Iwan Roberts: A familiar tale of woe for City’s shot-shy strikers
PUBLISHED: 18:11 19 April 2018
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If ever there was a game that summed up the Canaries’ season, it was Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City.
Norwich dominated for long periods of the game and had so much more possession than the Bluebirds – but once again it counted for nothing as they got hit by a real sucker punch in the last few minutes.
Daniel Farke’s team were the best side. Sadly, Neil Etheridge in the Cardiff goal didn’t have too much to do and the closest Norwich came to scoring was when Dennis Srbeny hit the post after a well-worked Norwich corner.
Angus Gunn will be disappointed with Cardiff’s first and crucial goal. He tried to second guess what Kenneth Zahore was going to do from that tight angle and, having anticipated the ball being crossed across his six-yard box, left enough of a gap for Zahore to slot home – and that was that.
Whatever people say or think about Warnock, he’s done one hell of a job at Cardiff. When he took over from Paul Trollope on October 1, 2016, Cardiff were 23rd in the Championship and fighting for their lives. Just look at them now: nine more points and they will be certain of playing in the Premier League for only the second time in the club’s history and Cardiff fans won’t be bothered one bit about his team’s style of play!
One thing that will have to be addressed this summer is Norwich’s lack of goals. Just 46 in their 43 Championship games – and this is after they scored 85 in their last campaign.
No other Championship team scored more goals last season, so what’s gone wrong?
Nelson Oliviera looks a shadow of the player he was, Cameron Jerome was sold to Derby for a reported £1.5m and his replacement, Dennis Srbeny, hasn’t really set the world on fire when he’s played.
I’ve heard people say, “we need a 20-goal-a-season man”, but believe you me, they are not that easy to find and when you do eventually find one they cost a king’s ransom.
The fact that not one player in the Championship has reached that 20-goal target mark this season shows you how hard they are to find. Cardiff payed £6m for Gary Madine in January and he has had a shocker since his move from Bolton. Aston Villa paid a fortune for the services of Scott Hogan and he’s repaid them with just six goals in his 35 appearances.
Wolves are the best team by a country mile in the league and they’ve got only two players in double figures. But what they do have is players chipping in with goals from all over the field – their defenders have contributed 15 this season.
There’s just over a month until, once again, I’ll be running out at Carrow Road in a mouthwatering game against Italian giants Inter Milan in a game to celebrate the two clubs meeting each other in the Uefa Cup third round 25 years ago.
It promises to be some Sunday afternoon on May 20 and it was an honour and a privilege to have been asked to be a part of something so special, especially when you look at who’s going to be taking part for both Inter and Norwich. Having not kicked a ball in three years I’ve been joining a few of the old boys at Goals in Norwich on a Wednesday night, just to try and get my touch back and make sure I don’t make a right plum of myself on the day when I come off the bench.