The transfer window slammed firmly shut earlier in the week and it was a quiet day in Norfolk, much like it was down the road in IP1. But I’m actually quite pleased that no new faces were brought in – it’s a sign of the strength of City’s squad.
Transfer deadline day, where the Sky Sports News crew look like they’re about to have kittens when their ‘sources’ reveal that Rochdale are about to sign someone on a Bosman, has a feel of desperation about it if you ask me.
Managers are frantically scrapping around trying to bring people in to appease supporters and half the signings are what you would deem risky anyway.
Look at Stoke City for example. Don’t get me wrong, Jermaine Pennant and Eidur Gudjohnsen are good players, but what was your reaction when you saw that? I bet it was the same as mine.
It is a sign of how stable the Canaries are that they felt no need to make a last-minute capture; it also proves how calm and collected the manager is too.
Lambert’s transfer dealings have, on the whole, worked out very well but managers can easily be sucked in to believing they need late reinforcements, when prices are sometimes hiked up.
But the City chief is happy with his squad as it is and I can’t think of one position that needs urgent strengthening.
Between the sticks, John Ruddy continues to improve with every passing game and in Declan Rudd and Jed Steer, Norwich have two of the very best young’uns around.
Russell Martin has enjoyed a steady start and Lambert thinks a lot of George Francomb – expect him to start pushing Martin very soon. In central defence, numbers are a little bare but when Zak Whitbread and Michael Nelson return from injury, City will have five decent centre-backs to choose from.
Steven Smith’s return to fitness will also see two quality left-backs in the building and we don’t even need to discuss the midfield – Lambert has enough players to field two Championship-standard engine rooms.
Again, in attack, the Scot has plenty to choose from, with Grant Holt and Chrissy Martin the preferred choice. Simeon Jackson, you’d like to think, is a more than adequate replacement and Oli Johnson could yet surprise a few if called upon.
Martin’s recent police charge for common assault could change matters in that part of the pitch but for the time being, we won’t go there.
So there, I’ve said it – City’s squad is plenty good enough for the Championship as it is. The silence around Carrow Road on Tuesday was deafening, but at the same time, it was a real statement of intent. Nicely done Paul.
I must also make mention to the excellent 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest and even though I wasn’t in attendance, plenty of people who were said it was the best Canary performance for some time.
For the side that finished third in the Championship last season to say they were lucky to get away with a draw speaks volumes for how far the club have come since that dark day at The Valley in May 2009.