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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