Norwich City Premier League Preview
Players In: Robert Snodgrass, Michael Turner, Jacob Butterfield, Steven Whittaker
Players Out: Adam Drury, Aaron Wilbraham, Zak Whitbread
Paul Lambert has left Norwich with some Shaquille O’Neal sized shoes to fill for Chris Hughton and if there was a manager anywhere that more people wanted to succeed I’d be surprised. Hughton’s treatment by Newcastle was shocking and he deserves this crack at the Premier League even after what proved to be a disappointing season in charge of Birmingham last season.
Norwich now have three former Leeds midfielders having signed the half-paced Robert Snodgrass. A man blessed with an absolute wand of a left foot but the turn of pace of Jon Parkin after a bellyful of Guinness. If Snodgrass can find the time and space to create for Grant Holt then the big man will be bagging plenty more this season. Jonny Howson only joined in January but looks set to be a very key player for the Canaries – the 2012/13 Joe Allen if you will.
It is hard to discuss a promoted side without mentioning second season syndrome (it will be repeated so SSS from now on). Norwich are eerily reminiscent of the Reading side that secured survival so spectacularly in 2006/7. Hughton will be determined not to follow their footsteps and you can be sure he will have his team well drilled and well organised from day one.
First game analysis:
The dreaded SSS well and truly kicked in on Saturday and Norwich’s offside trap took an absolute pasting as it conceded five against Fulham. Norwich always seemed to be playing above themselves last year, and now Grant Holt has bullied the club into the new contract he wanted he might not be as effective. Hughton is a great organiser but will have to seriously improve on Saturday’s showing if they are to stay in the Premier League.
Last season they picked up five wins away from home which is more than eight other sides in the Premier League and it will be their away form that could prove the difference again. Pilkington and Steve Morison will again need to back up Holt if they are to survive again. They may just fall short