Happy Christmas shopping Paul Lambert!

Last Saturday the Radio Norfolk Canary Call included a contributor who rang in and said something like: “You can’t win every home game, don’t panic!” Exactly!

And at last a Canary Caller talking sound common sense. The home game against Portsmouth highlighted several hard truths about our team:

1. It was men against boys - not that the Norwich players lacked skill and physique - but against a team of ex-Premier League players they did lack experience and sheer guile.

2. We ran them ragged for most of the game: some of our passing was exquisite, fast and accurate, but not consistent and not giving enough opportunities to the strikers. It was Portsmouth who waited for their moment and struck.

3. We missed Grant Holt a lot for his ability to hold the ball up.


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4. We missed Adam Drury for his experience and cool head.

5. To progress to the Premier League, whether this season or next, we need more class players. Not just players with skill but players with a good footballing brain who can quickly assess what game the other team are playing and counter it.

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We were good but we lost. Lessons can be learned and it’s not the end of the world. Don’t panic!

Good news of last week was the agreement to sign Leon Barnett permanently in January. With any luck his accumulated match bans will be completed by then! He has been another great loan signing by Lambert (who doesn’t sign many but they tend to be good).

Barnett is a player who catches the eye. He is not yet the perfect defender but when he outruns the opposition, his lazy loping stride looking as if he has barely reached a trot, his sudden, quick jabbing passes reaching midfielders’ feet, he looks confident and unflustered in a way that the Ginger Pele never did!

So it really was one of those footballing coincidences that Barnett, having agreed to become a City player, found himself red-carded and facing a disciplinary hearing the same week.

Was it also a coincidence that Stephen Fry was on the pitch before the game and Paul Lambert was back on the touchline - and we lost? And where were they against Ipswich and Derby? Coincidence - yes - but this is how superstition starts.

As 2010 draws to a close, here’s to some very successful Christmas shoppng for Paul Lambert. Congratulations to him and all his team for one of the most exciting and entertaining starts to the season for ages.

Happy Christmas to you Paul and to all Canary fans - may 2011 be even better.

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