Neil not afraid to make bold tactical decisions

Columnist Edward Seaman

Columnist Edward Seaman

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Alex Neil has rightly received a lot of praise in his time at Norwich City and this week highlighted what a fantastic young manager we have at the helm.

There are plenty of things to like about our manager but his strength and ability to make bold and brave tactical decisions is highly commendable.

Before the match at Anfield, the exclusion of Wes Hoolahan – the pivotal man so far this season - riled many on social media, but what I like most about Neil is his ability to get the big decisions right.

Bringing in Graham Dorrans in a deeper role tightened up the midfield, not a negative move but a sensible one, and helped City earn an impressive point.

However, making all the headlines was captain fantastic – Russell Martin.

Sometimes it’s hard not to question his ability at centreback but Martin’s weekend epitomises his commitment to the club and the passion he showed is that required to stay in the Premier League.

For those hiding under a rock this week, Martin drove back from Liverpool to Norwich on Saturday night to witness birth of his child before flying back to the north-west not only to play, but score City’s equaliser.

Wednesday night highlighted Neil’s man management skills, City far hungrier than West Brom – a refreshing change from some of the club’s cup capitulations in recent seasons.

It was also important to reintegrate Lewis Grabban and it’s pleasing to see that saga put to bed.

Credit has to go to the fringe players, notably Gary O’Neil who, despite a lack of game time, was excellent.

It was the first time I’ve seen Matt Jarvis and he stood out for me – a proper old school winger who can go inside and out without too much of this fancy stuff.

Jarvis is of course ineligible for tomorrow’s trip to West Ham, but after an impressive 90 minutes, I’d like to see Martin Olsson return and Robbie Brady pushed forward.