Writer: The Tuckster
Date:Wednesday December 4 2013
If we win, it's the players achievement. If we lose, it's Hughton's fault.
That's the impression I got after the weekend's victory over Crystal Palace, in which Gary Hooper netted the game's only goal to make it back to back home victories for the Canaries and relieve more pressure on the gaffer.
It's a real measure of the man that every time he's really had his back to the wall, his sacking seemingly inevitable and his P45 all but ready to be stamped, he's come out fighting, got his side organised and has actually produced the results.
But in spite of such bravery and gusto on his part, it's still met with apathy at almost every turn. "He's only doing the bare minimum" they'll say. What are they expecting? A Champions League push? What a ridiculous statement.
"We're too negative" is still being uttered on Canary Call, for instance. Might I just point out that there's a big, big difference between being too negative, and actually being positive but not quite being able to get a second goal. Hughton, as he has been for most of the season, has been encouraging his side to get forward more and test the opposition defence. What part of that is negative?
Then, when we're winning in the dying embers, he's criticised for his negativity in trying to defend a lead. To, you know, hold on and win a game of football.
Honestly, WAKE UP, would you? He didn't "defend for twenty minutes" as some say. The last few minutes, certainly, as ANY team would do with a slender lead, from Real Madrid to King's Lynn Town. Do they not understand the risk of doing the opposite?
It pains me to say, but some fans just cannot, will not, and shall not accept Hughton can do any good whatsoever. They want him out, and nothing will change their minds. There are so many holes in their recent statements (negative, boring, etc) which only further serve to emphasise they can't actually find a fault with the man. They just do not like him, full stop. Why? Because he isn't Paul Lambert, I'd imagine.
One minute, we're not winning enough. Then, when we are winning, we're "boring."
My take on it: Some of you need to grow up. Now.
Is winning not entertaining? I just don't get the logic in not being pleased to see your team actually picking up points and doing OK for themselves. Granted, we're not playing our greatest football ever, but Rome wasn't conquered in a day.
The sooner some of you can actually hold your hands up and give Hughton some credit for a change, the better for everyone.
Enough bitching from me, here's your usual bits and pieces.
Liverpool have Daniel Sturridge on the sidelines for two months. Phillepe Coutinho and Iago Aspas should both be in contention for starts.
Pilkington and Snodgrass are unlikely to be back for Norwich until the new year, with Ricky Van Wolfswinkel not expected to play until Swansea come to Carrow Road on December 15th.
Last time we met
Henderson, Suarez, Sturridge and Gerrard all netted for Liverpool on Norwich's last visit to Anfield, with a Ryan Bennett own goal completing a 5-0 scoreline which made it the second time the Canaries had shipped five to the Merseysiders last season.
This was the first time that the 'SAS' partnership of Suarez and Sturridge were put together, and they've never really looked back since. Suarez had already put 3 past Norwich at Carrow Road earlier in the campaign (repeating his efforts from the season prior to that) and this marked his seventh goal in two seasons against us. A horrible personality, but an undoubtedly gifted player all the same.
Hughton's side offered little in reply, and this result came in the middle of a really bad hangover for the club following a ten-game unbeaten run across the autumn which we haven't even came close to reaching the heights of again since.
Liverpool - DWLWDL
The Reds' form has become a little patchy all of a sudden. After a 2-2 draw with Newcastle they thumped West Brom 4-1, but were stopped in their tracks by an impressive Arsenal side in a 2-0 loss. They bounced back with a 4-0 hammering of Fulham and preserved a point in an enthralling 3-3 Merseyside derby draw with Everton, but they go into this fixture on the back of a poor defeat to Hull City, with Steve Bruce's side embarrassing them with a 3-1 win.
Norwich - DLLWLW
Liverpool have actually only picked up a point more than Norwich in the last six games. City's last three home matches (Cardiff, West Ham and Palace) have yielded 7 points out of a possible 9, but they haven't picked up anything on their travels since beating Stoke a couple of months ago.
Head to Head stat
Norwich haven't won at Anfield since 1994, where Jeremy Goss scored the last goal in front of the original standing Kop end before it was demolished and rebuilt into an all-seater stand.
What's in store this time?
Having the in-form Sturridge sidelined and going into the game off the back of another crucial victory are the only positives going into this one. Otherwise, it'll be a long journey to a ground in which we haven't won a game for 20 years.
Still, now we have a striker who knows where the net is, and we seemed to have identified Martin Olsson as a key threat on the left-hand side, those two hold the key here. If they keep playing with confidence we might just test a Reds backline who are feeling a touch fragile after their poor showing against Hull.
All ifs, buts and maybes. But let's just hope that if we do pull off an upset, Hughton is rightly given the credit he deserves.
Date:Wednesday December 4 2013
Stats: Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday March 9 2014)
City Play Out Tough Draw With Stoke (Saturday March 8 2014)
Support Big Dunc (Saturday March 8 2014)
Injury Update Ahead Of Stoke Clash (Thursday March 6 2014)
'The Fixture Computer's A Norwich Fan' (Thursday March 6 2014)
Adam To Miss City Clash (Wednesday March 5 2014)
Duncan Forbes Day (Wednesday March 5 2014)
City Need To Let Hoolahan Go (Tuesday March 4 2014)
Hello Neil - The Villa Podcast (Monday March 3 2014)
Martin Backs Hughton (Sunday March 2 2014)
|2.||Steve from Oz||256|
|13. Hull City||28||8||6||14||-5||30|
|16. Crystal Palace||28||8||3||17||-19||27|
|Arsenal v Everton
» Arsenal : 08/03/2014 23:58:00
|Trundles Writes Off Michu Rumours
» Swansea : 08/03/2014 23:32:00
|City Play Out Tough Draw With Stoke
» Norwich : 08/03/2014 21:37:00
|Liverpool: Why We Should Hate Chelsea!
» Liverpool : 08/03/2014 20:48:00
|Chelsea 4 Spurs 0
» Chelsea : 08/03/2014 19:24:00
» Southampton : 08/03/2014 17:46:00
» Crystal Palace : 08/03/2014 17:40:00