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Norwich City boss Alex Neil targets extra muscle in January window for the Premier League push

Norwich City have had to up their game in the Premier League. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City have had to up their game in the Premier League. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Alex Neil aims to beef up his Norwich City squad in the January transfer window to flourish in the land of the Premier League giants.

The Canaries’ chief admits his first brush with the top flight has convinced him of the need to try and attract more muscle to remain competitive. Norwich kept their first league clean sheet against Swansea City prior to the international break, but have been punished too often on set pieces.

“I wouldn’t say we are the biggest of teams in terms of size or stature and I don’t think that helps us,” said Neil. “But I have never picked a player or signed a player because he is 6ft 4in and can head a ball, obviously if he is a centre-back that helps, but we try to put out the best team we think is capable of winning games by playing football. I would never pick a team on the basis solely of dealing with set pieces, but of course it is something I pay attention to and something we are aware we might need to address in January.

“In terms of size and competitiveness we have a couple of relatively big players and we are trying to make sure they get their heads on things and win vital battles. Looking at statistics and speaking to the players we have not done that at times and it has cost us. It is hard to work on that because it comes down to individual tussles.”

Neil has detected a major gulf in the physical prowess of Premier League opponents compared to Championship combat.

“Teams in England are generally always big, you look at the Championship and that is the case, but the nous and the power and the speed in the Premier League is a step up from that level,” he said. “You are taking player intelligence and adding that to someone who is 6ft 3in and can run like the wind, whereas in the Championship they are big and strong but maybe not as tactically aware or clever in terms of that first couple of steps. It is certainly enhanced in the Premier League.”

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40 comments

  • There is no money to spend. Club made a loss last season after paying promotion bonuses and dont get tv money until season ends. So to spend spend Delia and board would have to use their own money in January and claim it back when Sky pays up. Get real people.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Wednesday, November 18, 2015

  • Would be good to meet you, BaldCan. You and ole cutty could dazzle us all, given the correct lighting. On reflection, it might be better if cutts kept his cap on. Tommy Custard could join in, rather than peep from the periphery. Though he may feel more at ease being a voyeur. It takes all sorts. I`m sure his mum keeps his bedroom tidy.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015

  • Noooo....!!!

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • ⋆⋆⃟⊱✪⃝⃞⃝⊰⋆⃟⋆ A nice and sensible comment Rick . . . . . . surely Mbokani will recommend us to some fellow Kiev players wanting a route to the Prem ⋆⋆⃟⊱✪⃝⃞⃝⊰⋆⃟⋆ Physical players with gifted talent are clearly the way to be a success iMo

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • I certainly do trust AN implicitly in his views on and choice of any new recruits . And if he says he is in the market for more muscle, then that's good enough for me. But, as some others have mentioned, if he's made his mind up, and has individuals already targetted, then he, and more importantly, the board simply HAVE to learn lessons from the past two transfer windows, which have been absolutely shambolic. The club must go out and provide the necessary support, whatever it takes, to make these signings a reality. Another month of faffing about and arguing the toss over the odd million quid will prove disastrous, imo. This current squad is lightweight, in more ways than one, but not a million miles from being one that could survive quite comfortably in the PL. January is a month that will prove crucial to this club's prospects, not just in the short term, but in the medium term also.

    Report this comment

    Rick

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • Go away Tommy , this site has been nice and sensible for the past few months I thought we had got rid of all the children , then you reappear, what wrong have you been banned from the C BEEBIES site as well . I would not bother making any comments because your just going to be ignored

    Report this comment

    iMac

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • ’›(Ͼ˳Ͽ)‹’ Morning everyone. Morning Cutty and Baldy . . . . . y o o - h o o ! (ღˇ◡ˇ)♥ℒᵒᵛᵉᵧₒᵤ♥ ♥♥♥

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • Having visited OT for the UNICEF match at the weekend, it's very obvious that D-Beck could still do a job for a struggling PL side with a big striker. Sign him up!!

    Report this comment

    Ms Chanandler Bong

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • I've still got the touch, 1-0...back of the net.. ;-)

    Report this comment

    A fine city

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • What a ridiculous, crass and totally unnecessary comment, AFC. Unfair, too - Russell Martin has never given less than 100% to the cause of Norwich City. I am of a similar age category to you and also played as a striker and was lucky enough to play a few games in teams with some ex-pros and semi-pros and they are in a different league. Against RM, you would not be on your feet long enough to even get a touch of the ball. Like others, I would like us to strengthen at the back in the coming transfer window but insulting our players, even with a poor attempt at humour, is just not necessary.

    Report this comment

    Kent Anglian

    Monday, November 16, 2015

  • We have only just grasped the idea of playing two CBs in the team. As an overweight, 50 plus, retired striker, I would still fancy my chances with RM, the only tackle he uses is in the production of his family, nice bloke though.

    Report this comment

    A fine city

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • Just heard p Lambert is now manager of Blackburn Rovers. Good luck to him

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • OK I forgot we already had morison's

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • # Steely and # Rament, only Sainsbury's if the board cant pick up Lidl or Netto on the cheap

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • #Bald Canary, now thats a spiffing idea. I would also welcome a mogs meeting on a weekend, there be trains i can use instead of the car. Still got months of servitude before I can make a random weekday !!!

