The calendar year of 2012 has been a mixed one for Norwich City fans; the form the team showed in the latter part of last season was disappointing. However, the fact that the club maintained their place in the Premier League was something to celebrate.
In a way, it has been a similar story this season: The club started off very slowly, but has now progressed to a solid Premier League side that has risen to seventh in the table. Therefore, we all hope that this progress can continue for 2013.
Nevertheless, the purpose of this slideshow is to offer some recognition to some of Norwich City’s stars from 2012 with a focus on this season and recent performances.
I think any Norwich fan that has watched the team on a regular basis this season has to admit that Bassong has made a massive difference. It is fairly safe to say that he is the best defender the Canaries have had in a very long time. And the fact that he is able to contribute goals as well shows that he is almost a complete player.
Bassong’s goal-saving tackle on Kone in the dying minutes against Wigan shows how important he is to the team. The defence has leaked a few goals in recent games, but things still look solid enough to build a decent platform on. Of course, it is helpful that the team has also managed to score a few more goals of late.
My only real reservation is that he sometimes likes to make some rather radical forward runs that could cause him to be caught out of position. But as long as he limits those occasions, then there shouldn’t be any major cause for concern.
Turner is obviously another of Chris Hughton’s signings that has made a significant difference to the side this season. But he did get off to a slow start, including being part of the team that conceded five goals on two separate occasions.
I think it’s fair to say that fans thought he was a bad egg at that point and were somewhat surprised to see the manager keeping faith with him. However, Hughton's faith in Turner has now proved to be the right decision, with the player becoming a very solid member of the Canaries defence.
It’s always very nice to have a story like this, when a player has been written off, but comes back to prove his critics wrong. This is somewhat similar to Chris Hughton’s own troubles in the early part of his career as Norwich manager here.
If you said to me at the start of the season that Norwich would score a goal that included 28 passes and we would beat Manchester United 1-0, then I would think you were crazy. But that is exactly what Norwich City has done, and it really demonstrates how far the club has come from last season.
It is also a little reminder that there are teams that are rarely given credit for passing football that have a very good ability at it. Of course, this is as much an award for the team as it is for Anthony Pilkington, but it was important that this fantastic team move had a finish. And Pilkington himself is on a decent run of goal-scoring form, so hopefully that can continue throughout the season.
Always a very difficult one to judge, but I have been nothing but impressed with what the midfielder has added to the team. Tettey has certainly managed to get the best out of Bradley Johnson and shown that he has attacking and defensive qualities.
However, one thing to focus on are his shots from distance that have already resulted in goals this season. It has been a while since Norwich has had a player that has been prepared to do that, so that’s why he gets the signing of the season award. It should also be noted that he is a real key to making the 4-2-3-1 formation work.
The Irishman is the creative influence within the Norwich City team and tends to make things happen in terms of setting up goals. But he proved in the Wigan game that he also has what it takes to score goals himself.
Nevertheless, scoring goals or not, he seems to be the one player that Norwich City misses the most when he is not playing. That much has been proved earlier on in the season, and more recently, when the team played Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup.
It is fair to say that Grant Holt is a bit more than just the club’s best striker and certainly is vitally important. He may not have scored as many goals this season as he would have liked, but his form since last season has been very impressive.
He is likely to be out for a few games depending on how serious the hamstring injury that he picked up against Wigan is, but hopefully he will get over it quickly because Norwich City needs him.
Although, there have been some players here that have been mentioned, it would be wrong to assume that no one else is worthy of mention. The reality of the situation is the whole team just works together from the formation to the manager to all the players.
Therefore, it’s important to remember that other players that haven’t been mentioned in this like John Ruddy, Robert Snodgrass, Javier Garrido and friends all buy in to that, and the future of Norwich City looks very positive as a result.