Iwan Roberts: It’s all in a month’s work for Norwich City pair
PUBLISHED: 10:32 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:32 05 October 2017
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I don’t think there’s any doubt where September’s Championship Manager of the Month award should have gone – step forward Daniel Farke after what has been a tremendous four weeks for him and his squad of players.
Norwich secured an impressive 14 points from a possible 18 which were on offer. They earned five consecutive clean sheets – a record for the club. All of this while scoring just five goals in those six games.
Adding to this success was a win away to Brentford in the League Cup, which landed a plum tie away to Arsenal in the next round.
I doubt very much Farke has had better months in his coaching career – although the judges clearly believed Bristol City’s Lee Johnson had a better one!
Talking of awards, James Maddison’s couple of strikes last month will give him a great chance of winning the Norwich City Goal of the Season accolade come the beginning of May.
The first was that magnificent strike up at The Riverside and, of course, the second was that sublime free-kick against Reading last Saturday. I am certain his confidence is quite high at the minute, even though Middlesbrough manager Garry Monk said James was “gifted the goal” against his team.
Sometimes it beggars belief why managers say such daft things. It was, quite simply, a glorious effort and anything but a gift.
However, I do think his free-kick last Saturday against Reading just pipped it and had it been a Ronaldo or a Gareth Bale who’d scored that goal, it would have been shown over and over again.
James has real quality in that right foot of his and he’s definitely got top class technique. It’s not the first time I’ve seen him score from a set-piece, I saw him net one for Aberdeen last season – but obviously his Dons’ goal wasn’t quite as good as last Saturday’s.
Someone else who should be reasonably content with his work in September is Harry Kane, after scoring just the 13 goals in eight games for club and country.
I was watching the Huddersfield v Spurs game in the press room at The London Stadium when Kane scored his 12th goal of the month. One of the lads who I was watching the game with turned to me after the commentator made the point of saying that it was Kane’s 12th goal this month and said: “I bet you’d have loved to have scored 12 goals in a month”, to which I quickly replied: “I’d have loved to have scored 12 goals by Christmas.”
I keep hearing people saying that Harry Kane isn’t world class, but I would suggest his record suggests he most certainly is!
He can proudly boast: 10 goals in 21 appearances for England, 84 Premier League goals in 120 appearances for Spurs – oh and not forgetting his zero goals in his three appearances while on loan at Norwich City!
I’ve been in Tblisi since Wednesday for tonight’s huge World Cup game for Wales against Georgia. Given the tight nature of Group D, this is a match in which we can ill-afford to drop any points, if we are to keep alive our dreams of reaching the World Cup finals, in Russia next summer.
I’ve been here before, back in 1994 when we were well and truly embarrassed. We were hammered 5-0 by Georgi Kinkladze and Co.
Kinkladze ripped us to shreds, we just couldn’t cope with him. It was the first time any of us had set eyes on him and it didn’t surprise us to see him move to Manchester City for £2m in the summer of 1995.
I was on the bench that day and I have to admit I was quite relieved I did not get on as we were given the run around by Georgia.
In my time with the Welsh squad and whenever I was on the bench, I’ve always wanted to get on and earn myself another cap.
On this occasion I was quite content to stay where I was.