Ian Clarke: Message to Norwich fans - relax and enjoy the ride
PUBLISHED: 09:12 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:12 09 August 2019
What one word sums up how you’re feeling as a Norwich City fan on the day of the new Premier League season?
It's a question I put out on social media and I got a wide range of replies.
They ranged from excited to apprehensive and positive to petrified.
As the hours have been ticked off to the mouth-watering trip to the home of the European champions, one word has stuck in my mind. Relaxed.
On the whole, I tend not to be a very relaxed supporter.
People who sit near me in the River End top deck will know I'm a bit of a shouter who finds it difficult to sit still and is prone to jumping on my seat when a big goal goes in.
When I'm not at an away game and follow coverage on Pink Un Live and with the Radio Norfolk commentary, I pace around and kick every ball.
So what has led to this outbreak of calm and relaxation? The summer could not have been much smoother for the Canaries.
The incredible euphoria of clinching the Championship title in such style had to end at some point but the positivity has been maintained thanks to excellent work from Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke to re-sign the key lads for the campaign ahead.
Unwanted players on big money have been eased out of Carrow Road.
Some decent additions have arrived in the shape of Ralf Fahrman, Patrick Roberts, Sam Byram and Josip Drmic.
The total cost of the summer outlay? £750,000.
That, of course, will reinforce the view among the national media pundits that City are defeatist.
These guys purr at the £140m shelled out by Aston Villa.
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They are impressed at the £17m Sheffield United have spent on Oli McBurnie,
If you haven't heard my colleague Dave Freezer's interview on Talk Sport before the Luton pre-season friendly, I'd thoroughly recommend it.
Dave calmly stood his ground when the panel tried and tried to insist that the Carrow Road hierarchy was showing no ambition or intent by broadly sticking with the squad which won the league by five points, scored 93 goals and lost only six matches.
Part of my new-found relaxed feeling is that I'm genuinely not bothered what others think about our approach.
We revelled in the fabulous free-flowing football, the wonderful goals and the fantastic spirit on and off the pitch,
Of course it's going to be tough.
We know that Teemu Pukki is unlikely to bag 30 goals in the top flight. However, I can't believe he won't make an impact.
Emi Buendia was magnificent last season. From what I've seen of him in the warm-up games, he's getting even better.
He's my tip to really take the Premier League by storm.
I'm always biased about Dereham's finest, Todd Cantwell. But he looks stronger, more agile, fitter and with a tougher streak to him. I don't think he'll start at Anfield - but his time will come.
Tim Krul is my man to start between the sticks. To have Fahrmann as back-up is a real boost.
Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Ben Godfrey form a tremendously exciting young nucleus for our backline.
When Christoph Zimmermann is fit, he goes straight in to complete the four and wears the skipper's armband.
For now, Timm Klose is my pick to fill the gap.
Mo Leitner, Tom Trybull, Buendia, Patrick Roberts, Marco Stiepermann and Pukki would complete my starting XI.
Right, let's do this and show the Premier League how good we are. OTBC.
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