Norwich Pre-season: Good, bad or ugly?
Good, on the whole. Clean sheets against Celtic, Peterborough and Hull show promising signs that defensive frailties (3 clean sheets from 38) from last season are finally being fixed. The only problem is goals: Hughton himself has admitted we haven’t scored enough, although James Vaughan looks lively, and Grant Holt never starts the season well.
Hopes for the season:
Another mid-table finish is the best we can hope for, perhaps with a cup run and therefore a first trip to the New Wembley thrown in as well. Lambert didn’t take the F.A Cup seriously last season and that hurt a lot of supporters.
Fears for the season:
Relegation. It’s a real possibility, although we know the players and manager are more than capable of keeping us up.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept
17th. With a new manager at the helm, this season could be significantly trickier than the last. Survival is the absolute priority.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
Villa away. We travel to Villa Park fairly early on in the season, and it’s the perfect chance to get one over on Lambert. By the time the Villains come to Carrow Road in May a lot of water will have passed under the bridge.
Got the right manager?
Absolutely. He would have comfortably kept Newcastle up a couple of seasons ago, had he have been given the chance, and what he did with Birmingham last season was nothing short of miraculous.
By Christmas you’ll be…
Out of the League Cup, for sure. In the league, who knows? If we start well, then top half, perhaps. If we start badly then we could be in the bottom three.
Player you’d most like to sign?
Rickie Lambert’s set to have a massive season. We’ve already got two players who are fairly similar to him, in Grant Holt and Steve Morison, but he’d be the perfect replacement for Holt should he get injured. Lambert and Holt also played together at Rochdale, so perhaps there’s a partnership in the making there as well, no matter if it’s the slowest in England.
Which player should we look out for?
Elliot Bennett. He had a pretty quiet season last year, bar the screamer he scored against Spurs. He could certainly be pretty anonymous in some games, but showed flashes of brilliance at times as well. If he could just be encouraged to use his raw speed a bit more he could start catching the eye outside of Norwich.
Which player would you love to ditch?
None. The philosophy under Lambert was always that football is a squad game; as such, every single player at the club has helped us get where we are today.
Opposition hate figure?
Joey Barton. Not only does he play for QPR, who most City fans dislike for one reason or another, but, well, he’s Joey Barton…
Tell us something we don’t know about your club?
Our club song, ‘On the Ball City’, is the oldest football song in the world.
What won’t happen this season?
Ipswich won’t get promoted.
‘Simon Lappin, King of Spain’. He looks Spanish, what more can I say?
Where will you finish?
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