Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 1-0 win against Birmingham
PUBLISHED: 23:54 09 September 2017 | UPDATED: 23:54 09 September 2017
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road.
1. Precious cargo. Nelson Oliveira - By the big man’s standards his point blank tap in was the easiest he will score all season. An audacious 40 yard lob later in the game grasped by a back-pedalling David Stockdale was more in keeping with the Portugal international. But nevertheless a fifth goal in seven games for club and country underlined he is in full working order. Not just his goal but his industry and willingness to take the ball to relieve pressure underlined his value to the cause.
2. TNT - Tom Trybull made his league debut for the Canaries and was paired alongside Alex Tettey in a new-look shape unveiled by Daniel Farke. Trybull understandably tired as the game wore on but there was enough evidence of a burgeoning partnership between the two. City looked far better balanced and controlled out of possession. Music to the ears for any who had the misfortune to witness the carnage at Millwall prior to the international break.
3. Klose and Zimmermann. Talking of double acts, City’s German import Christoph Zimmermann appeared to flourish under the guidance and experienced presence of the fit-again Swiss international. Klose cajoled and encouraged his young charge throughout. There was a telling moment in the second half when Zimmermann subdued Che Adams and Klose was first to give him the thumbs up. You cannot underestimate the importance perhaps of Klose. Not just in terms of his footballing ability - lest we forget his role in the match-winner - but his calming presence on the likes of Zimmermann and Marcel Franke from this point. With Grant Hanley making a late appearance from the bench perhaps the microscopic focus on City’s central defensive weakness can be turned down a notch or three.
4. Counter attack threat - For all the talk of possession and dominating the ball under Farke this victory was forged in City’s ability to probe with pace and penetration on the counter. Oliveira was a mobile target but Josh Murphy and later Yanic Wildschut were a useful outlet. City have been too predictable in many facets during these early weeks of the campaign. But there was enough variety here to illustrate they are more than a one-trick operation.
5. Base camp - A timely win and a morale-boosting clean sheet. Add the return to fitness of Klose, Hanley’s arrival and the emergence of a new shape woven around the likes of Trybull and Tettey and there is plenty of raw material for Farke to work on. The international break must have felt an eternity but with another hectic phase of fixtures now upon the Canaries this momentum needs to be harnessed.