Sunday Fan Zone: Verdict from the stands on Norwich City’s win over Birmingham
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Following a quiet deadline day and, for lack of a better word, a dull international break I arrived back at Carrow Road not knowing what to expect from our afternoon’s entertainment.
Birmingham were much of an unknown quantity having made a large number of signings, particularly with them signing ‘half of Brentford’ on deadline day. Equally I didn not know quite what to expect from our own team as well following a humbling defeat to newly-promoted Millwall. Just how would this new-look Norwich City react?
The answer: not convincingly, but comfortably.
The biggest factor for me was the return of Timm Klose at centre half. Norwich have been a soft touch so far this season, having conceded 12 goals over the previous five Championship games and clearly this was a trend that needed to be reversed.
Klose came in and provided much-needed Championship experience to a back four from which was clearly lacking. Winning the majority of his headers, especially early on, gave much-needed reassurance to the rest of the defence that Norwich were not going to be caught with long direct passes as they have been in their previous encounters.
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It was not a faultless performance from Timm. But it was a more no-nonsense approach where previous occupants of Klose’s position may have been guilty of overplaying and giving the ball away or even simply losing headers and flick-ons causing chances to be conceded. Klose was a reassuring presence in the back four.
Klose now has the opportunity to be a real leader in our back four (or back three should Mr Farke wish to change the shape), but in an area in which Norwich have lacked real leaders in the recent past, he has a real opportunity to establish himself as a big BIG player in Daniel Farke’s plans.
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Marcel Franke and Christoph Zimmermann are relatively inexperienced in English football and Klose, having made the transition from German football himself, albeit from a much higher level, must be a big influence on those lads, in particular on the changes he has had to make to his game and how he has adapted to the different styles in the Premier league and last year in the Championship. Klose himself admitted himself in his post-match comments that he really had to adapt to the Championship, thinking it was going to be a easy ride.
But Norwich were able to see off a hardworking Birmingham team who huffed and puffed a great deal but offered only a few real opportunities which made me and my fellow occupants of the South Stand really worry.
There were, of course, other changes which worked well for Norwich, Tom Trybull and Alex Tetty adding a fair amount of bite to the midfield, which has been lacking in recent weeks. Tom, particularly, caught the eye with an energetic, tenacious performance to introduce himself to the Carrow road faithful.
But in truth a clean sheet is the biggest positive for a side which has looked decidedly leaky and lacking a strong backbone. This now has to be a catalyst for Norwich’s season, if we are to push on and reach headier heights than just a mid-table finish.
We have proved we are more than capable of controlling games and starving teams of the ball and this result needs to be the start of a mean streak at the back and then we can start looking up at the top end of the division with renewed optimism.
With such a large number of games coming thick and fast Daniel Farke will know this is a time for his side to really show their mettle.