Norwich City: 5 Things We Learned from Reading Draw
Norwich City recorded another vital away point in their 0-0 draw with Reading. The result keeps Norwich's improvement in form going and maintains a nice little cushion over the teams in the bottom three.
As ever, there are some things to consider from the game and wider issues around the team. So, sit back, relax and enjoy my latest slideshow.
Win Your Home Games and Draw Away
I'm surprised that there is so much negativity around after this game. The last four games have been very positive.
The majority of football managers aim to win their home games and draw away, this is something that Norwich City have managed to do in the last four games.
And if similar form can continue throughout the season, then fans can look forward to the Canaries finishing the season in the top half of the table.
I understand that there are fans that think Norwich could have gone to Reading and won. But I think the real key here was not to lose. It's also not about this one game, rather the general improvement in form we have shown.
The defensive was that one of Norwich City's strengths last season. So, it is notable that the Canaries seem to have turned the corner in that respect.
It is now three clean sheets from the last four league games. This is truly something to celebrate. I remember far more sides being relegated from the Premier League that were poor at the back than ones that were solid, so it is clearly a very good sign.
Football Has Moved on from 4-4-2
I know a lot of us grew up with the idea that football is played in a 4-4-2 system, consisting of two strikers and fast wingers. But nothing stays the same forever. I think it's fair to say that the 4-2-3-1 system is the new 4-4-2.
What I mean by that is this system has become the most common. And not just by teams that use it to try to take advantage in their limited players—the very best sides are now using it and find it to be a very successful system.
Therefore, it is simply crazy to suggest that only playing one striker is negative. I would also add that I think Hoolahan and Holt work best as a pair than anything else we have at the club.
The 4-2-3-1 allows us to get Pilkington, Hoolahan and Snodgrass in the team, and they are all very positive and creative players. I think we all know how vital Hoolahan is to the team, and it is virtually impossible to get the best out of him playing 4-4-2. Therefore, I will support Hughton, and I hope he sticks with the system.
The Strikers Shortage Isn't as Severe as Some People Make out
As I have pointed out, I think the system that we are using suits us better than any other would.
Therefore, it is not as though Norwich City need to have a huge quantity of strikers. Instead, the bigger issue is more goals from more players.
I think there is some level of pressure on the shoulders of Pilkington, Snodgrass and Hoolahan to score goals.
In addition, Hughton will need some players from the bench who can provide a goal-scoring threat. But that decision might be a matter of replacing current options, rather than adding to them.
Was Hughton Right to Take off Grant Holt? Should Jackson Have Come On?
One thing that did surprise me from the game was the decision to take Grant Holt off late in the game. As ever, the Norwich striker looked the most likely player to hit a winning goal—so I thought it might have been worth leaving him on the pitch.
It also seems that Steve Morison has leapfrogged ahead of Simeon Jackson as the most popular striker to be used from the bench. It would have been interesting to see if Jackson's late introduction could have made a difference.