Ian Clarke: Who stole Norwich City's bouncebackability?

Norwich City players have to rediscover bouncebackability

Norwich City players have to rediscover bouncebackability - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Do you remember those halcyon days of stirring Norwich City comebacks?

Think of those incredible scenes when we beat Millwall 4-3 at Carra.

Who will ever forget the 3-3 Boxing Day Hernandez-inspired thriller against Nottingham Forest?

And no round-up can fail to include Grant Hanley, Timm Klose, Ipswich and "oh, no...when will ever beat them..?"

I could go on.

What have all these got in common? Yes, they were all at NR1.

More pertinently, the matches were all in the Championship days.

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What about fightbacks in the Premier League? Mmmmm - how good is your memory?


Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki offered Norwich City with a fresh impetus at the top end of the pitch.

Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki showed signs of a working partnership - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Of all of the shocking statistics around City's current malaise, one really jumped out at me this week.

Of the last 44 times in top-flight matches when Norwich have gone behind, the team has lost 43 of them.

That is a scarily stark indictment of the lack of bouncebackability that the team has in the Premier League.

We know the team can flourish in the second tier and dominate games from the start - but also fight back to get draws or wins when falling behind.

A raft of failings Daniel Farke and his troops have to address at English football's top table is becoming clear.


Daniel Farke insists Watford's Premier League visit is not a 'must win'

Daniel Farke believes Derby County's financial struggles show why Norwich City have to be a self financing club. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

And the ability to get something out of a match when the opposition scores first is one of the most urgent to deal with.

We were having a family day in Derbyshire on Saturday, so I was following the Everton game thanks to my colleagues' Twitter posts.

Once VAR awarded the penalty and Andros Townsend tucked the ball past Tim Krul, my heart sank.

Did any of you really think there was any chance of ending the pointless start from there?

Even in the second period when more chances came, I sense we all feared the worse. The fatal second goal ended our hopes.

We have to go back to May 11, 2016 when Norwich last got anything from a match when we went behind.

City managed to beat Watford 4-2 in the final home game of that season after relegation had been confirmed following a Troy Deeney opener.

In the five years and four months since that day, we have not gained a single point once we conceded first.

And to be honest, there have been far too many games when we've not got anywhere near fighting back.

If we just look at this season, the Liverpool and Man City games were always massively tough tests, so can realistically be taken out of the equation.


The Norwich players look dejected after conceding their sideÕs 1st goalduring the Carabao Cup match

Norwich City have named three different defensive partnerships in the Premier League this season. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Against Leicester, the Teemu Pukki penalty dragged us back into it and the unfortunate VAR ruling meant Kenny McLean's header prevented a leveller.

The Finn also brought us back on terms against Watford, but the sloppiness in the second period sent the Hornets home happy.

Last season, the fact that the Canaries only netted one goal in nine games after Project Restart says it all.

That was Emi Buendia's strike at Vicarage Road, but the Watford stranglehold over City ensured ultimate misery once more.

So what can be done about it?

The heart of the problem has to be belief, fight and leadership.

I saw highlights of Brentford's 3-3 draw against Liverpool at the weekend.

The Bees just refused to be beaten and kept coming back against the Reds.

Yes, it was Liverpool we were talking about and a team who only joined us in promotion via the play-offs.

Their heads didn't drop. They were bold, positive and gritty.

They are exactly the attributes we simply have to see from the boys from now on.

OTBC


Longing for another 0-0

Someone once said (after an incredibly dull goalless draw): "There are 0-0s and there are 0-0s - this was a 0-0."

We all know the sentiment of that and I'm sure have plenty of stories of watching dreadful shut outs.

While I have seen many 0-0s, in all my 40-odd years of playing football, I'm pretty sure that Monday night was the first time I have ever been involved in one.

Despite being north of 50, I still turn out on a Monday night in a six-a-side league in Dereham.

Making a lot of noise and diving around are my main tools in goal as the young, talented opposition pelt the ball towards me.

This week, my team-mates provided excellent defensive cover and fortunately as I stuck out my hands, saves were made.

What I would give for a second goalless draw this weekend as the Canaries head to Burnley.

I don't if it's the dullest game of all time - a clean sheet and at least a point are definitely what we need right now.

Support the trust 

We are really fortunate at Norwich City to have supporters' groups who represent the fans and have a strong relationship with the top brass.

The Canaries Trust is one of them and it does a fantastic job liaising with senior officials and getting across the voice of the man and woman in the stands.

The trust has its online AGM tonight (Thursday September 30) at 7.30pm.

It will include a Q&A with guests Canary legend Jerry Goss, along with Alan Arber from the Offside Trust and Shaun Howes from Norwich City Women's FC.

Entry is free and you can submit questions for the Q&A in advance.

You can get more information about the trust from their website or follow them on Twitter.

On a personal note, I'm delighted that my good friend Chris Newby has been appointed vice chairman.

Chris is passionate about the Canaries and I know his energy, drive and enthusiasm will be infectious as he works with all his fellow dedicated officials.



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