Paddy's Pointers: Five observations from the Canaries' 2-1 defeat against Leicester City

Teemu Pukki drew Norwich City level from the penalty spot but Leicester City hit back in a 2-1 Premier League defeat.

Teemu Pukki drew Norwich City level from the penalty spot but Leicester City hit back in a 2-1 Premier League defeat. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paddy Davitt delivers his Leicester City verdict after Norwich City's 2-1 Premier League defeat.

1. It’s not luck Norwich need 

Marc Albrighton’s winner flew through the legs of Brandon Williams, and sent the ball spinning on a trajectory that took it beyond Tim Krul and into the far corner of the net.  

On another day the Manchester United loanee gets there a fraction sooner, or the touch takes it past Krul’s far post.  

But Norwich thought they had found a second equaliser when Kenny McLean powered home from a corner, only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to deem Todd Cantwell was offside stood directly in front of Kasper Schmeichel. Norwich got the benefit of the technology prior to half-time when the referee over-turned his original decision, after consulting a pitchside monitor, to see correctly Caglar Soyuncu tipped up Pierre Lees-Melou.  

But there was nothing unlucky about the manner Norwich twice turned over the ball with damaging consequences in the build up to the visitors’ goals. A point Daniel Farke made in his post-match media.

These are brutal lessons to learn. But learn they must, and quickly.

Most Read

Dimi Giannoulis paid for a poor half at Manchester City with his starting place for the Foxes.

But the Greek spoke in the week about how the margin for error at this level is non existent. Whether it is individuals or a collective effort, Norwich surely realise by now they will be punished heavily. 

2. Mind the gap 

The concern in these opening Premier League tussles against high grade opponents is the cavernous spaces in front of the Canaries’ back four, and in particular their exposed centre backs. 

More so in the two Carrow Road home outings against Liverpool and now Leicester than at Manchester City – given how encamped they were against the champions – but visiting hordes have poured through in alarming numbers. 

That is why a defensively minded central midfield signing to fill the large-shaped Olly Skipp hole has assumed ever growing importance.  

Expect that particular facet of City’s transfer strategy to be successfully concluded in the next few days. Then we will see if it carries the transformational impact on the likes of Billy Gilmour, and the team in general, that one would hope.  

Tighten up in that area and City’s backline will certainly feel less stressed with each worrying counter-attack. 

3. World’s apart 

Quite what Gilmour makes of the culture shock of swapping a Champions League final, and progress at the elite end of the Premier League, for Chelsea is anyone’s guess. 

But so far he will have discovered there is a vastly different feel to regular top flight action in a team with far more modest ambitions. Whatever he has or has not done in green and yellow thus far he clearly would benefit from the right type of midfield muscle around him.   

That would enable this talented but inexperienced prospect a chance to get on the ball far more often and take some risks higher up the pitch. His game is metronomic passing motions, not throwing himself into tackles and chasing back. 

Kelechi Iheanacho veered around him far too easily in the flowing move that led to Leicester’s winner. We saw something similar when Liverpool opened the throttle in the second half on his Premier League debut for the club.  

Farke himself hinted recently the time to judge is when Norwich can exert more control of territory and possession. In more favourable conditions he is no doubt Gilmour will prove his worth.   

4. End product 

Teemu Pukki is up and running. So too Norwich. The Finnish ace had to bide his time while the first VAR drama played out prior to the break. But it was a nerveless penalty that sent Schmeichel the wrong way in the shadow of half-time. 

That should give him a confidence boost, after limited chances against Liverpool or Manchester City. But Norwich will need much more from him and an array of new attacking talent.

Christos Tzolis’ absence with a calf issue, after a fizzing League Cup debut, was a big miss when the game was locked at 1-1 in the second half. Tzolis would have sparked the home crowd and his team mates at a crucial period in the contest.

Farke confirmed afterwards the teenager will not join up with Greece over the international period after scans suggested he will be out for two to three weeks.

But Josh Sargent and Adam Idah still had very decent close range chances in the final throes.

Norwich’s productivity dried up alarmingly the last time in the Premier League. Ironically after Pukki appeared to be hampered by a foot injury at Leicester just before that Christmas.  

The Finn cannot be expected to carry the burden alone. Nor should he have to now given the forward additions brought to the club in this transfer window. 

5. Arsenal, away 

A relegation six pointer? A bit too soon on every measure. But Norwich might have taken being above Arsenal when the Premier League fixture list dropped. The Gunners fared only marginally better at Manchester City earlier in the day. 

Mikel Arteta, at least from the outside, looks like a coach under mounting pressure. Farke has no such concerns but should the Spaniard still be at the helm the other side of this upcoming international break it could be a fraught affair in north London. 

The City chief now has a more considered chance to take stock. While Stuart Webber has the opportunity to find those final two missing pieces of their summer transfer planning.  

Farke may also find plenty of positives in defeat to Leicester to stitch together a case Norwich can continue the Gunners’ miserable start to the new campaign. You can be sure those home fans will not be slow in telling Arteta and his players if the Canaries can equip themselves properly from the off. City have their own house to get in order.  

That means a point or three to get this season firmly up and running. Farke made it clear it would take until the international break to get beyond a disrupted pre-season build up. City need to start delivering points as well as shafts of positivity.

NCFC Extra: Robin Sainty on Norwich City's delicate balancing act