We asks the Vital Norwich editor for his views on the up-coming fixture
Has the season been what you expected?
In one regard, it is better than we anticipated. We (or a good many of us) were expecting to be struggling at the foot of the table. There is much expectation now. As our parachute payments come to an end, we want to get back up to where the money is. We need to put an end to this one step forward, two steps back style that we seem to be stuck with.
You sacked Nigel Worthington, how is the Peter Grant getting on?
Peter Grant is a breath of fresh air for us. An ex mid-fielder with us, his nickname is Peter Pointer, as he was always directing play when on the pitch. He is just as animated today, often getting wrong with the fourth official for straying from the technical area. With the exception of Luke Chadwick he has exactly the same players as Nigel Worthington had, but he has brought back the passing style of play that Norwich was famous for, and, quite frankly, much more entertaining than the route one favourite of Nigel Worthington!
Have you got any injury worries ahead of our game?
Our biggest problem is Luke Chadwick. After just one game after coming in on loan (with a permanent option) against local rivals, Ipswich, he is sidelined after a serious gash to his knee. Gary Doherty (centre half) is a doubt, which would mean that Dion Dublin would replace him, but everybody would prefer to see Dublin in a striker’s role.
Who should we look out for?
Just about everybody knows that Robe Earnshaw is deadly if he gets the service as he prefers it. Darren Huckerby is also well known for his speed and the way he likes to take players on. Age is slowing him now, but he can still produce the goods. Dickson Etuhu can often come out of nowhere, and has scored from outside of the 18 yard box on more than one occasion. If he plays, Youssef Safri can cause headaches. He likes to get stuck in and can also score from long distance.
Who is the weak link in the team?
Good question. Another club once asked me that, and I am sure that the manager read it and exploited the facts. There are weaknesses on the pitch, but I won’t make it easy for your team and save them finding out for themselves 😉 . If anything, our weak link could be said to be the supporters. After 5 years of Nigel Worthington it is taking a long time to get rid of the edginess that creeps in if we don’t get instant results, and can turn very quiet, even at home…
If you had to take a player from Hull City to join Norwich, who would it be and why?
Dean Marney was on loan here for a while, until injury cut his time short. He had a mixed reception from the fans, but he never really got the chance to show off his true worth. Mark Noble is another, and it will be interesting to see what Peter Grant will do come January or August. Grant and Noble will know each other from Upton Park (Grant was number two to Pardew), so if any ‘favouritism’ is likely to emerge, Norwich could win out over Hull in any race for his signature.
Where do you think you will be at the end of the season?
Hmmm… Well, Peter Grant has told us that he expects no less than an automatic promotion, but the gap between us and the leaders is widening alarmingly. A play-off place would be acceptable, preferably third or fourth, to get Home advantage. Anything less than top half of the table will mean a major exodus of players, and we fans would hate that to happen again.
Can we have a score prediction please?
Despite Hull enjoying some better results on the road of late (I do read your site, and thanks to dazednconfused, I know that much 🙂 ), and Norwich’s ‘up and down’ form, the team owes it to the fans to make amends for an away defeat to our arch enemies, Ipswich. I would have to say it will end up as a 2-0 win for us, with Earnie and Etuhu scoring. However it goes, good luck to Hull in your bid to retain your Championship status, and may the best team on the day do it for their fans!
Thanks to Vital Noriwch for helping us out. Visit their site to read my views of the game.