James Kent brings us a view from Carrow Road before tonight’s game against Sunderland.
So far in the Premier League Norwich City have played five games and have amassed five points for their trouble. The performances have genuinely been good, but the results have been affected by a combination of individual mistakes and refereeing decisions. Fortunately, though Norwich recorded their first victory last weekend against Bolton Wanderers to stop the pressure building up too much.
Paul Lambert will be relatively pleased with the start his side has made, but will know that his side must cut out the mistakes at the back, and will also hope for more favourable refereeing decisions going forward. It is though a learning experience for both the manager and the team, and the early indicators are that Norwich City is learning fast.
Norwich are learning that at Premier League level mistakes can be instantly punished and you have to take your chances. In the two home games this season against Stoke and the West Brom, Norwich had plenty of the ball, but they haven’t always turned possession into goals.
Supporters may point to the decisions made against them from referees in both these games, but the reality is they still had plenty of the ball to have won both of these games comfortably.
There were, however, signs of progress in Norwich’s last game against Bolton. Norwich dominated the first-half and backed that up with a couple of well worked goals from set pieces. Those admiring the New Puma Kings would have been impressed, no doubt about that.
Norwich fans would have been a little bit nervous after Bolton scored a second-half penalty, but they kept their shape and stability to win the game. Going forward, Norwich have to learn to control the things they can control.
Crying about referee decisions is a waste of time and, ultimately, something they can’t control.
For instance in the West Brom match, everyone knows that Norwich should have had a penalty in injury time. However, the real reasons they lost the game was a mistake in the opening minutes of the game that allowed West Brom to score an easy goal and the fact that they failed to take advantage of their considerable possession
What the Bolton game demonstrated, and those looking for some was if you do your job in the game then even the referee makes a decision against you it doesn’t have to impact the result.
However, Norwich will at least hope that their luck with referees does start to change. Surely though Norwich City won’t be conceding a penalty in every Premier League fixture this season.