Norwich City: 4 Things We Learned from West Brom Defeat
Norwich City will have been disappointed to have lost the game 2-1 at West Brom on Saturday. But it was a tough away game from a team that has performed exceptionally well in the Premier League this season. Therefore, it is easy to put it down as just one game too many.
Nevertheless, there were plenty of things to work on from the game, but also plenty of positives. Therefore, now seems a good time to review what we learned from the game and look ahead to Chelsea and the other Premier League fixtures to come.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy my latest slideshow on the Canaries.
Let’s Not Be Too Hard on Steve Morison
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Steve Morison is one of those Norwich City players that the fans love to hate. We know that he doesn’t have the work-rate or talent of Grant Holt. But he is still a useful player to have in the squad for the time being. Furthermore, it cannot help his confidence when he knows the fans are expecting him to fail whenever he gets an opportunity.
Yes, I agree he has his limitations and Norwich will need to invest in better quality going forward, but Chris Hughton seems to like him, and he is for now our best option as an alternative to Grant Holt. Nevertheless, that situation could change in a matter of days during the January transfer window.
Robert Snodgrass Is Surely Chris Hughton’s Best Attacking Signing
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There are certainly a few contenders for Chris Hughton’s best summer signing. For instance, Sebastien Bassong and Alex Tettey have both looked highly impressive. But they have strengthened the defensive core of the team more than anything else; Robert Snodgrass has been a real gem in terms of an attacking addition.
I think we saw the ability Snodgrass had in the very first games he played at Norwich. But he has now added that all-important end product to his game; there are countless wingers who do a lot of running around without creating or scoring goals.
The former Leeds United player may not be the quickest or even most skilful, but he has great delivery and finishing ability. This is particularly the case from set-piece delivery, as he proved again in ruthless style against West Brom. It looks like we have another attacking dimension this season in addition to what we had in the last campaign.
A Very Passive Second Half
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I think it was generally accepted that Norwich City performed well in the first half and should have had a comfortable lead at the break. But it wasn’t to be, as West Brom scored a somewhat controversial and fortunate goal just before half-time.
Nevertheless, West Brom took full advantage of the situation they found themselves in to dominate the second period. It seemed like Chris Hughton was happy enough to settle for the point, but the home side kept asking questions and eventually they received their reward. I can’t really have too many complaints because it was a deserved winner when it arrived late in the game.
We have seen enough of Chris Hughton to know that he favours a defensive style of play, and it’s hard to be critical of that because it’s served Norwich so well this season.
Subs Were More or Less Pointless
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I think this is connected to the previous point, but I thought Hughton’s use of subs was fairly pointless. Obviously, he was forced into a change to bring off the injured Steven Whittaker for Russell Martin.
But I thought he could have done more to give us a greater attacking intent and provide that little bit of freshness. In my opinion, when a team is under significant pressure it is a sign that something needs to change. However, Hughton didn’t make the sort of change that would help us out.
For instance, he had some interesting options in Elliott Bennett and Harry Kane that would have offered something different from Anthony Pilkington and Steve Morison. This is especially relevant, given that neither player exactly excelled in the match. Simeon Jackson did get a late opportunity, but only after Norwich had conceded a second goal.
Jonny Howson’s introduction for Wes Hoolahan didn’t serve any real purpose and wasn’t a change that increased our attacking options. In contrast, Steve Clarke had four strikers on the pitch at one point and demonstrated a greater desire to the secure the three points.