Norwich Demolish Braintree
It's been a very long time since Norwich 'demolished' anybody and a few goals are always good for the confidence of players and fans alike but we should keep our feet on the ground after beating Skrill Premier League side, Braintree Town 1-6, last night.
City fielded almost two completely different teams and played a diamond in the first half, which saw Andrew Surman open the scoring after just seven minutes. Not long after, Kyle Lafferty was fouled 25 yards out and after picking himself up, seized the ball.
He showed that he's not just a target man by putting a great shot into the top left hand corner to double the advantage. Lafferty was paired with Gary Hooper in that first period and both men nearly scored again with Hooper heading narrowly over and Lafferty heading against the bar from an Elliot Bennett cross.
It was all change in the second half with City making an initial eight changes and switching to a 4-4-2 formation with Lewis Grabban and Ricky van Wolfswinkel the two strikers.
One of the biggest cheers of the night came just a minute or so after the re-start as a horrible rick by home keeper, Hammann presented Ricky with an empty net to roll the ball into. He claimed one goal in pre-season last summer and that was a deflection, so it was even more enjoyable to see him score a second, late in the game to finish the scoring for the night after good work by Josh Murphy.
In between, Nathan Redmond and Bradley Johnson also both scored - neither of whom are hardly prolific! But that's how it finished 1-6, with the home side eventually pulling a goal back with the score at 5 nil.
City were slick and played quick attacking football that was way above their hosts' level - no offence to them, of course.
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy (Bunn 45); E Bennett (Whittaker 45), Martin (c) (Ryan Bennett 45), Turner (Gafaiti 60), Olsson (Garrido 45); Johnson (Loza 67); Howson (Hoolahan 60), Surman (Redmond 45); Hoolahan (Josh Murphy 45); Lafferty (Grabban 45), Hooper (van Wolfswinkel 45).
Norwich now head off to Italy on tour at the end of the week with the 25 man squad set to be announced tomorrow. Will Bassong and Becchio be in that group? Both played in the development side's 2-1 loss at Kings Lynn last night, although it's worth pointing out that City were 0-1 up when the 'senior' players went off. Becchio is the more likely but I doubt Seb will make it, casting further doubt over his future.
A little snippet for you is that at Kings Lynn, Norwich fielded a 17 year old, French triallist, Joel Cece Pepe. I don't know too much about him but understand that he has recently been released by PSG after coming through their youth system.
Sounds like PSG's youth set up is a bit like Chelsea's - only there for show as they never actually give anyone from the youth ranks a go, they'd rather splash €50m on a 'star'. Anyway, rant over, be interesting to see what happens now, he's certainly had a terrific start to his career in France, but is he any good?
Interesting few days coming up, I'd say.