Iwan Roberts: Teemu Pukki's on fire for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 14:29 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:29 20 September 2018
It’s been a cracking good few days for the Canaries.
Not only did they win their first away game in 12 attempts on Wednesday night at Reading but they also won back-to-back games for the first time since beating Brentford on January 27 and Middlesbrough on February 3.
And, all of a sudden, the signs are much better for Daniel Farke and his team.
The name on everybody’s lips at the moment is Teemu Pukki, who’s been on for fire for both club and country in the last couple of weeks. He just can’t stop scoring.
Pukki scored both of Finland’s goals in their 1-0 wins over Hungary and Estonia in the Nations League, and then scored that toe poke against many people’s favourites, Middlesbrough, last Saturday.
But for me he saved the pick of the four for Wednesday night with that terrific finish at The Madejski. It was such a confident finish after being fed superbly by young Todd Cantwell, who did very well on his league debut. The weight of Todd’s pass couldn’t have been better – Pukki didn’t have to break stride to pass the ball past the helpless Sam Walker in the Reading goal.
At first I thought Teemu should have squared the ball to Emi Buendia who was completely unmarked to his right, but when you are hitting the back of the net as regularly as he is at the minute then he had every right to try his luck – and, as we all know, if you don’t shoot you don’t score.
Teemu’s goal against Middlesbrough was his third in the league this season and he didn’t have too long to wait for his fourth.
I bet not many of you know this, but many moons ago, in 1997, even though I’d scored my first Norwich goals early on in August in a League Cup tie, my first league goal for the club came against Boro at Carrow Road – and, boy, was it a relief.
It tells you a lot about the start of my Norwich City career that I had to wait until November 15 to score my first league goal for the club.
I was feeling the pressure and I knew what was being said about me and the harder I tried the worse I played. From what I can remember it was a decent header in front of the Barclay End after being found brilliantly by a Danny Mills cross.
It was a very special moment for me – I just wish I hadn’t had to wait so long for it, and in the end, even though I’d finally broken my duck, it really didn’t mean that much as we went on to lose the game 3-1.
It’s another road trip tomorrow when the lads travel to Loftus Road to face a rejuvenated QPR side who after a shocking start to the season when they lost their opening five games and conceded 16 goals in the process, have now not lost in their last four league games – winning three and conceding just the one goal.
Back on April 2 Norwich were embarrassed at Loftus Road when they just didn’t turn up and lost 4-1 – they should be reminded of that before kick-off and they should be determined to get a bit of pay-back.
Looking back, Norwich went into that game in dreadful form, winning just once in their previous nine games. This time around they are in a much better frame of mind, having lost just one of their last five league games – and that was to top-of-the-table Leeds.