Paddy’s Pointers: Five observations from Norwich City’s 1-0 Championship win at Ipswich
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Our Norwich City correspondent Paddy Davitt delivers his verdict from Portman Road
1. Oh, that will sting - Much of the pre-match hype, Nelson Oliveira aside, was how this was Ipswich Town’s best chance since 2009 to get one over the Canaries. Best chance, best chances. Jonas Knudsen thundered a shot against the inside of Angus Gunn’s far post early on.
David McGoldrick miscued a free header six yards out. But once James Maddison had superbly curled Marco Stiepermann’s pass beyond Bartosz Bialkowski, all that growing self-confidence dribbled away.
The home crowd fell silent, apart from the odd shout berating Mick McCarthy. There might not have been a play-off final place on the line but this felt no less sweet.
2. Magic Maddison - What more is there to be said? A young man who has grasped his chance in emphatic fashion. Goals aplenty, assists and so much creative output. At 20, he has the football world at his talented feet, B
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ut there is a real maturity about the Coventry bred midfielder. There appears little chance of him getting carried away. Which is just as well.
Now he has written himself into East Anglian derby folklore there will be more headlines coming his way. Norwich bought a gem. Now they are polishing it.
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3. The rare spotted Grant Hanley - Christoph Zimmermann’s second half injury paved the way for the summer signing to link up with Timm Klose. That looked like the preferred central defensive pairing when City aggressively recruited the big Scottish centre back.
It is testament to Zimmermann’s growth he has had to play second fiddle. Time will tell how serious the German’s injury is. Hanley looked understandably rusty, particularly coming into a game of this magnitude. But he will feel a full part of football club now he is part of a special winning feeling.
4. Flying Dutchman - Cast your mind back to Sheffield United when Yanic Wildshut arrived at the perfect time to lash Maddison’s pass inside the far post with unerring accuracy for the winner.
That is what the former Wigan wide player is capable of. But for all the athleticism and power surges there are too many short circuits. City found Wildschut in a number of good positions at Portman Road but there was a sluggishness to his decision-making and final execution.
Too often the first thought was to cut back inside into traffic to get it on his right when the left channel looked a better option. Seconds after the interval he cut inside again but skied into the upper terracing.
In his defence he did have a key role in Maddison’s second half goal. Nevertheless, Wildschut has forced his way into Farke’s XI. To stay there we need more end product.
5. Now enjoy it - Arsenal, away, is not exactly a freebie. But with business taken care of at Portman Road and Championship momentum firmly harnessed, Tuesday’s League Cup trip, with nearly 9,000 in their corner at the Emirates, is a game for Farke to dip into his resources and enjoy the fruits of their collective labours. Whatever the final outcome against the Gunners,
Norwich have deserved their night on the big stage for a superb turnaround from those hesitant early league forays under the German head coach.