Benchmarks for success, or otherwise for Norwich City

The travelling Norwich fans during the match at Bramall Lane Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images L

The travelling Norwich fans during the match at Bramall Lane Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

It’s fair to say Mike Taylor was a little frustrated by Norwich City’s weekend performance at Sheffield United

That was basically the same Sheff Utd as last season, less the comparison of McBurnie/Duda against a more or less full-strength City team.

1: First half. This 4-2-3-1 formation is uninspiring and is unsuited to high pressing, aggressive opponents. We always seem to be under pressure no matter who we play, and yet we have no attacking outlet and look very unlikely to score from open play. However, it is not defensively robust either, with us being over-run in midfield, and unable to contain either width, direct balls or tippy tappy football.

2: Second falf. Substitutions seemed half cocked, that seems peculiar because of the formation changes necessary to implement the desired effect. You can't go from 4-2-3-1 to adding Drmic as a second striker without a second, CONCURRENT change and nor do the relevant personnel occupy the bench anyway.

The subsequent further changes (Vrancic) seemed to confuse matters even more. I don't know our second-half formation but however it was intended, it neither worked nor will it ever if Duda and Emi are meant to be the width to Vrancic and McLean. It's confusing. Vrancic, Emi and Duda and two strikers? Where is the width? Which is why we still didn't look like scoring.

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3: If we start with 4-2-3-1 with the players that we have our only viable attacking switch without multiple substitutions is 3-4-3 or 4-3-3... both of which need a MINIMUM of two CONCURRENT SUBSTITUTIONS and a definite removal of EITHER Emi or Duda.

4: The problem we have is that DF doesn't know how to drill any other formation other than this 4-2-3-1 and ironically the current squad doesn't even suit 4-2-3-1 anyway, not at this level. Sorry, but McLean and Tettey? We've never had a settled and capable unit in the middle since Bradley Johnson left. Tettey was told he could leave two summers ago and was sixth choice at the start of last season! There is no defined plan B or C or D and I'm rather bored with backing DF in his game plan when every professional pundit in the country says the same thing... we are one dimensional and never change, even when we are rock bottom. Pretty football. Also pretty ineffective. That's why we are ROCK bottom.

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5: We won't compete like that (Sheff Utd) in the Championship. 3-4-3 is our best bet with this squad (and that possibly includes Godfrey pushing into centre mid next season) but even then we need some personnel tweaks. At least a striker signing and another defender, pray for Yakou Meite and expect Rhodes on a free. People have short memories and rose glasses about last season, we had all the ducks lined up but the KEY RESULTS, the promotion clinching points... they were all subtle differences absent this season: Onel on the right and not the left. Vrancic as a sub in a role now occupied by Duda. And most importantly, Rhodes as a #9 with Emi moving centrally and drilling passes into feet through the middle as a 3-5-2. All those promotion tweaks and changes have been absent this year.


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