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By Chris Sutton
BBC pundit and Norwich striker
There’s a means of describing the scenario of Norwich: unless they improve considerably at the back they are not likely to survive at the Premier League.
Six matches in a quick glance should show Canaries boss Daniel Farke that something must change, and at their defensive figures makes for alarming reading.
Three straight defeats have abandoned second-bottom of this table to them, but it had been the way they lost 5-1 at home to Aston Villa before the worldwide break that is the cause for concern.
What happens next? I am not saying that they should abruptly just abandon their individuality because of an attacking group, and that’s what triggered them to promotion last season.
But even they had been giving resistance teams a lot of opportunities, and the thought process seemed to be’you will be outscored by us’.
It’s OK to be available when you may do when you go a degree up, it becomes a much more dangerous strategy.
Clearly, you need to ask whether their defenders are good enough by winning their own individual struggles to deal when they’re left exposed, and whether the backline of Norwich is acquiring enough protection they’re in the Premier League?
It appears the answer to the questions is’no more’, and I believe it’s somewhat misleading to simply put that down to the injury problems Farke has confronted.
I live in the area and read the paper so I’ve seen there’s been a major thing left about the injuries Norwich have endured in the last few weeks, and undoubtedly they’ve missed some.
There have been goalkeeper problems with their two, Tim Krul and Ralf Fahrmann, either out. In centre-half, Grant Hanley, Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann are long-term absentees, which has meant a midfielder, Ibrahim Amadou, has stuffed in there in place of play in his position.
More lately, Todd Cantwell and midfielders Kenny McLean picked issues over the worldwide break up.
It is clearly far from ideal, but I consider Norwich ‘s line-ups in recent weeks and I don’t see many players that are bit-part.
Three of the back four who played in the famous 3-2 win over Manchester City on 14 September also played in the 5-1 home defeat by Villa on 5 October, a group whom Norwich beat home and away in the Championship last year and finished 18 points above from the table.
You might even argue their line-up was really stronger for the Villa game since the Max Aarons but there were just three changes in total from the City game so it is not like there were no changes.
In any case, you cannot blame poor results on not needing the staff and your normal fashion available should you go out and perform on, because definitely sticking to it is not a sensible thing to do?
Then give them protection if you have a weakened group.
I’m a huge fan of grand soccer but occasionally you have to try to maintain your spine four complete – tell your full-backs to sit in and play pragmatically.
This isn’t a situation of me putting the boot. Far from it.
His Canaries side there’s not anything wrong with them, and placed in one of the greatest performances from the club’s history when they beat Manchester City each month.
My issue is they appear to be making each match a shoot-out and with their weaknesses in defence, it has left them.
Their defeat with Villa was a good example of this – I could not believe how ludicrously open that they were and watched it. It was frightful.
Norwich had plenty of chances in that game – 12 from the first half, also 21 in total, which is remarkable in isolation – however, that the only team to have more shots at the Premier League that weekend had been Villa, together with 22.
There has to be a little more balance between attack and defence from the standpoint of Farke, since his side are leaving their attack to do.
I think the Canaries have creativity in their group to compete at the airport, however you can’t ask them to evaluate three goals to win a game – that basically is what is happening at the moment.
It’s very clear what’s going to occur if Norwich don’t improve at the back – .
The Canaries have not just surrendered the most goals shots and shots on target in the top flight this year, they are among the worst groups in all of those groups also.
In reality, Norwich are sending goals at a faster rate than any group in Premier League history, never or relegated.
Since 1992, just 1 team has remained up having surrendered on average two or more goals a match (Wigan together with 2.08 in 2009-10). At the moment, Norwich’s album is a lot worse than that.
The major worry for me if Norwich are going to carry on moving toe-to-toe with every Premier League side they meet, is the way a lot of them are going to be capable of taking advantage of these the manner Villa did? I guess most of these are.
It will have a really negative effect on their players, if they take more beatings such as this.
This Norwich team is far from battle-hardened – just six of the squad have played in the Premier League before, and only four of these – Tim Krul (157 games), Alex Tettey (71), Sam Byram (27) and Grant Hanley (25) had played more than a handful of top-flight games earlier this season started.
We don’t know how they will react to defeats as well as not knowing yet how great they are in such a level.
That could impact their confidence also and, if they start to drop belief in the way Farke would like them to play, then they are in trouble.
The enormous positive about all this is that it’s still early, there is no need to fear yet.
I’d be considering how we need to tighten up, When I had been a player in the Norwich dressing area today, however I would be convinced we have.
YesNorwich are at the bottom three but they are well connected with all the teams above them and naturally Farke will probably be well conscious of the stats I have been talking about and all of the issues they’re facing.
I expected them to have some challenging times as a promoted side this season, therefore it’s not a surprise to see these.
Staying up is their target by playing entertaining football, with not invested money in the summertime and they are currently giving it a go.
Contrary to Villa, who bought a team during the summer and invested heavily, Norwich made a decision to stick with the players that got them encouraged.
I know why they have done that but Farke might need to think about what he desires in January if are not good enough to play how he wants to in the Premier League.
Games like Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth will help tell him that.
Like Crystal Palace and Burnley, who Norwich have lost to on the street in the previous few weeks, the Cherries are going well and at the upper half of the table, but this is another game which the Canaries fans will probably be thinking they should get something out of, and earn a first away point.
I only hope Norwich’ve learned their lesson from what’s happened in the very first couple weeks of this season, and also how big the Villa defeat might prove to be the very best thing to have happened to those .
If they’d drawn that game 3-3 they then may be thinking’carry on precisely the identical way’, but shedding 5-1 may mean the manager makes a few tweaks.
Since Norwich want some sheets he needs to do something different and they do not look like getting them.
Chris Sutton was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
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