Iwan Roberts - Norwich City should have had that penalty against West Ham
14:15 21 September 2012
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The goalless draw against West Ham was the Canaries’ third consecutive stalemate, leaving them still searching for their first Premier League victory of the season. I think the lads did enough to win the game, but just couldn’t find the goal they needed.
On another day they would have been awarded a couple of penalties, with Robert Snodgrass being brought down by Matt Taylor and Andrew Surman – who was excellent on Saturday – clumsily tackled by James Collins. Referee Chris Foy thought the Welshman’s challenge was inches outside the box, but after seeing the incident a few times it shows the first contact made was on the 18-yard line, which is part of the penalty area. Therefore, a penalty should have been awarded.
I said at the start of the season that scoring goals had been a bit of a problem in pre-season and it seems to have continued into the opening matches.
Only two goals have been scored in the opening four games, which isn’t a great return, especially when you think that last season only the top six clubs scored more goals than the Canaries. Chances were created on Saturday, but sadly they weren’t taken.
Holty is yet to find the goal scoring touch of last season. However, I’m sure the goals will soon come for Grant if he continues to work hard and get into the right areas of the penalty box.
I do think the team is slightly missing the creativity of Wes Hoolahan and David Fox in the centre of the park, both possessing the passing ability to thread a ball through a defence and open things up in the final third.
I’m sure that nobody is pressing the panic button yet, though, as it’s still very early days, and yes, while the lads are still to taste victory so far this season they haven’t tasted defeat since the opener against Fulham.
In the past three games the lads have been a very hard side to break down, and just to note they have more points at this stage of the season than they did in the last campaign.
The next few fixtures are going to be tough with away trips to Newcastle and Chelsea and home games against Liverpool and Arsenal. If the lads can extend their unbeaten run to seven games they are going to have to be at their very best.
The Canaries don’t play until Sunday afternoon this weekend as Newcastle were playing Maritimo of Portugal in the Europa League last night.
Alan Pardew’s men will have had two tough away games after Norwich’s goalless draw against West Ham last Saturday and this could provide the lads with a slight advantage.
Newcastle aren’t quite firing like they were at the beginning of last season and have won only one of their opening four games, although these fixtures have included trips to in-form Chelsea and Everton.
Let’s not forget, of course, that Chris Hughton is going back to the club where many believe he was treated unfairly, the club relinquishing him of his services only months after he guided them back into the Premier League.
So let’s all hope that the boys can go up to the Sports Direct Arena and get their first win of the campaign, getting a little bit of pay-back for their manager in the process.