Norwich: Their Biggest Challenge Yet

Norwich defied expectations by winning promotion twice then staying in the Premier League, but they have an even bigger task on their hands staying there again...

Last Updated: 15/08/12 at 10:30 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football People On TV: Paul Scholes

25 comments

It's a sad thing to say, but Scholesy suffers from just being a bit plain, from not having the analysis of Neville or anger of Keane. He is Lowry's idea of a pundit...

F365's Foreign Managers Quiz - Questions

Post comment

With the stampede for Jurgen Klopp in full flow - how much do you remember about foreign managers in the Premier League?

All Articles

Last season

Premier League 12th; FA Cup Fifth round; Carling Cup Second round

Manager Chris Hughton (since 2012) Odds on being first out of his job 16-1 (joint seventh)

Transfers in Steven Whittaker (Rangers), Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley), Michael Turner (Sunderland), Robert Snodgrass (Leeds)

Transfers out Adam Drury (Leeds), Zak Whitbread (Leicester), Andrew Crofts (Brighton)

Norwich defied expectations in 2009-10 by earning promotion from League One after losing 7-1 at home on the opening day. They did so in 2010-11 by passing straight through the Championship. They did so in 2011-12 by then staying in the Premier League with something to spare. It will be even more surprising if they can do so a fourth time.

The good news is that Grant Holt was unable to attract the big-money move he desired. But that cannot outweigh the loss of Paul Lambert to Aston Villa.

Chris Hughton deserves another top-flight chance after his treatment by Mike Ashley (even if the Newcastle chairman will rightly feel vindicated by Alan Pardew's subsequent success, his predecessor had not done badly enough to merit the sack). If he can be successful then he may well be a perfect fit for Norwich; with his age and record he is not exactly prime material to be poached. The kind of job he did at Newcastle would suit Norwich, who cannot have much in the way of European pretensions despite the sainted memory of Jeremy Goss et al, perfectly.

Hughton has replaced Kyle Naughton, back to Spurs from his loan, with Steven Whittaker from Scottish Third Division club Rangers, while scouting reports on Jacob Butterfield, signed from Barnsley, have been effusive.

The new manager may get the blame if it all goes wrong but it would have been difficult for Lambert this season. Norwich fans may remember the fate of their local rivals a decade ago: a Norwich paper had to take down an online relegation countdown clock as Ipswich challenged for a European place in 2000-01, but such success proved ephemeral. Relegation followed 12 months later, just as it did for Reading in 2008 after their look-what-promoted-clubs-can-do performance in 2006-07.

Lambert's side started poorly a year ago but with low expectations and two seasons of success behind him this was not a problem. Hughton is at a double disadvantage but there are harder starts to the season. This one has a distinctly London flavour: trips to Fulham and Spurs, visits from QPR and West Ham. But there are three sides in there against whom Norwich will want to be judged come the end of the season. Struggle in these games (Spurs) aside then the next quartet - games at Newcastle and Chelsea, and hosting Liverpool and Arsenal - will be daunting for the new manager and his board.

Philip Cornwall

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hen a players ability sinks to less than SWP's, but his value accelerates to more than £50m you know you must be in the comments section of an article about a Liverpool player leaving.

goober
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

I

ll never forget Matt Stanger on Scott Dann on the transfer blog. I've always rated Dann since his time at Brum, and some newspaper had him going to a biggish club after Blackburn's relegation. A ball playing defender, Stanger mused, quoting. Pah. He's a godawful hoofer .

arexrarris
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

T

o be fair, one of the reasons its so difficult for certain clubs to get close to Real Madrid or Barcelona is once they have a player who is good enough to compete against the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, they f*ck off, usually to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

hump3.
Simeone baffled by PL failure

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Radamel Falcao could still make Manchester United move permanent

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev claims Manchester United could still sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent deal.

Liverpool and Standard Chartered extend shirt deal until 2019

Liverpool have renewed their sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank which now runs until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Jurgen Klopp not a West Ham target, says Karren Brady

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady says reports that the club have approached Jurgen Klopp to take over as manager are "nonsense".

Mail Box

Bentaleb Should Be On Unheralded List...

Nabil Bentaleb could be as good as Luka Modric, says one Tottenham fan. We also have lots of mails on Chelsea's style as well as Raheem Sterling's price tag...

Brendan Rodgers Deserves Another Season...

"I am not bashing Chelsea, however..." The Mailbox takes aim at Jose Mourinho once again and under-fire Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers "deserves another season".

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company