Is Norwich City fans’ verdict more of a seasonal affair?

Sebastien Bassong has come back into contention at Carrow Road.

Sebastien Bassong has come back into contention at Carrow Road. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City fans were less than enamoured with their club's activities in the January transfer window – according to our online poll.

The majority, responding to the question, 'were you satisfied or not with City's business last month?', said they were not.

Several hundred supporters voted, which is enough to get a general overall feeling – and perhaps their views are a reflection not just of January, but of a disappointing season overall. Disappointing that is, when you have set your expectations bar at a certain level. And that bar was pretty high at the start of the season.

The hope was that City would be as well prepared as almost all of their rivals to earn promotion – in their case, at the first attempt after relegation. With a few quid in the bank, a very healthy looking squad made up of last season's Premier League players (albeit failures, if you like) and some eye-catching newcomers, the opportunity was there.

After a jittery opening day, things began to click. Four wins in a row, a nice eight-match unbeaten sequence and the praise of opposition managers ringing in their ears every time they left an away ground – it all seemed to be going smoothly. But then, for some unknown reason, the wheels began to fall off.

After losing in the Capital One Cup at Shrewsbury, City had one win in the next half a dozen (although the first of that run was a win at this weekend's visitors, Blackpool).

Suddenly, the exciting new (-ish) young manager, Neil Adams, was the inexperienced young manager. Questions were asked, deservedly so, as what would appear to be the strongest squad in the division faltered.

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When City crashed out of the FA Cup at Preston, Adams decided to call it a day.

That was three days into the January window, leaving his replacement, Alex Neil, pictured, not much time to assess who he liked and who he didn't fancy – and then to identify reinforcements.

Neil admitted when he joined that he was surprised to get the call from Norwich City – the assumption is, like most managers, he will have a good knowledge of players available in Scotland and England, so he wasn't totally unprepared.

But does the fact he hasn't ripped up the squad mean he believes he can get something out of the players that his predecessor was struggling to extract?

Is Alex Neil satisfied with his January business? I have absolutely no doubt he will say he is – he can't really say otherwise, can he? And that is partly because he knows better than anyone whether he has accidentally signed a new centre back in Sebastien Bassong, whether he is ready to grant a performance-enhancing new lease of life to Wes Hoolahan or whether in Tony Andreu he has picked up a gem that slipped through the net of everyone else.

Bassong aside (and it is only an assumption that the central defender can start fresh as a daisy with a positive outlook on life as a City player again) perhaps the biggest concern for City fans stems from the lack of reinforcements in defence. Martin Olsson's aborted move to West Brom might leave him a little isolated in the eyes of those who believe players should want to wear the yellow and green shirt as much as they desire to pull on the replica version every weekend. How the fans react to Olsson will be interesting – assuming that Neil selects him.

The failure to nail down a central defensive pairing has been around for some time. Is it because the quality isn't there or is it because it has been hiding its light under an overgrown bushel? If so, Neil has to be confident he can extract it.

As well as Olsson's left back position there is also the right back slot to think of – isn't it just time to put Russell Martin there every game?

Perhaps the truth is that the window simply added to a general disappointment of season 2014-15 to date – a feeling that may go away if Neil decides business on the pitch doesn't necessitate too much business off it.