Norwich City are back in Premier League, after being absent since their relegation four seasons ago. A number of management changes and a bit turbulent at times, but again under new coach Daniel Farke, appointed in the summer of 2017, things have slitely been changed to the better.
A difficult first season for Farke, ending in a 14th position, made no one certain of the climb we did see last season, finishing on top of the ladder. The problem for Norwich City has not been to get promoted because their history shows that type of behavior since the early 70’s, when they first clinched promotion back in 1972.
Going a few years back is always fun and the first time we really heard anything about Norwich City was of course when The Canaries won the EFL Cup as far back as 1962 when they defeated Rochdale in that two legged final.
Their first climb to the top division happened almost 10 years later when they managed to clinch promotion and survived with only two clubs relegated, beating the drop with Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion behind them in the table.
The 1972-73 season must be seen as one of the best in the clubs history with a EFL Cup final also reached, but ending in a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham, with that flair hairy Ralph Coates scoring the only goal of the game. Players such as goalkeeper Kevin Keelan, long servant captain Duncan Forbes and midfielder Graham Paddon were all in the team.
The manager was no other than Ron Saunders. Saunders was tempted by an approach from Manchester City and jumped at the chance to become manager at Maine Road. It never ended well and Ron took a step down and instead got his full reward by winning the 1975 EFL Cup final against Norwich, when both teams were in the 2nd tier. Ray Graydon scored the only goal of the final, but both teams managed promotion and survived in the top flight the year after.
Norwich City held on their first division ticket and under John Bond a new and interesting team build on experience and routine, with a number of key partnerships established. World Cup winner Martin Peters joined, so did former Bournemouth striking partners Ted MacDougall and Phil Boyer. A cool team in those green and yellow, quite unique, Admiral kits, managed to keep on going and later had a good run under a new manager, Ken Brown.
The Canaries were seen as a bit of a EFL Cup specialist and their 2nd win of a final happened in 1985, when they defeated Sunderland after a Gordon Chisholm own goal. Two former greats, Asa Hartford (34) and Mick Channon (36), were both playing. Chanon and Hartfod both made an effort and together with up and coming players such as Steve Bruce, Chris Woods and Dave Watson made an interesting line-up.
The up’s and down’s of years just prior to the promotion we have seen now, makes a number of names appear on a list of “greats”. Justin and John Fashanu, Dion Dublin, Kevin Reeves and Ade Akinbiyi are all players that made their names and later in life became “transfer record breakers” and played for a long period of time at the highest level in English football.
We all remember that UEFA Cup clash, when Norwich surprised the whole of Europe by winning away against Bayern Munich. Goals from Jeremy Goss and Mark Bowen really choke everyone and again a manager, Mike Walker, had worked wonders at Carrow Road. Mark Bowen, who we today know as a clever assistant around in Premier League football, made the most out of his time at Norwich, playing 321 league games in his nine years at the club, he also represented Wales 41 times during his playing career.
The most shrewd move by Farke last season must be the “rebirth” of Tim Krul. The goalkeeper that had struggled with a number of injuries and just been in the shadows at Brighton, AZ Alkmaar and Ajax, after leaving Newcastle United permanently in 2017, mostly warming the bench in the four or five seasons. Krul was an ever present and a key and vital part of that climb. The Dutch international that we feel has been around for a lifetime is not more than 31 years of age and probably at his best, if he can stay fit and injury free.
Another player to really hail after that last season was another free transfer signing, Finish internatioal Teemu Pukki. A bit under the radar, but seen in Europe as one of the finest talents, he had earlier shined at clubs such as Schalke, Celtic and Brondby. He had a glorious last season scoring 29 goals in 43 league games. The 29 year old will be interesting to watch, getting his first taste of Premier League football this season.
Almost forgotten back home in Norway, Alex Tettey will again return to Premier League action, and one of few from the country in the north to play at this level. Franke knows the quality of Tettey and at the age of 33 his experience might be needed during a tough and new season.
Franke will most certainly use the next weeks to probably get in a few more new faces with goalkeeper Ralf Fahrman, winger Patrick Roberts and Swizz international Josip Drmic making the move. Drmic will be interesting to watch with a long and relatively good career in Bundesliga.
Will be interesting to follow new man Samuel Byram as well, maybe the former Leeds United defender will get to his full potential with Norwich City as his time at West Ham never really became the move he had hoped for.
Would be surprised if Norwich City are anything else than close to a heavy relegation battle, but in some way a survival could be possible with a number of players really able to compete well in the Premier League. Drmic and Pukki will be a pair that can upset most teams on their best days.
A few fun facts to look at, one former star will return, Harry Kane. Kane played for Norwich City back in 2012/13, no goals and just three appearances.
If have some spear time always worth a while to visit website, “flown from the nest”, one of those few that still are running and been around since the start of the web, more than 20 years ago.
A fun fact is that Steve Bruce will also be back at Carrow Road this season leading Newcastle United and you will probably also be seeing the face of Mike Phelan who at the moment are assistant manager at Manchester United. Both probably with legendary status at Carrow Road, spending a great number of years as players at Norwich City.