Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 4-3 Championship defeat against West Brom
PUBLISHED: 22:32 11 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:59 12 August 2018
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road
1. Typical Norwich City
No one does it quite as stylishly as the Canaries. At least that is how it felt after imploding in graphic style.
Daniel Farke’s side were bright and inventive in the sunshine as the optimism swirled around the stands. The hosts were full value for their opening goal but then set about frittering away the initiative.
Poor defending, a poor penalty miss and more home frustration and defensive questions was the end product.
Farke’s side bravely pushed forward and still had chances to earn at least a point in the frenetic final moments but this was not the way to open the campaign at Carrow Road.
2. Look away now, Mr Krul
Such is the lot of a goalkeeper. Hero or villain. Very rarely anything in between. Krul was fully behind Jay Rodriguez’s speculative hit from fully 30 yards but his attempted stop saw the ball squirm through his grasp and squeeze inside his right-hand upright.
Alex Tettey’s ridiculous drag back deep inside his own half presented the ball to Rodriguez but Krul himself would accept he must shoulder the majority of the culpability.
At such a crucial phase of the contest just after half-time it was a calamitous error.
That experience talked up by Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber following his arrival should ensure the Dutchman bounces back quickly.
3. Pleasure and pain. Jordan Rhodes
A trademark predator’s finish inside the six yard box. A tame penalty saved by Sam Johnstone. Another chip smothered by the impressive young keeper.
A close range flick at the Albion number one in the second period as their personal duel continued. Another attempted diving header at the death that was a yard from success.
City’s on-loan striker was never far from the action at the sharp end. But he will need that weak effort from 12 yards could have sent this bizarre game spinning on a different axis.
Strikers are a valued commodity because they can make the difference.
The Scottish international is off the mark for his loan club. But it could have be so much sweeter.
4. Risk and reward
Moritz Leitner and Teemu Pukki bring plenty to the party as an attacking force. Leitner was the conductor during City’s brightest spells in the first half.
Pukki’s persistence brought Rhodes a goal and then one for himself. But the line is fine and too often Norwich were exposed in central midfield areas when Albion surged forward.
Tettey had to cover prodigious amounts of ground in front of his backline.
City needed a more sustained attacking edge this time but Farke still has to find the right balance in a key area of the park.
5. No half measures at the Carra
City’s paltry total of 25 league goals last season was the worst in living memory. Most of the summer overhaul of the squad was designed to find a cutting edge in a quest to entertain on a more regular basis.
There was certainly no lack of goals or thrills or entertainment but to fall the wrong side of the line left a bitter taste. But a midweek cup tie against Stevenage presents another chance to put a building block or two in place.
A work in progress may no longer wash but it will still require time and patience second time around under the German head coach.