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Decent Starts for Brady & Wisdom

Yesterday saw the first match in Norwich colours for both of these (and luckily they were not subjected to the new 3rd kit) and both made solid starts to their careers for the club.

Wisdom is likely to be only with us for a year before he returns to his parent club Liverpool and is somewhere near the fringes of their first team, and yesterday we saw why they were keen to tie him down to a new 4 year contract this summer.  

Having spent the first part of the game watching Whittaker back to his bad old self, giving the opposition far too much space down the Norwich right, and missing tackles at important times, when Wisdom was brought on the difference in class was obvious instantly, to the point where it seems likely he will start the first game of the season now

Another one who seems to be a 'shoe in' on the back of his performance in the final friendly is Robbie Brady - a dangerous threat down Norwich's left all game he put in some real killer balls, the Hull fans said last season he was their main attacking outlet and it's clear to see that he will be a major threat for us too with the £7m looking like it wll prove to be money well spent

2 More To Go - Alex Neil's Recruitment Target

Following yesterday's friendly Alex Neil has stated he would like to get two more in before the window shuts, with striker and CB believed to be on his shopping list

It remains to be seen if this figure will change with any departures happening, rumours persist and the imminnent departure of Gary Hooper although the club maintains that no bids have been received

Ignasi Miguel's departure on Wednesday was clearly designed to free up squad space once the signings of Wisom and Brady were confirmed, and I wonder if any further departures are likely?  

It would seem unlikely from the last couple of friendlies that Ricky VanWolfswinkel is gong to feature heavily this season and is a possible contender to leave, if he hadn't been too gready with his wage demands he would already have been back in Portugal, but you don't become a rubbish player over night so it will be interesting to see what Neil can get out of him this season

Adams Returns To Club

Announced on Friday was the news that Neil Adams has returned to the club as stated when he left the manager's seat a few months ago

Now I know a lot of Norwich fans might have expected him to fill the vacant under 21's position, but that has beentaken and he has returned in a position of "Loans Manager"

Now I don't know of too many clubs that have this as a position - so what does it entail?

  • Overseeing the progress of all our youngsters that are out on loan and making sure the best development they can get is happening
  • Securing Norwich's commercial position in an increasing lucrantive market for clubs at the top of the football pyramid

David McNally was quoted as saying "(Neil's) knowledge of players, his coaching experience and his understanding of the modern loan market will all be a huge asset in this newly-created role.

"This will help the club to ensure our players receive maximum benefit from their time spent on loan.""

With the benefit of hindsight this is probably a role we should have had a year or two ago, it sounds like an ideal role for Adams as he helps many of our brightest prospects kick on in the game, in a way he managed very sucessfully with the youth cup, and I'm glad the club have decided to look after him following his ill fated spell as manager

Kean To Apply Some Pressure

Ok, so I thought we would go with a tabloid style headline 

Anyway - yesterday at our friendly vs Brentford Jake Kean was introduced to the crowd as our latest summer signing

Kean joins us from Blackburn where he made 44 first team appearances in goal and has joined to put some pressure on Ruddy and Rudd as well as provide further backup to the goalkeeping position with young keeper Remi matthews out on loan at Burton Albion

"Jake is a good, up-and-coming goalkeeper. We obviously have Declan Rudd here as our number two goalkeeper, and we've sent Remi Matthews out on loan to get match experience, which I think is important for him.  We needed to make sure we had cover for the goalkeeping position and wanted to bring in someone who could push Declan" was Alex Neil's take on the signing yesterday after the match

The 24-year-old has signed a two-year deal at Carrow Road and becomes City's fifth summer signing following the arrivals of Graham Dorrans, Youssuf Mulumbu, Robbie Brady and Andre Wisdom

The only thing that worries me about this signing is that I have heard and read a couple of times that at Blackburn he suffered a loss of form after a knee injury - lets hope we can get that back

He also becomes the latest in a long list of summer signings who have said that after speaking to Alex Neil that their mind was made up and they didn't want to go anywhere else - the last time we heard this was with another Scottish manager a few years ago who shall remain nameless.

