December 20 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Friday, August 23, 2013
Norwich City’s latest summer signing Johan Elmander revealed yesterday the Canaries’ ambition enticed back to the Premier League.
The 32-year-old could feature at Hull this weekend if the club obtain international clearance following a season-long loan switch from Galatasaray. Elmander won two titles in Turkey and featured for Gala in the Champions League, but the Swedish international senses some good times ahead at Carrow Road.
“I think they have the squad to be able to take the next step and I want to play my part in helping them do that this season,” he said. “You see the money they have spent to attract good players and that tells me they really want to be fighting in the Premier League. There was initial interest about a couple of weeks ago so I didn’t have to think that much.
“I know Norwich have had a good couple of seasons at this level, I’d seen them play a couple of times because the Premier League is very big in Sweden and of course I know a few players. I had been texting and talking with Martin Olsson before and I knew Chris (Hughton) is a great manager. That made it easier because people only have good things to say about him.”
Elmander is prepared to do whatever it takes to make a difference at his new club after turning his back on Turkey.
“I have some goals in my mind which I will keep to myself but the most important thing is the team. Of course I want to score but my philosophy is always to put the team first,” he said. “I’m a little bit older now and I have that experience from playing in the Premier League before with Bolton. “Maybe I can bring something to the young guys in the team and score a few goals. At Galatasaray I was what you might say the daddy in the dressing room. At Bolton we had someone like Kevin Davies who could guide the team and if I can do a similar role then I will.
“The first season with Galatasaray went very well but the second season I didn’t score as many goals as I wanted to but hopefully I can put that right here. Turkey is perhaps more technical and they played some big games in the Champions League and big derbies as well in the past two years so that is all part of the experience I think I can bring. I had two great years and there were no regrets that I left England.”
Elmander rejected the idea he may have unfinished business in the Premier League after a bittersweet stint at Bolton where he scored 18 goals in 92 appearances.
“I don’t think I have anything to prove in England. My last season here was a good one,” he said. “I was playing as a striker for the first six months and then was moved out wide and ended up as a central midfielder.
“When Owen Coyle came to the club things changed for me at Bolton. He could see what I was good at and gave me a lot of confidence. It is difficult to come to the Premier League the first time because it is a different tempo and it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but the last 18 months went pretty good.
“I come here pretty relaxed, but know I have to fight for my place in the team.”
City boss Hughton is placing a high premium on Elmander’s ability to help ease the top flight transition for the likes of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper. The Norwich manager yesterday stressed the lack of Premier League nous in his current striking stocks.
“What Johan gives us is a player still playing at the highest level for his country who knows this league with Bolton,” he said. “We have a fair mix of players who have experienced this league but some haven’t and if I look at the two new strikers both Gary and Ricky are new to this league.
“Johan is an adaptable player who can operate in a few positions and that competition is important. It’s not just the league but cup competitions as well and we need to keep everybody here on their toes.”
Norwich City midfielder Robert Snodgrass is back in the squad for this weekend’s Premier League trip to Sunderland.