I enjoyed reading Ed Couzens-Lake’s rant (his words, not mine) on the circus that is the transfer deadline and found myself agreeing with pretty much all of it – in particular the way that Sky Sports attempts to whip it up into a feeding frenzy of epic proportions.
But it’s here for the foreseeable and, love it or hate it, it’s a process that has to be managed. Those that do so successfully emerge on September 2 or February 1 the stronger; those that don’t find themselves at a disadvantage.
And while there are plenty of occasions in the not too recent past when the Yellow Army have bemoaned City’s lack of activity, this time round there can be few complaints.
Even the sceptics have admitted to feeling a tinge of optimism as we emerged the feeding trough with not only most of the existing crew intact, but with three shiny new faces.
The arrival of two centre-backs made perfect sense and with both coming from good, wholesome footballing stock the element of risk that comes with every new signing appears to have been mitigated as much as possible.
Jos Hooiveld is one who brings bags of experience and, if the warmth emanating toward him from St Mary’s is anything to go by, is someone who will quickly endear himself to the Carrow Road faithful. With City being his tenth professional club he’s been around the footballing block a few times and it’s difficult to see him being fazed by anything the Championship has to throw at him.
At 6ft 4in, is also a ‘big unit’ who will add some much needed inches to Adams’ squad. While they coped admirably with all that Mick McCarthy’s limited collection of giants had to throw at them at Portman Road, much reliance was placed on the redoubtable forehead of Michael Turner. An injury to this season’s outstanding performer, to go with that picked up by the unlucky Ryan Bennett, would have been a disaster.
Now City can cope with such eventualities.
And, while on the subject of Turner, isn’t it time we found another song with which to pay tribute to one of the good guys? While he will admit to having had a slow start to his City career he was never as described.
Now that he’s at the heart of everything that’s good about Norwich City, can’t we dispense with that song and come up with something new and a little less tinged with insult?
But I digress.
The other centre-back who arrived courtesy of a Jim White fanfare also adds that rare City commodity called height to the mix. Ignasi Miquel, in addition to also being 6ft 4in and having a wonderful name, has spent the last four years under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger and so will be well versed in the art of passing a football.
Miquel’s formative years were spent at Barcelona’s La Masia Academy but, aged just 16, he was snapped up by the Gunners back in 2008. He worked his way through the Arsenal ranks to become captain of their Under-21s before making his first-team debut in 2011.
He went on to make appearances in the FA Cup, League Cup and in the Champions League before spending last season on loan at Leicester City.
With his Gunners’ contract due to expire at the end of the season, and with little prospect of usurping Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, Adams and David McNally pounced in a move that makes sense for all parties.
Let’s hope for the sake of Master Miquel – and our own – that he goes on to become City’s most successful Spanish centre-back. With his competition for that dubious title being Victor Segura and Daniel Ayala my money is on him being just that.
With Carlos Cuéllar already in situ, Adams is now well stocked in the central defensive department and it will be fascinating to see how the bun fight for the two places develops. For now, for the reasons stated, one of the slots is Turner’s to lose but with regards to the other – who knows.
With only training sessions in which to impress I expect there to be one or to meaty challenges flying around the fields of Colney over the next week. The Murphys should be warned.
The signing of Louis Thompson was one that caught most of us off-guard. In truth, until Monday I knew little about him but have since learned that at 19 years-old and with Wales Under-19 caps to his name he’s one for the future. For him to continue his footballing education at Swindon for the remainder of this season appears a good deal for all concerned.
If nothing else, the Football League Show will hold our interest for a little longer every Saturday night as we try and catch a glimpse of our new signing.
With Cameron Jerome, Conor McGrandles and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe having already made their Carrow Road bows it feels like the transfer window has been kind to us. We have emerged stronger, especially with Gary Hooper, Martin Olsson and Nathan Redmond still of this parish.
And the bookies agree, with most knocking a point or two off our odds given our decent start and sound transfer window business.
For now, the biggest issue for Adams will be perming his best XI from those available. The squad is such that he could name two separate first-teams, both with a Championship look to them. How often have we been able to say that?
A graphic that did the Twitter rounds depicted this perfectly – with at least two quality options for each position.
So, we are midst-international break in rude health. Things are ticking along nicely. Adams clearly has time to ponder his line-up for Cardiff and all his problems are the good kind.
But, we’re just five games in. The real work begins now and while we’re all as one for the time being there will be some downs to overcome.
Let’s just hope this feelgood factor has plenty of steam left.