Entertainment at last - but Norwich City still cannot win
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
I thought Saturday’s encounter with Swansea City was a very exciting game – if you were a neutral that is.
Regardless of how entertaining the game was, the fact still remains that Norwich City have still only won one game in their last 15 in the Premier League. It’s not good reading, but of those 15 games seven have been draws.
At least chances were created, and it will please everyone that the Canaries scored two goals in the game: only the second time they’ve done this in their last 12 top flight games. I thought Grant Holt or Luciano Becchio would have started up front with Kei Kamara, but once again the man on loan from Kansas City was the lone striker. Instead, Chris Hughton played with Wes just in behind Kamara.
The Swans started the game much more impressively than Norwich, totally dominating the first 35 minutes with their quick possession football. I’ve seen Swansea many times this season and they’ve done this to many sides, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that they dominated the majority of the first half.
Another predictable factor was that man Michu who scored once again. Chris Hughton had been forced to bring Lee Camp on for the injured Mark Bunn before the Spaniard scored, but Michu struck his shot with such force that Bunn and Camp combined wouldn’t have been able to keep it out.
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To be fair to the lads they responded well to going a goal behind, especially with all the tension within the crowd at Carrow Road. Such an atmosphere is fully understandable with the club’s current position in the league.
The equalising goal just before the break gave everyone a massive lift. It was a very good goal with Elliott Bennett producing an inch perfect cross to the far post, which was met by a completely unmarked Robert Snodgrass to head into an empty net. I was pleased for Elliott as earlier in the match he crossed into the River End when he had so much time and space. You could hear the moans and groans of disappointment in the stands but he made amends with the cross for Snodgrass.
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I thought Elliott was outstanding on Saturday. Ben Davies is a very talented left-back and has had a great season for the Swans, but I’ve never seen him struggle against an opponent like he did against Bennett.
In the second half Norwich improved and deservedly took the lead through big Michael Turner.
Once again Swansea’s Achilles heel was highlighted. They have conceded close to 60pc of their goals from set-pieces this season, so I’m certain Chris Hughton and his staff would have pointed this out to the players before the game.
Once again it was a perfect delivery from the free-kick by Bennett, the cross being met superbly by Turner on the far post who had completely lost his marker Chico Flores with a good piece of movement.
Michael had missed an easier chance in the first half from about seven yards out, but his finish this time around was pure quality. It wasn’t easy by any means as the ball bounced right in front of him, but he did so well to keep his shot down and direct it past Michel Vorm.
The Canaries had a great opportunity to kill the game off when Snodgrass unselfishly squared the ball to an unmarked Kamara just inside the Swansea six-yard box. However, instead of attacking the ball like he should have, he waited for it to come to him, which was to prove fatal as it gave Dwight Tiendalli the second he needed to get back and slide in with a last ditch challenge.
Luke Moore equalised with 15 minutes to go, but as I said at the end of 90 minutes a point each was probably a fair result. And with Wigan drawing and Sunderland losing it could yet prove to be a very vital point for Norwich City.
• ADAMS’ IMPRESSIVE YOUNGSTERS DESERVE PLENTY OF SUPPORT
It was great to see my old mate Neil Adams and his youth team on the pitch at half-time last week.
Shoes has done a great job since joining the club full time as part of the coaching staff.
It’s a very important job that Neil does, as he has to develop these talented teenagers into young professionals for the club.
It’s an important learning curve for these young lads, and if they don’t listen and learn from their coaches they won’t make the next step and become young professionals. Neil has a great manner about him and is just the right man to help bring these lads on.
I was delighted last Friday when I saw that the youth team had beaten Everton at Goodison to reach the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.
On Wednesday evening they put one foot into the final when they travelled up to The City Ground for the first leg of the semi final against Nottingham Forest, coming back to Norfolk with a 1-0 victory under their belts.
They are now only 90 minutes from reaching the final, the first time the club will have done so since winning the competition for the first and only time in 1983 (beating Everton in that final).
The second leg against Forest is on Tuesday evening. It promises to be a fantastic night for the club’s future so let’s try and make sure there is a good turnout and a cracking atmosphere down at Carrow Road for Neil and his young lads.