Across the Border: Norwich City's optimism brewing as they prepare for return to the Premier League next week
With only a week to go until Norwich City kick off the new Premier League season at Anfield, there is a quiet sense of optimism brewing around Carrow Road.
Externally, a perceived lack of ambition associated with a lack of major investment has led to many ‘experts’ dismissing City’s chances of survival.
But internally there is a genuine belief that Daniel Farke’s young Canaries – and their exuberant, stylish brand of football - can ruffle a few feathers on the club’s return to the best league in the world.
It will come as little surprise to those with a yellow and green persuasion that the summer has been so understated, with a focus on securing the futures of those who led the club’s title charge last season. Now of course, no-one is naïve enough to believe all of those who have put pen to paper will stay until the expiry of their new deals, but it leaves Farke and Stuart Webber in a strong position should the situation arise when certain players outgrow the club.
There has been a number of arrivals, with Ralf Fährmann, Sam Byram, Josip Drmic and Paddy Roberts all signed up for the battle. They are four players who fit the club’s transfer policy, having somewhat struggled for fitness and form in recent years – after showing real promise earlier on in their careers.
Roberts, who has arrived on loan from Man City, is the one I am most excited about seeing – having followed his career path since he broke through at Fulham as an 18-year-old.
Now 22, Roberts rocks up at Norwich following a difficult spell at Girona last season. He is a player very much in the Emi Buendia mould – drifting in from wide areas to have an influence on the game and create chances.
The signs from pre-season suggest Roberts will fit City’s style perfectly – with his curling effort in the 5-1 win at Luton showing he also has an eye for goal.