Defeats Can Become Wins With Goalscorers
Another Luiz Suarez hat-trick accompanied another dismal showing against Liverpool at Carrow Road on Saturday, the 5-2 loss reminiscent of Hughton`s catastrophic Norwich debut at a sweltering Craven Cottage in late August.
However, a look at the statistics reveals - surprisingly - that Liverpool only recorded six attempts on target to Norwich`s seven, with both sides enjoying an equal share of the possession.
It`s hardly news to anybody that the Canaries` start to the 2012/2013 campaign has been defined by a lack of potency in the final third; a paucity of goals that has undone otherwise impressive performances in arguably every game since the atrocity in West London.
With Grant Holt struggling to find form and a broken metatarsal sidelining Harry Kane for up to two months, Hughton`s decision to ship James Vaughan out to Huddersfield takes on a new degree of salience.
Prior to today, Norwich had scored just twice - a meager tally by any team`s standards, and incidentally, a sum total matched by Vaughan`s own personal goal tally. Emerging resurgent from a frustrating, injury-littered season, Vaughan has already become prominent for Huddersfield`s campaign, with the Terriers picking up 13 points from a possible 15 with him on the pitch.
Naturally, such an immediate impact has earned him plaudits in West Yorkshire and manager Simon Grayson is eyeing a permanent move for the in-form striker.
"Signing James in January is a possibility … He can be a major acquisition for us", Sky Sports quoted him as saying earlier in the week.
Confusingly, Vaughan had shown this exact sort of form during early pre-season outings, netting twice against Hertha Berlin and blasting a powerful drive home to seal victory against Peterborough. I, for one, was genuinely excited about a striker that I had almost entirely written off the previous season and dreamt of the glory the Holt-Vaughan partnership could bring: the perfect blend of pace, power and clinical finishing.
However, his unexpected exit threatens to represent an early failing of the Hughton reign, particularly since the much-maligned Chris Martin remains in the fray, much to the chagrin of many a Norwich fan.
Worse still, Hughton confirmed this week that there was no recall clause in the contract, rendering a potential return all but impossible until at least January.
Whilst many cite Vaughan`s injury record as a complete dealbreaker, he has this season displayed the sort of consistent quality that proves he`s worth his salt; a quality that Hughton`s strike force could certainly do with.
I sincerely hope exhaustive efforts are made at bringing him back to Colney. His return would no doubt provide an injection of vitality that any team would benefit from, particularly one desperately seeking to distance itself from the relegation mire.