We have all let the club down today. I am manager and I pick the team and determine the tactics. It is tough to put into words what I feel at the moment on the back of that defeat.”
Chris Hughton fails to piece words together on the back of the 7-0 thrashing. And as he struggles to speak, he struggles to keep the support of the Norwich supporters. Results leave them sitting in the relegation zone, and whilst the fans do want him to succeed, their patience with the 54-year-old is wearing thin.
After 8 new signings in the summer tallying £25m, many saw new beginnings at Carrow Road, but the gaffer hasn’t been able to transfer success onto the pitch thus far with time running out…
Ricky van Wolfswinkel was one of the first through the doors and was the priciest of all of their acquisitions. Despite the large sum of £8.8m being forked out, he’s only netted once in 10 appearances. Gary Hooper arrived on deadline day for a fee of £5.5m, however the 25-year-old is struggling for form in the Premier League, with his only 2 goals coming in the Capital One Cup. Midfield prodigy Nathan Redmond, who arrived from Birmingham for just £2m, looked to be a steal, but the pacey winger has mustered just one goal and is yet to lay on any assists. Although stats suggesting he isn’t playing to his potential, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the young Englishman recaptures his form. Leroy Fer remains the exception to his fellow signings bad form, with the Dutch midfielder showing his wide range of passing skills to the delight of the Norwich faithful.
My main concern this season with the Canaries has been how defensive they setup regardless if they are home/away, playing top/bottom, in the sun/rain. And with the acquisition of 3 strikers in the summer, it’s strange that the Irish man has played one up-top every game, especially as the club have only scored 6 goals in 10 Premier League matches.
The solution to this would be to change to a four-four-two, which I believe, once tried-and-tested to get the right balance, would be much more successful:
This may not be Norwich’s strongest lineup, nor may the formation be so rigid, but this is just an idea as to how Hughton should change up his lineup to turn his sides’ fortunes around.
As expected you have John Ruddy in goal, who has made some blunders this season which have cost the East Anglian club, and the flat back four that can be rotated. Moving forward, you can see a lot of responsibility would be placed on Fer and Howson to hold the midfield. If playing away or vs a stronger team, I would rotate Tettey in for Redmond and move Howson out to the right wing where he’d carry out a similar role to James Milner’s for England. The wingers are the focal point of the team, they’d need to cross often to the towering figure of Ricky van Wolfswinkel; For this I placed Redmond on the right to launch crosses towards the back post where ‘The Wolf’ would be located to head the ball goal-bound or back to Hooper, who will flourish consequently as he’s very much a poacher-type striker. I believe a shake-up similar to this will freshen the team and give a new lease of life on some of the players in perhaps a new position/role.
With a turn-around in results needed, this would hopefully be enough to starve off chairman Alan Bowkett from twisting as oppose to sticking with passionate Chris Hughton.