Disappointing display from Vrancic leaves Canaries fans questioning midfielder’s starting role

Mario Vrancic looks dejected after Barnsley's equaliser at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/F

Mario Vrancic looks dejected after Barnsley's equaliser at Carrow Road. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Our latest Norwich City player watch followed the fortunes of midfielder Mario Vrancic during the Canaries’ 1-1 home draw with Barnsley.

The summer signing was making the 15th appearance of his City career since his summer switch from Darmstadt, where he was playing regularly in the Bundesliga, for around £650,000. Here’s how his game unfolded...

Mario Vrancic

3 – Andy Yiadom gets past Josh Murphy and James Husband but Vrancic steps in and wins a goal-kick.

7 – Poor touch from Husband’s header on the edge of the City box gives possession to George Moncur.

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8 – Late tackle on Tom Bradshaw on halfway to concede a foul.

11 – Climbs high to beat Liam Lindsay to a header but ball goes out for a throw, eventually leading to Nelson Oliveira crossing for Josh Murphy to score.

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16 – Loose touch allows Joe Williams to nick the ball in the centre circle.

23 – Taken out by Yiadom on the left, tries to tackle as he stumbles and clearly catches MacDonald on the ankle but fortunately referee has already given foul in his favour.

31 – Picks up loose ball from Angus MacDonald header and plays James Maddison down the left, who stands on the ball by mistake.

32 – Left in Adam Hammill’s wake by a bit of trickery but Gunn makes the save.

33 – Picks out Marco Stiepermann on the run, who flicks through to Murphy, but Oliveira can’t quite reach low cross from the left.

50 – Intercepts on the edge of the box to stop Moncur receiving a pass.

57 – Crowded out in the Barnsley box trying to exchange a one-two with Maddison.

58 – Tame cross from the right easily cleared by Yiadom.

61 – Corner from the left pawed away by Adam Davies, Stiepermann keeps alive but Murphy curls a poor shot wide.

72 – Oliveira tees him up to shoot on the edge of the box, delays and then scuffs a poor effort.

74 – Poor control from a hurried Gunn kick sees Williams rob him midway in City’s half.

77 – Corner from the right just missed by Stiepermann and goes out of play the other side.

78 – Robs Moncur in the City half but Barnsley keep the ball.

82 – Good ball forward but Oliveira can’t make it stick.

85 – Corner from the right headed clear by Liam Lindsay but returns a cross eventually, which Davies punches away under pressure.

90+2 – Fine cross-field pass to Ivo Pinto, Oliveira’s low cross just evades Marley Watkins.

Verdict: It’s been clear that Vrancic can pass the ball nicely all season but patience is wearing thin with fans now as the Bosnia & Herzegovina midfielder struggles to impose himself on games. Laid-back style isn’t helping but doesn’t work hard enough or tackle enough to be considered an all-round midfielder and doesn’t create enough to deserve a more prominent role, bringing Daniel Farke’s faith in the 28-year-old into doubt.

Rating: 5 out of 10

• Follow all the post-match reaction and analysis in our Matchay Live blog at pinkun.com/live

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