Everyone associated with Norwich City Football Club knows that just surviving in the Premier League will be a big challenge. But what can be learned from this season and teams that have been relegated in previous years? With this in mind I have compiled a list of five areas Norwich must get right and strike the right balance.
Give the manager the tools he needs in the transfer market
It seems obvious to start with summer acquisitions and it is vital to get the balance right. In some ways it is dependent on a club’s ambitions and I think some clubs take a view that they spend a little and hope to survive, but if they don’t the club will still be in a stable place financially. However, at Norwich the board have already suggested Lambert will get the money the club has made on promotion to strengthen the squad. Therefore, it is down to Lambert to get it right and keep half an eye on wages – because if Norwich get relegated they don’t want big wages that they can’t get rid of and are not sustainable in the Championship. So it’s a balancing act between not spending too much, but spending enough to give yourselves a realistic chance.
Make sure you know how to defend
If there is one thing we have learned from Blackpool this season then it’s no good being great to watch going forward, having two players scoring over 10 Premier League goals – if you can’t keep them out at the other end. To put things into perspective Blackpool scored 55 Premier League goals this season – which is the same amount as Tottenham that finished 5th and four fewer than Liverpool that finished in 6th. But their defence leaked 78 league goals – the worst in the Premier League. Norwich must take note of this and make sure they don’t go down the same road. With this in mind there may be times when it’s best to shut up shop than going forward all the time.
Make sure you have a striker
Now if your keep in mind that a team has a half decent defence then they may not have a striker or two that can score. Norwich need to make sure that they do – now I would back that Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson will cause problems in the Premier League – but they will need some help and it is definitely an area Norwich must strengthen in. There were two main reasons West Brom moved away from the relegation zone, Roy Hodgson came in and made them a much more organized outfit but they also had a striker in Peter Odemwingie who hit 15 league goals. Last time Norwich were in the Premier League they waited until January before they splashed out £3m on Dean Ashton – if he was at the club at the start of the season Norwich would almost certainly have stayed up. So hopefully at the start of the season Norwich will have 3 or 4 striker that look like they can score Premier League goals.
Use your 12th man
We know all about the fantastic and loyal fans Norwich City has and Norwich need to make sure they take full advantage of this. Unlike some other Premier League clubs Norwich will sell every seat at Carrow Road and it’s vital that it’s a hard place to come. There is no reason that Norwich need to be fearful of Manchester United and they may like to remind the Red Devils of the fantastic result Norwich enjoyed against them when they were last in the Premier League. Away from home there is no reason why Norwich can’t continue their excellent away record from the last two seasons and with thousands of fans travelling away they can make it feel like a home game.
Keep that team spirit
Whatever happens over the summer it’s vital the team spirit is not damaged in any way. This means that players are signed on personality and attitude and not just ability. Norwich City is a team and we don’t need some big name player coming in who thinks he is better than the club or is using the club in any way. Finally the players that got us here deserve to play on this stage and on top of that the big characters at the club need to remain to keep this amazing spirit.
If Norwich can get the balance right in these five areas there is no reason the team can’t comfortable survive in the Premier League next season.