Terrace Talk: No Tettey no party, the curious case of Patrick Roberts and looking ahead to United
PUBLISHED: 17:12 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:08 24 October 2019
After an encouraging goalless draw away to Bournemouth, the mood among those occupying the terraces seems to have improved. Our Canaries correspondent Connor Southwell assesses the topics being placed under the microscope by the Canary nation.
City supporters feared the worst after Ben Godfrey limped off with injury during Saturday's game, under two weeks after undergoing a minor hernia operation. Godfrey revealed that he would be fit for Sunday's clash with Manchester United at Carrow Road.
A makeshift defensive duo of Alex Tettey and Ibrahim Amadou played the final 40 minutes at the Vitality Stadium as the Canaries won their first point on the road this season.
Boss Daniel Farke initiated his trademark celebration in front of the cohort of travelling supporters - after the criticism that he and his side had endured, this felt like an apt response.
Pragmatism felt like it was the priority, with a 4-1-4-1 formation helping City remain defensively solid whilst showing flashes of creativity on the break.
Here is this week's terrace talk...
No Tettey, no party
The defensive midfield position has been an area of grave concern for City, with a lack of defensive protection proving fatal in games against Burnley, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Enter Alex Tettey. The 33-year old was hardly a secret entity, his loyalty to the Canaries has been displayed in bucket loads throughout the last seven years but as City desperately required defensive reinforcements, they turned to their longest serving operator.
Despite his technical limitations, his positional intelligence and increased physicality provided City with a greater level of reassurance. As he cleared a low cross in the opening exchanges, it was evident that his influence was a much needed one given how easily they'd been conceding chances.
The major question mark now will be surrounding his fitness. After a stellar performance in that Manchester City victory, Tettey was replaced after 12 minutes at Turf Moor. If they can maintain his fitness, he could still prove to be an essential cog in Farke's machine.
The curious case of Patrick Roberts
When Patrick Roberts' signing was announced on the club's official channels, there was a fair amount of excitement as supporters frantically placed his name into various search engines. Once a young English prodigy, a two-year loan spell at Scottish Premiership champions Celtic placed him back into the discourse of recruiters all over the country.
City's sporting director Stuart Webber was in the queue but Manchester City opted to send the winger to Spanish club Girona. That campaign eventually led to relegation, with Roberts suffering from injuries and struggling to get himself in contention for the starting line-up.
Eventually, Webber did get his man as Roberts joined City on a season-long loan. An impressive preseason performance at Kenilworth Road against Luton Town saw that excitement grow.
Roberts has had limited minutes in the Premier League, with brief cameos against Burnley, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa being his only league appearances of the season. On Friday, he was named in the starting eleven for the Under 23s fixture against West Brom, sparking debate as to whether Roberts is in Farke's plan going forward.
Solskjaer's Manchester United are next...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has amassed more points in his short tenure as Manchester United manager than Jurgen Klopp achieved in a similar time frame, yet the mood music seems somewhat different.
A lack of structure has seen a regression at United, with transition becoming the buzzword echoing around Old Trafford. What they're transitioning to, however, is as yet unknown.
Scanning the squad list doesn't evoke the feelings of fear compared to the teams of yesteryear. Past glories seem to be deeply rooted within this new identity Solskjaer is attempting to form.
Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson's dynasty ended, they've been a reactive club. They head to Carrow Road adamant that their way will see them return to the perch of English football. For City supporters, they see this as a golden opportunity for another shock and will be attempting to replicate that atmosphere against Manchester City.