Pre-season friendlies are never a good indication of how a side will perform during the season, with players wanting to avoid injury, formations switching regularly and numerous changes shattering any rhythm before the burger bar has stopped serving half-time drinks.
Last night at Sincil Bank was exactly that, a game with little rhythm and offering only slight indication as to exactly where Norwich City are in the grand scheme of things this summer.
Despite the numerous changes, the exhibition pace and of course, the reticence to throw in strong tackles, there was still information to glean from the Canaries performance, not least the impact Jordan Rhodes could have this season.
Prior to the game Lincoln City announced their club record signing, John Akinde, but it was the striker wearing yellow and green who raised the most eyebrows with his second half cameo.
Whilst Akinde looked on in the stands, Rhodes got straight into the thick of the action at just the right time.
The first half was, for want of a better phrase, a tedious affair. Both sides attacked sporadically but neither looked to be pressing the issue as much as they perhaps could.
Norwich broke the deadlock with a superb free kick, but their attacking left a lot to be desired.
Daniel Farke introduced his new face at half time, along with eight others, and it was Rhodes who perhaps turned the most heads.
He put in a strong display, setting up both second-half Canaries goals and immediately becoming a focal point for the attack. Before the break Norwich had got into good areas but lacked a final ball, not having a target to aim at. As soon as Rhodes came on, that changes.
He’s an old school centre forward, bustling and busy, but with creativity in his locker as well as goals.
It may have been against six or seven Imps trialists, but he looked the part, focusing Norwich’s play in a single direction.
Their messy, broken approach found cohesion with Rhodes on the field and Norwich looked like the team from a higher level for 45 minutes.
A comical last-minute own goal from former Lincoln hero Sean Raggett gave the Imps fans something to cheer, but long after the exhibition game had died down and fans had left, Jordan Rhodes was still out signing autographs for the Canaries who had made the two and a half hour journey across the country to see their heroes.
If his display on the pitch gave them hope of a decent season, off it he showed understanding of the sacrifices their fans made to be at the game.
After a season from hell at Hillsborough, Jordan Rhodes needs Norwich as much as they need him and if things continue in the vein they’ve started in, he’ll be a big success for Daniel Farke’s side.
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