So, who are you and why do you follow the Canaries?
I’m in my (very) early forties (Nathan is the webmaster of Vital Norwich) and am a family man with a wife and two boys who are all football mad, including the missus. I’ve been a Norwich fan forever and was born in the City so I had to follow my local team – you don’t have a choice, do you?
Early days I know but has the season gone to plan thus far?
There’s only been one fly in the ointment which was losing away at Hull against ten men – just not good enough. Other than that a 2-2 draw with Everton and a win over Southampton is quite acceptable. I think we’re on the right lines anyway and the football we’ve played has been better than some of last season.
You spent a lot of money in the summer, are you pleased with those who’ve come in?
This has been the best summer of transfer activity for Norwich fans – ever! By our standards we’ve spent a huge amount of money (almost £30m) and I think we’ve invested wisely. Ricky van Wolfswinkel is the big name (literally) and he has looked the part so far. Leroy Fer looks as though he is going to be a monster of a midfield player and Nathan Redmond looks a snip at just £3m. Martin Olsson has plenty of International and Premier League experience and Gary Hooper has goals in him, I’m sure.
Happy with Chris Hughton? (Be kind, as a youth he was one of my heroes).
I am happy with Chris Hughton. He was criticised in some quarters last term for a lack of attacking invention and a reliance on the defensive side of the game but his brief was to keep us in the League and avoid the dreaded second season syndrome and he did it with room to spare. We had some terrible results with 5 nil defeats at Fulham and Liverpool being real low points but we also had some great highs, beating Arsenal and Man Utd at home as well as turning over Man City at Eastlands. To my mind, he’s doing a decent job.
Talking of heroes, it must’ve been difficult to say goodbye to Grant Holt?
What can I say about Grant Holt? He was the catalyst along with Paul Lambert that propelled us up the Leagues. In his first season he scored 30 goals in League One as we won the title and he won the fans’ player of the season award. In his second season, he scored 23 goals as we finished second in the Championship and again won the player of the season award. In his third season he scored 15 goals in the Premier league and again won the player of the season award – no other player has won this award three times in a row in our history. It was almost as though he grabbed the club by the scruff of the neck and said “I’m going to the Premier league and you’re coming with me!” Last season, with Hughton in charge, Holty was tasked to play a lone striker role which is not his best position, he always scores goals when playing with another front man but this isn’t too popular tactically at the moment so he “only” got 8 goals. It was sad that he went and he could still have done a job from the bench but he’s got a three year contract at 32 years old and European football at Wigan. We wish him well – he is a bone fide City legend.
It’s three seasons now since your promotion, is the novelty of the Premier League wearing off yet?
It’s not wearing off and I do sometimes marvel at some of the players we come up against. We are still not “established” and you have to fight for every single point, home and away. I’m realistic though, City will never win the League and probably never make the top six, the level of quality is just so high. However, I feel that we can give anyone a game, especially at home and a top ten finish is what we should aim for along with a cup run.
Spurs have made and spent a couple of quid during the summer as you may have noticed. Any opinion on our shopping efforts?
Roberto Soldado looks a very good acquisition, as does Nacer Chadli who had a great scoring record in Holland. I also think that you got Christian Erikson for a very good fee. He was talked about as a £30m player just one year ago and could be a great number 10 for you.
Apparently Garth Crooks opined that we’d ‘sold Elvis and bought the Beatles’, which popular artist(s) would you liken the Canaries purchases to?
Blimey, that’s a tough question. I’ll go with AC/DC – they lost their lead singer (Bon Scott) but replaced him with Brian Johnson and flourished. We’ve lost Grant Holt and replaced him with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, hopefully we’ll flourish as well – that’s the best I can do, sorry, I know that’s rubbish…
Ricky van Wolfswinkel, if he’s not got the funniest name in the Premier League who do you think has? Or is that too childish a question to bother with?
I can’t argue with RvW having the funniest name, we just call him “The Wolf.”
Are you feeling optimistic about Saturday?
I’m not so optimistic as if we were at home, we can give anyone a game there, but we’ve got a decent record at White Hart Lane over the last couple of years, so fingers crossed.
Is there anyone in yellow we should be keeping a special eye out for?
You should watch out for Nathan Redmond – that boy is such a prospect. He has pace, skills, is direct and loves to take his man on. I honestly think he could play for England if he continues to progress, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
And finally, a scoreline prediction please.
Hmm, I’d love to say City will win but with all your new signings I can’t be that confident. I’d take a draw and so I’ll go 1-1.
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