December 5 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Let’s be clear, Norwich City should have left with at least a goal from Saturday afternoon. Obviously they could have left with some points too. In reality, they should have.
• Steve McClaren, it was never going to work out at Forest. It’ll be hard for him to manage in England again. That said, Forest promised to him what they couldn’t deliver – and they need to be careful that doesn’t all end up back in League One.
• Everton can join City in the ‘we’ve been harshly treated by refs’ stakes now following Saturday. Terrible decision to dismiss Jack Rodwell – rightly rescinded. However, the stuff being thrown on to the pitch by Toffees fans was more of a disgrace. Hopefully the FA will take action.
• It seems the pubs, Premier League and Sky case is more confusing after the European Court’s judgment than before it. It will be some time before the true ramifications are clear for top-flight clubs and their budgets.
• Changing ball for a moment – what on earth are England’s rugby guys doing down in New Zealand? Heads down boys, and stop making it so hard for yourselves both on and off the pitch.
I know Anthony Pilkington’s miss has ran through this head a few times since the weekend. Seeing it on television a few times didn’t help, either.
And that’s me – I wonder if the man they call ‘Pilks’ has done likewise… Probably not. Such habits are more the domain of fans than players.
I would, however, allow him a roll at the eyes if he catches a replay of the one that hit the woodwork.
If it’s not your day, those thump the inside of the post and rebound straight into the gleeful arms of a debutant goalkeeper.
The collective and vocal agony at that sight from those inside Old Trafford was stark.
On the inside – as we were lucky to be on Saturday – I can tell you Old Trafford itself feels every bit like the historic football venue.
It is littered with memorials and hat-tipping to both United’s glittering and tragic past – as long as you can look beyond the huge and repetitive draped adverts for this and that company, endorsed by one of several ugly mugs.
The press facilities? All glass panels and smooth white walls – with a restaurant buffet and carpet on the press box floor. Outside carpet… who’d have thought. It certainly helped with the indoor greenhouse feel of being in the stadium on a ridiculously baking day.
As you can tell, I’m still trying to deflect attention away from the fact City should have produced one of those results that every fan across the country giggles about on a Saturday evening.
Instead, it was only a performance – one which merited a huge amount of interest from the Twitterati that night.
Who would have thought there were so many ways of praising City’s effort and lamenting their finishing in 140 characters.
As it happens Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea all created more chances than City in their defeats at Old Trafford.
United will lose at home sooner or later playing the way they did – which I suppose is fine if you’ve won your last 19 on home soil.
However, there are other Canaries statistics that stood out before Saturday’s trip to Manchester. Such as the fact Norwich City had been caught offside 22 times – more than any other side this term.
Or that – and these two are never a surprise – Grant Holt was the most fouled (20) and greatest fouler (19) this season; a true case of the City skipper proudly keeping his Championship reputation going.
The Premier League’s quickest goal this season before the weekend? Peter Odemwingie’s winner for West Brom at Carrow Road – two minutes five seconds.
The quickest card? The 49 seconds it took David Fox to earn a booking at Wigan Athletic on the opening day.
And latest goal? That would be Juan Mata’s gifted effort after 100 minutes and three seconds of City’s visit to Stamford Bridge.
I believe the first of that last trio was beaten by both Daniel Sturridge for Chelsea at Bolton (1:32) and Andy Johnson (1:19) for Fulham as they thrashed Mr Warnock’s QPR on Sunday.
Still, it’s good to see City making an impact on the stats front.
And on the basis of six of the seven games so far, City are only a bit of improved finishing away from doing so on the most important stat of all – the Premier League table.