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Canaries rule roost over sloppy Hammers


Report from Allen Cummings -VIRTUALLY at Carrow Road



Jarrod Bowen – spent most of his time supporting Cresswell

With Norwich City still firmly fixed to the foot of the Premier League table, and West Ham on a five game unbeaten run, Saturday’s trip to Carrow Road wasn’t expected to hold too many fears for David Moyes’ resurgent side.

Pablo Fornals was back to full fitness, but Moyes was never likely to change the team that had demolished Burnley seven days earlier. That meant the Spaniard was left on the bench, and Tomas Soucek was again preferred to partner Declan Rice in place of Mark Noble.

 City started the game at pace. Maybe relieved of the burden of fighting relegation, now the drop looked inevitable, the Norfolk based outfit swarmed all over a lethargic looking West Ham. It was no surprise when the home side took a deserved lead after just 15 minutes – Teemu Pukki the scorer.

Would that serve to galvanise the Hammers into action? Sadly not! As an attacking force they were virtually non-existent. Jarrod Bowen spent more time supporting Aaron Cresswell in defence rather than being the exciting, attacking young player we have come to expect.

Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller were starved of the ball and consequently starved of any opportunity to pose a goal threat. It was no surprise when the impressive Todd Cantwell – he will surely move on to bigger and better things next season – made a surging run from midfield, skipping past Declan Rice on the way, before beating Lukasz Fabianski with a low drive just inside his right-hand post.

 The Canaries were well worth their 2-0 lead at the break.

 David Moyes had some work to do at half time – but chose not to make any immediate changes to personnel. West Ham certainly increased their tempo and Soucek and Robert Snodgrass were more involved further up the field.

Antonio saw one effort well saved by Tim Krul – and a Haller header looked goal-bound until Max Aarons got his body in the way before smuggling the ball clear. The Hammers’ possession was up, but there was still no end product.

Moyes introduced Fornals for Soucek, but even the little Spaniard’s industry couldn’t spark the desired response and the Canaries eventually running out comfortable winners. A typical West Ham performance – sadly disappointing when expectation was high. The result leaves the Hammers still sitting on 38 points – and still looking tentatively over their shoulder!


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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon