Norwich City

Norwich City: Canaries Must Change Away Approach or Risk Relegation Battle

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Gylfi Sigurosson of Spurs scores their first goal past John Ruddy of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City at White Hart Lane on September 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Andy WardContributor IISeptember 16, 2013

For Norwich City supporters, Saturday's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur had an alarming air of familiarity about it.

Of course, there is no shame in losing to one of the better sides in the division, but the manner in which the Canaries were brushed aside left a sour taste in the mouth.

For the second successive away game this season, a magnificent travelling contingent must have felt cheated by the performance dished up by Chris Hughton's team.

In a worryingly similar fashion to the display against Hull City earlier in the campaign, Norwich showed a complete lack of ideas in the final third at White Hart Lane and a complete reluctance to attack their opponents.

And it's not just something that has appeared this season either, with tame losses to the likes of Stoke City, Wigan Athletic and West Ham United synonymous of the Canaries form on the road last year.

John Ruddy's post match comments regarding his team's approach to the match with Spurs told you all you need to know about the current mindset of Norwich City away from home. The goalkeeper admitted that "it was just a case of trying to see it out for as long as we could." (Eastern Daily Press)

Such an attitude is not going to get you anywhere fast, and after a preseason in which the club have showed considerable ambition off the pitch, now is the time to deliver a similar degree of ambition on the pitch.

It would be foolish to go 'gung-ho' every week when you take into account the sheer quality of the teams that Norwich City are facing on a regular basis. But the players must give the opposition far more to think about than they are at present because the fact of the matter is that the Canaries are desperately easy to play against away from Carrow Road.

In such a competitive league, you simply cannot afford to rely solely on your home form, and Norwich need to find a way of addressing their travel sickness quickly.

Doing the basics well would be a great starting point, with Norwich City giving the ball away on countless occasions against Tottenham.

Admittedly,  André Villas-Boas' high-pressing tactics made life extremely difficult for City's players who were continually rushed whilst in possession, but even with that taken into consideration, a return of only 29 successful passes out of 71 attempted in the final third (Four Four Two Stats Zone) is always going to leave you facing an uphill struggle.

What's more, it's evident that the Canaries are yet to find a way of playing to suit Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Johan Elmander, with the two forward players struggling to hold the ball up.

With the ball being returned with interest on a regular basis, Norwich are simply inviting pressure onto themselves and defensively there is little respite.

Long, aimless deliveries are far from an ideal attacking platform, and instead Norwich would be better served playing into their striker's feet.

With the squad being enhanced in the summer, the Canaries definitely possess a whole host of players who are capable of hurting opposition teams but these talents are being hidden by a mask of negativity.

If Norwich can find a way to click and discover a way to utilise the quality that they possess at their disposal, there's no doubt that they could still go onto enjoy a successful season.

However, attitudes away from home need to change or the club could be heading towards a very bleak winter.

Despite this, Norwich have the ability to be a very good top flight side. Now is the time to show it. 

 

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