Alex Pritchard’s the man for number 10 at Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Alex Pritchard is winning the race to Number 10.
As the country prepares to go to the polls to confirm who will be in Number 10 this summer, Norwich City fans have been doing their own voting.
And the man they believe is best suited to lead City as their number 10 is Alex Pritchard.
Pritchard is the overwhelming choice in a poll in which more than 1,700 supporters participated – a reflection of the end-of-season form which saw him at the peak of his form.
Pritchard took 81pc of the vote, with the evergreen Wes Hoolahan receiving 15pc. Young star-in-the-making James Maddison garnered two per cent of the votes, as did Scotland international Steven Naismith.
It was a straight, first past the post, vote for four men at differing stages of their careers.
At 24, Pritchard has finally emerged from the shadows after being given his first real run of games, by caretaker boss Alan Irvine, having been in and out under the axed Alex Neil.
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The stop-start nature of the majority of his season did no one any good – neither player nor team. What was particularly galling was that City fans had already seen what Pritchard could do – against them, when playing for Brentford. There was a clamour to see him pulling the yellow and green strings, but when the fans got their wish it was too late. However, the late-season run was clearly enough.
Hoolahan, City's newly-anointed player of the season, is the master magician, but turns 35 next Saturday – even the many who have granted him legendary status at Carrow Road realise the time for change is approaching.
He's a different type of player to Pritchard, though: Hoolahan demands the ball ALL the time and dictates play. Pritchard doesn't shy away from possession, far from it, but relies on fewer touches than the veteran. Fortunately, the impact has been the same. Could they both start? That's a whole new ball game.
At 20, Maddison is the young pretender. He's been seen only in glimpses – but while he clearly has a bright future, the desire to see him has raised the expectancy levels.
Naismith, 30, improved towards the end of the season but he divides opinion – and there is a question to be asked of his future: can City afford to keep him – and at what price can they afford to let him go?