Time for end of term report for Norwich City's class of 2016-17
PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:09 20 April 2017
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Anyone else think it seems like the end of term at school down at Carrow Road at the moment?
There are just a few days of lessons left, the new headteacher is in (and clearly casting his eye over everyone) and quite a few of the boys in the class won’t be around next year.
All we need now is for the Ker Plunk to come out of the cupboard and the head to say we’re going to have a non-uniform day.
The other key aspect of the final days of the school year is the dreaded report.
So it seems timely to put on my teacher’s cap to grade the players for their efforts this year.
*John Ruddy: B-. Not his best season in a City shirt and he’ll be disappointed to have only played in about half the league games. Certainly not helped by such a poor backline around him.
*Michael McGovern: C. I’ve not been convinced by his all-round game. He’s clearly a good shot-stopper but lacks the commanding presence which is so important to give confidence to an uncertain back four.
*Steven Whittaker: C. Don’t think we’ll see SW again. He should be so much better at this level.
*Mitchell Dijks: B. He’s played the same number of games as Whittaker but has had so much more impact. Prone to being the naughty boy in the class. However, his strength and presence make him a valuable asset. We dare to dream he will stay.
*Russell Martin: B-. Class prefect and deserves a lot of credit during a tough season. He has made 198 clearances and 21 blocks in league games, which is no mean feat. Far from perfect but has had a disproportionate amount of criticism.
*Seb Bassong: C-. Disappointing year and I’m sure he’s another who won’t be in the class of 2017/18.
*Timm Klose: B-. When he’s good he’s very good but too often was far from it. Prone to silly mistakes.
*Ryan Bennett: C. Had so much promise but hasn’t progressed in his career.
*Ivo Pinto: B+. Popular in class, hard worker and offers a lot going forward.
*Michael Turner: C-. Almost forgot he was still with us. Add to the “on his way out” list.
*Jonny Howson: A-. Star pupil who is an example to the whole school. Next year make him head prefect and build the whole school around him.
*Graham Dorrans: B-. Spends too much time in the first aid room and not enough time in class. Lots to like about him when he is on his game. I’ve changed my mind about him and would like him with us next term.
*Steven Naismith: C+. Could do a lot better. I understand he’s the pupil who gets the most pocket money in the class but too often doesn’t warrant it.
*Wes Hoolahan: B+. He’ll always be teacher’s pet and we need to have a special assembly to say a big well done for all he’s done in school. *Yanic Wildschut: C+. The new boy hasn’t settled in very well and we haven’t seen the best of him.
*Alex Tettey: B. Always tries really hard and is an important member of the class but sometimes spends a bit too much time in detention,
*James Maddison: B. 14 minutes 39 seconds in the playground and in that time made a huge impact. He’s going to be a very, very good boy next term.
*Alex Pritchard: B. Popular member of school who has had a good first term - but needs to show his talents week in, week out.
*Youssouf Mulumbu: C. Another boy who has been in the sick room too often. He’ll also be heading to a new school, I’m pretty sure.
*Jacob Murphy: B+. Well done, young man. He can be very pleased with his year. Good all-round contribution in class and we hope for even better from him next year.
*Josh Murphy: B. A good year, although he’s still slightly behind his brother. We want to see him starting class at the beginning of the lesson rather than coming in with a few minutes to go.
*Kyle Lafferty: C-. Another boy in the “could do much better” group. Seems to be the class joker and probably having a Laff a bit more than he should.
*Matt Jarvis: C-. Has kept the first aid room staff busier than anyone. We feel sorry for him and regret that he’ll have to leave.
*Nelson Oliveira: B+. Good start to his time with us – and we need to see an even greater improvement next term.
*Cameron Jerome: B+. Couldn’t try any harder. If he could turn all his effort into goals, he could be star pupil.
While City fans look to the future and plenty of change this summer, two former managers have been making the headlines this week.
I’m really pleased for Chris Hughton and his Brighton players for winning promotion.
I was a critic of Hughton, especially in his later days at Carrow Road, but he has done brilliantly to ensure the Seagulls have returned to the top flight for the first time since the early 1980s.
I expect him to get a very good reception on Friday evening, which could end up being a title winning party for his lads.
Meanwhile, Alex Neil gave a typically honest and forthright interview to BBC Scotland, in which he talked about his regrets in the final chapter of his time with us.
It was right for him to leave and hopefully City will move on successfully with the new regime.
I do wish AN all the best and expect him to be back in a job soon.
It’s not been a vintage season for Norwich City – but a pretty decent one for stat lovers.
The Reading win alone threw up countless new Canary records and the stark difference between home and away form produces all sorts of statistical anomalies.
I offer thanks to Twitter statto Canaries Caption It (@Saund65) for working out some figures about scoring at Carrow Road this term. They show City players seem to like the Barclay and River End in almost equal measure. They have hit the Barclay net 25 times in league games, with one fewer at the other end.
When it comes to defending, the River End goal is more secure with just six leaked at that end, while 16 have been shipped at the Barclay. Also, City have found the net 27 times in the opening period at Carrow Road and 22 after the break.
Just five goals have been conceded before half-time, with 17 going in during the second period.