Thursday, 30 August 2012

Norwich to keep their heads above water

Having lost their inspirational manager Paul Lambert to Aston Villa during the summer, the task of maintaining Norwich City's Premier League status has been handed to Chris Hughton. Apart from Lambert, there hasn't been any stand out exits at the club, meaning their squad is stronger then last year. Robert Snodgrass's addition has been a good one, with the former Leeds captain more the equipped to take on the Premier League.

Norwich along with Swansea took the Premier League by storm last year; however both have lost their manager and it's taken Norwich longer to adapt to life under a new regime. Just the solitary win from their opening eight games mean the Canaries perch just above the relegation zone; however I expect them to improve under the Hughton.

Whether Grant Holt can repeat his goal scoring form of last season is up for debate. 15 league goals was an exceptional return given the fact it was his debut season at the highest level, and even better considering he was a League Two player in 2009.  Hughton only brought in Harry Kane on loan from Spurs to bolster his attacking options, and already Norwich have had problems scoring goals.

Despite their struggles defensively, the additions of Sebastian Bassong and Michael Turner are solid and will improve Norwich's back line. Both of whom have Premier League experience and I was very surprised to see Sunderland let the latter go.

Key player - Bradley Johnson. Another former Leeds man at Norwich is key in the centre of the midfield. At 25 he's approaching the peak of his career and if Norwich are to survive then Johnson needs another good season. He, like so many Norwich players, had a good season last year; however for me Johnson will have to step up and be the main man in the centre of the park, which he is capable of.

Prediction - 16th. Having lost Lambert this year is all about consolidation, with survival the main goal in Hughton's first year. I like the transfers Norwich have made this transfer window and I think they'll just have enough to stay up.

View from a fan - Charlie Nicholson 

What would be a perfect season?
One position beneath Europa League qualification, I wouldn't want to risk relegation next year with the extra fixtures.

What would be a nightmare year?
Any relegation position.

Do you have the right man in charge?
Paul Lambert was the right man, but given that he has left, then Hughton was my choice, so yes!

If you could sign any Premier League player who would it be?
We need a pacey striker who'd fit in with the squad, so unrealistically Wayne Rooney, but maybe someone like Nathan Delfouneso whom has potential and would fit into the squad. I would like Jordan Rhodes too, but he's in the Championship.

Are you happy with the clubs transfers so far?
I'm really happy so far, more hungry British players who want to prove themselves and Steven Whittaker has European experience.

How key was it to keep ahold of Grant Holt?
Keeping Holt was key! How much would the club have spent in trying to replace a 15 goal a season man otherwise!

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