With the crushing last minute defeat to Sheffield United and shipping four goals against West Brom, alongside the individual errors that led to these goals, I can’t help but think, why didn’t we strengthen our full backs?
Jamal Lewis is for me, our only strongest full back.
We need to remember; he’s still young, learning and raw but will have mistakes in him. It’s his natural position, so he knows his job. You press forward, and then you press back straight away.
It’s clear that with Lewis , he just needs to keep his head down, train hard and reap the rewards. Sometimes young players can go completely off the radar which can be so damaging to the potentially great career ahead of them.
Ivo Pinto, he’s a fan favourite and supporters love him for his “Pitch War Yellow Army” and I’m sure this opinion might create some debate, but he has one too many inconsistent games. His passion and drive are two outstanding attributes he possesses, but his defensive quality leaves question marks about his ability as a natural right back.
At this level, mistakes can prove costly.
Just like the one against West Brom, where he got caught out high up the pitch leaving us exposed . Ben Marshall is 100% being played out of position and as much as he is a versatile player, the right back position is not best suited for him. It must be frustrating for him not being able to showcase his full potential.
We’ve seen in the games against Birmingham, West Brom and Sheffield United that he’s a player that likes to press high up the pitch and make things happen.
In doing so, it leaves us exposed at the back and vulnerable to the counter attack. You just have to look at how many problems he caused us last season, he was a real nightmare to deal with.
Positioning is key here and he should have been goal side. It reiterates the question again, what do you expect when you’re not playing in your natural position? Play him in midfield, let him express himself and do what he does best.
That just leaves us with Felix Passlack, Marco Stiepermann and the young lad Max Aarons. I don’t think now is the right time for Aarons. Experience is always key in this league, with him only being 18 , just signing his first professional contract, his time will come.
He’s just not there yet.
Let him be in and around the first team and play in all the cup competitions. Surprisingly, we haven’t seen any of Passlack yet , although I haven’t seen him play this season but Daniel Farke must rate him highly from his Dortmund days.
Stiepermann is not a defender, plain and simple. Coming off the bench, he offers so much more of a threat on the wing.
James Husband has recently been shifted out to Fleetwood Town on loan until January. If any of you have seen mine and Chris’ match review from Birmingham you will already know my opinion on him.
A loan may do him the world of good to get his confidence back but I really can’t see him getting anywhere near the Norwich starting line up upon his return. He has struggled with the pace and quality in the Championship. That game against Birmingham on the opening day only reinforced his lack of ability whilst operating in this division.
Defensively, his decisions are woeful and at times it looks like he doesn’t even know what to do with the ball at his feet. As a full back, you should have the ability to make that darting run down the line with the ball but he’s one that always seems to lack composure, panic and subsequently lose possession.
A loan move to League 1 puts him at this level. Best of luck to him, but he has put the nail in his own coffin in regards to his future at Norwich City.
There is absolutely no competition for places in the full back positions and we don’t have any alternatives which is the worrying thing.
Yes, this season it’s looking like we’re going to score more goals but if we can’t defend and get results, then at the end of the day those goals don’t really count for anything. It’s frustrating to see players being played out of position.
The amount of talent we have this season going forward is so pleasing but our defence again, is our weak spot.
Briefly looking ahead to what is proving to be ‘must win’ game. We face Preston North End midweek and believe me, it won’t be an easy game.
Watching them against Stoke, it was clear to see they caused real problems with their direct approach. The young lad Lukas Nmecha up front is definitely one to be wary of. He’s quick, tall and agile with the ability to cause any defender a nightmare.
Pep Guardiola rates him highly, so Alex Neil may well have a great talent at his disposal. It’s so important that we get 3 points on the board, not only to get the ball rolling, but to get fans behind the team.
On The Ball, City!
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