Opinion: I’m relieved Norwich City’s relegation struggle is over – it’s time to enjoy football again

Norwich City's FA Youth Cup winners are reason for optimism about the club's future. Pictured is manager Neil Adams, third left, and academy manager Ricky Martin celebrate with the FA Youth Cup. From left, Cameron McGeehan, Jacob Murphy, Harry Toffolo, Carlton Morris, and Kyle McFadden. Picture: Denise Bradley Norwich City's FA Youth Cup winners are reason for optimism about the club's future. Pictured is manager Neil Adams, third left, and academy manager Ricky Martin celebrate with the FA Youth Cup. From left, Cameron McGeehan, Jacob Murphy, Harry Toffolo, Carlton Morris, and Kyle McFadden. Picture: Denise Bradley

Friday, May 9, 2014
6:30 AM

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.

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Former Canaries defender Malky Mackay is one of the managers expected to be linked with becoming the next Norwich City boss. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA WireFormer Canaries defender Malky Mackay is one of the managers expected to be linked with becoming the next Norwich City boss. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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.

Will Smith (left) and Tommy Lee Jones with a neuralyzer in the film Men In Black.Will Smith (left) and Tommy Lee Jones with a neuralyzer in the film Men In Black.

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.

Norwich City's Alex Tettey scores his goal against Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA WireNorwich City's Alex Tettey scores his goal against Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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

14 comments

  • At this stage please, please, don't start talking us up as promotion favourites next season! That is just ridiculous. For a start we don't even know who will be in charge of the team and secondly we don't know who will remain, who will go and who will come in. Thirdly, there is no way we can prejudge the psychological effects of such a dreadful relegation. That may or may not linger, depending a lot on how many of this current squad remains. So by all means look forward to next season with hope. But also with realism.

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    malaga flier

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

  • The bookies always favour clubs that have been relegated from the PL. Just ask yourself this question, how many relegated PL clubs got promoted back to the PL automatically this season? Exactly, none, and we all know exactly what a lottery the play offs are, even if you get there. It's all very well talking about selling players, but to make £50 million on sales, you have to have players in the squad that are worth that kind of money. Sadly for Norwich there are no Adam Lillana's or Luke Shaw's in their squad. When looking at the Norwich squad, I honestly only see one player that could cut it in the PL, and that's Snodgrass. It's no good relying on the youngsters, unless of course, you are fortunate enough to have a Wayne Rooney. No such luck I'm afraid, the youngsters are mediocre at best. Norwich have a Wolverhampton Wanderers look about them, and look what happened to them. If they go into the Championship thinking that they have just arrived from 'The Big Time', then they will pay the price that Wolves paid.

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    NB

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • Reply to el dingo ethered. Not at all surprised.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • Odd, isn`t it, el dingo - Bassong was player of the season (HOW??), then one of our worst players this term. Hughton & his pack of sly PC Mobsters has a lot to answer for.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

  • Rudd; Martin, R.Bennet, Turner, Olson; Johnson, Fox, Surnam; E Bennet, L Becchio, N Redmond; subs: Howson, Murphy, Murphy, Bunn, McGeechan, Toffolo. How about that for our opening game at .. (my prediction) Millwall!

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    Soglio Star

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • The bookies always favour clubs that have been relegated from the PL. Just ask yourself this question, how many relegated PL clubs got promoted back to the PL automatically this season? Exactly, none, and we all know exactly what a lottery the play offs are, even if you get there. It's all very well talking about selling players, but to make £50 million on sales, you have to have players in the squad that are worth that kind of money. Sadly for Norwich there are no Adam Lillana's or Luke Shaw's in their squad. When looking at the Norwich squad, I honestly only see one player that could cut it in the PL, and that's Snodgrass. It's no good relying on the youngsters, unless of course, you are fortunate enough to have a Wayne Rooney. No such luck I'm afraid, the youngsters are mediocre at best. Norwich have a Wolverhampton Wanderers look about them, and look what happened to them. If they go into the Championship thinking that they have just arrived from 'The Big Time', then they will pay the price that Wolves paid.

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    NB

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • I'd like Elliot to stay. And Garrido. E even if only to push Olsson on. RS JR GH RVW SB AP LF will all go. I would love to keep Snoddy as much as I never want to see Bassong again!

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    el dingo

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Would be pleased to see Rudd as 1st keeper and agree with mostly all of your selection with the exception of Martin who is now past his sell by date and should have gone last year. Would love to see a big strong forward which we have lacked all season and also a quality leader of men at any position. I also think NA should be retained as Manager on a short term contract with the promise of longer term if he is successful in that position.

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    goldie

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Michael D, With a squad like that, we will be looking forward to League One the following season. Moreover, with Malky at the helm, we'll also be looking forward to a massive overdraft what with his penchant to blow millions of pounds on untried and untested players - just ask Cardiff City...

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    57charles

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • why oh why this obsession with ex players? We need experience, fresh eyes and a hard nosed decision maker with strong motivational skills capable of making the total greater than the sum of the parts.

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    Croydonary

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Well to be able to sell players for a sum in the region of £50 million, you have to have players worth that much in the first place. Sadly for Norwich, there are no Luke Shaw's or Adam Lallana's in the Norwich squad. When looking at the Norwich squad, I honestly only see one player who could hack it in the Premier League, and that is Snodgrass. Norwich have a Wolverhampton Wanderers look about them, and look what happened to them. 1. The bookies always show the relegated PL clubs as favourites to go back up. 2. How many of last seasons relegated PL clubs are automatically being promoted from the Championship this season. 3. The only PL relegated club with good quality players ( if they can hang on to them) is Fulham. As far as getting into the play offs, well, I think that we all know what a lottery that is. 4. You can't rely on youngsters, unless of course there is a Wayne Rooney amongst them, but let's be honest, Norwich is a long way from producing one of those.

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    NB

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Wonderful, wholly agree with your sentiments David. Glad to see you are keeping Olsson and Redmond next season - let others not get their hands on those too! - Rudd back in goal, a dash of youngsters, a new midfielder or two (and even Surman possibly back there), some strikers with zip and enthusiasm, Malky back in the house and Neil still learning his trade (and prepared to work again with someone else). What's not to look forward to?

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    Michael D

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • Sums up City Negative...No Prem ambitions...just sold my seats for this Sunday to Arsenal supporters they deserve em!

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    dave123

    Friday, May 9, 2014

  • What a negative article! No wonder Norwich are in the Championship if that's the best we can come up......Norwich need a manager who has no connections with this club,its time for a fresh start instead of this negative old boys canary network.

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    dave123

    Friday, May 9, 2014

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