I saw this poor article on the Ladbrokes website today that suggested that Norwich City’s poor run of form will see them relegated. Of course, this could easily be a tactic in order to get people piling their cash on something that obviously will not occur.
However, I am prepared to humour them somewhat and state why I think there is no need for the Canaries to be at all concerned by such a report. So, sit back and relax as I bring you more Canary style insight on the Bleacher Report.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed yet, the January transfer window is currently open, so the Canaries have an opportunity to add to the squad. I think we know from history that the transfer market has that nasty habit of changing everything that we thought we knew about the season.
So far, Norwich City hasn’t been able to do any business in the first two weeks, but the January window doesn’t tend to get interesting until the last week. In my opinion, progressive Premier League teams need to look to add to their squad in every transfer window. And this is something that Norwich has managed to do in recent history.
It’s difficult to predict which players will be coming in, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Chris Hughton will again be looking abroad to secure value for money signings. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of the current speculation is total rubbish, but business will be done, even if we have to wait until transfer deadline day.
Football fans and pundits tend to be a fickle lot that enjoy reacting to a few results whether they are good or bad.
When the Canaries went through that 10 match unbeaten run, it didn’t mean that the team was going to secure a place in the Champions League. And the current run, which has featured four defeats in the last five league games, doesn’t mean that the team will be relegated.
Every game in the Premier League is tough, but Norwich has already proved this season that they have a strong enough squad to get results in the Premier League. I think it’s clear that the obvious class will soon come through again, and the Canaries will be on another very good run of form.
Any Norwich City fan would say that the one weakness that Paul Lambert’s team had was the relatively poor defensive abilities. The history of the Premier League tells us that the teams that go down are usually poor at the back.
Chris Hughton has done a fantastic job in changing the attitude here, and you would now back this side to keep the goals out. Therefore, I do not believe that the defensive record here will be poor enough to see us sucked into the relegation dogfight.
I think that it’s fair to say that Norwich don’t score a lot of goals. However, this isn’t a problem if the team isn't conceding a great deal. It’s also fair to say that they don’t have one definitive source of goals, but the Canaries do have a number of players that are capable of grabbing a goal.
It’s worth remembering that Grant Holt scored 15 Premier League goals last season, and although he hasn’t been anywhere near as prolific this season, he is still a very important figure that remains a constant goal-scoring threat. Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington are Hughton’s preferred players in the wide positions, and both are very much in the criteria of wingers that score.
Snodgrass has become a particularly powerful weapon, because of his superb delivery and goal-scoring ability from set piece positions. And this has allowed the Canaries to get goals, despite not always being the most attacking team.
I think it’s fair to say that injuries tend to be more of a problem for the smaller Premier League teams. In general, if a Premier League club has started the season very well, but loses form, then it is usually because they have suffered injuries and this can cause them to lose momentum.
In Norwich’s case, the biggest injury that they suffered was to first choice goalkeeper John Ruddy. And it’s fair to say that Mark Bunn has struggled to find the same sort of form. But it’s also true that there have been other injury problems. Grant Holt recently had a period out of action and Steven Whittaker hasn’t played for some time now.
I remain confident that if Norwich can add to their squad through the transfer market, and get their first choice team back, then they will easily be safe of the relegation zone, despite what Ladbrokes have been saying.
So, I would suggest that money put down on the Canaries being relegated would be money lost.