Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 0-0 draw at Burnley
- Credit: PA
Paddy Davitt delivers his Burnley verdict after Norwich City's 0-0 Premier League draw.
1. The sound of music
You know as an away side when the final whistle is greeted by a chorus of boos you have done your job. A point and a clean sheet at Turf Moor in any circumstance is not to be sniffed at.
When you pitch up after six league defeats, an alarming negative goal difference, and your head coach fighting a rearguard action in his public pronouncements, it is an even better result.
Those boos were swiftly drowned out by cheers and cries of ‘Yellows’ from the away end.
They were quick to show their appreciation for a gritty, determined, resolute, mistake-free offering from the boys in green and yellow.
Yes, those questions at the opposite end of the park will persist but if this is a work in progress then displays like these will convince firmer foundations are bedding in. Norwich’s much-maligned backline stood firm and repelled a barrage of crosses into the box from the Clarets.
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Burnley will have fancied their chances of turning over this Norwich vintage to get their first win on the board. But City, on this evidence, showed they are not 'soft' touches.
2. Early Pantomime season
It was hard to decipher who was the biggest, baddest villain in the eyes of the home fans out of either Grant Hanley or Ben Gibson. Every touch was booed.
Hanley’s spell at Burnley’s bitter Lancashire rivals, Blackburn Rovers, will never be forgotten in these parts. While Gibson made his first competitive return since a sour spell.
Signed as a record signing, he left after a prolonged spell in the wilderness.
Neither surely lacked for any extra motivation. Both played with a desire and a concentration that delivered the perfect response to the boo boys.
As a pair they anchored a Championship title win. As a trio, with Ozan Kabak, they are starting to suggest they can offer solid resistance. As individuals they also have to prove beyond all doubt they are Premier League-grade defenders.
How they defended their box, how they policed Chris Wood in particular, demonstrated they are tracking in the right direction.
3. Bravo Dimi
Back in the one change to the starting line up from the defeat at Everton, this felt before the game like a big moment in Giannoulis’ Norwich tenure.
He was singled out, harshly in the view of many, by Daniel Farke, for his rocky first half at Manchester City.
Brandon Williams had been preferred since in the Premier League reckoning. but after the Manchester United loanee slipped off that high plane he gravitated towards at Arsenal this felt like a window of opportunity. His head coach felt the same.
Giannoulis was back in and with the added defensive insurance of a three behind him perhaps had that licence to showcase his undoubted attacking threat.
A natural left footer offers balance but this outing was arguably also his best defensively in a yellow shirt.
At no point did he shirk the physical battle. There was one vital leap in the closing stages which did enough to distract Matthew Lowton from twisting the knife with a far post header. He snapped into challenges in a manner which suggested he has taken on board Farke’s barbs.
That bodes well for both Giannoulis and Norwich moving forward. There feels genuine potential, with him on one flank and Max Aarons on the opposite wing.
4. Time to hit pause
Farke and his coaching staff will be thankful for the respite of an international spell to reflect on a bruising period. By no means is one point from the opening seven Premier League games the healthy return he wanted. Or the small measures that over the course of this campaign would result in anything other than a swift return to the Premier League.
But given all the noise, all the frustration, all the simmering discontent in certain quarters of the fan base, amplified after that damaging home defeat to Watford, Farke now has a chance to distil a gruelling spell and plot how they push on, starting with Brighton’s visit to Carrow Road.
There was faltering signs a revised shape and the personnel within it were getting to grips with the top flight prior to this game.
But a point earned in such circumstances just injects belief.
Farke reiterated on Friday he knows they need more in forward areas but the priority since Watford was trying to keep the back door shut.
Now the boss and his coaches have some tangible evidence to throw on the table.
5. No injuries, Normann
What Farke will want to avoid at all costs over this international pause is any injuries to his players departing for national service.
Top of that list must be Norwegian international Mathias Normann, who got through his first 90 minutes in Norwich colours.
Normann's drive, his all-action style and his undoubted quality on the ball are invaluable attributes in a Norwich central midfield mix which still feels like it is at the development stage.
Nick Pope denied him with a flying stop from a second half free kick, there was another turn and spin that took him past Burnley players before a stabbed cross-cum-shot clipped the top of Pope's bar. Plus a series of raking diagonal balls to bring his wing backs into play.
Normann already looks like an astute signing. The good thing is he will surely only get better and his influence grow.
But before Brighton comes fresh World Cup qualifiers for him and a clutch of his club mates.
Norwich surely deserve the good fortune to see Farke's international brigade return to Colney safe and sound over this next fortnight.