Back to the abyss
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries I was walking along Liverpool Street early Wednesday morning, when suddenly it came to me what I'd write about this week. Amazing really, I was barely capable of thinking straight having only had four hours sleep the previous night, not having returned from Norwich until quarter to two in the morning after our defeat by Stoke.
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries
I was walking along Liverpool Street early Wednesday morning, when suddenly it came to me what I'd write about this week. Amazing really, I was barely capable of thinking straight having only had four hours sleep the previous night, not having returned from Norwich until quarter to two in the morning after our defeat by Stoke.
Thirty games ago, Glenn Roeder would have been offered the freedom of Norwich if I knew we would be five points better off than the third bottom team in the league.
Twenty games ago a fellow Capital Canary predicted that that this season, the points required to make the playoffs would be near an all time low, and the number to survive would be at Walsall's level, relegated on goal difference with 52 points in our title winning season.
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Fifteen games ago I was no longer surprised when anyone in the Championship beat anyone else.
Ten games ago we beat Southampton 1-0. I was starting to believe we had dodged a bullet, and we really would be seeing Championship football at Carrow Road next season.
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Only eight games ago, we'd just won three in a row, and some even dared to believe that the play-offs were within reach. Not only had we avoided the trapdoor marked “League One”, we were dreaming of finding the Premier League.
But with seven games ago, City started to slide drawing one all when Kieran Gibbs made his debut. His performance against Hull, as one of Arsenal's young stars, prompted much debate as to how ready he was for the frenetic pace of Championship football.
Six games ago, we lost heavily at Leicester when another young loanee, James Henry made his full debut at Leicester. He struggled on the bumpy pitch, and was subbed after an hour. Five games ago, we beat Barnsley. The most improved partnership of the City side, Shackell and Doherty was broken up to accommodate Alex Pearce, on loan from Reading.
Four games ago, with the team still mentally on holiday in Spain we lost at home to Blackpool. Kieran Gibbs was in the side at the expense of Matty Pattison. As soon as Pattison came on he showed what we had been missing.
Three games ago we battled to a draw at Watford. We witnessed the debut and second to last game of loan signing Juan Velasco's City career.
Two games ago we started the game in a formation so ill suited to the players we made two tactical substitutions within the first 30 minutes. We lost 1-0 and saw the final game of loan signing Juan Velasco's City career. For the record Velasco was responsible for the Coventry goal, was subbed after 21 minutes and we had two players sent off, both of which had to play out position at right back.
Against Stoke we missed the suspended Doherty and Russell.
After being potentially safe, City are now back in trouble and on the slide at the wrong time of the season. Was this avoidable? In my opinion, yes.
With only eight games to go, two wins may not be enough, and we have a tricky run in with games against Sheffield United and QPR, as well as four teams in and around the top six, and our usual final away fixture at Hillsborough. Colchester next week starts to look massive.