 

Robbie Brady Deal Getting Closer

The news on the jungle drums tonight from reliable sources in Yorkshire connected to Hull City is strongly suggesting that after what seems like weeks of back and forward the deal for Robbie Brady is now done at £7m, with the player keen to get the on and get back to the premiership as soon as he can.

Now on the face of it, £7m is a decent size investment for Norwich, and probably represents fair value in the current market when you consider the 'silly' money being thrown around for other players at present in the scramble for the big TV contract at the end of this season in the Premiership (£8m for Tyrone Mings anyone?).

What we can be sure of if the deal completes is a proven premiership quality left winger, Hull fans that I know are genuinely dissapointed to be losing him, with many describing him as their main creative source from midfield last season.

In other transfer news connected to Norwich reports say that Sam Clucas from Chesterfield who has been strongly linked to the club throughout the summer is now off to Hull to replce Brady for a deal reported to be around £1m + add ons

Lafferty Ready For Season Opener

Alex Neil yesterday confirmed that Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty should be fit for the season opener on 8th August

Lafferty who is on crutches following a knock on his left knee in training just over a week ago has not travelled to Germany to the training camp as a precautionary measure to allow him further time to rest and recover

Of the others who have missed the recent friendlies with injury or illness Neil confirmed they are all well on their way to be ready to go and have all travelled to the training camp in Germany including:

  • Howson (Viral infection)
  • Olsson (Shoulder operation)
  • Bassong (Hamstring)

Of the rest of the squad Josh Murphy, Louis Thompson and Ignasi Miguel are with the development squad at their camp in Austria and will play in their friendlies on Tuesday and Thursday instead

Spotted In The Crowd

Ok, so we're a couple of days late with this update, but spotted in the crowd proudly watching our 10-0 victory over Hitchin were a couple of former City favourites

And for a change this time we are not talking about the usual suspects of Huckerby, Roberts et al - but instead seen were the mighty Ginger Pele Gary Doherty, and Zema Abbey, seeing their names mentionned made me wonder what happened to them after they left Norwich

Gary Doherty

The one and only Ginger Pele went on to play for Charlton Athletic and Wycombe Wanders spending two seasons on the books of each and completing a further 97 appearances, scoring three goals in the process - all for Wycombe - with gary being honoured with the Captain's armband for them as well for two seasons

Sadly at the end of the 2014 season he was forced to retire through injury aged 34

Zema Abbey

Now aged 38 Zema is back at the club he started his career at and is currently joint manager at Arlesey Town (The other joint manager is his brother Nathan)

After leaving Norwich Abbey went on to play for another 8 clubs, mainly in lower and conference leagues before retiring from playing in 2013 at the age of 36

I'm sure you'll join me in wishing both of these the very best for their future careers

 

Have we found our new right back?

It certainly looks like Alex Neil might think so

With Russel Martin's stated preference for playing centre back we would appear to be someone light at RB with on paper only Steven Whittaker to chose from, which is never good news as he always seems prone to picking up the odd knock here and there and drifting in and out of form (although to date under AN he has dared yet!)

Step up Elliott Bennett

Clearly AN has been listening to the terraces - note to Glenn Roder ignore them at your peril

There has been talk amongst us all for a couple of years now that EB might make a good right back, and after his nasty knee injury he seemed to lose a little bit of 'something' on the wing that has made him just that bit less effective there, even when he had a spell on loan at Brighton (before anyone says we don't know how to get the best out of attackers)

However after covering there for one game under 'Hoots' he was called upon to play at right back again by AN last season when Whittaker was unavailable and did a good job, enough so that there were questions being asked if Whittaker would get straight back in even though he was in some of the best form we have seen from him at City at the time.

Now we are three games into pre season, and that is three more games that EB has lined up at right back, and three times he has done as well, or better than the more experienced Whittaker, the question now in my eyes - is Alex Neil brave enough to start him in that position in the Premiership this season?

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