Iwan Roberts: The title is almost in the bag for City and don't they deserve it?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Lim
Well, here we are in the final furlong of an enthralling Championship season and it’s down to two of my former clubs on who takes the title.
Norwich are firm favourites and if I were a betting man I’d lump my hard earned cash on the Canaries.
I don’t think I’d risk even a £1 on Watford winning their first football league championship trophy in their history, not that I’m condoning betting, every pound’s a prisoner where I’m concerned and it’s far safer in my deep pockets.
After that hard earned three points last weekend against QPR there is no way on this planet that this group of players are throwing this away now. That win last Saturday was just the tonic needed going into the last two games after those back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford.
Daniel, his staff and the players deserve to lift that famous old trophy after tomorrow’s home game against Reading. They’ve simply been the best team in the league by a country mile and have set the highest standards of football while doing so. They’ve been a joy to watch.
Norwich have been the most consistent team in the Championship this season both their home and away form have been excellent.
The lads up to now have won 45 points from their 22 home games, losing just three times at Carrow Road, while their away form has been ridiculous winning 15 of their 22 away games, amassing an unbelievable 48 points on the road.
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Watford on the other hand have relied heavily on their home form to win them promotion. They’ve won an incredible 18 of their 22 games at Vicarage Road and 56 of their 88 points have come from their home games which obviously means they’ve won 16 points less than Norwich on the road. That’s where Norwich’s consistency both home and away has been head and shoulders better than any other team in the league.
Congratulations to Emi Buendia in winning the Barry Butler player of the season trophy. He’s had an unbelievable season, the best player in the league in my opinion but what’s impressed me the most about Emi is the way after a lot of talk at the start of the season about him leaving the club is the way he’s got his head down and ignored the noise and performed to such a high level, a level that hasn’t been seen on to many occasions in the Championship.
Teemu Pukki definitely deserves a mention for his 25 goals whilst Tim Krul has been magnificent again with some top class performances and some unbelievable penalty saves, none more important than the one he saved against Lyndon Dykes on Saturday.
My vote though would definitely have gone to captain marvel Grant Hanley. He’s been immense in the heart of that City defence and he’s been the glue that has held everything together defensively. He’s a big reason why Norwich have conceded just 33 goals in their 44 games.
Grant’s a proper leader and a fantastic organiser on the pitch, his improvement with the ball at his feet has been excellent and his partnership with Ben Gibson has been the best in the league. Oliver Skipp has been a great addition in protecting that back four as well and deserved to be in the reckoning.
But Hanley might not grab the headlines like your Buendias and your Pukkis but his contribution and what he brings to the table doesn’t get unnoticed here in Norfolk.