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Rudd on form in much changed starting line up

A lot of the press on Wednesday relating to the game last night will obviously be devoted to the Grabban incident pre match, and to Ricky Van Wolfswinkel's second goal for the club, but that shouldn't stop Declan Rudd getting the plaudits he deserved

In his first senior appearance for the club in a number of years former England U-21 goalkeeper and a product of the City academy had an excellent game in the place of the rested John Ruddy

Rudd was on hand throughout the game to pull off a number of vital saves, something that was not lost on Rotherham manager Steve Evans, Evans hailed Rudd’s display as ‘the best ever I’ve seen from a keeper here’.

Had it not been for the excellent form of Rudd who is now 24 the result on the night could easily have been a defeat for City with the altered defence looking very porous at times against a decent Rotherham attack.

Neil Confirms Grabban 'Incident'

At the start of tonights match versus Rotherham, I like many others was wondering why there wasn't another striker on the bench, however mid way through the first half it all became a lot clearer

An article emerged in one of the main daily newspapers alleging Lewis Grabban had gone AWOL from the team hotel pre match having been told he was only on the bench and wasn't starting, the same day that his old club Bournemouth had a third bid rejected for him.

Alex Neil confirmed after the match that an 'incident' had happened but would not confirm specifics and said it would be dealt with in house, so it does sound like there is some truth in the stories in the papers.

Neil also went on to say that the third bid received for him from Bournemouth was no where near to the clubs valuation, with the bid that is believed to be in the region of £5.2m + £1m of add ons (part of which was contingent on Bournemouth retaining top flight status) being rejected out of hand, although noticably he stopped short this time of saying the player was not available for sale.

Neil said: ‘We’ve flatly rejected three bids from Bournemouth which are nowhere near our valuation. Until there is anything acceptable, he’s a Norwich player'

Now if I was in charge I would have him training with the youth team for the next few months rather than be held to ransom, can the club afford to do it? Yes, although it would obviously be a daft thing to do in the grand scheme of things it would be nice to be able to have principles.

Feed The Wolf

Yep - he's back - and he's scored his second goal for the club

Now £4.25m per goal doesn't sound great for a striker, but the fans love him and was popular with the crowd away at Rotherham tonight, and it's easy to see why.

Van Wolfswinkel is a traditional striker and on many occasions was in the right place at the right time thanks to that natural striker's instinct that is very hard to teach, and could easily have had two or three goals on the night 

Also unlike certain other members of the squad he is only interested in doing well for the club he is playing for and repaying the fans for their support, even if things are going against him, who can forget his infamous toe injury that lead to him renaming him self Van Toewinkel on Twitter the other yearfollowing a bit of banter with the fans.

Hopefully tonight will encourage Alex Neil to give him a bit more pitch time and enable him to go on a run and pick up a few more goals, even if he doesn't return to the prolific form that tempted us to pay Porto in excess of £8m a couple of years ago.

Harry Toffolo Makes Senior Debut

In a much changed Norwich side for the league cup fixture away at Rotherham tonight it was good to see 20 year old Norwich Academy product Harry Toffolo given his senior debut for the club.

By all accounts the young left back who made 30 appearances for Swindon on loan last season didn't have a bad game either, and whilst it may be too soon to throw him in at the deep end it will certainly have given the manager and fans encouragement that we have a suitablle left sided back up for Olsson and Brady.

On the evidence of tonight I would suggest that unlike the Murphy twins and others he is one that is worth persisting with and we should keep at the club this season rather than sending him out on loan as time training with the first team and seeing what tricks Premier League attackers can come out with will likely be more beneficial than sending him on loan to a lower division where he would face less skillful wingers coming at him that are less likely to out think him, although last week he was being linked with a loan move to MK Dons, but that may just have been the press putting two and two together and getting 5 with Josh Murphy moving their on loan for th season last Friday

Definitely one for the future Toffolo has also represented England at Under 18s, 19s and Under 20s

Murphy Sent To Coventry

No sooner than the ink has dried on his new contract it is confoirmed this evening that Jacob Murphy is to move on loan to League One Coventry for the rest of this season and will be his seventh professional team (including six load spells at Swindon, Southend, Colchester, Blackpool, Scunthorpe & now Coventry)

 

 

New Contract For Murphy & Murphy

The club have confirmed this evening that it has ties down two of it's rising starlets the Murphy twins Jacob and Josh 

The new contracts mean they will stay with Norwich until at least 2017 having signed professional terms back in 2013 on the back of the sucessful FA Youth Cup run

Josh with 29 appearances to his name has featured for the club much more than brother Jacob who spent much of last season away from Carrow Road on loan, playing a key role in Colchester United's Sky Bet League One survival by netting four goals in 11 games, he has featured twice for City to date, with both appearances coming in Cup competitions.

After signing fresh terms alongside his twin brother, Josh added: "I'm delighted and I'm just glad it's all sorted now.

"The club has got a big place in my heart and I'm happy to sign, and now the real work begins."

I'm sure the rest of the City support will join me is being pleased for them and the club and hope that they kick on now to realise theire true potential they undoubtedly have.

 

 

Big Match Build Up - Sunderland Away

According to Alex neil at his pre-match press conference at Colney this morning we have no new injuries to contend with for the game at Sunderland on Saturday, also he confirmed that Martin Olsson & Kyle Lafferty are not too far away from being available for selection.

Not much comment was passed on last weekend's match other than that we have to learrn to press home our advantage fully when we are on top (Grabban - this means you!)

Unsurprisingly most of the press conference was dominated by transfer speculation:

  • Mattia Destro is a target that the club have discussed
  • RVW is free to go if a sensible offer for both him and club is received
  • AN directly quoted as saying "some of the players we have gone for do not see us as an attractive proposition. That is the reality."  And also "We're still chasing our top targets. I want to sign players who will make us stronger & better."

New boy Robbie Brady was the player wheeled out in front of the ammassed press this week  - he said all the usual stuff in terms of we've had a good week of preperation and are ready to go etc

 

 

Mattia Destro - Rumours Persist

Rumours continue to persist linking Norwich with a £4.5m bid for Italian international striker Mattia Destro from Roma, where he has fallen down the pecking order following their signing of Edin Dzeco from Manchester City

The player has himself been quoted as saying that he would prefer a move domestically rather than internationally so it sounds like the interest in the him joining us in the Premier League is somewhat one sided with Bologna who are also believed to be interested sounding as though they are the favoured option for the striker who scored 15 goals on loan at AC Milan for the second half of last season.

One thing is clear however, and that is that Alex Neil is still after a striker, he has said so in press conferences, and also rather tellingly the squad number 9 has been left vacant as well

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