Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 4-1 League Cup win against Charlton
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Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict as City embark on a cup run, of all things.
1. Feed the Murph - Talk about moving through the gears. In the past four days or so Josh Murphy has now scored three goals and provided two assists. That is a prolific seam of productivity. Much was expected of the highly-rated youngster with the departure of his twin to the north-east for many millions. A late pre-season injury setback checked his own career progression, but the signs in the past two games suggest Murphy’s confidence is back. In a team set up to dominate the ball and frustrate through possession he offers something different. Norwich will need that variety and they will need Murphy to maintain his upward curve.
2. Bad habits. First goal fever - City have now shipped the opening goal in five of Daniel Farke’s first six competitive outings. You could almost forgive the German for miscounting in his post-match verdict when he said it was six in seven. No matter what the head count, that is a statistic that needs to change. Life is tough enough right now with a massive turnover of players and a debilitating casualty list. Work in progress it may be but there is no need to increase the degree of difficulty in the self-inflicted manner Norwich manage at present. Charlton’s goal was again a poor turnover deep in City’s half. It was punished. As it was at Villa Park. If this is a learning curve the message must get through.
3. Famine to feast - Or at least some genuine options in one key area of the field, in sharp contrast to the threadbare look to Norwich’s depleted backline. Alex Tettey got his first start of the campaign in that deeper-lying midfield role to give Harrison Reed a breather. Tom Trybull was introduced for his first senior appearance in yellow towards the end and marked his arrival with a swinging volley past Dillon Phillips. Trybull, by all accounts, is a talented young man who had lost his way after bursting onto the scene in his teens at Werder Bremen. Given Farke’s desire to build the play from deep another option alongside the combative Tettey, to ease the burden on young Reed, is no bad thing.
4. Nothing like that winning feeling - Granted, the League One Addicks tracked a line up full of academy prospects. Karl Robinson’s pre-match soundbites and his actual selection policy illustrated the Charlton chief was less than enamoured with his club’s treatment in the competition, after the bizarre sideshow of not one but two comical draw episodes. In truth, once City got back on level terms, bar the odd counter or later when Josh Magennis added an aerial presence, Norwich were not flattered by the final scoreline. The Championship has proved an altogether tougher proposition so far but there is nothing like a shot of confidence from cup progress to aid the development process at Carrow Road. It now needs to become the rule rather than the exception.
5. Into the Lions’ Den - Survive a Millwall mauling and those who feel this remains a work in progress will be emboldened. Norwich will again be tested defensively. That is a guarantee from a home side still seeking a first league win of the season. Ring any bells after last weekend’s trip to Aston Villa? The parallels must stop right there. Steve Morison may relish the chance to work over the likes of Marcel Franke and Christoph Zimmermann, if he saw any of the lowlights from Villa Park. With Farke confirming on Tuesday night Timm Klose is rated an outside chance for the bench this weekend the focus will again settle on a backline who bar the shut out against QPR have yet to find a reliable coping mechanism.