With only a couple of weeks to go before City’s Premier League adventure gets under-way, it’s understandable that the Yellow Army are getting more and more concerned about the lack of transfer business this summer.
In this article I will assess who the Canaries need to recruit but, perhaps more importantly, also what is needed in order to survive next season.
Due to the summer’s transfer sagas, I want to shine a light on a different way of looking at the transfer window. Changing the focus from who we need, and on to how we can keep our squad’s current chemistry and winning mentality.
I think most supporters agree that Norwich need to bring in a left back, centre back and a striker in this transfer window. For me, the midfield can cut it in the top flight. They all have Premier League experience. So why all the fuss over Robbie Brady?
He’s a decent player. But that’s it. Don’t get me wrong – I’d like to see him at Carrow Road next season, however Steve Bruce’s valuation is quite frankly ridiculous. Like his waistline.
The free transfer of Youssouf Mulumbu has ensured Norwich are well and truly covered in the midfield department. Let’s also not forget that our player of the season excelled playing out wide last season.
Rather than who we bring in, I consider it even more important that the current squad has the right mentality next season, not least because this time round we’re not going to enjoy those long undefeated runs. We will probably lose a few games on the spin but it’s how we react to those that’s going to count.
City’s rare defeats in the Alex Neil reign so far have resulted in the manager saying he wants it to hurt; he wants the players to remember the feeling of that particular defeat and use it as motivation for the next game.
So, although we may have the money, it would not be wise to splash the cash on just anyone. As we’ve learnt from the ‘nearly’ signing of Celta Vigo’s Larrivey that team chemistry is at the top of Neil’s priorities.
We need more warriors like Bradley Johnson who won’t let the club slip down into the depths of those feared relegation spots. The ‘interview process’ this time we take on the top flight will be a whole lot more thorough.
In addition, it’s vital to recognise the opponents we’ll be taking on next season are a class above. There’s no hiding it.
However, what we can do under Alex is compete against the top teams and I know Norwich City will defeat a ‘Goliath’ next season. Either Chelsea, Manchester City or Arsenal will feel the pain and, of course, afterwards City won’t be credited on Match of the Day for outperforming their opponents. Instead the big-boys will have had an ‘off day’.
It’s the way it is but as long as the current squad retains that winning mentality, we can cut right across those negative pundit predictions.
Unlike most Ipswich fans, I am not one to dwell on past successes but briefly cast your mind back to our first season under Paul Lambert in this league. You score one, we’ll score one. Attack together, defend together. Never give up until the final whistle.
In contrast to this, under Chris Hughton the style of football was negative and defensive, and invited the likes of Hazard and Suarez to have a very pleasurable time at Carrow Road. The praising and complimenting the opposition was another unpopular trait but the biggest mistake of all was recruiting new players who had no fight.
Players who – at least according to YouTube – were talented, were found wonting when things turned sour and became disinterested in the Premier League party.
The Lambert attitude is now being used by Alex Neil. He’s said already that we won’t shy away from our opposition and try to attack games. He will insist that the big money players Norwich come up against are not given too much respect.
Transfer business will be done. David McNally’s powerful nature will ensure everything is ready before we start and I therefore think patience is the key for supporters because it is a slow market this summer. Over half the teams around us have only managed to get their hands on one or two new players also.
Players will not just be recruited based purely on talent, but also on how much elbow grease they are prepared to part with when Norwich City really need it.
In Alex Neil we trust!
“On the Ball City…”
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You’ve absolutely ‘hit the nail on the head’ for me Chris.
We don’t need to panic, we’ve got most of the squad who have PL experience and we’ve also got Vadis, Andreu and Thompson who may well be able to ‘step up to the plate’ and show that they can compete against some of the best players plying their trade in the PL.
Let’s NOT spend the money just because it’s sitting in the bank – I’m not an accountant, but how much interest is the £6M or so that we could have paid for Brady earning each day????
Winsor Dobbin says
I think we need a right back, centre back and striker. Otherwise, quite well equipped, I think.
