Canaries put on a grand show
It is a bitterly cold night, but the performance of Norwich City’s youngsters certainly warmed a few people up.
Admittedly, the crowd of just 405 was a little disappointing, but the performance of the Under-18s against Wigan in their FA Youth Cup third round tie was excellent. Some of the football the team played was very classy and, although they seem to have caught the same bug as the first team – that which makes taking goalscoring chances such a trauma – they completely dominated the game.
Above: Nick Butcher's pick captures the action moments before Dario Dumic elbowed Wigan's last minute free-kick. No handball, no penalty, Norwich win.
I’m a big fan of the Youth Cup. For me, it gives a clear indication of just how good an academy’s production line is and in the last few years, Norwich have struggled.
But despite the fact this current group still has plenty to prove, the signs are definitely encouraging. Of the 11 starters tonight, a good handful have a great chance of making the step up if the continue to grow and improve.
The game finished with a chuckle, as Danny Kelly (the real one this time, not his Austrian triallist friend) took out one of the linesman. For a moment it looked like the man with the flag ahd been knocked out. Fortunately not the case, but it should still make it on to SoccerAM this Saturday.
Glenn Roeder and Lee Clark, both watching from the directors’ box, enjoyed that moment as well (not too much, of course).
On a quick aside, although these Huddersfield rumours seem too specific to be completely made up, everyone at Carrow Road tonight seemed adamant Roeder’s assistant boss is going nowhere. I guess time will tell.
Back to the youngsters and, having interviewed three of them on Monday and Korey Smith again tonight, it’s good to see they can deal with the animals that are us hacks and say their piece. Let’s hope they get another chance beyond the fourth round in January.
* It’s been a really busy week – and I haven’t even mentioned my chat with a snooker legend, plus my failed attempts to get hold of another. So tomorrow, it is…
posted on 04 December 2008 00:09 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk