As expected, some Norwich City fans are talking up the probable inevitability of relegation and some questioning the capability of Daniel Farke and his team.
Tuesday’s woeful performance at Southampton and especially the first half did provoke lots of questions for fans and management alike. The team were bullied by simply being pressed back on the ball with added physicality and sharpness. Norwich City had no answer and looked lost.
The other key ingredient was the inability to manage set pieces not caused by zonal marking alone, more like the inability to correctly execute zonal marking in dealing with the second ball. It was worrying to see an apparent lack of belief or ability to cope at St Mary's.
With the key exceptions of defenders Grant Handley and Timm Klose, the matchday squad is more or less where it should be. The club intentionally has not invested heavily so my expectations were low to start with. Any success is a bonus for me this season as painful as it is when mistakes are repeated on this pitch as they have so far this season.
Had Norwich been able to compete against teams around them, Watford at home and then Saints away, the Canaries could have been sitting pretty 16 points and having a completely different view of life in the Premier League. If, but, when, did, how?
Sheffield United have spent considerably more cash in preparing for the Premier League. Added to that Chris Wilder is a feisty chap who importantly respects nobody and no opposition outfit. He builds competitive teams who work their nuts off for the club. Their style could cause City many problems on Sunday, will the Canaries be up for the fight?
I watched the Blades/Magpies game on Thursday. Sheffield Utd started to game with plenty of energy with no end result. Newcastle scored their goals on the counter. It might mirror the game this Sunday with City feeding off a few opportunities?
I was surfing YouTube this week and came across Trevor Hockey, the much-travelled tenacious and heavy bearded midfielder with his trademark headband. As expected in the game I watched, he got booked following a number of over-enthusiastic tackles.
I can also recall taking a girlfriend for her first experience of ‘the Carra’ in 1990 and standing in the Barclay to watch the Blades who had a certain Vinnie Jones playing as Captain for the opposition. Vinnie was booed throughout the game, conceded an own goal and the Canaries won 3-0... happy days!
Later on, in 2010 having gone 1-0 and 2-1 down, City managed a 4-2 home win with a Michael Nelson header and the wee magician Wes Hoolahan netting a hat trick. Something similar to this on Sunday would be nice.
Trybull and Amadou were missing in action midweek although others could have been equally replaced at halftime. Hopefully, Alex Tettey will start to make the team more solid. It could also be time for Emi Buendia to be introduced from the start, he can split defences and midfields with one ball which might help Teemu.
The boys in yellow will need to start on the front foot and be prepared to mix it up to gain the advantage on Sunday. Hopefully, Hernandez and Pukki, who were starved of space and opportunity against Saints will have a greater effect. At the back, set-piece defending will once again be scrutinised.
We are in trouble, I expect a 2-0 defeat. I hope I am embarrassingly wrong.