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Chris Goreham: The commentary Norwich City fans could have done without at Brighton

PUBLISHED: 13:48 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:31 04 November 2019

Alex Tettey was pulled back into central defence against Brighton but couldn't stop City slipping to another away defeat. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Alex Tettey was pulled back into central defence against Brighton but couldn't stop City slipping to another away defeat. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

They may be public enemy number one at the moment but there was good reason to be grateful for the existence of plastic bags when Norwich City played Brighton at the weekend.

As heavy rain swirled into the press box while we set up our broadcast equipment it was clear we had a problem. There was a genuine risk that water could mix with our electric box of tricks and get fireworks night off to an accidental early start.

As it turned out the good people of Norfolk, listening back home, may not have been too sorry if the commentary had disappeared with a whizz and a bang as it would have spared them from having to follow the Canaries' latest harsh Premier League lesson.

We weren't to know this before the match when one of the extremely helpful Brighton media team rushed to our aid with a decent sized plastic bag.

Using skills picked up from a misspent youth watching The A-Team, Canary Call host Rob Butler and I were able to fashion a sort of commentary cagoule that allowed most of the equipment to stay wrapped up for the duration of a difficult afternoon. It was certainly more watertight than Norwich City's defence.

Given all of the environmental concerns it would be irresponsible to promote wider use of plastic bags but I read an interesting article recently about the man who invented them. Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin came up with idea in 1959 because he was concerned that too many trees were being cut down to make paper bags. So the plastic alternative was his way of actually trying to help the environment.

Daniel Farke must know how Thulin would feel if he was still around today. By trying to address one problem he inadvertently helped to cause another.

The Canaries' head coach tried to solve his own central defensive shortage by moving Alex Tettey into the back four at Brighton. Full backs Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis also kept their trademark forays forward to a minimum as Farke tried to come up with some tactics that might make Norwich City more difficult to beat.

The knock-on effect was that City, who had promised so much as an attacking force as they won promotion last season and then started life in the Premier League with a flurry of goals, failed to muster a single shot on target at Brighton.

MORE: Six things you may have missed from defeat at Brighton

With so much of the season still to play I am doing my best not to panic and there are mitigating circumstances for Norwich's swelling goals against column. It's no surprise they are conceding plenty in the Premier League, the bigger concern must be that they now have only two consolation goals from Josip Drmic and Onel Hernandez in their last six games.

The dynamism and excitement of City as an attacking force was supposed to be the best hope of survival this season yet they have managed just one goal away from Carrow Road, thanks to Teemu Pukki at Anfield almost three months ago.

In fact Norwich City's goal shyness goes back to their previous top flight spell under Alex Neil. They have scored only three goals in 16 away Premier League matches. It means that Alex Tettey's memorable winner at Old Trafford in December 2015 and Cameron Jerome's opener from the same game are still among Norwich's last five away goals in the Premier League.

Even a wet weekend in Brighton wasn't enough to end that drought.

There is still time for Daniel Farke to find a formula that gets the balance between defence and attack right. He'll need to if Norwich City's Premier League stay is to last as long as the average supermarket 'bag for life' before the handles give way.

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