Norwich City’s class of 2013/14 – should they stay or should they go?
08:04 23 May 2014
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The looking back stops today as far as I’m concerned. We’ve had two weeks of inquests, questions (not all answered), moaning and mourning – but at some point that has to stop.
This is my last column of the season, therefore a perfect time to gaze into the crystal ball and imagine the Norwich City squad that might begin an assault on the Championship.
The stats may suggest an immediate return to the promised land is unlikely, but records are there to be broken.
With a new manager in place, a fresh wave of positivity on the training ground, as well as some fresh faces to help, Norwich City can start next season in a happy place.
With that in mind here’s an idea of some of whom I’d like to see in the Norwich squad for 2014/15.
JOHN RUDDY - His apparent willingness to stay in the Championship was a massive boost for City’s hopes of promotion. Could be the best goalkeeper in the league. STAY
MARK BUNN - A lot may depend on whether he’s happy to continue as second fiddle. If so, it seems to be a position to tick off quickly. STAY
DECLAN RUDD - Ideally he’d have another season on loan, offering the chance for further development. Will he be happy for such an unsettling situation to prolong? GO (ON LOAN)
CARLO NASH - Potentially time to carry on the goalkeeping tradition at the club by giving young Remi Matthews a stint at number three. GO
ADDITIONS - None needed unless we lose Ruddy. If that happens worth a cheeky bid for Robert Green?
STEVEN WHITTAKER - Have never been entirely convinced by him during his two years at Norwich. Never seems able to hold down a place. GO
RUSSELL MARTIN - His Premier League pedigree may have been brought into question a bit last season, but a great asset in the Championship. STAY
JOSEPH YOBO - A decent few games but not the man to take us forward. GO
SEBASTIEN BASSONG - Likely to remain an enigma as far as Norwich fans are concerned. Wonderful one week, woeful the next. Can’t see him wanting to drop down a level – but will he be in demand? GO
MICHAEL TURNER - Big fan of Turner and he could be massive next season. Vital he stays. STAY
RYAN BENNETT - Yet to really make a name for himself at the club. Key season if he’s to have a long-term future here. STAY
JAVIER GARRIDO - The former Lazio man is likely to be a high earner. We can’t have a high earner on the bench. GO
MARTIN OLSSON - Convince him to give Norwich a season to get back in the Premier League. If we don’t he’ll go back, I’m sure. STAY
ADDITIONS - With four players on their way out, time for a big reshuffle at the back. Two decent full-backs are needed and a strong, fast, centre-back to push Turner and Bennett. Injury would also mean another loan signing as cover. Craig Dawson at West Brom is someone I’ve always rated.
ELLIOTT BENNETT - If he can return to previous form, he could be one of City’s best players next season. STAY
ANTHONY PILKINGTON - Much the same as above. Had we stayed in the Premier League I felt sure he was on his way out. Worth another chance. STAY
NATHAN REDMOND - If he wants to stay – and we can keep the vultures at bay – has the potential to terrorise Championship defenders. STAY
DAVID FOX - My heart says stay, but hardly set the world alight during Barnsley loan spell last season. Think his Norwich time may be up. GO
BRADLEY JOHNSON - In truth he will probably be playing at his level next season. Worth keeping for his energy and ability to break up play. STAY
ALEX TETTEY - Was really shocked by his apparent desire to leave stated in an interview last week. Hopefully a case of lost in translation. Thought he’d be a certainty to stay. STAY
LEROY FER - Will those clubs apparently interested at the start of last season still be so after he faded in the second half? Decision on his future may be out of our hands. UNSURE
JONNY HOWSON - Wasn’t fully fit at the end of the season, but when he is has potential to be a real star. Make him captain and build the team around him. STAY
JOSH MURPHY - There could be a real battle on the wing next season. With so many games should get plenty of opportunities. STAY
JACOB MURPHY - A loan spell may benefit and then see how he goes. Definitely one for the future. STAY
WES HOOLAHAN - After all of the twists and turns of last season I question whether he’s up for the fight any longer. May slip away quietly in the summer. GO
ANDREW SURMAN - Should have been recalled last season as he offers something different with his slick, flowing style. Would like to see him back in a City shirt. STAY
ROBERT SNODGRASS - Seems to be the most surefire departure in the summer. We’ll miss him, but possible that his reputation has been enhanced by being good performer in a poor team. GO
JONAS GUTIERREZ - He’s probably already gone to be honest. Good. Not seen anything from him to suggest he’d add to the squad. GO
ADDITIONS - A lot will depend on Fer and Tettey as to where signings are needed. An attacking, creative central midfielder is an obvious gap, but I’m happy with how the wing looks. Would love the Nick Powell on loan from Manchester United rumours to be true.
RICKY VAN WOLFSWINKEL - Again, will come down to wage and desire. I suspect a season-long loan abroad will be the next development. GO
GARY HOOPER - Another who may fit into the ‘give us a year to get back’ bracket. Play to his strengths with two up top and he might be worth a £5 bet for Championship top scorer. STAY
LUCIANO BECCHIO - A player whose value and perceived ability has soared by not being used. I’m still not sure he’ll be first-choice, but definitely worth giving him more of a go in the first few weeks of the season at least. STAY
JOHAN ELMANDER - Even as a loanee his signing was a mistake. Another year older I don’t even think he’s Championship standard. GO
JAMAR LOZA - If the Arsenal sub appearance is anything to go by he could be a fantastic impact sub. STAY
ADDITIONS - Two strikers needed to challenge for places and cover injuries. Can we tempt Palace to part with Glenn Murray? And how long before we read the first Craig Mackail-Smith rumour?
So there we have it. At least 12 of last season’s squad on their way, and maybe eight players coming in. It’s certainly going to be a busy summer.
• A final note to say thank you for reading my Norwich City ramblings every fortnight, as well as the letters and tweets (good and bad). Have a great summer, don’t get too carried away by the World Cup – let’s save the success for next season.
You can follow David Powles on Twitter @David_Powles
Editor’s note: This column has been edited following the appointment of Neil Adams as permanent Norwich City manager last night.