Oh boy, oh boy, it’s finally here! We’re past the hump now, folks – long past a heavy period of inactivity and no longer being expected to rely on the pre-season tour to satiatiate our hunger for football.
It has been far too long.
It’s a new season and a new chance at a championship title under the rule of Daniel Farke who now faces the full scrutiny of us all in, what will prove to be, the season that defines his future with Norwich City.
Let’s be real; last season was, at best, an underwhelming season for us all and all eyes linger upon Farke for desperate signs of improvement. Where many called for his departure continuously as we faced constant defeats and disappointing draws, many, such as myself, were singing the familiar chant “give him one more season”.
That season is here.
Though I don’t read too much into pre-season tours, I’d say we look fairly good on the whole. We look structured, we look calculated and we have some fantastic potential on show. On the whole, we generally just look like a fitter and more formidable team, even with the absence of Maddison and Murphy.
This is the season we begin to reap the rewards of Farke’s experimentation with the squad and we should benefit hugely from the players’ developed familiarity with each other.
As to where we’ll end, I’d place us firmly at a 6th place spot, but I doubt we’ll be facing a promotion this season.
That said, let’s be positive, supportive and, most importantly, proud. Regardless of our position, let’s make this season special.
Contrary to much of what can best be described as limited optimism – or perhaps just sensible realism; we don’t know yet – towards City’s season, I actually can see reason for us members of the Yellow Army to get quietly excited about this campaign. Call me blinded, irrational or even simply deluded, but please do hear me out on this one.
We’ve recruited well. Like most of us on the terraces, it appears Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke became acutely aware that the area that required the most considerable improvement was our purpose, pace and penetration in possession. With the personnel who have arrived in NR1 since last season’s underwhelming year concluded at Hillsborough, I’m truly confident that will have been achieved.
Despite the sales of James Maddison and Josh Murphy, our squad looks so much more balanced going into this Saturday’s opener in the West Midlands. City possess a truly competent goalkeeper, multiple dependable defenders and a real abundance of midfield options. Oh, and we’ve signed two proven goal scorers to replace the ineffective and utterly petulant Nelson Oliveira as well.
No, we haven’t invested to the extents seen at Forest, Stoke or elsewhere in the division, but it looks as though we may have found a remedy for our serial inability to score goals in the last campaign. Whisper it quietly, but I really do believe Farke and his men may take a few Championship onlookers by surprise this season.