I know, why the panic?! It was 5 mins ago we had ‘a premier league squad’ in the championship! McNally can’t win. The guys oversees a meteoric rise, brings Neil in after a bad season and gets us back up and loads of comments are still targetting him for playing too many games. The hypocrisy and stupidity amongst these supporters is farcical. One even claimed to talk for all supporters when going on a rant about how we’re going back down based on McNally’s lack of activity and games. I bet that same person was claiming our players are too good for the champ last year and should have won the league easy. Hmmmmm…
And another thing…people need to stop moaning about the youth not being given a chance and then curse when we don’t sign players (to take their place!!)
Cosmo P. says
Re: the Brady saga. Could have been avoided if we had put in a decent opening bid of 4-5M. I suspect I’m in the minority but fair play to Steve Bruce for sticking to his guns on what was clearly an undervalued and slightly insulting bid for someone who he had nurtured over the past 2 seasons.
As for the personal stuff aimed at him, let’s not forget he was our Captain, a player of the season and his goal got us to the Milk Cup Final at the expense of the Suffolk blues – for that last one alone, he deserves Norwich fans’ respect for all time.
Watford are spending big on exotic foreign players but then so did QPR (and Fulham before them). Our overseas scouting network may not be as extensive as theirs but that doesn’t bother me. Burnley didn’t strengthen but didn’t have any PL-hardened players which we do in spades. Leicester struck a good balance and stayed up.
Panic mixed in with conspiracy theory seems to have gripped. We need 2-3 good signings which I’m sure will come. Be good to get them in for kick-off but the window doesn’t close until Sept. 1st.
Stewart Lewis says
Cosmo P (5) – I’ve huge respect and affection for Steve Bruce. But it’s ironic that he’s trying to price his player out of a move to a higher club, when as a player he felt entitled to insist on moving.
Yes, our original offer was very low. But his original asking price of £15m was equally ludicrous – as is his apparent current insistence on £8-10m for a player in the final year of his contract. Hopefully his Board will put him right.
PS I agree with everything else you say!
Cosmo P.(2) says
Stewart – apparently, Brucie is having a make or break meeting with the owners today. If he or the owner throw in the towel, either of which is possible, then that will make a reasonable Brady deal (6-7M) more likely..hopefully.
Hull have had an annus horriblis with relegation, fuss over the name change with owner’s threat to quit and the Livermore incident. Bruce is trying to hold it all together and you can only admire him for his fortitude.
Re: his departure from Carrow Road – seem to recall that City decided to up his fee after already agreeing a lower one with Man Utd. Doesn’t sound like the club was wholly innocent.
Premier League Pedant says
Congratulations Chris for starting the ‘MOTD don’t say nice things about us often enough’ moaning 2 weeks before we’ve kicked a ball. Yawn! I don’t give a monkeys what the pundits say about us, and I’m sure players and management think likewise.
The issue of character is very important, I agree. Who can forget the great quote by Ivor Powell? – “One of the secrets of our successful season was the harmonium in the dressing room.” I’m sure Sir Alex will choose carefully, and as fans we have to be patient and face the fact that we may have to wait til much nearer the deadline to pick up personnel commensurate with our budget.
Stewart Lewis says
Re Match of the Day, I suspect I’m in a very small minority – I actually think they gave us fair credit.
They said plenty of positive things about City during our first two seasons in the Prem. They didn’t give us much credit in the final season – but we can hardly complain, can we, given what we were saying ourselves?
Sid W says
The knock on effect of not getting new players in early is the problem of getting them integrated into the team as soon as possible.The Brady situation has become more difficult as the bids went in and Hull now hold all the ace’s.City will now have to pay whatever the fee Bruce/the owners want.I just hope city have other iron’s in the fire.
Holly H. says
Stewart(9) – I won’t mention Danny Mills’ ‘analysis’ of our 1-0 win over Spurs which probably means he can never set foot in Norfolk again.
It helps if the main presenter used to play for your club – Leicester did very well by their head crisp rep last season.
If we play good and positive football (which we’ve kind of been promised by ‘Team Neil’) then we should get a fair crack of the whip on MOTD. To be honest, I’m not that bothered if we go well under the radar and finish mid-table.