Two weeks until kick-off folks so for the final time during the close season the posse have been summoned for their thoughts on the ins and outs at Carrow Road and what might happen to HMS Canary** as it prepares to negotiate some strange tides and choppy waters aka VAR, Match of the Day and battling with the *Premier League elite*.
Alex A [aka Ed] says:
As I was standing in the queue at the Fan Hub for tickets to watch the Gillingham friendly, one of the fans behind me was lamenting the sale of Emi so early in the transfer window and that we should have allowed a ‘bidding war’ to develop. I was under the impression that SW/DF had said to him during last season’s window that if he stayed he would be allowed to leave in this one, on the premise that NCFC received what was considered a reasonable offer.
Being away for Argentina with Rafael Martinez from Villa obviously had some bearing on his decision and most of the fans I’ve spoken to since feel it was a flawed decision!
When you consider that we paid Getafe a total of around £7million for him – not the oft-quoted £1.5million as they had a clause inserted and we had to pay roughly an extra £5million if we were promoted. Either way, a profit in the region of £28milion is worth having.
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when Hoolahoops departed, only for Maddison to fill the void. Fast forward a couple of years and we had a repeat performance when the latter was sold to LCFC and had that not happened, SW is on record as saying the club would have struggled to survive.
SW does his first *rabbit out of the hat* trick, the recruitment team spot Emi and the rest is history. During his first year or so at CR, Emi could be a bit of a liability when defending, but last season…
Personally, I’m delighted with the arrival of Rashica, Lees-Melou and Gunn, plus the loan of Gilmour and I’m confident that the outfield players will become a delight to watch between now and May. Some of the articles written by the Three Wise Men of Archant on the pre-season friendlies is very promising and there may well be other players signed in the next weeks as well. SW said: “We ran before we could walk in the transfer window when we were promoted two years ago.”
I’m sure every Canary fan is hoping that Max and TC are both still here on 31 August 31.
And an impassioned plea. Please allow time for the new players to adapt to Farkeball and the PL and don’t start writing them off as flops/wastes of money etc until at least after the visit of Watford. I’m sure everyone is acutely aware of how tough our opening four games are and any points gleaned from those games must be considered an unexpected bonus.
Alex B reckons:
An out that we all knew about is Ben Kensell but according to Scottish media he had been in discussions with Hibs prior to the BK8 episode. Nuff said. Good luck in your new job, Ben.
Gone and not unexpectedly is Louis Thompson. Sadly injuries cut his career to shreds at City and hopefully he will be picked up, possibly by MK Dons or to join his brother at Peterborough.
City have been active in the loan-out market to the lower leagues. Josh Martin to MK Dons and Danel Sinani to Huddersfield are the big two, plus Reece McAleer to ICT and Daniel Barden to Livingstone in the Scots Championship and SPL respectively. Also Gassan Ahadme to Portsmouth with eight goals so far in pre-season. Maybe he could get a recall if City are struggling in that department?
Another rumoured loan is that Tom Trybull has interest from Fulham. Let’s hope for a good outcome as he never let City down.
There’s no news on Timm Klose attracting any interest, maybe he might agree a deal to cancel his contract – only time will tell.
There’s lots of sadness at the departure of Emi Buendia but it’s been implied that he expressed his desire to leave prior to the end of last season. Will we see Todd or Max follow? Possibly one but not both.
Billy Gilmour has a lot resting on those young shoulders especially to live up to last season’s loan of Olly Skipp. DF will have to protect him from the media [and therefore keep him away from karaoke – Martin].
Milot Rashica looks a good player – only time will tell if he can adapt to the physical side of the PL and we must not compare him with Emi. Pierre Lees-Melou came to City with a few good reviews and has the physicality to succeed and pre-season is showing he takes no prisoners so a positive signing. We all know what Angus Gunn is capable of but he needs to push Tim Krul all the way.
I can see Jordan Hugill leaving. From reports, his head is already in the outbox so a possible *swap* with Joe Worrall coming in from Forest? Philip Billing in from Bournemouth if the money is right?
SW has proved he can find gems and also surprise us with the speed of his recruitment so I am hoping for something out of the blue at any time!
Herr Cutz adds:
With half the transfer period now gone I’m not sure if it’s a case of *shall we shan’t we* or *can we can’t we*. Most of us perceive a need to continue strengthening the squad but will our two remaining prime assets remain? And is that a good thing or does that mean we don’t have enough dosh to get the players we think we need?
On the plus side, Danny is staying so he must feel reasonably confident. However, Webbo is getting in an early excuse [minus £5million from the naughty sponsor] should we fair badly from a threadbare squad.
Crystal ball gazing I think we’ll see at least one more exit [Todd or Max] and a couple more in, a central defender and a potential goal scorer. But I’ve no pearls of wisdom as to who.
Apart from that, I think the squad and the manager are on a firmer footing than last time we came this way. We just need to pray that the Football Gods smile on us this time and we can dream the impossible dream [there’s a Sensational Alex Harvey Band reference in that last sentence – Martin]
And finally, Bernie Owen sends his thoughts from the banks of the Colne in Wivenhoe:
As of today, I see this as a job half done with this Covid transfer window being both productive with the incomings of Rashica, Lees-Melou, Gunn and Gilmour, and I include in that the keeping of Aarons and Cantwell.
I know Gibson and Giannoulis joined permanently this window but really they arrived at the beginning of their loans. On the other hand, it’s painfully obvious that work that could have been done hasn’t been for a variety of reasons . The Euros and the quagmire caused by the bug on club finances with reluctance to deal early in the hope that offer prices will rise towards the end of the window to help cover Covid losses spring to mind.
I hope to see a forward with some PL experience, another midfielder and a CB. This of course all goes out of the window should Aarons and/or Cantwell depart for big money. Then it’s all hands to the pump in the recruitment department to get targets over the line.
I like the look of the first XI and half the bench but though DF seems to like them I’m not convinced about Hernandez and Placheta at this level. The viable option of playing 3-5-2 as well as 4-2-3-1 is an improvement. We got rather rumbled on the rigid 4-2-3-1 last time.
Survival? Why not and let that be underlined by getting some points from the first four games.
Thanks to the guys as always – I suspect they’ll all be back for the odd preview or two during the season.
**HMS Pi$$ the League has retired to dry dock. I hope she doesn’t have to return to active service next season but we can’t rule it out.