by Thomas Rooney
To say the Norwich squad is depleted right now would probably be up there with one of the biggest understatements ever. My main concern, as ever, is the lack of strikers at the club. Jamie Cureton and Chris Martin are the only ones at the club with first team experience . With the latter seemingly having a lot to do to prove his worth to Mr Roeder.
It is a worry. Realistically, if Martin doesn’t turn over a new leaf, we need at least three strikers coming to the club this summer. Not just any strikers’ either, they have to be capable of leading the line for us in the same way Dion did so admirably last season. Where are we going to find them though? So far, we haven’t been strongly linked with many. There was some suggestion that Robert Earnshaw would make his way back to Norfolk, but the only time he will be doing that is in a Nottingham Forest shirt at some point next season. For what it is worth, I would have definitely taken back Earnie. I think his goal scoring abilities outweigh the disappointing way he left the club. We are hardly in a position the turn down someone who scored 27 goals in 45 games for us are we?
Another man linked is Scunthorpe’s Martin Paterson. Roeder clearly likes him as a player and he wants out of his current club. Whether he is the answer though, remains to be seen. I haven’t seen enough of the former Stoke man. All I can really go by is his record. Paterson scored 14 goals for Scunthorpe last season, but worryingly only three of these goals came after the turn of the year. He is only 21-years-old though and I trust Roeder’s judgement. Although with Burnley having a £550,000 bid turned down, it appears that a figure closer to the £1m mark would do it. I would bet on this being a long-running transfer saga. I looks like we will be fighting it out with Burnley to prize away a Scunthorpe striker, deemed not good enough by Stoke. Happy days!
A quick word on the only senior striker remaining at the club – Jamie Cureton. He had a mixed season didn’t he? Jamie was in and out of the side and missed some glorious chances at times. However, he did finish as our leading scorer with 14 goals (the same as Paterson) and scored crucial goals against Scunthorpe, Southampton and Barnsley which gave us vital wins against sides that joined us in the relegation dog-fight. I find it hard to criticise him when he misses good chances, he loves playing for Norwich and can be a lethal finisher. His hat-trick against former club Colchester was superb and if Roeder trusts him to be our ‘main man’ next season, I think he would deliver. Give him a good strike partner in the Dublin / Iwelumo mould and Jamie won’t let you down.
My biggest concern is that we can no longer attract the quality of player we need. When looking at Championship football betting, we are unsurprisingly one of the favourites to be relegated. Why would anyone want to join us? Yes, we have nice facilities. Yes, we sell-out every week. But is that really enough for players wanting to for fill their ambitions of playing in the Premier League? I’m not so sure. The only hope I have lies with our manager. Roeder is a respected man and his contacts within the game will hopefully be enough to bring some players into the club. He is also an impressive, ambitious man when he speaks and this could win some players over as well.
If we still haven’t signed anyone by the end of June, I would be concerned. Pre-season training starts on the 1st July and in all honesty, there wouldn’t be many players to work with. We may have to rely on loans again, which wouldn’t be brought until the week before the season starts – something which would surely disrupt our preparations.
So go on Glenn, surprise us. Bring in some players that will make us excited about the new season, with priority going to re-building our non existent strike force.