Chris Hughton’s tactics don’t please a lot of fans, but there is a logical reason behind his philosophy. And it will certainly hold Norwich City in a good position for years to come, especially if Norwich remain in the Premier League.
Defensive football is not in the same category as sexy football, so it’s understandable why fans don’t like it. But successful teams tend to all have very strong defences. Therefore, it was vital that Hughton was able to improve this area of the pitch.
Anyone that watched Paul Lambert’s Norwich City play will know that Norwich never looked secure from a defensive point of view. This is something that Hughton has clearly addressed and the change from last season is remarkable. Fans could rightly point out that the team are not the fluid attacking force that they were last season. But clean sheets have now become commonplace and the team looks genuinely capable of keeping the goals out.
Lambert’s Canaries were a little bit too unpredictable for my taste. However, they were an exciting team to watch. That has now been replaced by a more mundane Premier League side, but one that you can feel confident could become a permanent fixture.
Building a solid backbone is an important part of the process and once Hughton has that fully established, he can look to expand on his attacking options. Looking through the league the more established teams in the league have all gone through a similar process. Those that have tried to play a more attractive style too soon are at risk of relegation. The football hasn’t always been pretty this season, but Norwich have evolved.