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • @Cutty will have to keep an eye on here, do you guys have a Saturday meet? I find work Monday to Friday gets in the way of the pub.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • Malaga, on scouting, I fear we are going to be as expansive as Burnley were last year, but I cant for the life of me remember why !

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • Waclor, 5'10" is an improvement on when we let Malkie go. We played that start to the Prem with a CB about as tall as Brew, and he has to stand on tip toes at the bar.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • Again, totally agree malf, football is a wonderful game as it needs players of different sizes and skills to form a real team. Wes certainly is a joy to watch when he hits the right notes, Darren Eadie, Ruel Fox and Huckerby were certainly other players who were a class above many and I am sure there are many more if we cast our minds back.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • Bald, be good to see you at the next MOGs meet. I'm fed up with being the only chrome dome.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • TrevorKeith - yes, AN knows what he wants and where the weaknesses are at the back - one being the fact that we are too often beaten to the ball in the air especially from set pieces, which has cost us dearly on more than one occasion this season. However we still need creative players in midfield and in that context I wouldn't suggest everyone has to be over six feet tall. Brady and Jarvis more than make up for lack of height with their pace and quality on the ball and Wes, on his day, can be devastating. It is a balance we haven't yet got quite right.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Sunday, November 15, 2015

  • Wouldn't have said Grabban is big and muscleymuscelymusselly? Meanwhile our two most effective players so far - Brady and Hoolahan - are somewhat diminuitive. Better feed them up on some shellfish...

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • What is going on Steely? Some people have no sense of humour these days. Would still like to meet up with the MOGs sometime if that,s Ok. Off to my first away game at Chelski next Saturday so hoping to dump Mourinho onto the dole.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Bald - yes Brew was on here last Monday. He commented after the Swansea game. I think he managed to upset one or two, but it was only harmless fun.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Hi Steely and Cutty, any news of MB, hope everything is Ok. With regards Custard, thought we had seen the last of him, never mind he brings comedy value with his stupidity.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • I don't know about "Run like the wind" but I can recall a few Norwich defenders whose performances stank like bad wind.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Now hang on here lads, I've been told that the perfect centrehalf is a 5'10" weak-tackling, knackered old full back. This is a radical new school of thought for Carrow Road.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Steely- Sainsbury is coming back from injury but has now established himself back in the starting 11. Is possibly a little too slow at this point but definitely has potential.

    Report this comment

    rament

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • James Collins,centre-back,of West Ham was one of the many names mentioned in last window's rumour mill.He fits the bill at 6 foot 3,dominant in the air and highly experienced.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • I'm doing fine Cutty. Thought we had all better regroup as Custard's sin binning will shortly be ending. I picture the old rascal pacing the touchline ,waiting the referee's signal to re enter the fray.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Definitely need a good, proven CB without a doubt. Curtis Davis would be my choice. With AW going back to Lpool next season, we're also going to need a right back as well. We'll need 2 strikers if DM goes back. This transfer window is going to be very interesting indeed.

    Report this comment

    canarytrev

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • The last couple of transfer windows have been shambolic. I hope that in January we will have identified our targets and go in with sensible offers to ensure we get our men early in the window. I don't know who was to blame for the rediculous goings on in the summer but I hope he is kept well out of the way this time round.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Malaga I think Crouchy is out of contract this year , he is not used on a regular basis so he might be available , He is big and for his age is still quick , there is still life in the old dog yet . I have always been a fan of him , he did playloan for city I believe, Put in a offer can't be any worse than some we have , the bonus is Abbey may come down and watch him ???

    Report this comment

    iMac

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Totally agree with you mf but you better duck because you will get plenty of flack suggesting we need a decent tall central defender. I got plenty a week or so back for daring to post similar things. Even AN seems to be coming around to our way of thinking, whatever next.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • We need a good tall header of the ball in central defence. But that person will also need to be quick and mobile because, as AN says, we are up against pace and intelligent players in this league. Hoping that with Lafferty, Gasbban and Hooper possibly leaving, it will open the door for a proven goalscorer. But as every club is looking for them and as such aren't exactly ten a penny, we may have to take a chance on a player from the lower leagues or overseas. It worked with Leicester and Vardy after all. Much of this comes back to the quality of our scouting system. And therein lies a big question mark.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Mack The Knife would only open his purse if it was 'two for one' with the nectar points.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Does the club get Nectar points on his transfer rament?

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Steely, how yer blowin' ole partner? I thowt yew'd emigreated!

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Rament - I spent a week in Zwolle in September. Beautiful small town. More cycles than cars. They only have a small ground which is sort of built into a shopping centre. Couldn't get tickets as you have to be part of a memebership scheme. Sainsbury was one of the unused subs.

    Report this comment

    Steely Dan

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • PEC Zwolle and Australian fullback Trent Sainsbury will soon be out of contract and is keen for an EPL opportunity.

    Report this comment

    rament

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

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

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