If his desired move doesn’t materialise, then it’s hard to see him even warming the bench regularly for the rest of the season. A dose of ‘working with the development squad’ could well be in store for him – a sticky fate suffered by Grant Holt at Wigan last season.
When the draw was made it was clear that the balls had not been kind to us. While the big boys sit out the early rounds, the rest of us Premier League mortals face tasks of varying trickiness. Possibly only Watford – who play Preston away – came out of the hat with a tougher opener than ourselves.
The best form of defence was certainly offence and long may it continue. It worked under Paul Lambert with some great away-day results, while Chris Hughton paid for his adherence to the over-cautious alternative. He’s doing a good job in the Championship though.
While Adams’ status at the club tends to split those fans, who can remember his playing days on the wing at Carrow Road, between considering him a club legend or a significantly overrated presence, his passion for the Fine City and its football club is without question.
It’s good to have options of course – players who can bring different qualities to games when it’s needed – but for a striker there has to be a consistent end product; the bulge of the net, the salute to the crowd and the hugs of team mates. I’m talking goals.
Holt’s time at Carrow Road was far more than simply the goals he scored – 78 in 168 games – as crucial as they were in the club’s renaissance from those dark days in League One. Of course, others contributed hugely to the successive promotions and splendid Premier League season of 2011/12.
But with a first outing since Wembley for Redderz and a re-vitalised Tony Andreu and hit-man Hoops backed up by an extremely solid midfield and slightly experimental back four, the first question of the night was… which kit would they be wearing?
Well done also to our club for not opting for the Asian gravy train which many Premier League clubs have greedily hopped on board for in their early pre-season outings. Even Stoke are topping up their tans on a different continent.
I’m still waiting for the Robert Rosario story or the warts-and-all account from Mike Walker of his ‘from youth coach to Munich to Goodison nightmare and back again’ journey. Yet there are other Norwich City-flavoured publications that are well worth adding to birthday or Christmas lists
Fair play to Bournemouth from the angle of buying British and investing in youth when the overriding temptation with most PL clubs would be to go abroad and go experienced for a centre back at that kind of eye-popping transfer fee. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling is valued at £50million by Liverpool.
Of course with the club newly flushed with Premier League TV money, we’ll be an attractive proposition to players already or soon to be out of contract. Add to that the almost mystical aura that surrounds Alex Neil, which will be a major persuasive factor.
I’m prepared to put my head above the parapet and state that Norwich will finish higher than Watford next season. I’m also confident that it won’t be done by finishing second from bottom. I’m predicting a mid-table season.
I’m getting on a bit, but the first ever promotion to the top division in 1971/72, when Ron Saunders and Duncan Forbes played the key Alex Neil and Russell Martin roles back, is stretching my brain cells too far. I was alive but Lego and Action Man were probably playing a more important part in my life than events at Carrow Road.
The modern world is a very different place to that of the mid-late 80s when fans of Norwich (1985 Milk Cup Final) and Middlesbrough (1988 Play-off Final) last made the trip to the previous incarnation of Wembley Stadium. In both cases, the teams were triumphant. This time round one of us will be heading home gutted.
Ipswich fans of course, after thirteen years in the wilderness, are palpably desperate to see top flight action again. After all those years of attrition, both on the pitch and in the stands, last weekend’s ‘derby of the century’ generated one hell of a noise but not a huge threat on their hallowed turf.
McCarthy knows how to get out of this division and Portman Road will be unusually full and noisy on Saturday. The locals have been starved of such events and not since the Texaco Cup of 1973 have they tasted a two-leg success over City.
From Watford’s 88 points, 68 were accrued from the sides below tenth place. City have taken just 50 points from those same sides. Similarly for goals scored. Watford’s 90 goal haul is made up of 69 against teams placed 11th to 24th. Norwich have found the back of the net just 55 times against those sides.
In 2012 the good folk of Rotherham were honoured to have their spiritual home officially opened by a minor Royal, the Duke of Kent. Good for them but us Norfolk folk can claim to have a major Royal residence and Kate and William settling down in our county – so 2-0 to us already if you’re patriotically inclined.
Full credit to Boro for ‘doing a job’ on us last Friday night. They started brightly, defended manfully and carried a threat on the break. Going behind so early to the side with the best defensive record in the division was always going to be the worst case scenario.
For me, Jerome deserves it for the number and quality of vital goals which have left his boot, but Johnson appears to be the red hot favourite after a stunning Easter period. He seems to have a more visceral connection with the fans despite being on the wrong end of sardonic observations of his weaknesses in the past.