Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.
Liverpool romped to a 4-1 win over Norwich in the opening game of the Premier League season, but it was the visitors’ style of play that has got everyone talking.
The plucky canaries refused to take no for an answer when it came to playing out from the back, no matter the scoreline.
Well, yes AND no if your name happens to be Jamie Carragher.
As Liverpool raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Grant Hanley’s own goal and Mo Salah’s deft finish, Norwich weren’t without their fair share of good opportunities.
Recognising that the first-half was by no means a one-sided affair, Carragher gave credit where credit was due to the top-flight newbies.
In fact, the Sky Sports pundit went as far as to label the philosophy of Daniel Farke’s side “a breath of fresh air”, as they continued to play out from the back despite leaving themselves seriously exposed.
Fast forward to the second-half, with Liverpool now 4-0 up, Carragher performed a complete U-turn on his earlier pontification.
“What are they doing here?” He said.
“It’s just getting stupid now, don’t be so naive!”
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Carragher’s contrasting comments raise an interesting debate.
Which of the pundit’s attitudes is the correct one when it comes to a newly-promoted side?
Should Norwich be praised for persisting with their expansive style of play, or labasted for not being tactically flexible – or at least be willing to be?
The cut-throat nature of the top flight will likely mean Norwich find themselves on the wrong end of a few hidings this season, especially against the top six sides.
But, you could easily argue they’re just as unlikely to pick up points if they recoil, rollover and admit defeat before a ball has even been kicked.
Let’s not forget, Norwich started the game stronger, threatened throughout and did eventually find the net courtesy of last season’s Championship topscorer Teemu Pukki.
They even went onto ‘win the second-half’ 1-0, if you’re into that.
On another day, the result could have been a different one.
I am firmly in favour of the latest crop of newly promoted teams bringing their own identity with them as they make the step up to the Premier League – the identities that got them here in the first place.
Farke should be encouraged enough by what he saw from his side and not throwaway what would have been a whole summer’s worth of work on the training ground based around a specific style of play after just one result.
A leopard never changes its spots, unless its name is Jamie.
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