May 18 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, January 14, 2012
So it will be West Brom at The Hawthorns in the next round of the FA Cup after the Canaries’ more than comfortable third round victory over Burnley on Saturday.
It will be the second time Paul Lambert will have to take his team up to the West Midlands in the next three weeks.
I was at The Hawthorns on Saturday to work on their third round tie against big Malky’s Bluebirds.
Malky made 10 changes to his team with last Tuesday night’s semi-final against Crystal Palace in mind, unlike Roy Hodgson who picked the strongest eleven available to him, what with ten of his players out injured at present.
The Baggies were poor defensively and little Robert Earnshaw caused them all sorts of problems with his movement and his pace, scoring one and creating Cardiff’s second.
I think whoever Paul starts with up front will get a lot of joy against WBA’s back four and goalkeeper Ben Foster, who has made a few errors in the past season.
The lads owe the Baggies one after losing at Carrow Road back in September.
True, the lads were not at their best that Sunday lunchtime, but they still did enough to have got a point from the game.
Roy Hodgson’s men have lost their last two home games in the Premier League and have failed to score in their last three, so it’s a very good opportunity for the lads to take their points tally to 28 points from 21 games, which in my opinion would leave them just seven or eight points from being safe.
I know people say that when you get to the 40-point mark you’re guaranteed to be in the Premier League next season, but every year that points tally gets lower and lower, and with teams at the bottom not winning games, 35 points should mean survival this season.
So we are in the 14th day of the January transfer window and it’s been very quiet down at Carrow Road with no players arriving.
I’ve seen in the press a couple of players that the manager is supposedly interested in, but whether there’s any truth in it time will tell.
The first is someone I’ve seen many times, the Nottingham Forest and Wales right-back Chris Gunter. I think Chris is a very good young player, but whether he is better than Russell Martin or Kyle Naughton I’m not sure. The other player I’ve heard being linked with a move to Norwich is Blackpool’s winger/centre-forward Matt Phillips, who scored his second hat-trick of the season last Saturday against Conference side Fleetwood.
He looks a real handful. He’s 6ft 1in, very quick, can score goals and is only 20.
In all fairness, we’ve already got a couple of players that fit that bill, but he could be one for the future. Whatever the movement to and from the club in the next three weeks, I’m sure Paul Lambert won’t buy just for the sake of buying, as many other managers do this month.
It will have to be the right type of player to fit in with the squad that he’s already assembled at Carrow Road, and if he can’t get his targets then so be it. The current squad aren’t doing a bad job, are they?