But for a few additions, the summer window just passed was a calamity. We really struggled to capitalise where it was necessary, and if we don’t see this corrected in January, we could find ourselves in the Championship once more.
With an aging defence, a scarce source of chances in front of goal, and an awful summer window to set straight, the January window approaching is a humungous test for Norwich officials.
I’m sure after the previous window the board will want to iron out all the creases that remain. I would hope that McNally and his trusted acquaintances are already on the search for talented additions of whom would pull on the yellow and green jersey, with pride.
But who’s responsibility is it to make sure that we attract the names that are required in January? There are several who need to take action: Alex Neil, David McNally, and Lee Darnbrough.
It is key that whoever Neil wants, we go out of our way to get – regardless of the price tag. We have to rely on CEO David McNally and head of recruitment Lee Darnbrough to do just that. It’s more than an obligation that Darnbrough has to attract the ‘big’ names, which he failed to do at Burnley who of course suffered relegation at the first time of asking last season.
Should we have faith in the club officials to make the necessary additions? Well, yes and no. If the summer was anything to go by, I wouldn’t be too convinced. Nevertheless, we have to trust that the summer was a real kick up the backside for McNally and co. I would expect that the board have learnt from their former falterings, and are keen to show that they, and we as a club, mean business.
January is going to be a massive test for the Norwich officials, they have to put that awful summer window behind them – I trust that they will do so. But how do they do this? What’s the fix to this monstrosity?
We need signings.
We need quality, we need depth. Quality-in-depth, that’s the key. If we can achieve this, the summer will be a distant memory. Sometimes quality is better than quantity.
First things first, a centre-half. Curtis Davies, Nicolas Nkoulou, or even Jonas Olsson – we need a defender with proven pedigree. Nkoulou would be the obvious choice; he’s young, proven at a high level, and rated highly, but with talent comes a hefty asking price. However, if money is what it takes to buy a player of whom could keep us in the division, we certainly must pay up – it’s not like the funds aren’t there.
An alternative to Nkoulou would be Jonas Olsson, a professional of whom sees very little time on the pitch at the Hawthorns, but has experience in abundance as well as prominence and power. Not only does the Swede offer Premier League class, but he comes at a reasonable cost, I would hope!
So acquiring a fresh, top-draw centre-half certainly turns the screw, but it doesn’t fix our problems entirely. The heart of the defence was merely something we fumbled in the summer; as the season has developed, we have learnt other spaces on the field could certainly do with a little reinforcement too.
Wes Hoolahan is a Norwich legend and to this very day still one of our best. He provides a threat that no other Norwich player can compare to. But the problem is, Wes no longer has the legs to play week-in-week-out. When Wes either doesn’t play or doesn’t perform. nor do Norwich as a team.
We need a creative, central midfielder of who can control the space between the midfield and attack. An athlete who is dangerous, agile, and experienced. It was heart-wrenching that we goofed the chance to sign Everton’s Naismith, and I would certainly hope that he is still high on Neil’s wishlist.
Alex’s fellow Scotsman, Steven Naismith, gets very little game time at Goodison and even revealed that he was open to a yellow and green future – a player of who would provide more than chances, but goals too. He wouldn’t come cheap, but spending on proven Premier League pedigree is a necessity. Attracting such a big name would show that we as a club mean business, that we aspire to progress to an extraordinary measure. Naismith guarantees chance creation, and also consciousness.
The final piece in the jigsaw as far as transfers coming in are concerned would be a forward. I’d certainly settle for Palace’s Dwight Gayle – he’s a proven Premier League goalscorer, he has a bright future, and lastly he provides tough competition for others at the club.
I’ll reiterate that last summer was a mess. I just pray that the Norwich board have the intention to resolve this failure through spending wisely, and spending big when necessary, this January – I think that given the backlash of our summer falterings, they will.
We need a squad filled with Premier League names, and, unfortunately, there are a lot of names that question that statement. As well as ins, outs are essential,
It seems we are currently carrying excessive deadwood in the team. Players that are either past their sell-by-date or simply there for the salary – Lewis Grabban being the more obvious. It’s players such as Lewis that can seriously affect morale, and that is why it is crucial that we cash in on such ‘professionals’ this winter.
Now, what happens if we do have a repeat of the summer this winter? Well I know for sure it will initially be complete meltdown – I mean a loss away to Man City can send some fans into distress, so I dread what this would do to them! But maybe we could have answers lying elsewhere…
Under the radar and closer to home are possible solutions to our woes – they won’t be anywhere near as beneficial as additions, but they would be respectable enough if we do falter once more. We have several players out on loan as it is, players that could come back and do the business for City.
The Murphy twins, two players who could potentially return to Carrow Road and help in our fight for survival. Would they cut it? I haven’t a clue, but what I do know is that if they can replicate their current form, they can certainly step-up to the plate.
Let’s not forget Elliot Bennett neither; he was exceptional when played at right full-back in pre-season. His game against Fulham last year demonstrated what a prospect he could be at right-back.
So, thankfully we do have answers if all does go up in flames this winter. Not exceptional solutions, but small remedies. It may just be a case of giving those a chance to shine, you never know we could have real talent hidden away.
There are petite solutions if we falter this window, but I’m not confident that they will keep us in this division. They may prolong our confirmed relegation, but they won’t keep in the top flight.
If we do not excel this window, we may as well kiss goodbye to the Premier League as soon as the window slams shut. Look at the repercussions the summer window has already had, our inexperienced and weakened defence has cost us points on too many occasions! If we don’t get it right this time around, it will have a domino effect…
A failure to sign a defender, a playmaker, and a forward will get us relegated. Not only this, but it will see us lose lots of our players – Alex Tettey, Nathan Redmond, Mulumbu, Olsson, Mbokani. The list goes on.
There are multiple reasons why we must stay in this league this year; if we go down we will lose our most elite players, we will most likely lose our manager, and we will miss out on the biggest financial deal in the Premier League ever!
We have to spend to ensure we have the best possible chance of being incorporated within the new Premier League financial dealings next season. If we spend where the need is, we will remain in this league, and the expenditure of the deficits from our purchasing will be covered by the new contracts being introduced the following season.
I am certain that we will stay up, but only if we iron out last summer’s falterings in January as well as bring in some essential additions. We must trust Darnbough and McNally; let’s hope they were taught a lesson last time out.
January is the tipping point. A bad window and we go down, a good window and we stay up. Enough said.