Posts Tagged ‘Norwich’


How Norwich can hurt Arsenal – plan B

By Stefano on April 12th, 2013

Amongst Paul Lambert’s chopping and changing last season, Grant Holt was one of the few constant features of the Norwich City side that finished comfortably mid-table in their first campaign back in the Premier League. His rise through the divisions was remarkable ­ League Two, League One, Championship and Premier League in four consecutive campaigns ­ and with 15 goals in his debut season, some suggested he’d be a decent ‘Plan B’ for England.
After a transfer request and a quick U-turn, Holt laughed off suggestions he wouldn’t be as motivated, having secured a new contract in the summer. But while Norwich haven’t quite experienced ‘second season syndrome’, Holt has.

Just five league goals is a significant drop from last season, with his all-round game also less impressive under Chris Hughton than under Lambert. Since Holt missed a late minute penalty against Southampton last month, Hughton has dropped him to the bench, favouring loanee Kei Kamara as the lone striker. The Sierra Leonean is accustomed to playing on the wings from his time in MLS, and is more of an all-rounder than Holt, able to work the channels on the break.

This will be particularly useful away at Arsenal this weekend, where Norwich will play on the counter-attack. Kamara will hope to pull Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, who hasn’t played for a few weeks, out of position before spinning in behind.

Holt has become used to life as a supersub; his last three Premier League appearances have been from the bench, with his frustration at his reduced role summed up by the fact he’s been cautioned in all three substitute appearances. At the Emirates this weekend he’s likely to be a Plan B. No-one is calling for an England call-up these days.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans.

Article originally published here.



Walcott and Wilshere are back for Arsenal against Norwich. But should Wenger start them?

By Stefano on April 11th, 2013

The news from Arsenal just keeps on getting better. The club is in arguably its best form of the season, has a very winnable game against Norwich on Saturday, and now it appears too that the club’s missing star English players are back from injury.

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that both Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are going to be in the squad for Saturday. The manager told the official club website…

“Jack has joined normal training since Wednesday and Theo should join in tomorrow. They are 90 per cent available for Saturday.”

Wilshere has been out for six weeks with an ankle injury, while Walcott injured his hip playing for England last month.

The only bad news for Arsenal is that two-goal Tomas Rosicky could miss the game.

“The other uncertainty we have from last Saturday is Tomas Rosicky, who has a little hamstring irritation.

“His involvement is yet to be decided as well but it’s fair to say that he is a big doubt for Saturday.”

Rosicky’s absence may force Wenger’s hands on playing at least one of the England pair. Ultimately thought it is a shame to change a winning team, even if they did spend a chunk of the second half on the back foot against West Brom.

Santi Cazorla appears top be playing some of his best football in the more central role that he has inherited since Wilshere’s injury, so I wonder if the midfield trio will be Ramsey, Arteta and Cazorla with Walcott and Podolski on the wings. At least then Wenger has the option of bringing Wilshere on if Arsenal are struggling.

Also Wenger has to think about the upcoming Everton game on Tuesday – a much harder match and one that might have a huge impact on the campaign for Champions league qualification.

Mertesacker is suspended, so Thomas Vermaelen is sure to start.

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