The 2015/16 Premier League season gets underway tomorrow of course and so, ahead of the new campaign, now seems the perfect time to get the thoughts, hopes, fears and predictions of the MyFootballWriter team :
If we approach this season as we did the last time we were promoted (rather than the year we went down) I’ll be happy. Realistically we’re in the ‘mini-league’ of 12 to 14 clubs whose target is to simply stay up. Our opening fixtures should allow us to pick up early points and momentum could be key. Our strength in midfield has to compensate for potential weaknesses up front and in defence by weighing in with goals and protecting the back four. Prediction – Alex Neil effect steers us to 14th.
I’m hoping to see pace, passion and goals with 45+ points by season end (preferably well before). One or two ‘big scalps’ taken would be pleasant. Good cup run is long overdue. Oh, and no booing at home games. I’m fearing key injuries, dodgy ref decisions and online fan meltdown at every missed shot or bad pass. Prediction – Norwich to finish 14th. Watford, Leicester and Sunderland to go down. Don’t care which ‘glamour’ club wins it.
Watford and Bournemouth both have wealthier owners than Norwich and should survive. So finding three clubs we can expect to finish below our City is tough. But we’ve got Alex Neil. I expect us to play 4-2-3-1, to pick up goals and points on the counter attack away from home — and to finish above 18th. I worry about lack of pace at the back but altogether now: “Three shirts one football team, two colours yellow and green, one city strong, and we’ll march on…”
I am confident we will survive, without necessarily flourishing, which given the fine margins between the Premier League’s cannon fodder, could mean finishing anywhere from 9th – 17th. Every year I hope for a proper FA Cup run and every year I am disappointed, but of all the managers we have had Alex Neil, does appear able to get a performance on the biggest occasions. My main hope though is far less quantifiable and it is simply that come May my love for the club hasn’t been killed off by another soul-less season characterised by corporate greed.
It’ll be a huge challenge to safeguard our hard won place in the Premier League. Last season will seem like a stroll in the park. Alex Neil is the right man to motivate the squad. But can the muppets on the message boards and the boo boys be trusted to stay loyal when the going gets tough? As it will. I’d happily settle for 15th.
I have really high hopes for Norwich City’s return to the Premier League. My only fear for this season, is how the players are going to mentally deal with and react to a few losses on the spin. I personally believe we will exceed a lot of expectation because of our close-knit squad and of course, the main man, Alex Neil. Finishing place: 14th.
Alex Neil has earned and deserved every plaudit bestowed upon him thus far and we enter the new season once again looking at the horizon rather than nervously over our shoulders. That, welcome as it is, represents my biggest fear in that we might just expect TOO much. That said, if we really did have the best squad in the Championship (we did), it won’t be the worst in the Prem and I reckon we’ll be okay. Prediction: 47 points, 12th.
Concerns: The simple truth: we have a low-budget squad and an inexperienced manager.
Reasons to be cheerful: Our manager is a quick learner and an exceptional motivator; the squad has good experience and character.
Keys: Making home a fortress; Redmond; saving something for the January transfer window.
Forecast: A few tonkings, horrible goal difference, but safety with something to spare. 14th-15th.
Alex Neil has spoken of going into this season showing no fear, no matter who the opposition is. I hope and believe that his players can translate and demonstrate just that in every single game and share his belief that we can give other teams reason to worry about us rather than over-concerning ourselves about the seemingly infinite qualities of our opponents. My major fear is that the teams’ progress this season might not match the expectations of some sections of the clubs support, resulting in early and potentially morale sapping criticism of the club’s owners and pressure on both the players and manager.
I hope it’s not over confidence but I am so bought into Alex Neil that I believe he can achieve almost anything. I think we’ll be just fine. Yes, the towering, strong, pacey, athletic centre-back that we all crave hasn’t arrived yet (and most likely won’t) and I’m not 100% sure where the goals are coming from (although I’ve said all summer that Lewis Grabban will surprise a few people next term) but I’m confident that Neil can lift this squad and get the best out of them, making up for our perceived lack of quality. Prediction: 15th and a cup run.
The personal anticipation of this Premier League campaign just feels completely different to previous promotions to me. No sense of fear or dread of heavy defeats, although I’m sure there will be a few. For me it’s the “Alex Neil factor” that’s likely to be the key difference this time. Hard work, commitment and a desire to ask awkward questions of the opposition, all point towards an exciting season and a comfortable twelfth place finish. Bring it on!
My only hope for this season is that we play to our maximum potential and show no fear when going toe to toe with the Manchester United and Arsenals of this world. Two years ago we didn’t play anywhere near our maximum, and it is disappointing when you sit there in May knowing that it all could have been avoided. Just ask Hull. In Alex Neil though, we have a manager who won’t waste his resources and we’ll be less fearful of the opposition and attack more this time around. I’m looking forward to another season, discussing every nuance with my Twitter friends along the way, and getting to as many games up and down the country I can. Prediction: 14th
Much has been made of our relative lack of transfer activity; where our main priority should still be a centre back. If one fails to materialise, then I have real concerns about our defensive frailties; particularly against pace and from set pieces. Scoring goals shouldn’t be as much of an issue as our last Premier League campaign, though, and whatever happens, Alex Neil’s approach should ensure that we approach the season positively and play some exciting football. Prediction: 16th.
It’s a battle between heart and head and I find myself fluctuating wildly between unbridled optimism and doom-laden pessimism. Minus a new centre-back I’ve accepted that at times it’s going to get ugly but hope that between the lows there will be a commensurate number of highs. Much depends on the ‘Alex Neil factor’ and his ability to tap into the same vein that took the Accies up to third in the SPL. I think we hunker down, pull the coaches in close and use the pundit/media negativity to our advantage. Prediction: 16th.
For what they’re worth, those are our thoughts. Let us know your prediction.