July 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 9, 2014
It is that time of year when photographers start scanning football crowds to capture the tears flowing down the cheeks of distraught football fans after seeing their team relegated.
But if one of the photographers here at the EDP and Evening News had pointed their camera in my direction at 9.30pm on Wednesday night, they would have been disappointed.
An odd feeling of relief and optimism were all that I felt as City’s relegation was confirmed by Sunderland winning 2-0 against West Brom at the Stadium of Light.
It is difficult to feel upset or angry that a team has been relegated after they have won just three of their last 20 matches.
That is how many games City have played in 2014 – including the FA Cup third round ties against Fulham – during which they have lost nine times.
If Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones want to stop by and use the neuralyzer from the Men in Black films on me, to erase the last five months of the football season from my memory, that would be just fine.
Perhaps just leave in Alex Tettey’s thunderbolt against Sunderland, please lads.
Strangely, I was almost pleased it was all over on Wednesday night. Now we can all stop talking about if City would be relegated and look to the future.
I want to be excited about the start of next season, I’m looking forward to an overhaul of the playing squad and, most of all, I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing the Canaries winning some games again.
Despite the immense disappointment of City managing to mess up establishing themselves in the Premier League, they will soon be installed as one of the favourites to win next season’s Championship title.
How does that sound? Better than only managing 28 league goals in 37 league matches and winning only two away games all season, doesn’t it?
Bring it on, I say. Especially the return of the East Anglian derbies.
It’s time for City to hit the rest button and try to go back to the Premier League in an even stronger position than which they went up under Paul Lambert’s stewardship.
The club’s finances should remain reasonably healthy and the club has an Under-21s squad full of players which won the FA Youth Cup last season.
The prospect of the Murphy twins, Carlton Morris, Cameron McGeehan and Jamar Loza all being involved next season should be an exciting one.
Bring in Malky Mackay as manager and keep Neil Adams involved with the first team and most Canaries fans are going to feel pretty positive about next season.
But City must look at Southampton and be brave. The Saints look set to make in the region of £50million for Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana this summer, a huge injection of cash to allow them to keep building.
That is the future for English football clubs in the age of Financial Fair Play rules and it should be the future for Norwich City.
So here is my, admittedly very early, hopes for City’s starting line-up for the opening day of next season (which I’m almost certain will end up being away at Wolves on the Friday night, knowing City’s recent luck).
This is assuming that the likes of John Ruddy, Robert Snodgrass, Leroy Fer and Gary Hooper will all have found themselves a lifeboat over the summer – although they are all more than welcome to stay, if the club can afford them!
Rudd: Martin, Bennett, Turner, Olsson; Redmond, Howson, __(new midfielder), Josh Murphy; Morris, __ (new striker, Britt Assombalonga if Peterborough are not promoted).
Subs: Bunn, Gafaiti, McGeehan, Johnson, Surman, Jacob Murphy, Loza.
Feel free to share your potential team in the comments below and you can follow me on Twitter @davefreezer