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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Big Match Analysis - Norwich 1 Leeds 1

We think defending is on the slide in the Football League this season. So, in order to test our theory, every week Turls looks at the rearguard play from our Big Match.

Norwich City 1-1 Leeds United
Saturday November 20, Carrow Road, (Att: 26,315)

Do you know what I've seen in my ten years of service? Too much. Way too much.

However, I always felt that the work I was doing was making a difference. Having said that, it doesn't look like anyone is listening to me and my tasty words of advice.

It bothers me because, when people don't listen, goals are scored. I was at Carrow Road on Saturday and, despite feasting on some of Delia's delicious Fish Pie, I couldn't help but feel as if I was being smacked in the face with a wet kipper at times.

Norwich City 0 Leeds United 1

Paul Lambert can't be happy with the goal Norwich conceded. It was a direct ball from the halfway line played up towards the Leeds striker and it looked like Norwich had a few chances of clearing the ball.

It's a bit harsh to be picking up on these slight faults, but these are paid professionals and near(ish) the top of the game. They need to deal with these situations better if they harbour any ambitions of getting promoted.

That said, they shouldn't blame themselves too much because the keeper should have saved it. Terrible effort, truly terrible.

Norwich City Defending:

Leeds kept up the pressure later on in the first half. The ball was played down the right and the Norwich defender should have cleared it easily. He was under absolutely no pressure and should have just booted it into touch.

That would have been the easy option but, instead, he decided to fluff his lines. He managed to tap it into the striker's path who proceeded to play the ball to the edge of the area where an attacker was waiting to blaze it over the bar.

Why do players seem scared to boot the ball into touch? Now I know you're only delaying the attack, but it allows your defence to regroup and reorganise. Don't bother trying to make a clever pass to a team mate, just put it into Row Z.

Let little Jimmy go home with a nice little souvenir. It'll save his Dad having to buy him a present and, in these difficult times, that's the best thing a player can do for his fans.

Leeds United Defending:

Norwich got better in the second half and, when the ball was played in from the right, the striker managed to work himself a little bit of space on the edge of the area and get a shot off.

One defender dived in and the other wasn't tight enough for my liking. You need to give a striker a little bit of space, but not too much.

It's a fine line because too much space means he can get a shot off, and if you're too tight he'll turn you easily and find himself with a golden opportunity.

Norwich City 1 Leeds United 1

The goal came from a corner, and I have not got a clue what happened in the box. It was bizarre. It was four on three at the back stick and two attackers were free.

The keeper was on the floor - maybe having a hissy fit about the fact his defenders were mucking about - and the attacker had the easy of job of heading it, under no pressure, into an empty net.

Leeds United Defending:

Norwich had a chance to win it when the ball was played in from the left. The striker had time to bring the ball down and get off a shot.

The Leeds defence will be very grateful that the striker blazed the ball over the because because, if he had scored, then Simon Grayson would have given his troops a right rollicking.


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