Premier League Previews: Norwich City
What are you most excited about heading into the new season and why?
Our style of play, branded by supporters as ‘Farkeball’ last season, seems ready-made for the Premier League. Our possession based philosophy, which incorporates an intelligent press when we’re without the ball, is the most exhilarating football Norwich fans have probably ever seen. It yielded so many goals – a huge proportion of which came late on in games – which only enhanced last season’s fairytale for me.
Can we transfer it to the top flight? Who knows, but it will be ridiculously fun finding out, providing we stick to our guns!
What worries you ahead of the new season and why?
The lack of a really robust defensive midfielder to replace or compete with Alex Tettey and Tom Trybull. Both are injury prone and there’s no denying we’ll be stretched defensively by the top sides during the campaign.
Having a genuine ball-winner who can fit in with our highly proficient technicians would be the cherry on top of a very delicious Canary cake. Defensively, we were a bit patchy last season, giving away daft goals at times. Snuffing out threats before they emerge should help in that respect.
What have you made of your club’s transfer activity this summer?
Strangely, it’s actually the lack of transfer activity that excites me most. Fans were desperate to see our heroes of 2018-19 given a proper chance to cut it in the top flight. Alongside young guns Aarons, Lewis, Godfrey, and Cantwell, this is a side assembled of rag-tag cast offs. Daniel Farke has rekindled their spark and they’ll be champing at the bit to prove themselves.
In terms of actual signings, the cute addition of Patrick Roberts on loan offers a different wide option and that seems to be our stand out piece of business so far.
What unpopular opinion do you have about your team going into the season?
That Todd Cantwell could easily be the future of this football club. Large swathes of fans were happy to dig out the local youngster recently, despite it being his first full season at Championship level. Former pros around the club have hinted that Cantwell’s potential is ridiculous, it’s just a question of whether he can harness the kind of attitude required to fulfil his promise.
If he fails, it won’t be down to a lack of confidence – he’s put himself forward to succeed club legend Wes Hoolahan by donning the Number 14 shirt. Big boots to fill Todd…
Who would win if your squad had a WWE Royal Rumble style fight and why?
In a side full of svelte, diminutive ball-players, this is a tricky one. There are only really two stand out contenders: last season’s team captain/man mountain Christoph Zimmermann, and club captain, Grant Hanley.
Both centre-backs by trade, their frames are, well, imposing. However, given Zimmermann is unbelievably nice and Hanley seems the type of fella to fight dirty, I’ll plump for the Scotsman. Thinking about it, this may be an excellent way to solve who actually wears the armband this season too.
Where do you think your team will realistically finish in the Premier League and why?
History doesn’t look too kindly on Norwich City survival bids. I’m going to ignore that though and prophesize we’ll be just fine, settling around 15th. The main reason behind that prediction is the unity fostered between the fans, club, and players last season.
This is as close-knit as anyone can ever remember the club being. Togetherness is a powerful and often under-valued force to be reckoned with – if fans continue to buy into the project and back the team, despite the odd thumping at an Anfield or Etihad, then our future is rosy.