Norwich City: 5 Things We Learned from Everton Draw
So, another Premier League game goes by, and Norwich City secure another positive result toward survival. Everton has started the season in extremely positive fashion, so this was always going to be a very difficult game.
But the Canaries excelled by coming away with a very credible 1-1 draw thanks to Sebastien Bassong's finely headed goal.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the slideshow on things we learned from the game.
Norwich City's Spirit Is Alive and Well
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The Canaries have certainly been tight defensively in recent games, but we haven't really seen how they would react to going one goal down. Critics of Chris Hughton's tactics would suggest that the system doesn't work when the team goes 1-0 down.
Well, they have now proven in the away match against Aston Villa and in yesterday's draw against Everton that the team is perfectly capable of bouncing back. The fact that Norwich did it at the death shows that the spirit to keep on going to the very end is still very strong.
Ryan Bennett Slotted in Very Nicely
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There is no doubt the loss of Turner to injury before the game was a big blow. He has been forming a very useful central defensive partnership with Bassong. And the signs were not immediately positive when Everton opened the scoring early in the game.
But the goal was not Bennett's fault, and he proved to have a very solid game. I'm pleased for him, because I see him having a big future with the club.
Regular Premier League games may be a bit much for him at the moment, but he is certainly developing with every game he gets.
A Few Words on the Subs...
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Steve Morison was the main option used when Norwich were 1-0 down looking to get back on level terms. It was nice to see Hughton prepared to throw the Welsh striker into the action to partner Holt, and Simeon Jackson also made a late introduction. The changes appeared to work, as the Canaries scored a leveler that their play richly deserved.
This also shows that Hughton is prepared to gamble to try to get a draw out of an away game, but it's unlikely he would have been so bold if the game had only been tied at 1-1.
Morison had a telling contribution by winning the free kick that led to that important goal from Bassong. There is an argument that Jackson's arrival could have come earlier. But it's important to remember that the team were playing well at this point, and subs can disrupt a team's rhythm. Therefore, I thought that Hughton called this one right.
Is There a Problem with Only Scoring the Odd Goal?
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There is a lot of talk around at the moment about the lack of goals in the team. Like every other fan, I would like to see a few more goals. But I don't see it as a major problem as long as we keep picking up points.
It is certainly encouraging that we are sharing the goals around rather than relying on one or two players. In this game, we had Bassong getting the goal, against Manchester United it was Pilkington, Johnson scored against Stoke and Michael Turner scored against Aston Villa.
Clearly, Grant Holt is important, as he showed with the goal against Arsenal, but we have other players who can and should come up with goals. However, it would be nice if Wes Hoolahan could also contribute the odd goal.
For everything that Hoolahan brings to the team, he needs to score the occasional goal if he wants to continue playing as a second striker. Nevertheless, I do think Norwich could do with a player who can come off the bench in tight games and score.
I'm not certain Morison or Jackson really offer that option. But it should be noted that the player doesn't have to be striker, just someone who can score goals.
A Quick Word on John Ruddy
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It was concerning to see John Ruddy coming off injured from the match against Everton. But hopefully it was just a precaution and there is nothing serious.
But it was another very good performance from the England keeper. He deserves a lot of credit for ensuring Everton were only leading by one goal for most of the match.
Now, there have been some fans who think we should agree to sell our star man in the January transfer window. The claim is that Mark Bunn is a decent replacement. I certainly understand where people are coming from.
However, the difference is that Bunn is a good goalkeeper, while Ruddy is now a great one. In my mind, it would be crazy to sell Ruddy at this point in the season.
Of course, things might be different if a crazy offer was made. But we will not gain a great deal by selling one of our key players for £4-5 million.