Norwich City column: David Wagner has tightened up defence but Canaries lack threat up front
If someone was to sit down and evaluate where this season has gone so painstakingly wrong for Norwich City, defensive frailties would feature heavily in their report.
After 27 games, the Canaries rank among the worst teams in the league, having conceded 43 goals. By way of comparison, second bottom QPR have conceded just 39 goals, despite having lost 16 matches so far this season.
But to give credit to David Wagner and his side, they have certainly tightened up in recent weeks.
Following the 3-2 victory at Cardiff in November, Norwich had conceded 32 goals from their first 16 Championship outings – an average of two per game.
Anyone proficient in maths could work out that means our last 11 games have yielded 11 goals conceded.
Look, there is no doubt that our improved defensive record has come at a cost. We have become far less cohesive in an attacking sense and ultimately less enjoyable to watch.
I would be hard-pressed to tell you the last time I thoroughly enjoyed a Norwich performance.
But it would also be wrong not to acknowledge it has been a factor in several results, including the impressive 2-1 victory at Hull last Friday night.
Despite yielding plenty of possession to Liam Rosenior’s side, the Tigers found it difficult to create clear-cut chances. That’s not to say Angus Gunn didn’t make some excellent saves, but most of those came as a result of long-distance efforts.
I was particularly impressed by Shane Duffy. It’s fair to say the experienced Irish international has found the going tough since arriving at Carrow Road, but I thought he was a mountain at the MKM Stadium, repelling cross after cross.
The result, somehow, leaves us in the congested mix for a play-off place – although I remain highly sceptical that the top six is a realistic possibility.