Iwan Roberts: Some City fans need to show striker more respect

Teemu Pukki of Norwich celebrates scoring his sideÕs 1st goal from the penalty spot during the Premi

Teemu Pukki of Norwich celebrates scoring his sideÕs 1st goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 28/08/2021 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

I don’t think this international break could have come at a better time for Daniel Farke and his players.

It will give them a chance to regroup after three consecutive Premier League defeats in what’s been a tough start. 

For those players who won’t be going away to represent their respective countries it will allow the club’s fitness coaches and sports scientists to do some much needed work on fitness levels after a disrupted pre-season.

Last Saturday’s performance against Leicester was the best by the lads in their opening three games and I thought they definitely didn’t deserve to come away empty-handed. However, as I said in last week’s column the luck isn’t going their way at the minute but keep that level of performance up and the luck will soon start going for you. You’ve just got to keep believing it will change.

I look at that Kenny McLean disallowed goal and, as much as you hate the decision, it’s the right one. Todd Cantwell was inches offside and was standing right in front of Kasper Schmeichel. 

I don’t think Schmeichel gets anywhere near Kenny’s header in all fairness, but Todd standing in the position he was is interfering with play. If that had been Jamie Vardy standing in front of Tim Krul we would all be screaming “offside”.

Whenever a team-mate had an effort at goal I would always try and stand in front of the keeper to put him off and impair his vision but still making sure I was onside. 

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It was something I’d been told to do many years ago by Graham Taylor and it worked as I scored a few tap-ins by doing so. I’ve had balls hit me and gone flying past the goalkeeper into the back of the net and I’ve ran away celebrating another goal with that toothless grin of mine!

Talking of goal celebrations I was chuffed for Teemu Pukki last weekend when he levelled proceedings form the penalty spot just before half-time. The joy and relief on his face was there for us all to see. Now he’s off the mark hopefully he will go on a good run of form in front of goal.

It’s been a tough start for Teemu. I was shocked last week at some of the comments aimed at him after the Man City defeat and after new signing Josh Sargent scored two goals against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup.

Quite a few Norwich supporters thought Josh should have started against Leicester after his brace and there was quite a lot of negative comments about Pukki which really surprised and saddened me.

He’s been magnificent since he joined Norwich and has an incredible goalscoring record here. He’s taken full responsibility and carried the club for the last three seasons in putting the ball in the back of the net. 

Only two players scored more goals then Teemu in the Championship last season. Ivan Toney who would have been sold for £30m plus to West Ham had Brentford not been promoted, and Adam Armstrong went to Southampton for a fee that could eventually cost the Saints £20m.

In my opinion someone who’s scored 68 goals in 129 appearances for Norwich City deserves a bit more loyalty and respect from certain fans who have been far too quick to criticise and write him off.

So the transfer window came and went last Tuesday. It’s fair to say that Norwich now have far more strength in depth this time round than they did two years ago. If I’m honest there are a few of the signings I’m not too familiar with and have never seen play so I’ll refrain with my judgment as I’m not one to build players up having seen clips of them on YouTube or because they’ve good numbers on Championship Manager.

The proof will be in the pudding and whether they can perform at a consistent level for Norwich in the Premier League.

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