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Squad Assessment for AN (bit of fun)

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GK: Ruddy, Rudd, Bunn - excellent set up, need to ensure we retain Ruddy

RB: R. Martin, Whittaker - needs attention: decision to be made on who is best for this position and if Martin is to be a fulltime CB.  May need strengthening

LB: Olsson, Garrido - good choices

CB: Hooiveld, Cuellar, Turner, Bassong, Miquel, R. Bennett - needs attention: see if Bassong wants to be part of the plans and decide on best pairings available, also see R. Martin predicament

DMC: Johnson, Tettey, O''Neill - good choices

AMC: Hoolahan, Howson, Vadis - good choices

RM/LM: Redmond, Murphy, E. Bennett, McGrandles - needs attention: is there a future here for Bennett?  Need to ensure we retain Redmond.  Rule of thimb is 2 good players for each position...are these options strong enough and balanced enough?

FW: Hooper, Grabban, Lafferty, Jerome - good choices to have, but tough decisions to be made on pairings.

Fringe/Youth players: Needs attention: Does Becchio have a future here? Loza, McGeehan, etc may need loan moves

Staff: Needs attention: Phelan & Holt need retaining.  Parks needs assessing - is he improving our GKs?


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Pretty fair assessment Writer. What your contribution does is to encapsulate the generally held view that on paper this squad, with minimal tinkering should be more than good enough to tear up this league.Trouble is, football is not played on paper, and due to other factors....poor coaching, stupid tactics, incompetent team selection, sloppy mistakes and bad attitude from the players etc etc etc, it is patently NOT operating to its full potential.If and when AN is installed as manager , time will tell as to whether he can address these issues. The problem is that time is a commodity he has not got much of, so, if he does identify problems that warrant a delve into the transfer market, then the board must back him up with cash, if required.

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My squad assessment?

Even in weakest areas (see RB) we have enough ability to get promoted from this league.

However the team is disorganised and leaderless and three things are needed

1. A solid consistent spine espousing leadership - some need to be given support to find their voice - its all to flaccid.

2. Create impose a defensive unit from the squad that works as a base, that understands and covers for each other and is positionally and decisionally sound,

3 Impose a flexible attacking philosophy from the front 6 that recognises the value of defending from the front and is prepared to be more incisive in going for goal ahead of permanent crab like ball retention.

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Whilst the squad is good we could really improve the first eleven. A quick right back is a must. I see Ryan benett as our long term centre back but would like another brought in alongside him. The others we have are good back ups but have been very inconsistent and riddled with mistakes. The other obvious position is a left footed winger to provide natural balance. If we address these issues I think we''re in good shape.

Also good luck to Alex Neil and let''s all get behind him.

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Ruddy - Top quality goalkeeper vital to build the defence round him

Rudd - very promising youth keeper, If Ruddy goes in summer, Rudd should be trusted to take the reins

Bunn - too good to be a back up keeper and Rudd can be no.2 for the rest of the season. Sell now for the good of everyone.


R. Martin - our best right back.

Whittaker - a lack of pace off the mark really hampers him but good getting forward.


Olsson - top quality left back at this level, will attract interest from higher above and may not stay fully focussed.

Garrido - more than capable left back, our most classy full back. One to consider giving more playing time to.


Hooiveld - return to sender

Cuellar - composed and classy but a bit clumsy in his old age. Next to a more mobile partner could be fantastic.

Turner - see above but to a lesser extent

Bassong - our best centre back but hampered by massive attitude problems. Probably on big money but if retained could be the difference between promotion and no promotion.

Miquel - Tall, not slow, young, left footed. needs more game time to gain confidence, possible loan?

R. Bennett - our most promising Centre Back, long term owner of the right CB slot. Needs to work on distribution a bit.

R. Martin - decent at centre half but needed more at right back and a natural there.


Johnson - solid, committed player but careless in possession at times. Recent experiment at left mid has been very successful, so should continue that.

