Norwich City have reasons to be optimistic after Liverpool defeat but holding midfielder is required after Oliver Skipp impressed for Tottenham Hotspur
In truth, it was always going to be a big ask for Norwich City to get something out of last Saturday’s Premier League opener against Liverpool.
Understandably, the Canaries looked like a team whose pre-season had been heavily disrupted as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat.
However, despite the final score – and given the circumstances – I thought there was plenty to be enthused about.
City had spells of good possession and for the large part, looked comfortable in the face of Liverpool’s high press, which has been such a key element of their success in recent years.
One move of note, which resulted in Teemu Pukki shooting straight at Alisson after being sent clear by Todd Cantwell, demonstrated we have the quality to create chances against the best teams the league has to offer.
For a player making his Premier League debut against esteemed opponents, I was particularly impressed with the performance of Dimitris Giannoulis. The left-back was repeatedly able to drive forward with the ball and carry us up the pitch.
It was out of possession, in the transitional phases, where Daniel Farke’s boys came unstuck.
Liverpool’s opening two goals saw us caught on the counter, having been dispossessed in the opposition’s half. More than anything, this reaffirms the need for a bona fide defensive midfielder to arrive to fill the void left by Oliver Skipp.
Skipp was so good last season in that role, mopping up opposition attacks and providing a protective screen for the two centre-backs.
We were all desperate to see him return, but that is now highly unlikely after he played a starring role in Spurs’ win against Manchester City – the team the Canaries face tomorrow.
As Premier League assignments go, it doesn’t get any tougher – particularly as Pep Guardiola will be looking for his side to show a reaction to that defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.