Norwich manager says Adam Idah is making “big steps” this season
Norwich City manager David Wagner has praised Ireland striker Adam Idah.
Adam Idah has come in for praise from Norwich City manager David Wagner after a promising start to the season which included a goal for Ireland against the Netherlands.
Idah has never cemented himself as a reliable goalscoring forward in the Canaries line-up, but has generally fared well on the international stage by bringing athleticism and good hold-up play to the Irish attack.
1-0 Ireland thanks to Adam Idah's very cool penalty kick
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) September 10, 2023
There was hope that this season would see Idah produce the prolific finishing he illustrated at underage level, and he started well as he scored on the opening game of the season against Hull and followed it up with a goal and assist against Huddersfield on August 26.
That, however, was the last time the Corkman scored for his club so he consequently lost his place in the starting team for Wednesday’s meeting with Leicester City.
For once though, luck was on the 22-year-old’s side. Ashley Barnes, who replaced him in the Norwich team, went down with an injury in the second half which meant Idah came on for the last half an hour and will likely have a starting jersey for the foreseeable.
Adam Idah praised by David Wagner.
Speaking to the media today ahead of Norwich City’s Championship clash with Plymouth on Saturday, Canaries gaffer Wagner complimented Idah’s form over the last seven weeks.
“You see the step in his confidence and performances in the last games,” he said about the Ireland international
“He made an impact on Wednesday when he came on (against Leicester), he’s done it for Ireland against the Netherlands.
Ashley Barnes ruled out until likely after the November international break. Ouch, on both accounts. That is 10 matches for #NCFC.
Big blow. The knock-on is yet to be decided – but Adam Idah will not get another chance like this at Norwich.
He has to go and grab it.
— Connor Southwell (@cjsouthwell1902) September 22, 2023
The German then backed Idah further by adding: “He’s made big steps in the last six or seven weeks”, seemingly impressed by not just his Norwich showings but his contribution to the Irish team too.
Pundit Arena’s Ronan Calvert:
Idah is fortunate to get this golden opportunity with Norwich in the absence of Ashley Barnes.
Ireland fans have seen what Idah is capable of in games against Portugal, France and the Netherlands, and Norwich supporters are aware of his capacity too.
Their frustration though, as people who watch him every week, is that he can blow hot and cold. Sometimes he’s an all-action nuisance – he’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast and dangerous. Other times he’s an ineffectual frustrated figure up front.
When confident, like he was in January 2022 playing in the Premier League, he looks fully capable of delivering at the top level. Around that time he scored in a Man of the Match showing against Everton and played a key role in his team’s 3-0 win over Watford a week later.
Every touch from Adam Idah's well-rounded display against Everton 🇮🇪⚽️🔥
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) January 18, 2022
In simple terms, if Idah hits a scoring streak then he strikes me as the type of player to play better and better as confidence grows. Maybe then he can replicate that Premier League form.
But it mightn’t be that simple. What was noticeable about Idah’s best displays for his club before this season was that they mostly came in a second-striker or number ten role behind Teemu Pukki.
In that pocket of space he was able to utilise his wider skill set – a skill set which includes drifting wide and delivering deadly cut-backs, and a skill set that lets him receive the ball deeper and bring others into play without worrying about being in the box himself.
For that reason I think it will take more than just playing Idah consistently to get a tune out of him. History shows he probably won’t mould into a devastating number nine over the coming weeks – but with the right tactical tinkering, his full range of abilities could get the Canaries flying up the Sky Bet Championship standings.
He’s been unfortunate with injuries in previous seasons but as long as he’s available this season, his manager should be trying to find a way to get his undoubted talent on the Carrow Road turf.