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Norwich City: What Win over Manchester City Tells Us About Next Season

Andy WardContributor IIMay 19, 2013

Norwich City: What Win over Manchester City Tells Us About Next Season

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    Norwich City managed to finish the season in the best possible fashion courtesy of an enthralling 3-2 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

    The Canaries played with a refreshing freedom and bundles of ambition to secure a superb 11th-placed finish in the Premier League for this campaign.

    It's the type of victory that should live long in the memory and give players and fans alike an extra skip in their steps as we head into the summer.

    What's more, it's the type of eye-catching result that could act as a springboard to kick the club on again next season, with a top-10 assault certainly not out of their reach. 

    Here's what the win could mean for Norwich City's hopes in season 2013/14....

Norwich Are at Their Best When They Attack

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    To finish in 11th place is a remarkable achievement for a Norwich City team that had to endure some very tough periods at points in this campaign, but the way in which Chris Hughton's men have played on occasions has left a lot to be desired.

    However, something seems to have clicked in the last two weeks, with the Canaries playing some wonderful attacking football.

    It has brought back memories of the type of entertainment that Norwich fans were accustomed to in the Paul Lambert era, and now Norwich must take this philosophy into next season.

    Chris Hughton correctly identified that defensively Norwich City were susceptible during the last campaign and the early stages of this, and as such, tried to ensure that his side were tough to beat.

    Such an approach has come at a price for the club's attacking potential, but the last two displays have showed that Norwich do possess players that are capable of causing havoc for opposing defences.

    With further quality due to be added in the summer, there's no reason why Norwich can't be more pleasing on the eye next year, and their recent form has shown that they are at their best when they are given the license by their manager to create.

Jonny Howson Can Be a Crucial Player Next Season

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    The form of Jonny Howson in recent weeks has been a huge bonus, with the former Leeds United captain showing exactly why Paul Lambert was so thrilled to bring him to Norfolk 18 months ago.

    Despite this, Howson has struggled to really kick on this year after being largely anonymous in a number of fixtures.

    There is a valid argument for suggesting that Howson's form has suffered as a direct result of negative tactics, and again, the way in which Norwich City have played of late shows what can be achieved when the reins are taken off. 

    Compared to earlier in the campaign, Howson is visibly oozing with confidence at the moment, as his fantastic solo goal against The Citizens demonstrated.

    He has all the attributes needed to be a top midfielder, and there's no doubt that the Canaries could have a really special player on their hands.

    Norwich need to find a way to accommodate Howson in advanced positions next season, because he has the ability to be a really destructive player at this level. 

Norwich Shouldn't Fear Anyone

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    It shouldn't be underestimated just how big of an achievement it is for Norwich City to inflict defeat on Manchester City in their own backyard, with the Canaries becoming only the second team to do so this season. 

    The cynics among the footballing world will almost certainly suggest that Norwich's victory is somehow void because the former champions didn't turn up, but the fact remains that the Etihad Stadium is one of the toughest venues in Europe to come away with three points.

    Manchester City are a team full of international superstars from all four corners of the globe, but on this occasion they were completely outplayed by a Norwich City outfit that showed fantastic desire and no little quality to pull off a wonderful victory.

    The confidence that such a display should breed for next season could be massive for the Canaries, and they will now know that there isn't anywhere in this league that they aren't capable of getting a result.

    Chris Hughton's men have beaten three of the top four this season, and if that doesn't inspire belief that they can compete at this level for years to come, then I don't know what will.

     

     

    Follow Andy Ward on Twitter

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