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Discussion thread: Premier League 2012/13 - Team Preview - Manchester Utd
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- Position Last Year – 12th
- League odds – 6001 (Coral) and Relegation – 2.63 (StanJames)
- FA Cup odds –81 (BetFred)
- League Cup odds – 52 (BetFair)
Who’s in who’s out?
- In – Michael Turner, Robert Snodgrass, Jacob Butterfield, Steven Whittaker, Ryan Bennett
- Out – Daniel Ayala (loan), Andrew Crofts, Adam Dury, Zak Whitbread, Aaron Wilbraham
Does that mean they’ve improved?
The loss of Lambert at helm could be biggest of them all. On the playing side only fringe players (with the possible exception of Crofts) have left, but Lambert was the mastermind behind two successive promotions and instilled a belief that meant every setback was dealt with quickly and there were no long runs without points last season.
The new man Hughton is respected and comes with a reputation of dealing with deflated squads well (see taking over at Newcastle and Birmingham) so this could be just the tonic that the Norwich squad need to, if not push on, then maintain their place in the Premier League this season.
It’ll certainly be tougher though, most teams will spend more than Norwich in the close season, even the newly promoted ones. Using Leeds as a ‘feeder’ club has provided a number of useful acquisitions over the last few years and Snodgrass is the type of player that can make things happen.
How Snodgrass will fit into what was already a strong midfield remains to be seen. Too much flair and the weak defence will be overrun (hopefully for their sake the acquisition of Turner and Bennett will shore up this area), too little and Holt (and injury permitting Vaughn) will be starved of service. Goals win games and Norwich scored them last year, if he can get 15 again this year then they’re in with a good shout of safety.
The bookies have them as third favourite (behind Saints and Reading) to go down, a few good results early in the season will have give them the basis to survive.
Where will they finish this year – 15th
It’s a big ask just to stay up again on a shoestring budget, but they’ve got players that adapted well to the rigours of premier league football and they’ve kept hold of everyone they needed to.
Player worth watching?
Snodgrass, he’s new to the league but comes off the back of the captaincy and some excellent performances at Leeds. That means he understands pressure and the big grounds, if he thrives then expect Norwich to do the same... and for some of the bigger clubs to take an interest in another sound Norwich lower league signing.
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Who would they want back?
The entire squad that went to the Olympic stadium in Munich and beat Bayern, the only British team to ever do that and legends one and all. Or Ruel Fox. Geniune pace is the only sure fire way of scaring defenders (exceept Big Duncs methods which we’ve already looked at) and Ruel had it by the bucket load.
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