What would I have done?

PUBLISHED: 16:17 16 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:39 14 September 2010

After the remarkable encounter at Roots Hall on Tuesday evening where Norwich managed to gain only one point instead of all three, the formation, personnel and substitutions during the game made me think what I would have done if I had been in charge for the 90 minutes.

After the remarkable encounter at Roots Hall on Tuesday evening where Norwich managed to gain only one point instead of all three, the formation, personnel and substitutions during the game made me think what I would have done if I had been in charge for the 90 minutes.

Perhaps I would have had a different opinion of the game if we had won, but after final whistle, it felt like Norwich had lost. A win always papers over the cracks and the sole point that we gained has fuelled more debate about a game than a victory ever would.

A talented enigma; lazy; or playing for a manager that cannot get the best out of him. I've heard all three of these opinions about Paul McVeigh, and a decent case can be made for any one of these views of him and all three have some merit.

My opinion is that the 4-5-1 formation does him no favours when he is stationed out wide on the right, or on the left as he was at Southend. WLY may have bundles of skill, but any City supporter would be the first to admit that he is not the quickest around the pitch. His instinct is to play a more central role and the lack of width he offered on Tuesday meant that Norwich's options on the left were much more limited.

Although any club in the division would struggle to replace Darren Huckerby, perhaps I am being a little unfair based on his performance at Southend, but I can't help thinking that we need to find a more central role for McVeigh to get the most out of his undoubted talent.

Eighteen minutes into the second half, Southend made a triple substitution. With our midfield starting to be overrun, I was waiting for a change to one of the middle three. The players' over-triumphant third goal celebration was starting to look very premature as Southend grabbed a second goal with a free kick over our wall that appeared to be superglued to the ground and very reluctant to jump.

Andy Hughes, who had one of his better games for Norwich, was having less and less influence on proceedings and looked the obvious candidate to come off. We had a talented young midfielder, Spillane, on the bench who would surely have livened things up in the centre of the pitch. Did he come on? No. Spillane is one of the brightest prospects at the club but if he cannot get 20 minutes in a midfield that was under the cosh and really needed freshening up when will he ever get a chance apart from in a midweek cup match?

Our Plan B was 15 minutes of Ian Henderson who still seemed distracted by the half time entertainment, and then throwing Ryan Jarvis on wide left immediately after the three minutes of injury time started. Would Jarvis not have been a better option up front as we desperately needed a forward player to hold the ball up? Perhaps, in the last few minutes of the game would Norwich have been more likely to pass the ball forward instead of punting it into the corner, if we had been playing with two forwards?

I know that being an armchair manager four days after game is much easier than having to make a decision in during the match. Over the last few seasons though, I've been to so many games where I think we should have done this, that or made a change at a certain time and we haven't, that I often think that I'm watching a different game to everyone else.

Then I get back to the pub after the game or discuss the game on the train home and realise that I wasn't. Perhaps the supporters do see the game completely differently from the manager.

On Thursday, November 28 at 7pm, the Capital Canaries will be hosting the first launch evening of Bryan Gunn's new book, “Where it Hurts”, at the Swiss Cottage Pub.

Details are on the Capital Canaries website, www.capitalcanaries.com

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