Tettey shows critics why he is still a key player for Norwich City in a milestone weekend
Norwich City’s first Premier League clean sheet of the season, at Bournemouth last weekend, was an important milestone.
After conceding 21 goals in their opening eight games, Daniel Farke’s side were widely criticised for the quality of their defending.
Admittedly, some of that has been deserved, especially in the aftermath of the 5-1 defeat against Aston Villa, but injuries to key defenders are a mitigating factor. However, if there were questions that needed answering, then City provided the perfect response with a strong, resolute performance at the Vitality Stadium.
The shut-out was in fact City’s first clean sheet since the 4-0 win against QPR at Carrow Road in April – and the first in the top flight since March 2016.
The 0-0 draw also earned City their first away point of the season. Central to achieving that was Alex Tettey, who produced the ultimate captain’s performance on his return from injury.
Critics of the 33-year-old tend to focus on his shortcomings, and granted he isn’t the most technically gifted player at the club. But at Bournemouth – as was the case against Man City – Tettey showed the vital qualities he does bring to the party.
In the first half, he provided a steel in midfield that has been lacking, disrupting the opposition in possession and protecting the back four. After the break, he was forced to draw on all his experience, filling in for the injured Ben Godfrey at centre-back. Fortunately, it appears as if Godfrey will be ready for action when City host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Much has been made of the quality of the current United side, but against Liverpool last Sunday they showed the levles they are capable of reaching.
But City have nothing to fear and bouyed with players returning to fitness, the game is there for the taking.