The Norwich nightmare continues - the bus stops revenge

The Norwich nightmare continues - the bus stops revenge

Last update: 9 March 2022 Tags: Norwich, Brentford. Categories: Premier League.

Back in November Norwich stole the points but still sacked their manager Daniel Farke after their visit to The Community Stadium. With Brentford fully planted within the relegation fight Saturdays match up between the two promoted sides was a must win occasion.

The away side transitioned to a 4-3-3 formation the previous game against Newcastle United from the standard 3-5-2 before returning player Josh Da Silva was sent off, thus destroying the amendment before it even had a chance. Thomas Frank stuck to the formation but incorporated star striker Ivan Toney, Christian Eriksen and Sergi Canos into the line up at the expense of the banned Da Silva, Yoane Wissa and Matthias Jensen. These changes gave the visiting fans hope before kick off while the home side made two changes to their previous games line up versus Southampton.

Tim Krul and Sam Byram come into the side while Angus Gunn and Max Aarons had to make do with seats on the bench. Gunn was desperately unlikely, performance wise he did not let the team down, unfortunately for him Krul has discovered the form which made him one of the Premier Leagues best keepers during his spell at Newcastle. Max Aaron’s on the other hand is a parody of himself these days, once a target for Bayern Munich the full back will be lucky if he ever plays in the top flight again after this season.

For some reason prior to kick off only the Brentford fans took part in creating a image of the Ukraine flag via yellow and blue card left on their seats.

Immediately from kick off the Brentford front three ably supported by their midfield was able to pressure the Canary defence into playing very deep with some hairy moments. Mbuemo especially was wasteful in possession and ultimately helped Norwich reach the halfway line by constantly dishing out poor passes for runners or slipping over. Gibson and Hanley struggled with the ball at their feet all day and felt more at ease pumping it towards the gaps between centre and full back. This tactic gave the game its first real chance, Ethan Pinnock dealt with the long ball admirably but proceeded to give away possession cheaply to the promising Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour who passed to Rashica but when one on one fluffed his effort. Gilmour did not have a great game Saturday and when Raya palmed out the Rashica shot Billy should have slotted the rebound away.

The game continued to be very evenly matched during the opening 25 minutes with Christian Eriksen pinging passes from either foot around the field while Norwich was penetrating the raw Brentford back four. The understanding between the experienced defenders and midfield protectors was slow to burn, Pukki and Sargent had half chance glimpses. Too often the west Londoners concede first luckily with David Raya back in goal he makes the white posts seem a little bit smaller for opposing forwards.
Sergi Canos was provided the first real away shot when Eriksen threaded a ball from right to left with laser accuracy, the pass was too good for a player of the Spaniards quality, he did not expect it and fluffed his lines. He made amends not long afterwards following a long throw from Pinnock, the ball dropped to Canos and the half volley was palmed away by Krul.

Momentum had swung, the resulting corner flicked on by Ajer dropped perfectly to Toney, instinctively side footing the ball into the net. Delirium set in among the away fans, fear of the drop a reality for the home ones. The rest of the half flew by, Brentford determined not to concede threw themselves into tackles and blocks all over the field. Janelt and Norgaard are expected to perform like that but it was the returning Dane Eriksen who showed his new supporters he is not just a luxury player, harassing and prompting the high press.

The second half was a dream for Ivan Toney who scored his second and third goals of the day via the penalty spot but to me it was another indictment of the poor refereeing within the Premier League. During the first half Anthony Taylor was always one step behind, the away fans were baying for his blood due to continual poor decisions the fear was with so much on the line would someone cross the line with a challenge due to the ref not protecting players correctly.

By half time he seemed to be equaling out his poor run and the home sides fans grew frustrated with him. They totally lost the plot with Taylor in the second half, supported by Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn they only gave one of the major decisions during the second half, the rest fell to VAR intervene and rectify the errors made. To the home fans whether the decision was right or wrong the situation had become toxic and unbearable for them someone was conspiring against them, if they are being honest with themselves all decisions made eventually were correct. The penalty given in real time was so obvious someone shopping in one of the shops within the Carrow Road retail park would have seen it.

I am not sure how Krul was not booked due to his antics prior to both penalties being scored but Toney surely is one of the best penalty takers in world football? As the game went on and it was clear Norwich would not win the home side tried to take advantage of the lenient standards set by the officials. Williams and McLean dived trying to earn penalties while Normann and Pukki aggressively taunted Brentford players with naughty challenges hoping to receive a equally aggressive reaction.

If you read Canary fans Twitter feeds they was seriously assaulted by the visitors especially Ivan Toney, all they are doing is masking the poor ability of the players and as mentioned before forgetting or refusing to see what their own do. If they was good enough one of the early chances would have been scored while the late flurry of efforts smacked of desperation rather than good penetrating ball flow. Jonathan Rowe came off the bench with fifteen minutes to go and summed up the lack of quality, due to his youthful endeavour rather than skill he caused issues to Roeslev especially. The hard work Rowe put in created the goal late on for the increasingly frustrated Pukki, it’s hard to see him playing at Carrow Road next season.

Despite the late goal the result was never in doubt, due to the numerous VAR reviews eight minutes of added time was played but the confidence oozed from Brentford and they seemed to enjoy riding out the last few moments of the game.

Relegation beckons for Norwich while Brentford now walk into another six pointer this weekend against Burnley.