Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 3-1 Championship win against Rotherham United
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road
1. The kids are alright
Norwich needed a spark from somewhere after being punished again from a sloppy set piece. But the smart money might have been on Emi Buendia or the prolific Teemu Pukki, who did eventually add to this growing goal tally.
On this occasion the catalyst was a talented young man from the exotic climes of Dereham, Norfolk.
Todd Cantwell struck a first senior goal for his boyhood club that he will savour for many a year. Then he advanced and clipped the most wonderfully precise ball for Max Aarons to glance a header past the exposed Marek Rodak.
A goal fashioned by two of City’s academy products.
A goal to underline the club’s commitment to youth. The Canaries do not need arbitrary homegrown rules on developing young talent. It might be driven by financial necessity but City are firmly on message.
2. Mighty Max
It is rapidly reaching the point where Aarons needs to carry his birth certificate with him to prove he is still a teen barely in the first flush of his senior career.
The tigerish defensive work and the athleticism of his attacking bursts have been showcased in his short City career.
There was a glimpse of his goalscoring threat in the League Cup at Cardiff but the manner he timed his run into the Rotherham penalty box and the coolness to help on Cantwell’s ball, guiding it just inside the far post was as good a piece of play as any frontman could produce.
Aarons’ may hit an inconsistent dip down the stretch but the right back looks the real deal.
3. Not this time, Warnie
Much of the build up was predictably dominated by the rare prospect of a Norwich City fan in the opposition dug out. Warne is a son of Norfolk who is forging an impressive managerial career at the unfashionable Millers.
To suffer a first defeat in eight against the club he calls his own is unlikely to soften the blow but Rotherham showed enough to suggest they can achieve a survival mission against the odds.
You can be sure there will be plenty of goodwill in these parts towards the former Diss and Wroxham player.
4. Panto season
A quirky aside now rather than a defining incident but Jamal Lewis was clearly not the intended substitute to accommodate Jordan Rhodes, after Norwich have moved into a 3-1 lead.
Daniel Farke and his assistant furiously motioned to the fourth official, who had flashed up Lewis’ number 12 on his electronic board.
A quick study of the paperwork submitted by the City backroom team appeared to confirm the fourth official’s version of events. Marco Stiepermann quickly underlined his versatility by dropping into Lewis’ vacant defensive berth.
Before City managed to get the substitution they wanted, with the arrival of Tom Trybull shortly after. One to analyse in the cold light of day. Along with a crash course in handwriting, perhaps!
5. Switch on, lads
Academic now after a second half surge from the Canaries. But to concede another goal for a second consecutive weekend from a corner really needs to be eradicated. You could almost see the thought process from Warne’s side, if they had watched the tape from Swansea.
A ball worked to the edge of the area for the unmarked Will Vaulks to drill a shot Tim Krul again could only parry into a dangerous zone. Richie Towell reacted quickest to slam the rebound past the Dutchman.
You can apportion blame to the Norwich keeper, or the defenders in front of him. The bottom line is Farke and his players need to eradicate a soft underbelly that against better opponents might prove costly.