Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Norwich City’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.
Manager: Chris Hughton.
Captain: Grant Holt.
Stadium: Carrow Road (27,033).
Last season: 12th.
Leading scorer (PL): Grant Holt (15).
Odds: Title 2500-1. Relegation 6-4.
In: Jacob Butterfield (Free, Barnsley), Javier Garrido (Loan, Lazio), Robert Snodgrass (£2.8m, Leeds), Michael Turner (£1.6m, Sunderland), Steven Whittaker (Free, Rangers).
Out: Daniel Ayala (Loan, Nottingham), Michael Ball (Released), Richard Brindley (Released), Andrew Crofts (Undisc., Brighton), Josh Dawkin (Free, Braintee), Adam Durry (Free, Leeds), Zak Whitbread (Released), Aaron Wilbraham (Free, Crystal Palace).
Key Man – Grant Holt
The news that Norwich’s star striker had signed a new deal and had decided to stay was like music to the fans’ ears. Holt, a true leader in every sense, tormeted most of the teams defence last season by scoring 15 goals. If the Canaries are to survive in the top flight and avoid the second-season syndrome, then they will need him to be on song again.
18-Aug – Fulham (A)
25-Aug – QPR (H)
01-Sep – Tottenham (A)
15-Sep – West Ham (H)
22-Sep – Newcastle (A)
29-Sep – Liverpool (H)
Probable Formation (4-5-1): Ruddy; Martin, Turner, L Bennett, Tierney; Pilkington, Howson, Surman, Johnson, Snodgrass; Holt.
Verdict: Following Paul Lambert’s departure, former Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has been appointed in safeguarding the Cannaries’ future in the top flight. It was bad enough when Lambert left in the summer but the situation looked like it could get worse after key man Grant Holt handed in a transfer request. But a change of heart from the striker saw him sign a new three-year-deal that will be a massive boost for the Norfolk club, who are hoping to avoid the second-season syndrome. Chris Hughton is no doubt a good coach and he did a good job at Newcastle but this is a tough test for him. I don’t think Norwich will do better than last season and for me they are one of those teams battling to survive. At the end of the season, they might just go down fighting.