My team of right backs and goalkeepers
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries We are a third of the way into the league campaign, but already it feels as if we have played half a season's worth of games. Maybe it's because we have.
Tim Allman, Capital Canaries
We are a third of the way into the league campaign, but already it feels as if we have played half a season's worth of games. Maybe it's because we have. Add in the six cup ties with two more to come and that's twenty four in total. Unlike last season, City have missed out on the international breaks, so we have had a game every week.
And it won't get any easier, as next month's worth of fixtures see City play Saturday and Tuesday for three out of the next four weeks. If we draw our cup game at Carlisle it will be four midweek games in a row. I know it's an old clich� but a replay is the very last thing we need at the moment.
And of course injuries to right backs don't help. And nor do accident prone goalkeepers. These two positions have become quite a problem for Paul Lambert as on occasions he's run out of square pegs to fill square holes in the Norwich City starting eleven. And luckily when a square peg has been forced into a round hole, things have worked out fine.
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Right back has become our Jonah position. The season after Nigel Worthington decided that Marc Edworthy's services were no longer required we struggled on the right side of defence. In our first year back in the Championship we had the dubious pleasure of the silky skills of Jurgen Colin and Matthieu Louis-Jean. When Colin was injured Craig Fleming was even persuaded to play there. The best of the bunch that season, David Wright ended up signing for Ipswich after impressing on a month's loan at City. At Coventry two years ago we saw one of the worst performances ever in a City shirt as Juan Velasco looked like a pub footballer in the first twenty minutes at the Ricoh, before he was subbed off in an act of mercy as opposed to a tactical change. To make matters worse both his replacements, Daryl Russell and the Doc were sent off that day as we finished with nine men.
In between then and now we've had Semmy who has varied between brilliant and dreadful with very few performances in between.
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This season have already seen Semmy, Spillane, Askou, Korey Smith, George Francomb and even Adam Drury all have a go at playing right back with varying degrees of success. That's six different right backs used before the start of December!
The same could be said for the goalkeeping position. The season after Robert Green left for West Ham we endured Paul Gallagher's flapping, Lee Camps antics, David Marshall's injury, Jamie Ashdown dismissal, and Tony Warner who I thought was easily the best of the bunch. This season we have suffered in the same manner. We started with Theo's comedy cameo, and then had Ben Alnwick's unfortunate injury, and Cody's fifteen minutes between sticks in front of the Barclay. Fraser Forster was ridiculously cheated off at Gillingham, but luckily for City Declan Rudd stepped in and did a great job for a game and a half. But now he's gone and hurt his knee, and no-one outside Colney knows or is prepared to say how badly.
Luckily Forster has been in inspired form since his mishap at Elland Road, and it's great news that he has signed for the whole season, so the only worry we have now is if he gets injured. For those that have been counting that's five different keepers so far.
Paul Lambert could in theory now field a dream (or a nightmare?) team of this season's right backs and goalkeepers in a starting City eleven. But how would he fit them all in? That's a tough question, as most of the team would, if asked, want to play at right back or in goal. If it was up to me I would play the team in 4-3-2-1 “Christmas Tree” formation.
Goal Keeper - Fraser Forster, the best of the lot by far.
Right Back - Lucky George Francomb gets the nod to play in his preferred position.
Centre Backs, Jens Berthel Askou and Declan Rudd. One heads it miles and one kicks it miles, the perfect combination.
Left back - Adam Drury, the only choice here.
The Midfield three - Michael Spillane, Korey Smith, and Jon Otsemobor.
The attacking midfield two - I'm stuck with Theo and Ben Alnwick. Watching a keeper play on the pitch is never a pretty sight, but they have to play somewhere.
The fairy on top of the tree - I'm left with Cody McDonald, the only attacker in the team.
Not a bad team at all. I wonder how they would do?