Play it again, City, and there is hope for the season ahead
PUBLISHED: 15:07 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:07 07 December 2017
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I’ve seen the majority of Cardiff City’s home games this season and I have to say I’ve not seen a team cause them as much trouble as Norwich did in those opening 45 minutes – just how they didn’t go in at half-time winning the game by 3-0 goodness knows.
Sadly, all Norwich had to show for a fantastic first-half performance full of hard work and honest endeavour was Marco Stiepermann’s left-footed strike – but, as I said, they should have had so much more.
How Grant Hanley missed from six yards out, when he headed straight at Neil Ethridge when all he had to do was put it either side of the Cardiff keeper only he will know.
Mind you, worse was to come when, not for the first time, Daniel Farke’s men caught Cardiff cold with a swift counter-attacking move – but why did Nelson Olivera try to do everything on his own? All he had to do was slide a pass to Wes Hoolahan and surely the little Irishman would have put Norwich 2-0 up and in a commanding position!
It wasn’t the last time Olivera tried to beat the whole of the Cardiff defence when he had team-mates in very good positions. What’s that old saying “there’s no I in team”? But I guess there is in Oliveria! I thought he looked like a player who was trying to do everything himself with maybe one eye on the January transfer window...
Even though Cardiff were better in the second half they were gifted two goals with some shocking decisions by the referee. What did Andy Davies see to award Cardiff that penalty and a lifeline that brought them level just four minutes after going behind? And then he missed a clear foul on Mario Vrancic just before Omar Bogle fired Cardiff’s third that finished the game – it was beyond shocking.
I couldn’t fault the team’s performance and one thing’s for sure, if they keep that level of work rate and spirit up then it won’t be long before this winless run comes to an end and they start climbing back up the Championship.
Sheffield Wednesday have drawn their last four games and it’s been a bit of a struggle for them this season after missing out in the play-offs last season. It is a simple one for me – if Norwich perform like they did last Friday night and are more clinical in front of goal they will win Saturday’s game.
I enjoyed playing against Wednesday at Carrow Road. In three games against the Owls I scored three goals and won the three games. They were a bit of a lucky team for me and let’s hope the lads get that little bit of luck tomorrow that they certainly didn’t get last Friday night.
Former Canary Nathan Redmond has been in the news a lot since he was approached on the pitch by Pep Guardiola in quite an aggressive manner after Manchester City had struggled to beat Southampton up at The Etihad. Whatever Guardiola’s reasons for confronting Redmond, he was, in my eyes, bang out of order as, quite simply, Nathan Redmond isn’t his player and it showed a total lack of respect to Southampton Football Club and their manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
It was quite clear that Redmond has been sent out by his manager to defend more than he normally would and this didn’t please Pep, whose side scored the winning goal with the very last kick of the game to win all three points. If that was me and he’d marched on and started pushing me in the chest, whether he was complimenting me or not, I think I might have reacted slightly differently to Nathan.
I’ve never had a manager approach me on the pitch after a game, but on more than one occasion I’ve had opposition managers shout abuse at me from the touch line, and I’ve never been one to bite my tongue – you’ll be surprised to hear!