Whether City’s quicksilver attacking options will include the talents of Nathan Redmond remains to be seen, with Southampton and Stoke reportedly lining up a move
In the centre of defence one wonders if now is Ryan Bennett’s time. Since arriving in January 2012 the ex-Peterborough man has had a stop-start time in the Fine City, but when called upon has always played with a confidence and surety
They will have done their research, and any alleged foibles in the make-up of City’s latest international will have been weighed up against what Neil Adams and co think he can bring to the Carrow Road party.
If thirty-eight games in the Premier League felt a bit like a sprint, the Championship season is going to feel more like a 3,000 metre steeplechase.
The men from the Black Country have beef with us – the origin of which I’m not 100 per cent sure (I suspect it goes back further than Kevin Muscat) – and in the intervening years some of our number have made hay of their demise,
The quandary of quality in the final third is a different kettle of fish for Neil Adams in terms of the talent at his disposal, but the conundrum remains – even when adding relegation into the equation.
Away trips may even start being fun again. Remember those days when the Yellow Army would set off on a Saturday morning, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, full of hope and expectation?
I should be worrying over Neil Adams’ next move in the transfer market, or whether Snodgrass and Olsson are having their heads turned, but equally I find myself stressing over the fitness of ‘the Ox’ or whether Glenn Johnson is really good enough.
One of the accusations laid at the door of David McNally, Delia Smith and co is that, in Adams, they have appointed a manager with virtually no first-team experience. Well, in Royle it looks as if they have tried to address that deficiency.
I read recently, with interest, a messageboard thread that asked if we should recall Andrew Surman to the Fine City. The answer was an almost unanimous ‘yes’. I wonder if Neil Adams feels the same.
The Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are clearly there to reduce one’s ability to ‘do an Abramovich’ but already loopholes are being found to scupper Sepp Blatter’s best made plans, and no-one is expecting to see a significant shift in the pecking order of the Premier League as a result.
The hard work starts now. Adams’ first task is to filter the current crop for those suited to a Championship challenge and those who are not. Those who are not will be on their way.
Clearly discussions around Chris Hughton’s future did figure heavily in January’s board meetings and Michael confirmed they concluded that even if City had avoided relegation a change would still have been necessary this summer.
The club’s inability to close the deal by the end of the week has clearly irked a few but the odd day, or even a week, over their self-imposed deadline is hardly the end of the world if it means getting the right man.
Ed: ‘The director of football may be the candidate who is already in work, I would suspect, however, releasing him from his current role is more of a procedural formality rather than something which might become a long drawn out process as it was with Paul Lambert.’
The squad needs rebuilding; there little doubt about that. While I’m not expecting a mass exodus there will clearly be those who, for all the right reasons, will want to stay in the Premier League and have earned that right.
In hindsight, those who called for the head of Chris Hughton in December will consider their campaign to have been vindicated, but the decision to retain his services was made in good faith on the basis that a league position that hovered around fourteenth place could be maintained.
With different questions being asked of Messrs Terry and Cahill, the previously impenetrable looking duo found themselves backpeddling and it was at that point it felt almost as if the game were there for the taking.
For those wanting a straw to clutch, at least City cannot be relegated this weekend. Equally, as the official Premier League website politely and factually reminds us, ‘nor they can ensure avoiding the drop’.
In the cold light of day we’ve been marooned on 32 points for over a month. Not since the win over Sunderland – the one we thought had taken us to the cusp of safety – has the points total headed in an upward direction.