Chris Lakey: Is it time for Norwich to drop Pukki or Buendia?

PUBLISHED: 09:48 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 22 November 2019

Teemu Pukki - time for a rest? 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Teemu Pukki - time for a rest? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Okay, so I'm watching from the outside in to some extent... but I do have a few questions to ask about Norwich City.

Emi Buendia rues a missed chance against Watford - it wasn't his worst error of the night Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdEmi Buendia rues a missed chance against Watford - it wasn't his worst error of the night Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

If you take off the yellow and green tinted glasses and adopt a neutral approach, you'd probably want some answers too.

So let's start with an easy one before jumping in with two left feet...

Who starts at the back at Everton on Saturday?

Noriwch City striker Adam Idah was in goalscoring form for the Republic of Ireland's Under-21s Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNoriwch City striker Adam Idah was in goalscoring form for the Republic of Ireland's Under-21s Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

I know one half of the answer: Ben Godfrey. The other half, I would say, is ABT ... anyone but Tettey. I'm sorry, but the way he charged in for a tackle which led to Watford's second at Carrow Road a fortnight ago was proof he was a very square peg in a very round hole. Not his fault, but I'd be wanting Amadou instead.

Is it time to drop a bomb? I'm thinking Pukki or Buendia...

This will get me shot down in flames, but I have often wondered whether one or two players aren't exactly struggling with competition for places. Pukki's form since he arrived in Norfolk hasn't warranted him being dropped/rested and has made the role as his understudy almost redundant. But he's gone seven City games without a goal - that's his worst run for the club. Yes, I know he's scoring for Finland, but that's not Norwich. Is he knackered? Is the system not working for him? Is there too much pressure on him? Is Josip Drmic (if fit) worth a go?

And Emi Buendia - the stats say he's joint second only to Kevin de Bruyne for assists (he has four) and I love him as a player... but he has to be more disciplined. You cannot afford sloppiness in the top flight or punishment will be meted out in uncompromising fashion (ref Watford's first goal).

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So, time to drop one in a boot-up-the-backside exercise?

Adam Idah - when will we see a bit more of him?

I'm not sure if this comes under the category of emergency measures, but this lad is ripping it up at Under-21 level for the Republic Ireland. A senior international call can't be far away. But we haven't seen him in City colours apart from 90 minutes in an EFL Cup game at Crawley. We've seen Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis step up to the first team ranks and perform brilliantly - please can we see if Idah can follow suit?

Principals are all very well but ... are you willing to dump them in an effort to halt this slide?

We know City want to play passing football and to look good doing it, but here's a thing ... I listen to Spurs v Sheffield United commentary on the radio as I drove to London. The commentator spoke of the Blades giving Spurs no time to settle, of jumping on them when they had possession, of being in their faces. Then I thought of City against Watford the previous evening and remember many occasions when Watford players were left in acres of space, when Onel Hernandez ambled back, occasionally, to help out his defence, when challenges were half-hearted at best. Sometimes you want to scream and shout 'get stuck in'... but that doesn't appear to be the fashion.

How worried are you?

I know the real answer ... it's 'very'. Because it is hard to see where the next point is coming from. I know City beat Manchester City, but that is looking more and more like a once in a blue moon occurrence. The form book is always against you when you are bottom of the table, having lost at home to the previous occupants of that position. But I'd be worried... although I do think some City fans have been so mentally prepared, as the self-sufficient, lowest spenders in the Premier League, for relegation, that if it does happen, it won't hurt as much.

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