Iwan Roberts: City are lucky to be able to call upon a Premier League goalkeeper
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Going into the last international break Norwich were mid-table having won just four points from their opening four games.
With tomorrow’s home game against Swansea just before the next international break things look so much healthier for the club.
Norwich have now unbeaten in their last six league games, winning four of those, and sit in third position behind tomorrow’s opponents and top of the table Reading.
I can sense a slight feeling of disappointment after Tuesday night’s 0-0 with Millwall, but I think four points from Bristol City away and Millwall at home is a decent return. Had those points come the other way round I don’t think anyone would have complained.
Tim Krul is head and shoulders the best goalkeeper in the Championship and that’s a fact.
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I don’t like saying it but he really should be playing in the Premier League. His two saves last Saturday were top drawer, especially the one where he just managed to get his fingertips on the ball to tip it onto the post; if he hadn’t that strike was nestling in the back of the net.
Tim’s faced two penalties this season and they’ve both been missed. I know he didn’t have much to do with Nahki Wells’ penalty miss last Saturday, but I now think that he’s got such a great reputation for saving penalties that it puts a seed of doubt in the mind of the player as they walk up to take it, and that indecision is fatal for anyone taking a penalty.
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Something else I noticed last Saturday was Teemu’s got his smile back, and that has to be a good thing for Norwich City. After a slow start he’s got four goals in 10 games and looks like he’s got his mojo back.
I’ve got a lot of time for Steve Copper Swansea’s head coach, he’s done a magnificent job since taking over at the beginning of last season. He has seen players like Oliver McBurnie, Dan James and Joe Rodon being sold without having a say in any of the deals. From the nearly £50m the club made from the sales of those three young stars he’s hardly had a penny to spend, and to his credit not once has he complained about the situation.
Steve was the England U17’s manager when they won the World Cup in 2017 and he’s used his knowledge of that squad to bring in a few of those players on loan to Swansea, and they’ve not let him down. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s encounter, these two sides have had some proper humdingers against each other in the last few seasons.
I don’t know Steve, but I know his dad Keith very well as he was a top class referee back in the 80s and 90s. He was the ref when I scored my first goals in the Premier League for Leicester City. It was against Coventry back in the early part of the 1994-95 season. The game was live on Monday night football so I couldn’t have picked a better game to score my first ever Premier League goals. Keith had a busy night showing two red cards for tackles from behind, which was a new rule that was introduced that season that outlawed that type of tackle.
My second goal came with just five minutes remaining and won us a point on the night, but it came at a cost for my good friend Dion Dublin who was playing for Coventry that night. If you ever bump into the big man ask him if you can see the six inch scar I left on his right shin scoring my second goal!
I remember the incident as if it was yesterday. Our left winger Lee Philpott fizzed a ball across the face of their six-yard box and I’d made my way to the back post as I did most times when the ball was in wide areas.
Unfortunately for Dion he was the only Coventry player between me and the goal and as I got a touch on the ball I smashed into him full force and my studs went straight down his shin. I had no idea how bad his injury was until a few years ago when he showed me his scar.
Straight after the final whistle Dion had six stitches inserted into his shin which I had no idea of. Luckily for me the big man knew I hadn’t done it on purpose and we’re still very good friends.