Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 2-0 Championship win against Preston
PUBLISHED: 12:59 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:00 23 August 2018
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Carrow Road
1. Looks can be deceptive
Teemu Pukki would not look out of place in Sunday morning football. That is neither a slight on those who play for the love of it or the Finnish international himself.
It is more a nod to the wild hair, the nonchalant gait, the occasional heavy touch and sluggish turn.
But three goals in five appearances for his new club should answer any doubts. Pukki may not win a style contest, yet he appears to be mightily effective.
After a drilled right-footed effort across the keeper in the Stevenage cup win his opening strike against Preston was a mirror image, but on his left. That alone underlines he could prove a valuable asset. The calmness and composure lacking in others in front of goal this season does not apply to the summer signing.
2. One for the good guys
Alex Tettey is known for a combative brand of midfielder endeavour.
He also does a nice line in unvarnished self-analysis whenever he is pushed in front of a camera or a microphone. This was no exception.
Tettey scored the type of goal that begs the question why it only comes along every couple of seasons, then told Daniel Farke it was his worst performance in the green and yellow.
Given the Norwegian’s longevity in these parts that was some claim. Farke wanted his experience and guidance on the park, yet passes went astray at an alarming rate. There was a dollop of fortune Callum Robinson’s late whack hit the underside of the bar and bounced out after collecting Tettey’s wayward square ball.
The central midfielder has already suffered once this season at home to West Brom for an attempted drag back that got the treatment from Jay Rodriguez. His latest exertions and headline goal may mean a day off for Leeds’ weekend visit. But he remains a key staple for Farke in the battles ahead.
3. So long, Timm?
Maybe not. Farke was quick to dismiss any extra significance to the manner Klose slowly paraded around the Carrow Road pitch at the final whistle.
His head coach felt it was more a reflection of quiet satisfaction at a job well done rather than a personal farewell, with Hannover 96 reportedly waiting in the wings ahead of the August 31 transfer deadline.
Farke is a firm fan of the popular defender.
Klose himself has never made any public utterances he wants out as he enters the final year of his existing Carrow Road deal.
But there are plenty of moving parts and financial considerations in what happens between now and the end of the window.
Best not to get caught up in deciphering any hidden meanings. The 30-year-old deserved the applause for being part of a much-maligned backline that kept a timely clean sheet.
4. X-Factor x 2
Onel Hernandez has carried the considerable burden in these early uncertain weeks of injecting some dynamism into the passing philosophy.
Hernandez brings pace, thrust and a sense he is not entirely sure what is likely to happen when the ball arrives at his feet.
The goals and assists already underline the accelerated nature of his progress from those uncertain outings last season as he adapted to English football.
Farke introduced Emi Buendia for his league debut in the second period in what felt a long overdue sighting for the Argentine U20 international.
There was enough devil in his late cameo, enugh impish cheek in the way he ran at back-pedalling Preston defenders to suggest City may just have another attacking wildcard to pair in tandem with Hernandez.
The sight of both raiding with a freedom and energy will excite many a Norwich fan.
5. Marching on Together
Farke called for unity in the build up to galvanise players and fans following a testing start to the new league season.
There was genuine concern, and frustration expressed on occasion in the second period, as the game meandered but there was also noticeable backing and an explosion of relief when Pukki and Tettey moved centre stage.
It will take that and more to subdue table-topping Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa, who has guided this weekend’s visitors to an unbeaten start. Bielsa brings a dash of stardust to a league and a club now firmly fixed on returning to the Premier League.
But Norwich can approach the task in hand at Carrow Road with renewed optimism and relish.
Farke has spoken about fine margins and how perception is not always rooted in reality.
Follow up a win against Preston with another step forward against Leeds and belief can start to soar.