Ahead of the team offering their thoughts and predictions on what may or may not lie ahead for City and the Championship in general, I’d planned an opening gambit along the lines of ‘if you need a steer for the new Championship season, look away now’.
But nothing could better the message I received from Martin B ahead of his predictions.
So, in all its glory… ‘Here we go Gary, my ill-informed prediction for a division defying logic, physics and reason, and skilled at trapping and killing amateur pundits like me’.
And so say all of us.
The team were asked for a top six and a bottom three (shown below in two blocks), and a paragraph or sentence based on their crystal ball gazing.
Here we go…
I think City, weighed down by expectations, will have a slow start. I can see the ‘lost ** consecutive games following them around for a few weeks, then a much hailed victory will come, probably unexpectedly, and they’ll push on from there. Of course there may be some departures between now and the end of the window in October, and if one of those is Emi I think it will make a huge difference. If he’s still here in January and we are in the mix I think he’ll stay and we’ll go up. Whatever happens expect another roller coaster ride.
After the craziest pre-season we have ever witnessed I’m sticking my neck out here but if this new-look squad can gel quickly and if we can somehow cut out or at least minimise the defensive howlers we might just about make it to automatic. I’m far more confident about my bottom three than my top six. 🙂
Without doubt this is one of the best City squads on paper for some time. Of course the issue is how they perform on grass but while it will be far from an easy feat, and the start may be a little slow I think there is more than enough quality, even with one or two more departures, to get the job done.
Where your team finishes in football these days can seem more or less a money contest. According to Wikipedia, there are only three clubs in the Premier League NOT owned by billionaires. Moving down a division, three of the 16 team owners listed in the Championship are billionaires and ALL the rest of them are richer than Delia and Michael. The only way forward is the self-funding model. We have no choice. And in this context, City are motoring along nicely like a mix of Evel Knievel and the Singing Postman on a rocket-fuelled hyperbike. Brilliant stuff! Long may it last. Going up! OTBC.
I expect and hope Norwich`s season to be the same as the Championship winning season. We start of slow while the players get used to each other and then have a game that breaks the mould. That season the game was being thrashed at home to Leeds, they never looked back after that.
The way a club ends one season is often a guide to how they start the next one. Stuart Webber has banned any negative comments at Colney, but corrosive pessimism will be hard to dispel until and unless there’s winning run. The partial return of fans might make a difference – if we ourselves can keep the faith.
I think we’re in for another interesting campaign. I can see us having a difficult start as we try to shake last season’s hangover before having a good crack at getting in the top two. I do fear we may just miss out and have to go through the play-offs route again.
For City, much depends on their start. They desperately need to find the winning formula, and quickly, otherwise serious questions will be asked of Farke & co. If they can get firing, and with arguably the best and most in-depth squad we have had for some time, we should finish in the top six, if not the top two. I expect Pukki to hit the goal trail again, and for him to be ably assisted by Idah and Hugill. Out of our new signings, I am most excited by Kieran Dowell and the thrust he can add from the attacking midfield position. If (a big if) we can learn to defend set-pieces and get back to anywhere like the levels of 2018/19, we will take some stopping.
City should have, and will have, one of the most technically able squads in the division – even allowing for some more high-profile departures – but the big question is, how quickly can they shake off the Premier League hangover. While, partly for that reason, I’m not expecting us to come flying out of the blocks, I’d like to think they will stay in touch with the top two even in the fallow times and finish the season strongly. Top two? hmm… but am hopeful of a playoff lottery.
As opposed to expecting an immediate return to the top-flight, I’m trying to focus more on how Norwich formulate a side capable of competing using a more balanced tactical approach, should they get there. A complete overhaul of the playing squad in an attempt to soothe the relegation hangover might well just prove a step too far in reaching the automatic promotion places, but as it stands with the quality Norwich has at their disposal, a top-six finish should be the minimum expectation.
City will go one of two ways. Either they fail to get early wins on the board and Farke can’t change tactics and goes by Christmas, or we click into the old groove and beast the division. I think we have enough fresh, quality players, and viable squad alternatives for it to be the latter.
As a fully signed-up member to ‘HMS P*ss the League’, I fully expect Norwich to sweep all and sundry aside with the swashbuckling finesse we last witnessed at the tail end of 2019. Sure there’ll be the odd hiccup along the way, but what side ever won every game? Pukki to hit over 20 and Hugill over 15. Idah will chip in with a paltry 7-8, but hey that’s not bad as 3rd choice! Dust down that trophy cabinet, it’s time for another league championship trophy.
