HomeZ OLD CATEGORIESEPLThe Absence of Fantastic Mr Fox | Opta Stats

The Absence of Fantastic Mr Fox | Opta Stats

Firstly, apologies for the late writing of this blog but to be fair the game at Stoke City last weekend didn’t leave much to write about.  I didn’t make the journey to the Britannia Stadium but by all accounts it was a poor game so I won’t dwell too much on this but instead take a closer look at the team selections.

I wrote a blog recently about “tinker man” Lambert and how he changes the team for every game and more often than not I gasp at the team sheet in confusion, but generally he gets it right. However, the Stoke City game team selection left me feeling more bemused than usual. Whilst I think Kyle Naughton is a fantastic player, whenever he plays at left back I think he struggles, he is much more comfortable on the right side. But this selection was more down to injuries than a 1st choice from Lambert.  What really did surprise me was the absence of David Fox however, probably one of our best players of the season so far albeit under the radar, an old-fashioned midfielder who does a lot more work in games than he gets credit for.  A great play maker and reminds me somewhat of Ian Crook, I suspect David Fox doesn’t have a halftime drag on a cigarette like Crooky used to though. The other surprise for me was Jonny Howson’s first game for Norwich City, being let in straight from the word go seemed a little strange given the performance of Jackson, Wilbraham and Hoolahan recently.

Lastly, I was probably more baffled by a choice of midfield that had not been a starting formation for any other game this season – Bennett, Pilkington, Surman and Johnson. I checked through all the season stats and this formation have not started one game this season, for me that seems a strange decision when we don’t have injuries in this area and we have been grinding out some fantastic performances. Anyway, I’m no football manager and Mr Lambert knows far more than me but that’s my two pennies worth. I have looked at some stats below which analyse games where we have played a lone striker and when we have not played David Fox, some interesting insights here.

More on next page: Stats from Stoke Vs Norwich…

I've been a season ticket at Norwich City since I was about 12 and grew up in the days of Robert Fleck, Bayern Munich and Mike Walker. It's been a rollercoaster ride for the last 19 years we've been promoted 4 times, relegated 4 times, spent a season in the doldrums of league one and now we are flying high* in the premier league. *written in January when we are in the top half!
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