Many thanks to Gary Gowers from Norwich City blog My Football Writer for answering a few questions ahead of Saturday’s match between Leeds United and Norwich at Carrow Road. I also answered a few of their questions as well, so give it a read if you’d like.
How have things gone since last we met?
Been a mixed bag to be honest. We’re in the midst of a “transition” - it’s been drummed into us so we don’t expect too much - and we’ve been told this project will need four transfer windows to unravel properly, so on that basis, the ‘mixed bag’ is to be expected. We play nice football but are prone to defensive lapses and are fairly toothless up top - just by doing the maths, it sums up where we are.
Will James Maddison still be a Norwich player September 1st?
No chance. The vultures are hovering, Liverpool in particular. He’s been quality all season and has out-grown us far quicker than we’d hoped or imagined, although the last few weeks he’s shown understandable signs of fatigue. The best we can hope for is us selling him to one of the big boys and then getting him back here on loan for the season or at least part of it.
What does Norwich need to challenge for promotion next year?
Good question. If it was a question of tweaking the current squad, the biggie would be getting a new striker or two in to help make us a little less toothless up top, but the summer is going to be another of upheaval. We have three quality loan players who will be returning to their parent clubs, plus in an urgent need to reduce a hefty wage bill, some of our big earners will be departing, so it’ll take more than a striker (or two) to prepare us for a promotion bash next season. The head coach also needs to look at *how* we play and how we can be more productive at home.
Who has been your best player this season, and who should Leeds fans look to score on our suspect defence?
Maddison has been the standout player and he’s not only carried the creative burden but largely the goalscoring one too. Although, as stated above, a long hard season has taken its toll. You’ll probably wonder what all the fuss is about tomorrow! It’s hard to say where the goals will come from... there really aren’t many of them scored at Carrow Road. Nelson Oliveira, if he’s picked and can be arsed, *can* be a handful, and Josh Murphy on his day can be quick and dangerous.
Predict the score.
Head says 0-0, but my heart says a narrow City win with Wes Hoolahan scoring the winner in his last ever game for the club.