Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Rotherham 2-1 Norwich City: Paddy Davitt Championship pointers

1. Head scratcher

This was a pale imitation of the Norwich who surged to six unbeaten games, and scored eight goals in their previous two Championship away days. Rotherham had the bit between their teeth from the off.

That tenacity appeared to startle the visitors. In the face of an urgency and a front-foot bravery, Norwich’s play was frayed and imprecise. David Wagner called it a ‘reality check’.

Easy enough to single out the absence of injured striker Josh Sargent and the detrimental impact; given Adam Idah’s elevation was the only change to the line up that hammered Huddersfield in this part of the world the previous weekend.

But the degree of decline in the performance for the most part was alarming. Christian Fassnacht dragged one back six minutes after the break, in a belated response from City, no doubt following some home truths delivered by Wagner at the interval.

But the lack of quality, from front to back, sapped any concerted bid to complete the comeback, and by the end it was an endless stream of hopeful balls in the direction of Ashley Barnes or emergency forward Shane Duffy.

This Norwich are better than that. They need to be better than that. A first competitive defeat of the new campaign is hardly a cause for alarm bells. It is a sour way to pause, and now reflect over the upcoming international break.

Norwich had come from behind against both Hull City and Southampton already in the Championship. But this performance lacked the cohesion or the self-belief stamped through what had gone before.

2. Sargent complex

City’s star striker out injured until 2024. A surgical date next week in the diary. Which prompted a late transfer window addition on loan in Nottingham Forest’s South Korean international Ui-jo Hwang, who will link up with the Canaries after the upcoming international domestic break.

Wagner spoke afterwards about the similarities in Hwang’s game to Sargent.

The Idah and Barnes axis looked a shadow of what had gone before. Albeit Rotherham’s fearless, front-foot aggressive approach amplified the below-par elements of this Norwich offering.

Sargent’s athleticism, and crucially his willingness to stretch the play, was a huge miss against a Millers’ outfit willing to commit numbers to the front line of their press.

Any breakdown of this game will of course require context and an appreciation of what the Canaries’ had done previously. But Sargent was key to that unbeaten start.

Three goals in three Championship games, and alongside Barnes an almost telepathic understanding so soon in their blossoming relationship. No wonder the ex-Burnley forward was one of the first to console Sargent as he lay prone in the goalmouth at Huddersfield.

Wagner and his coaches need to work out what a post-Sargent attacking spearhead looks like, until he is fit enough to return.

There was more zip to City’s attacking work either side of Fassnacht’s goal but a dearth of quality.

Hwang emerged swiftly as a primary target in the closing hours of Friday’s deadline night, when it had become clear Sargent’s ankle ligament injury would keep him out months rather than weeks.

One would hope he can bring some of the attributes associated with the American’s craft that were absent at the New York stadium.

3. So long Andy

It was a summer transfer window that for long periods had an inevitability around Andrew Omobamidele’s departure from Carrow Road.

In the end it took a frenetic final evening of the summer window, and the Reds’ urgency to bring in a centre back after the trail for Chelsea’s Trevor Chalobah reportedly went cold.

An opening gambit around the £4m to £5m mark got short shrift earlier on Friday, but when the Premier League club hit the numbers Norwich City were looking for a total £20m package secured Omobamidele’s release from the team hotel in Rotherham.

Even then, it took an extension into the early hours for the Irishman to swap Norfolk for Nottingham.

Wagner made it clear he was ‘relaxed’ with the change to his central defensive unit. Both out and in the building.

Omobamidele’s new employers have already talked up the potential of one of the best young defensive prospects in the country. But, in truth, he had failed to dislodge either Duffy or Ben Gibson and since his impressive senior breakthrough had found his game time hit by persistent injuries.

Given the financial situation mapped out in Norwich’s last set of published accounts it is hard to dispute the deal, as Stuart Webber indicated, made sense for all parties.

Omobamidele’s short term stock would have continued to depreciate if he had limited game time between now and the January window.

City swiftly went down their target list to secure Danny Batth on a free transfer; a player they had short-listed earlier in the summer for this eventuality. Time will now tell if Wagner is right and who has got the better end of that deadline night deal.

4. Spanish silver lining

Once the frustration and disappointment subsides in the coming days, the sight of Borja Sainz edging towards a firs glimpse in green and yellow should induce excitement.

In a summer transfer strategy which tilted towards experience and sourcing players with the right mentality, the move for the 22-year-old, who produced his impressive personal stats in a losing cause in the Turkish Super Lig last season, looked a throwback to some of the most creative transfer additions of the Webber era.

There was a clear feeling Norwich may have stolen a march on others across Europe and plucked a player from under the radar.

But a pre-season ankle ligament injury in his second training session at Colney curtailed that optimism. Or at least placed it on hold.

Wagner indicated in his post-Millers’ debrief Sainz will be in the mix the other side of an international break that brings a Carrow Road double header against Stoke City and Leicester City. Although he will need a block of fitness work and some practice minutes in the under-21s.

Given Sargent’s prolonged absence, if Sainz can navigate the loss of a proper pre-season, and adjust quickly to the demands of English football, then he clearly can add another dimension to Norwich’s forward motion.

The manner of the laboured defeat to Rotherham illustrated they could do with injecting far more guile into their work in the final third.

Read the full article here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *