Norwich City: 7 Things Learned from West Ham Draw
I think most Norwich City fans would agree that the main emotion after the 0-0 draw against West Ham is frustration. In truth, I didn't feel there was an awful lot wrong with the performance the lads put on. So, here is a review of the game and some thoughts.
Norwich are still looking for their first win of the season, but it's important fans don't panic.
Grant Holt Yet to Get Going
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Clearly this is not the Grant Holt who scored 15 Premier League goals last season. But it's important not to panic yet and assume that Holt is past his best.
It's a natural human reaction to remember things better in the past than they actually were. Holt has always been a slow starter. This is why people accused him of not being good enough for the Championship or Premier League in previous seasons.
Last season, this is the reason that he found himself having to battle back from the bench to prove he was worthy of a starting spot. I think Holt enjoys being criticized, because he loves to go out there and prove people wrong.
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton must decide what the right treatment for Holt is. Clearly, he has the option of sticking by him, or to bench him for the next couple of games. Nevertheless, whatever he decides, I am confident Holt will prove he is every bit the player he was last season.
Was Simeon Jackson Taking off Too Soon?
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Most Norwich fans would agree that Simeon Jackson was the main attacking threat in the first half and the one player most likely to create or score a goal. So, it was a surprise to see him withdrawn for Steve Morison.
The other problem this created was the loss of pace in the attack, especially with Elliott Bennett and Anthony Pilkington both unavailable for selection.
Will Wes Hoolahan Get His Opportunity Under Hughton?
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Fans were calling for the introduction of Wes Hoolahan from the bench during the West Ham game. But the manager decided against using the Irishman. Certain managers like certain players, and it was clear that Paul Lambert was a big fan of Hoolahan.
Hughton, though, appears to be less of a fan and may prefer to turn to a fit again Jacob Butterfield for his attacking midfield options. It is early in the season, but it will be interesting to see how long Hoolahan is prepared to put up with this lack of game time.
Things could get seriously interesting if the situation remains unchanged by January 2013, because a certain Aston Villa or other Premier League club may fancy making a bid.
A Better Performance in the First Half Than in the Second
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I thought Norwich put together a strong performance in the first half. The only thing that was missing was the crucial goal. However, I thought that West Ham had the better of the second half, until there was a late charge towards the end.
The lesson here is that it's vital to score when you are having the better of the game, especially because that advantage will not last for the whole game.
However, Chances Were Created
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It's important that fans don't panic about the fact the team has yet to win a Premier League game this season.
The West Ham game showed that the team is quite capable of creating opportunities. So, Chris Hughton must be confident that his team will soon begin taking them.
The Defense Remains the Big Positive
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The defense has looked pretty solid since the opening-day defeat. The clean sheet against West Ham was a bright point and certainly a reason to be positive.
The hope is if Norwich can find some goals and remain tight and organised at the back, then they could enjoy another solid season in the Premier League.
Harry Kane's First Appearance Was More Positive Than Negative
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A lot has been made of the fact that Kane missed, arguably, the best chance of the game against Spurs. But the loan striker had only been on the pitch a short time, and he made a largely positive impact. I saw enough in this cameo appearance to suggest he will score goals during his time here.