Efter en spelledig helg är det åter dags för Liverpool att fortsätta resan mot den hett efterlängtade PL-titeln. Den här gången är det botten mot toppen, seriejumbon Norwich står nämligen för motståndet. För vår del handlar det om att fortsätta bygga vidare på den imponerande segersviten, för Norwich är det en av de sista chanserna att få kontakt med de övriga lagen i botten. Gary Gowers(@NorwichCityMFW) från MyFootballWriter berättar här om hur återkomsten i PL varit för laget:
1. Its been a tough season back in the Premier League for Norwich, what are the main reasons for your position at the bottom of the table?
A couple of things. Well, more than a couple really as you don’t tend to be bottom of the league and seven points adrift of safety for just one or two reasons. I guess the bottom line is we are just not good enough and don’t have enough quality in the team to consistently go toe-to-toe with the other. At times though, we do look good enough and in the middle third of the pitch we’re as good as anyone, but we rely too heavily on Teemu Pukki for our goals and we’re notoriously shaky and vulnerable at the back. We’re deemed a soft touch for a reason.
Part of our plight comes down to having the world’s most horrendous injury crisis over the first couple of months of the season when, amongst other things, we were down to one half-fit centre-back. No-one could have survived that unscathed, but we also had a squad that was lacking in depth. A disastrous cocktail. We also spent so little in the summer… around £750k in permanent transfer fees, which in PL terms is a little bit of a joke and meant we had a squad that, however well managed and coached (and it is VERY well coached), just lacked overall quality.
2. Even though you’ve lost many games you have kept your manager Daniel Farke. Are you happy with him as a manager or would you have liked Norwich to do like West Ham and Watford and change manager?
God no! I’d hate for us to take that route. I happen to think it’s *because* of Daniel Farke that we are punching above our weight and we ended up in the PL in the first place, a season or two ahead of schedule. They won’t sack him and nor should they. He’s not perfect by his own admission, and has made mistakes this season just as the players have, but to be honest, there’s no-one I’d rather have in our dugout.
3. Who has been your player of the season? Who has been the biggest disappointment?
Emi Buendia – simple. There have been others, like Tim Krul and Todd Cantwell, who have stepped up, but Buendia is, at times, magical – one of the best players I’ve ever seen wear the yellow and green. He’ll not be here much longer, so I’m savouring every last minute that he’s a Norwich City player.A few have struggled with the transition from Championship to PL, the most obvious one I guess being Marco Stiepermann, who was hugely influential in our Championship-winning season. He was sensational in the ’10’ role but has struggled to have the same impact against better defenders. If/when we go back down, he’ll return to being an integral part of the team I suspect.
4. You are currently seven points behind Aston Villa, how do you rate your chances of staying up?
Virtually non-existent. Where there’s life there’s hope and all that, but to close a seven-point gap with just 13 games would be a massive ask even if we had a water-tight defence. And we have anything but. But we’ll entertain and play some good football between now and the end of the season (Danny Murphy described us as the ”best bottom of the league side ever”) and just see where it takes us… which is probably to 20th.
5. If you go down, how do you rate your chances to get back to the Premier League right away? Difficult to say. We’ll be more financially stable than when we were last in the Championship but it’s a league that comes with no guarantees. Even following the exact same formula with, on paper, a slightly stronger squad will not guarantee promotion or even top six – it’s a weird old league.
6. What kind of game do you expect against Liverpool?
Ha! An easy one. A stroll.
I suspect you know what we expect … the very antithesis of those things, especially with Klopp having, for the first time this season, a full squad to pick from. Put it this way… we’d whip your hand off if you offered us a draw!