Evolution rather than revolution should stand Norwich City in good stead

11:20 10 August 2015

The Robbie Brady deal illustrates perfectly how dogged the club can be in chasing a target, but only when its at the right price. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Robbie Brady deal illustrates perfectly how dogged the club can be in chasing a target, but only when its at the right price. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

So the phoney war of pre-season has come to an end and the live ammunition has been primed and loaded in readiness for the start of the real thing. I for one can’t wait.

The summer break may have been relatively short because of Norwich City’s involvement in the play-off final and the early start to the season, but there were times when it seemed to be dragging on interminably as the rumours cooked up by the plethora of people claiming to be “in the know” became ever more absurd while little concrete evidence of transfer activity was actually forthcoming.

Transfer windows seem to do strange things to the objectivity of football fans everywhere. Players linked to their club are often derided until they sign for someone else, whereupon they become world beaters that were negligently allowed to slip through the net, and the more money they go for the more superhuman powers they are assumed to possess.

And, of course, if an obscure foreign rumour website happens to randomly link a player with your club there will be hell to pay if his signature isn’t secured within 24 hours.

As ever, City have been shrewd in a transfer market in which, in terms of the Premier League as a whole, they are still relative paupers.

Inevitably some fans have suggested that they should have simply stumped up whatever inflated asking price a target’s club might have demanded but that isn’t the way that City approach transfers, nor will unsuitable deals be rushed through simply to get players in quickly. The Robbie Brady deal illustrates perfectly how dogged the club can be in chasing a target, but only when it’s at the right price.

And in practice price is absolutely no guarantee of quality on the pitch, with recent Premier league history littered with expensive flops.

Christopher Samba to QPR for £12.5million and a reported £100,000 per week salary is just one example of the dangers of profligate spending that springs to mind.

City’s approach since the external debt was cleared has always been to divert any surplus funds into the playing budget but anyone who believes that the club will fall into the trap of being overly extravagant in the transfer market is being unrealistic. In fact, too many new faces could actually prove counter productive.

Would fans really want to see City take the Watford approach and pay top dollar for virtually a new team, some of whom have been given four and five-year contracts before they have played a game in English football?

There are almost certainly going to be some pretty unhappy players at Vicarage Road as many of the promotion winning squad find themselves sidelined.

Of course promoted clubs need to strengthen but both David McNally and Alex Neil have made it clear throughout the summer that City would look to enhance an already strong squad without undermining the spirit in the changing room by bringing in a handful of players rather than performing major surgery.

Whatever a player’s pedigree, building a successful team is as much about chemistry and having the right atmosphere around the club as spending big sums. Given the choice between evolution and revolution I know which approach I prefer.


  • The league table you publish is wrong. WBA should be 20, and Norwich is 18. Hopefully the table will be better after Saturday.

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    Thursday, August 13, 2015

  • I certainly don't want us to go crazy buying multi players like Watford and Bournemouth have, paying over the top prices and wages, but on the other hand...I don't want us to get left's a bit embarrassing seeing us scrabbling around for 'free transfers', offering peanuts for obvious quality are good business...we all know clubs inflate prices for their best players...but I really do think we're going to have to spend big, if we want to bring in the likes of Van Dijk from Celtic, a strong, quality striker...(and maybe another pacey winger)...but we're gonna have to be quick...time is ticking!!! OTBC

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    Wednesday, August 12, 2015

  • Well said. I have full confidence in both Neil & McNally. Neil is a breathe of fresh air after Hughton's era (didn't mention Adams as I enjoyed a lot of what he did) and McNally has steered us from L1 to where we are now. Sick of reading by so many of here about the boards lack of ambition (normally spelled incorrectly at that). I think the board could be a little more communicative in terms of saying that we are actively pursuing targets without giving too much away.

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    Monday, August 10, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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