Who remembers the time where some fans felt that achieving Premier League survival was to be as easy as one, two, three? I certainly do.
We came out of the blocks flying at the season’s start as a result of having performed well against a mighty Palace side, we’ve taken a point from Anfield, and walked away with three points against a tough Bournemouth team; this is what led many fans to false conclusions, that staying up was going to be ‘a breeze’.
After such an impressive start, I myself imagined that we could easily retain our Premier League status, but boy was I wrong! In order to survive this year, we are going to need all hands on deck – plus a few late additions to the crew in the January approaching, of course.
There is a recipe to avoid the drop this term, the first ingredient being the most visible – transfers. It’s not a matter of ‘no outs, masses of ins’. No, we just need to ensure that departures are met with equal arrivals. It’s quite apparent that some players will withdraw this winter, and we ought to make sure that we attract even and dependable replacements. On top of replacements, we need reinforcements. In particular a centre-half and a proven Premier League forward. These arrivals will for sure form a solid foundation for the Canaries to work from.
Now let’s turn our attention to the second element needed for survival – individual fulfillment. There are certain players this season that will be indispensable for the Canaries to remain in the top flight:
First there’s Nathan Redmond. He produces more than just goals, he brings flair, pace, and a sense of freshness with his skill – on his day he can give any defender a run for their money. The additional three vital players for the Canaries this season are Sebastian Bassong, Youssouf Mulumbu, and Dieumerci Mbokani – the spine of the team. All three of these athletes centre the Norwich team, they provide solidarity and a root for the side to work from. Bassong offers assurance, Mulumbu brings experience, and Dieumerci exploits fear – an exceptional collection of attributes.
If our key men can perform to a high standard consistently throughout the season it will enhance our chances of survival drastically. As a collective these individuals can create havoc and danger – we just have to hope that they continue to operate to a leading example.
Another ingredient to throw into the survival mix is the backing of the board. Firstly, we need to go back to what needs to be done in January. The board must support any transfers that Neil feels are required – no matter what the cost may be! Secondly, the board must not only promote Neil’s transfer needs, but they must back the man himself. No matter how troublesome times get, Neil has to remain at the helm – let’s not have a repeat of our relegation two seasons ago, sacking the main man with five games left. Ludicrous. The board’s backing is a huge factor, one that can tip the scales in any way it wishes.
Now the final constituent is no doubt the most influential – the fans! It’s all well and good having a top draw squad with very few flaws, but with a shy voice from the fans the squad makes for very little impact. As with the board, no matter how tough times get we must back Neil and the boys. We have to encourage our team, we have to show that we believe in ourselves as much as they do. Be loud, be proud. Give the boys the backing they need starting this Saturday against Chelsea, they’re going to need as much support as possible.
So there we have it – a recipe for survival. To recap, we need to firstly add to the squad, strength-in-depth is key. Secondly, we have to ensure that our most prolific players perform to their very best, and nothing less. Next, the board have to support Mr Neil in every way possible to provide the best chance of Premier League survival. And finally, us. The fans. Our voices. We have to do everything we can to back the boys – we can’t do anything about transfers, player morale, or anything behind the scenes for that matter. But what we can do is encourage our lads to achieve, and that is the cherry on the cake for the recipe of survival.