Iwan Roberts: I've never seen an injury crisis like Norwich City's before
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s 10-game unbeaten run came to a crushing end on Wednesday night as for the second time this season Daniel Farke’s side came away from Kenilworth Road on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.
Having lost there in the not so important League Cup in their opening game of this season the other night’s defeat against Nathan Jones’s men will have hurt more as there were valuable points at stake.
Luton’s centre forward James Collins put the final nail in Norwich’s coffin when he added Luton’s third goal just after half time from the penalty spot.
The burly striker has scored six goals this season for the Hatters, four of which have come against Norwich after his hat-trick in the cup game. I bet he wished he could play against the Canaries every week!
I wished the same about West Bromwich Albion back in the 1995-96 season when I was playing for Wolves after scoring four goals in two games against the Baggies, three of which came at The Hawthorns. I’m still the only Wolves player to have even come away from the Hawthorns with the match ball tucked under his arm!
If I’m honest I was surprised about the defeat, even with the injury crisis that Daniel is up against at the minute I thought the lads would still have to come away with a result. The win the other night was Luton’s first home victory since they beat Wycombe back on October 3 and I’d witnessed their 4-0 hammering at the Cardiff City Stadium last weekend where they were truly awful and the 4-0 scoreline flattered them. It really should have been six or seven for Cardiff on the day.
I mentioned it briefly earlier in my column with the amount of injuries Norwich have at the minute and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the club.
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In my seven years at Norwich we never suffered a crisis like this, and I can’t remember anything like this happening at any of the clubs that I played for in my 20-year career. Yes, injuries are part and parcel of the game but to have this amount of players and key players at that unavailable at the same time is a big headache for Daniel, but unlike some other managers he doesn’t whinge and moan about it he simply gets his head down and cracks on with things.
The workload on the players this season is unlike any other season because of obvious reasons and it’s not going to get any better anytime soon. I read a statistic the other day that muscular injuries are up 40 percent this season compared to any other season and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise why.
December is always a busy period in the footballing calendar, but this year it’s even worse. The game on Wednesday night was just one of nine games Norwich have from December 2 until January 2 after which we’ll be just over half way through this hectic season. The physical demands on players is going to be huge and hopefully Daniel over the next seven days will have more players available to him.
Tomorrow for the first time Carrow Road will be allowed to welcome some supporters through the gates and that will be great to see. The fans have been sorely missed, especially during Project Restart. I’m not saying Norwich would have stayed up had Carrow Road been full for those games but no way would they have lost all five without scoring a goal!
It’s only going to be a handful allowed in against Sheffield Wednesday but it’s a start and hopefully in the not-so-distant future we will once again see Carrow Road full to the rafters celebrating another promotion to the Premier League.