Season Preview: Norwich City
Norwich seemed to be guilty of getting ahead of themselves last season after surviving their first two years back in the Premiership. They spent a lot of money on a few high profile signings that failed to work out such as Gary Hooper and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel. As a result Norwich suffered from a severe lack of goals. It was not uncommon for them to dominate teams particularly at Carrow Road but end up drawing or lose out by an odd goal. Whilst Chris Hughton did well as manager he was never able to get that couple of wins that would have moved Norwich well away from the relegation zone, and whilst they were never in the bottom three under his stewardship they were also never far away. The Canaries also had the problem of facing an extremely tough last four matches against some of the top sides in the division. With that in mind, the Norwich board acted in early April by sacking Hughton and appointing under-18 coach Neil Adams until the end of the season. The move ultimately did not work as they lost a relegation six-pointer at Fulham and despite taking an unexpected point at Chelsea did not do enough to avoid filling that final relegation place.
Neil Adams was the surprise choice as permanent manager over the summer. He has proved himself as an excellent coach in the youth set-up at Norwich taking charge of the under-18 side before being thrust into the managers seat at the end of last season. Despite a long playing career which included a very successful spell at Norwich he has no experience of managing in English football. Given that fact it was expected that a more experienced manager would take the reigns but the job was given to Adams. It is certainly a gamble and only time will tell if it will come off.
In: Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth), Kyle Lafferty (Palermo), Gary O'Neil (QPR)
Out: Robert Snodgrass (Hull City)
Loans Out: Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (St Etienne)
The fact Norwich have not been particularly active in the transfer market will aid their attempts to return to the Premiership at the first opportunity. They have addressed the fact their strikers did not perform last season and have managed to hold onto all but one of their best players so far. They have an excellent squad, excellent infrastructure and every chance of returning to the Premiership. Despite the fact their manager does not have any experience, if they can keep hold of their other key players this August I think they will finish in one of the automatic promotion places at the end of the season.