Norwich City’s early season meander into mid-table is complete. Three games in, 1 win, 1 defeat, 1 draw. 4 points from a possible 9. Some good possession. Some poor defending. A clean sheet. A point at Craven Cottage. It’s been a mixed bag so far.
Here’s what happened at Carrow Road last night…
Two goals, a clean sheet and a first
Nelson Oliviera started for the first time this season and scored his second goal of the campaign with a clinical finish just after half time.
Harrison Reed unleashed a howitzer at the end to make it two, and in the meantime Angus Gunn made a couple of decent saves and the defence in front of him played much better to keep their first shut out of the season.
Possession is (maybe not) everything
Throughout Daniel Farke’s reign at Norwich, possession has been key. 51% at Fulham, 71-29 against Sunderland. So it’s perhaps ironic that the first 3 points came at Carrow Road when the home side had only 46% of the play.
This wasn’t a particularly impressive performance. The passing football so impressive against Sunderland was non-existent. The definitive plan more kick it and hope. If anything it actually looked less thought out than in the bad days of last year.
There’s a school of thought that says win any way possible. But when does winning become more important than the philosophy?
This offering was more direct than on Saturday, with more high balls thrown in. Interestingly we also started with our two most creative attackers in Oliveira and Wes Hoolahan. The pair’s quality bought us the three points in the end, but this style of football was more suited to Cameron Jerome and Marley Watkins.
The three points papered over the cracks, but this, and Saturday’s, team selections were wrong.
All the Germans, so many Germans
I’ll admit I was bored on Wednesday. The promise of neat attractive football did not materialise.
But while the football wasn’t great, for once the fans were. A conscious effort has been made to create a better atmosphere, and continuous singing certainly helped.
The Angus Gunn change is not a work of literary genius, but the Farke life anthem is at least original.
We do have a lot of Germans, and they played much better here than against Sunderland. Zimmerman and Franke looked thesold at the back. Stiepermann came on and looks a big unit. If he can play football he’ll be an addition.
Especially if we try to play ugly again…