Date: 26th January 2017 at 11:25pm
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Tomorrow sees the Blues’ host the Canaries in what should be a fascinating game. Norwich started off the season in fine form before having a few patches in form. Alex Neil’s job seems to be on the line so it’s uneasy times for Norwich on the pitch and it looks like they are spiralling even further down the table. It’s also interesting from a Birmingham City point of view due to the new signings coming. I have been impressed with the new additions but actions will speak louder when they get onto the pitch but overall, it will be good to see how they adapt and whether Zola’s style of football can finally be implemented.

In terms of the one to watch for Norwich, that has proven to be quite a task. The team is inconsistent and that is based on the fact that so are the players. Some games, certain players play out of their skin and then the next, it’s almost as though they haven’t turned up. They also have players who do not stand out. Sometimes a player with flair and skill really does stand out as they often grab the headlines but for Norwich, Alex Neil has got players who will do the job for the team and don’t really stand out as individual players. One man that epitomizes this work for the team is the player that I will choose as my one to watch and that is Steven Naismith.

The experienced midfielder adds balance to the side. Even when Norwich lost to league strugglers Rotherham a few weeks ago with 10 men, it was Naismith that really tried to keep the team together and try and get what they could from the game. Having 10 men for 80 minutes took its toll in the end but the desire from Naismith to prevent the team from crumbling really must be a dream for the manager. Having signed from Everton, it is clear that he has ability on the ball but his character on the pitch would be missed if he was not chosen to play, that’s for sure.

With speculation that Neil’s job was under scrutiny, in Norwich’s last game against Wolves, Naismith was the one who was really playing for the manager. He was pulling the strings in that central area and covered a lot of ground. His ability and stamina to just keep going until the end despite the result is a testament to his attitude and it is something that needs to be watched in the latter period of matches.

He is capable of scoring a few goals especially with late runs into the box which we do need to keep an eye on. But overall his long range finishing can be wayward. However, we cannot give him time on the ball in and around the box as he does pick a pass really well which sets up his strikers. For all of his attacking ability, he also does the defensive side of the game really effectively. He tracks back and keeps with his man as though he has been drilled to do so. Naismith is just such a hard worker that anyone would want him in their team and the way to get past him is to play a high intensity game. I believe that Zola does want to do this and with the new signings at the club, then I don’t see why we should drop points. But it will be about finishing on the day.

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