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Norwich City relegated from Premier League for fifth time

Saturday, 11 July 2020


Dean Ashton says Norwich City paid the price for their ‘embarrassing’ defending as they were relegated from the Premier League for a record FIFTH time.

The Canaries were totally outclassed yet again at the highest level as they were thumped 4-0 at home by West Ham on Saturday lunchtime.

Michail Antonio scored all four of the Hammers’ goals, sealing their opponents’ fate as Daniel Farke’s side became the first team to lose their top-flight status this season.

The writing was on the wall for the Canaries all term, and Saturday’s game at Carrow Road was a perfect example of where it all went wrong.

Norwich have played some great football at times and have enjoyed some high moments, including the sensational scoring form of Teemu Pukki throughout the first half of the campaign, but none higher than their remarkable 3-2 win over defending Premier League champions Manchester City.

But they have also shipped 67 goals across the campaign, an Achilles heel that has seen last season’s Championship winners make an immediate return to the second tier.

The numbing disappointment was written on the faces of the players when Saturday’s full-time whistle signalled their drop.

Former Norwich and West Ham striker Ashton was watching the game for talkSPORT, and he said this season was a huge lesson for Farke’s young side.

“It was embarrassing,” he said about the performance. “What I’d take from this season is defensively there is a huge amount of work to be done by Daniel Farke.

“There have been some great nights here at Carrow Road; it was a pleasure and a privilege to be here for that Manchester City victory, it was the best atmosphere I’ve ever heard at Carrow Road.

“I’ve heard people talking about, ‘is this the best footballing side Norwich have had’, and they have played some great football.

“But, defensively, if you perform all season like they have done, they haven’t really given themselves chances in games because they’ve gifted teams too many goals.

“In this league defending properly is the basis, and Sheffield United have shown how good they can be. If you don’t then there are players in the Premier League who will punish you.

“Norwich have had a harsh lesson this season, but I think the young players will be all the better for it and that’s the positive to come out of this season, those young players who have had that experience.”

Norwich were already six points adrift at the foot of the table before the coronavirus pandemic, and their form since the restart took a turn for the worse.

Six successive league defeats have now followed, to extend the losing run to seven in total, during which Farke’s side have only managed to score once.

And after the game Norwich captain Alex Tettey admitted it was difficult to be competitive in the top-flight on the Canaries’ budget.

He told BT Sport: “It’s very hard for me to talk but that was a tough game for us. We came out trying to be positive but again, when we don’t do what we have to do on the pitch we get punished and for all four goals you can’t defend like that.

“When you do, even teams that are struggling will punish you and that’s the Premier League. That’s what happened here today, we got punished for every mistake – passing choice we made, not marking on corners. It’s tough.

“It’s very tough, I’ve been saying this the whole season. We’re going to games and trying to be positive and in the end it ends up not being a positive game so it’s tough to get yourself going mentally.

“This club has not been a club that buys well established players for £40-50million, that’s never happened before and if you have a group collective that you’re trying to create in the Premier League then that’s difficult. It can be done but you’ve got to be consistent.

“We haven’t had bodies, people have been injured and it’s been tough for the manager but it’s a young group and they can take this experience and move forward.”
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