Friday, January 20: A real team effort from Norwich City
14:24 22 January 2012
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It’s 21 games gone, 28 points gained, and 17 games remaining in the Premier League.
The Canaries record looks like this: won seven, drawn seven and lost seven.
After the fantastic win at The Hawthorns last Saturday, the club now sit in a very comfortable ninth position in the Premier League and are only two points behind Stoke City in eighth.
With the two goals scored last Saturday, Norwich became the sixth highest scorers in the league, only the league’s top five scoring more.
They have scored more goals than the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle, which is a fantastic achievement from a very focused and determined bunch of players.
What I like is that the lads share the goals around. Granted, Grant Holt and Steve Morison have been outstanding with 15 goals between them in the league, and both were instrumental in the winner against the Baggies with Holty’s inch-perfect cross for Steve to head home at the far post.
But the likes of Andrew Surman, Anthony Pilkington, Russell Martin, Bradley Johnson and Wes Hoolahan have all chipped in with some vital goals to get the club where it is now.
So after two great victories on the road at the time of writing (Friday, January 20) it is back to Carrow Road on Saturday lunchtime. It’s yet another chance to show everyone how well the lads are doing as it’s a game that will be televised on Sky.
It’s going to be another tough test against Chelsea, who in my opinion were a touch fortunate to beat the Canaries 3-1 back in August.
That afternoon the lads showed that they were more than capable of competing against one of the best teams in the league. It wasn’t until John Ruddy received a red card that Andre Villas-Boas’ team gained the upper hand. Chelsea have won half of their away games this season, winning their last three league games, which has enabled them to open a gap of four points between themselves and Arsenal, who are fifth.
I’m sure John Terry, Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and company will be looking to widen that gap even more.
They haven’t been as solid defensively as their young Portuguese manager would have liked, especially at Stamford Bridge, where they’ve in fact conceded more goals than the lads have at Carrow Road this season.
They have gone out in the last few days and strengthened the heart of their defence by bringing in Gary Cahill from Bolton for £7million. I have no doubts that Cahill will fit into their side quite easily as he’s played regularly with the Chelsea captain, Terry, in the England set-up over the past 12 months. Last Friday in an interview Paul Lambert admitted that players’ wage demands were a problem for the club to attract new players and that was very frustrating. However, the club had an offer accepted on Wednesday for the promising Leeds captain, Jonny Howson.
The former England Under-21 international could turn out to be an excellent signing, adding further depth and options in central midfield. I’ve been impressed with him on a number of occasions. He’s a combative midfielder who loves a challenge, as well as being neat and tidy in possession.
With his contract running out in the summer, the January transfer window might be the perfect time to capture him and avoid competition from other potential suitors. All in all, I think it’s good business from the club.