It was by no means a classic nor a game that will be remembered in a few weeks but it has yielded a valuable point for the Wanderers. The line up and substitutions eluded to Parky’s plan of playing for a point which ultimately was a successful tactic. Wanderers remain 4 points away from the drop zone with another game gone.
The line up presented another change up front, continuing with Parkinson’s striker rotation approach. Adam Le Fondre came in for Sunderland goalscorer, Zach Clough and Darren Pratley returned after a lengthy spell on the sidelines to central midfield. Burke joined the captain at the heart of the park whilst the back three consisted of Beevers, Wheater and Dervite.
The match has little in the way to speak of. Wanderers we’re under the thumb for the entire 90 minutes but did their best to disrupt Norwich play. We had the odd chance from set plays and counter attacks but rarely looked credible for a lead. Norwich City had one golden opportunity but struck wide and also had an effort in the net which was correctly ruled offside. Wanderers switched from 3-5-2 at half time to a 4-2-3-1 which resulted in a better performance from the Whites and also limited Norwich’s dominance. It would ultimately finish 0-0.
It seems pretty obvious what Parky had in mind when selecting the line up for this game. He wanted a draw and got a draw which can’t be considered all that bad a result. He played a midfield full of work rate but low on attacking flair and his choice of ALF over Clough alluded to a manger who wanted work rate over guile. Even the substitutions; ALF for Aaron Wilbraham, Derik Osede for Reece Burke and Jon Flanagan for David Wheater sent the message that the Whites were there for the clean sheet, not the goal.
Not much more can be said about this one other than it is a good point especially when considered that Reading FC also drew with Sunderland and Birmingham FC losing. We remain 4 points clear of the relegation zone and will face Preston North End at home in a week. Fingers crossed we might see a bit more threat in that match.
As for good performances, everyone was pretty solid. One pleasing performance was that of Jon Flanagan. Regardless of being a dick in everyday life he is evidently a very good footballer and showed as much when he came on. Whilst Mark Little has been a candidate for player of the seasons thus far, he will certainly be pushed by Liverpool loanee for the rest of the year.