English Premier League – Norwich City 2011 Preview
Norwich City will get another shot at a Premier League title after a 6 year absence, having finished as runner up in the Championship in 2010, winning an automatic promotion.
The Potters were members of the Premier League’s in 1992–93, finishing third in the inaugural season and played in its first three seasons, reaching the UEFA Cup 3rd Round, returning for one season in 2004–05.
Odds to win the 2011-12 Premiership outright 5000/1
The team’s manager Paul Lambert has done a really good job with the squad during his tenure with the Canaries, and has instilled a winning mentality into the team that has worked hard at earning a chance to stand up with the elite squads of the EPL. However, with few players that possess to flight experience, it seems unlikely that Norwhich has much of a chance against EPL powerhouses, Manchester City, Arsenal and defending champion Manchester United.
Nevertheless, Norwich loves to entertain, but often find themselves being defeated too often because they don’t have the ingredients necessary, especially the mindset that is going to get them through the tough draw matches, or the late-game nail bitters that clubs need to win to be competitive in the table.
Midfielder Wes Hoolahan, who scored 10 goals and nine assists last year, is a product of this sort of play. Lambert tends to take Hoolahan out of the game when he needs to bolster the midfield with stronger, more warrior-like players. When he does this, players like Bradley Johnson and David Fox tend to make their staple on the team.
Hoolahan deserves a chance to show that he is a player than can be valuable in every position, and Lambert has hinted at giving him every available opportunity this coming season.
On a positive note, the club was very active in the transfer market over the summer, but it isn’t likely that any of their pickups will make a big impact on the team right away. The majority of them came from smaller leagues, and it is doubtful that any of them will have enough time to step up to the level of play they will face in their first year in the top flight.
The side will often rely on forward Grant Holt throughout the year. Holt scored 21 goals and 14 assists in 45 total league games last year, and only expects to get better.
Other than Holt and Hoolahan, the team doesn’t have a lot of raw talent and will more than likely struggle to keep up with upper table teams.
The team’s defense is probably the weakest part of the roster, and it will be hard for the side to stay in games when their defense faces Premier strikers like Rooney, Drogba and Tevez and Torres.
The Canaries just simply don’t have enough to make a big impact in their first year back in the Premier League, and will likely be near the bottom of the table toward the season’s end. The goal will be to finish above the drop zone and it they do, it will be considered a huge accomplishment.
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