NORWICH CITY'S PROMOTION TIPS: FROM LOYALTY, NAIVETY AND REJECTING THE BIG 6
Norwich City are the Premier League’s yo-yo club, but how have the top-flight strugglers stormed the Championship.
At the end of the 2019/20 Premier League season Norwich City were by far and away the top-flights worse side, being relegated with only 21 points and bottom of the table.
The Canaries did what few relegated clubs do by sticking with German manager Daniel Farke who had taken them to the Premier League only the season before.
They even managed to survive the usual vultures hoping to swoop in and pluck the best talents from Carrow Road to strengthen their teams.
It seemed that Todd Cantwell was linked with nearly every club in the Premier after an impressive season where he managed to score six goals and produce two assists.
Teemu Pukki began as a breath of fresh air in the Premier League and finished the season with an impressive 11 goals in a relegated side, and he’s taken like a duck to water to life back in England’s second tier.
His 25 goals in 36 appearances is only bettered by the out of this world record from Brentford’s Ivan Toney who has already scored 28 this campaign.
The most surprising thing is that neither of these two have been the standout, with Argentinian attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia having the biggest impact.
His incredible tally of 15 assists and 12 goals of his own is remarkable but the fact he has created 98 chances so far this season at a rate of 2.89 per 90 minutes, head and shoulders above anyone else in the division.
The luxury of being able to maintain players of this calibre is not one often afforded to relegated sides, Bournemouth lost star players Nathan Ake and Callum Wilson almost immediately (although for incredible fees.)
This is a brave strategy from Norwich as the guaranteed high fee will only shrink in size the longer, they stay away from the Premier League, but it also allows for a much better chance of promotion.
For the Canaries a return at the first time of asking will be financially greater than any possible transfer fee, but to take that risk is impressive when compared to the safety of parachute payments.
The intelligent sales of Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey provided great transfer incomings that allowed it to become more financially fair to keep their bigger assets.
But the Canaries used the loan market well with the acquisition of Tottenham youngster Oliver Skipp who has consistently impressed throughout the season, even causing speculation of a recall to North London.
The risk has completely paid off so far with Farke’s side 15 points above the play-off positions, at the time of writing, and still five points in front of second place Watford.
Despite only drawing in their last two games, Norwich haven’t lost in the league since February 5 when Steve Cooper’s Swansea City moved within two points of the Canaries.
That gap has grown to 15 points in two months since and it appears unlikely that Norwich will fall away as the season carries on.
The side is incredibly similar to the one that won promotion two seasons ago so will understand the intensity required to reach the same heights once more this campaign.
If results go the way of Farke’s side this weekend, the guarantee of Premier League football at Carrow Road next season could be confirmed.