Possibly a slow start while new players adapt but hopefully Norwich won’t lose too many before the window closes and their strength in depth and quality will shine through! Holding onto Deeley and Sarr the key for Watford.
City to start slowly, Farke to be under immense pressure. Great run of wins around Xmas thanks to our squad depth propels us into the top 6 and though we just miss out on autos, we win the play offs against Bournemouth.
Slow start, maybe even bottom 6 by October/November. Then the beginnings of a good run December onwards, a flirtation with the top 2 then dropping away to 10th-12th, strong finish to 5th and PO game against Derby. Bet all you have on this not being what happens in any shape or form! Stoke my definite dark horses this season, think Coventry will also have a good season and end it in top 10. Bournemouth-risky in house promotion for manager, may work against them to begin with. Watford will finish very strongly and the last couple of weeks or so of the season maybe the only ones that sees them top.
An up-and-down start for Norwich, but once Pukki gets on a scoring run and Gibson shakes off the cobwebs of not playing for a year, we become formidable.
Much will depend on how long it takes the Class of 2020-21 to bed in after a summer of wholesale change, but with a fair wind and a smile from Lady Luck a successful promotion campaign via the Play-offs should be within Norwich’s grasp.
Surely with pretty much the same squad from 18/19 and plenty of decent back-up, It’s ours for the taking – If only The Championship was that logical.
Think we’ll draw the first two games and be fairly inconsistent until December when the new players will just ‘click’ and we’ll get back to the exciting football we came to love in 2018/19. Pukki will struggle initially but will have found his scoring boots in October.
It’s going to be a rollercoaster. Not like the bang average one at the Pleasure Beach, but a stomach-churning, rectum-nipping, twisty, turning, Health and Safety shredding demon of a ride. Average start, followed by a sinking feeling around Christmas, and then a meteoric rise from the depths of the dead men by Easter (copyright Jesus Christ). Play-offs and up at Wembley. Nerves shredded. Decide to follow crown green bowls instead.
Not the walk in the park some are suggesting, with City spending most of the season around the playoff positions, but a late winning run sequence securing the runners up spot. Soft defensive concessions continue to haunt Farke, with early season draws leading to mounting discontent among some fans, but he survives and achieves promotion
I fear that it will take a few games for us to get up and running and shake off the hangover of last season, with new players taking time to bed in and incessant transfer rumours about the remaining “Crown Jewels” within the squad right up until the delayed transfer deadline day. I fully expect us to improve as the season goes on though, getting into our stride enough to secure a play-off spot. As fans, we need to show patience and not panic if we don’t make the kind of strong start we all desire.
Overhauling the negativity of last season will be a challenge but City have recruited in all the right areas. Ben Gibson, Oliver Skipp and Przemysław Płacheta look like gems of signings and if Teemu Pukki can fire once more, I expect Daniel Farke’s men to be right up there.
I picked Watford and Norwich for the automatic promotion spots on the strength of their squads, literally in the case of Watford. I always like Brentford and this well-run club deserves to be promoted. Not confident about the playoffs to be honest but got a sneaky feeling about Blackburn who are well managed and have a decent championship squad. The bottom three I think is more predictable. The 12 point deficit for Wednesday is a huge hurdle to overcome but hope they do. Huddersfield will hopefully get hammered the first game of the season to set them up for relegation and Wycombe I just can’t see surviving. One thing is for sure : I won’t be right!
I’ve never been so bold as to predict Norwich will finish top before, but Daniel Farke couldn’t ask for a better-equipped squad for the task at hand. They’ll no doubt start slowly as the spectre of 12 consecutive losses hangs over them but once City shake away the cobwebs they’ll be too good for almost any team in a weaker-than-usual division. If Buendia leaves then Norwich will find it tougher, but with or without him they’re as primed for promotion as they’ll ever be. No excuses.
City = Invincibles. They’ll laugh at me, call me crazy. Just you wait and see.
City, in their usual fashion, will begin the campaign slowly. Similar to like the Leeds (H) game, we will experience a result early doors which appears to be ‘breaking point’, however, it will end up being oxymoronic of that and will see us re-ignite the flame of the squad and will see us power through to automatic promotion. OTBC.
Your thoughts? Let us know your top six and bottom three. A warm fuzzy feeling to the winner!