Iwan Roberts: Norwich City fans should enjoy James Maddison and Alex Pritchard while they can
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I have to say what an eventful last weekend it was in the Premier League!
More about the goings on and off the field in the top flight later.
First let’s get straight to far more important things - Norwich’s very impressive 3-1 over Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road to finally bring to an end a run of seven league games without a win.
Let’s be honest it was a shocker of a first half performance from the Canaries, but what a transformation we saw from Daniel Farke’s men in that second period.
If, as individuals, the Norwich players all lost their personnel battles in that dreadful opening 45 minutes, they totally dominated the second half and were worthy winners in the end.
I’ve heard people say that Alex Pritchard and James Maddison can’t play in the same team, a bit like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard couldn’t perform together in the same England side.
However, what I witnessed last Saturday evening looks like the beginning of a very impressive partnership which I’m sure we are all really excited about and looking forward to them taking Leeds apart at Elland Road tomorrow afternoon.
MORE: We can play together, says James Maddison on partnership with Alex Pritchard
These two lads are as good as any attacking midfielders I’ve seen in the Championship this season.
The two boys at Wolves Diogo Jota and the £15m man Ruben Neves are quality in all fairness, but there’s no way I’d say that they are any better than Alex and James.
These two lads can play at a higher lever as they have the quality that’s needed, let’s just hope that it will be in the yellow shirt of Norwich City.
However, with the club’s television revenue being cut next season I get the feeling that at least one of them will be sold maybe as soon as January unfortunately and I’m convinced they will have a few options. I hope I’m wrong as it would be a tough pill for supporters to swallow.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the highlights of the Palace v Bournemouth game last Saturday when Palace were awarded a last minute penalty to win the game.
Luka Milivojevic who had already despatched a first half penalty was about to put the ball down on the penalty spot when along came Christian Benteke and wrestled the ball out of the Serbian’s hands and took it upon himself to try and win Palace the game.
It’s one of the worst cases of selfishness I’ve seen on a football field and just why no one told him to sling his hook goodness only knows as his record from the spot for Palace is far from impressive having missed four of the six he’s taken.
If I was Roy Hodgson or his assistant Ray Lewington I’d have been on that pitch ripping the ball out of his hands and handing it back to Milivojevic or even better substituting him just before he was about to take it.
If you’re going to do what Benteke did it’s quite simple, you better score or you are going to get slaughtered by everyone and rightly so.
Had Palace been 4-0 up and with Benteke looking to score his first goal of the season then fair enough but at 2-2 in the final minute with his record from the spot?! Not only did he miss but it was one of the worst penalties I’ve ever seen and those two dropped points against Bournemouth could be very costly for Palace come May.
MORE: Alex Tettey could be the key to turning City’s season round, says Paddy Davitt
I have to say that when I heard about the rumble in the Old Trafford tunnel between the United and City players and staff after the Manchester derby last Sunday my mind did return back to March 2000 and Portman Road. However, it wasn’t nearly as violent and no one got hit by a bottle, mind you that was only because there wasn’t one in my reach!!
We all suspect by now that it was down to Jose Mourhino insisting that the City players pipe down a bit with their noisy celebrations as they hadn’t won anything yet and show some respect. He’s a fine one to talk when it comes to respect by the way. The only difference to what happened to us after our derby victory back in 2000, which I scored both goals (have I mentioned this before?) was that it was our manager Brian Hamilton complaining about the noise!
According to Brian it wasn’t the time or the place to be gloating, how wrong was he?! His words made no difference whatsoever and we made no apologies to him or anyone else as we carried on being as loud as we could. If you can’t celebrate beating the old enemy straight after you’ve beaten them on their own patch then when should you celebrate?