My last squad review was done just before the January transfer window and since then a lot has changed with the backroom staff. And it’s provoked a feeling I’d lost – excitement. I’m now actually looking forward to a transfer window, which is a very strange feeling for a Norwich fan.
Stuart Webber seems a very impressive guy and I’m sure he’ll make good calls regarding new backroom and playing staff, but for what it’s worth here are my player-by-player thoughts as we approach the end of the season:
1. John Ruddy
Why Michael McGovern was given the nod for a second time over him I have no idea. Ruddy is our best keeper for me. The decision whether or not to keep him would come down to wages for me, which is information I don’t have. Maybe it’s time for new blood in goal though. Get rid.
2. Steven Whittaker
Gets much more stick then he deserves, but needs to be shown the door. Release or Get rid.
3. Mitchell Dijks
I’ve been really impressed with him. If we could pull off a permanent move that would be great; a surprise too, albeit a pleasant one. Sign.
4. Graham Dorrans
Undoubted quality on the ball, but too many injuries and goes missing too often when the chips are down. Get rid.
5. Russell Martin
This one will probably be the most divisive. I’m not one of those who hates on Russ and I’ve nothing but admiration for the way he’s overachieved with us. But at 31 he’s not going to get any better and the question for me is is he worth having round the squad for his personality and as a second choice right back or centre back. Really not sure. Head says… Get rid.
6. Sebastien Bassong
Been here too long already. Get rid.
7. Steven Naismith
Such a frustrating player and should be doing so much better than he is. For that reason and also due to his wages and wanting to see younger players given a chance, I’d move him on. Get rid.
8. Jonny Howson
I say make him captain, give him a central midfield partner that can both tackle and pass and we’re in better shape. I’d also encourage him to shoot more. I love Jonny. Keep.
9. Nelson Oliveira
Done pretty well for me when played. Keep.
10. Cameron Jerome
Back in December I said get rid, however, his work rate and attitude have won me over. Not first choice but a good option. Keep.
11. Matt Jarvis
I said review his fitness between January and the summer, so on that basis he has to go. Get rid.
13. Paul Jones
Whatever. Get rid.
14. Wes Hoolahan
Had a very typical season, incredible at points, ineffective at others. He’s not getting any younger, but I can’t think of many better to aid the development of Pritchard and Maddison. One more season. Keep.
15. Timm Klose
I’m a bit torn on Timmy, so keep changing my mind! He has the ability, but at times seems more interested in posting on Instagram than playing football. I’m not sure that’s the attitude we need. Get rid.
17. Yanic Wildschut
I’m also torn on Yanic. A very subdued start to his City career and I’m certain we’ve not seen the best of him. I think there’s a dangerous player at this level in there somewhere but it’s not working for whatever reason. Maybe he needs a chance under the new set-up, but needs calling out early if still not working. Keep.
18. Youssouf Mulumbu
Due to his age, wage and injury prone nature I’d move him on. Get rid.
19. Kyle Lafferty
Bad influence on the squad, wages way above his ability level, awful attitude and not good enough. Time to finally go. Get rid.
21. Alex Pritchard
Great first season in flashes and not used anywhere near enough. Should be a first team regular. Keep.
22. Jacob Murphy
If he was playing for another club our fans would be drooling over him; the fact that some are not is idiotic. I don’t remember too many wide attacking players at his age scoring double figures in their first full season. My player of the season. Keep.
24. Ryan Bennett
Showed promise when we signed him, has got worse every season since. Woeful player. Get rid.
25. Daniel Ivo Pinto
A great right-back in the championship. Is awesome going forward and a personality off the pitch. Seems a real asset. Keep.
26. Michael Turner
Are you still here? Get rid.
27. Alex Tettey
Has now played 150 games for City but is a shadow of the player that joined; at times his passing is of a Sunday league quality. Too many booking and dodgy knees don’t help. Thanks for the few screamers and early midfield dynamo displays, but time to move on. Get rid.
30. Carlton Morris
It feels like he should get some games next season; we need to see if he can do a Murphy and step up. Keep.
31. Josh Murphy
Seems to be the victim of his brother’s success, but a very decent option at this level. Keep.
33. Michael McGovern
Possibly the second worse keeper we’ve ever had. Get rid.
34. Louis Thompson
Looks a decent option; sincerely hope he can recover from the serious injury. Keep.
I’d very much like to see him get some game time as has shown some promising skills on loan and in the Under-23s, but we still don’t know if he can cut it. I hope he can and he gets the chance to prove it. Keep.
Seems to have had an OK season on loan without setting the world alight and should be an OK back-up at left-back. Keep.
Decent enough back-up keeper. Keep.
Looks a reasonable prospect. Keep.
Really needs to go. Get rid
Still shows lots of promise. Keep.
So, by reckoning that could mean up to 17 players needing to be replaced, and if like-for-like replacements were brought in that would equate to three goalkeepers, one right-back, one left-back, five centre-backs, two defensive midfielders, two central midfielders, two wide midfielders/wingers and one striker!
Good luck Stuart – enjoy!