manager you can compensate that but as we all know we've not had that for 2 years.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • Goldie, id agree with the first part but cant say we tried to do it on the cheap we just bought the wrong players. Huddlestone went to Hull for 5mil as didnt fit AVBs methods at spurs, he would of been a serious upgrade on Johnson or Tettey, his passes dont go astray, he can defend and attack, not a world beater but a solid mid table prem player and a decent right back (which lambert even saw), poor old russ martin just runs for the stands every time a player comes towards him, never stops a run, compare him with Olsson on the left and you will see what I mean. Those 2 positions alone would of made us more solid and create more. Thats before we even look at our attack. where we spent big but on wrong players for type of game that Hughton liked to play....

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    Jimhow

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • Our main problems have been up front both in final delivery and finishing... had the board still had more faith in Hughton at New Year maybe they would have released more money in January to enable us to get the likes of Jelavic and Long instead of Guttierez and Elmander on loan,,, instead of which we persisted with the already obviously "too weak for the Prem" RVW and the "good finisher but doesn't do enough to lead the line on his own" Mr Hooper.......... the investment of another £10 million in just one decent striker would have probably saved us the £50 million we are about to lose..... this is not hindsight by the way.... it was very obvious at the time that Hooper was our only prayer of scoring.... without sometimes superhuman efforts from Snodgrass our goals for tally would look even worse.. we are not a bad team, we are a solid mid table premier league side with no decent strikers.... (ie we are a pushing for playoffs championship team... that is until half of our squad leave in the summer)

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    jops

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • To judge from the picture, Snodgrass completely lost his head at Old Trafford.

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    Outside The Box

    Monday, April 28, 2014

  • A board and Manager too slow to react when months ago it was obvious that the team was far to weak to do anything in the Premiership. Trying to put together a team on the cheap is doomed from the start in the Premiership.

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    goldie

    Monday, April 28, 2014

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

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