Iwan Roberts: Positives in defeat for Norwich City fans
PUBLISHED: 11:46 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 16 August 2018
The last thing I said in my column last week was I hoped the games down at Carrow Road this season would be far more entertaining than they were last season, with plenty of goals!
If Saturday’s thrilling encounter against West Brom is anything to go by, then Norwich fans are going to be in for a real treat.
Seven goals, two penalties – one sadly missed by Jordan Rhodes – and two home debut goals from Jordan and Teemu Pukki and it certainly was the game of the weekend in the Championship.
Sadly, there were no points for Daniel Farke’s men and when you’ve scored three goals in a game it’s a tough pill to swallow when you come away empty-handed.
Two big moments in the game cost Norwich and they were made to pay dearly for them. Having scored his first goal for Norwich Rhodes had a great chance to get his second from the penalty spot, but his lame spot kick was comfortably saved and Norwich had missed a great opportunity to go in at half-time leading 2-1 – and what a psychological advantage that could have been for the Canaries.
To rub salt into the wound, West Brom took the lead just two minutes into the second half when Jay Rodriguez’s long-range effort somehow slipped through Tim Krul’s hands, a mistake the team would pay for. Whether the ball moved slightly in the air as it was travelling towards goal or not, a goalkeeper of Tim’s quality really should be keeping that out, and he’ll know that.
So it’s two games played, five goals scored, but six conceded and just one point to show for their efforts.
But there are plenty of positives and it’s not all doom and gloom.
If they can cut out those silly, needless little errors that have cost them in these first couple of league games, start defending as a team, like they are capable of, then they will most definitely start climbing up the league. They have proved against Birmingham and West Brom that this team has that quality going forward and a real goal threat that was missing last season.
The lads made hard work of their cup win against Stevenage in midweek, but it’s a first win of the season, albeit against lower league opponents. It also gave Daniel Farke a chance to use his squad a bit and rest a few players before tomorrow’s visit to Sheffield United, who won their first game of the season at Loftus Road last Saturday after losing their first two league games.
I was delighted to see the name of Jamal Lewis on the team sheet on Tuesday night for the first time this season.
Jamal has missed the majority of pre-season through injury and he wasn’t involved in any of the club’s friendlies in the summer. However, hopefully he’s now 100pc healthy and raring to go as he’s sorely missed on that left-hand side of defence.
James Husband played there against Birmingham and struggled and looks a player very low on confidence. Ivo Pinto started at left back last weekend, but he’s a right back filling a hole and even though he will do a job out there the balance of the back four just isn’t there when you’ve a naturally right-footed player playing there.
If you put Lewis, who was exceptional last season at left back, with Ben Marshall at right back with Grant Hanley and then Timm Klose, who first signed for Norwich in the middle of defence, then that’s a solid-looking back four in my opinion. Hopefully Jamal will take his position on that left-hand side for Norwich up in South Yorkshire.