Tettey - arguably our best player. Fitness issues but 1st name on the team sheet when fit.

O''Neill - our best technical DM but legs are going. Useful in games we''re struggling to get a foothold of.


Hoolahan - our cleverest (on the pitch) player but an enigma. Looks undroppable on his day but can drift in the wrong set up.

Howson - will run and run all day for the team and when on form and everyone clicking with him, he''s a focal point. Needs to improve his decision making at times though.

Vadis - potentially our best player and too good for this league. Massive fitness issues but could really destroy this league like Yaya Toure does the premiership. Maybe more a poor mans Diaby though!


Redmond - our most valuable asset. Young, tricky and speedy, he''s developed well at tracking back and winning the ball back but people will tell you otherwise. Watch him closely and see for yourself. The team without him in is completely flat and short of pace. DO NOT SELL (at least until summer!). Needs to continue his good work developing his end product, it''s getting better but there is a way to go. Either the next Raheem Sterling or the next Simon Whaley!

Josh Murphy - like a less complete, left sided version of Redmond. Good off the bench but struggling to make the step up to first team. Needs to work on movement off the ball.

E. Bennett - Good direct winger predominantly on the right. Potential option at right back as well, an untested but logical experiment.

McGrandles - not sure what to make of him yet. Supposedly talented but still young and a raw talent. Possible loan candidate.


Hooper - top quality forward having a bit of an identity crisis after a year of fitness issues. Needs to get his confidence flowing but a hard worker and good in a 4-4-2. Not to be played alone up top at the moment.

Grabban - fantastic work rate and pace but not technically the best. Decent in the air and our best striker for a 4-5-1 formation.

Lafferty - been played out of position but really needs a goal as strikers can''t live of work rate and fancy flicks alone. Worth giving a decent 30 minute shot off the bench as a striker next time out.

Jerome - our best buy this summer and standout striker. Work rate, power and pace of a premiership forward but sometimes lacking composure in front of goal. Links well with Hooper.

Fringe/Youth players:

Becchio - Let the poor lad go back to Leeds, they''ll probably pay us as well! Poorly treated by previous managers.

Loza - Get him out on loan, needs to add more to his game but already an International.

McGeehan - get him out playing league football. One of the most complete youth players we have so wouldn''t be surprised if he was the first to breakthrough.

Youngsters out on loan:

Morris - very promising target man but needs to toughen up from what my contacts at York say

Thompson and Toffolo - Looking decent for Swindon. Keep a close eye on them this season.

Jacob Murphy - had a decent but blighted spell at Blackpool, keep a close eye on him. Perhaps needs to grow up a bit.


Phelan - hopefully happy to be a coach, as one of the best pedigrees in the game. Will have an eye on your job

Holt - knows his stuff, will have an eye on your job

Parks - needs assessing - is he improving our GKs?

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Keep Bunn. Send Rudd out on loan, hopefully to a Championship club.

Sell Whittaker, sell Bassong and cancel Hoivelds loan.

Sell Elliot Bennett.

Bring in a decent central defender, right back and left winger. The main criteria being passion.

Ask the remaining squad "who''s desperate to play for Norwich". Anybody who so much as mumbles, goodbye.

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.Ruddy is great but is often left with too much to do and to rescue impossible situations

.Our full backs can''t defend.

.Our centre halfs are terrified by any small amount of pace or technical ability and switch off to often

.Redmond is the only specialist wide player we have and even he''s very inconsistant (Murphey not ready to start)

.Centre Midfield is our weakest area. We have no creativity or fluidity here whatsoever and our defensive minded players often hide, lose their man or get caught on the ball

.Wes is our only CAM and his best days are long, I don''t think he''s putting much effort in anymore either

.Our strikers are all good players but none of them can be relied on to finish consistently (This applies to our whole team)

.We''re too static as a team, we hide, don''t offer options when moving forward and lack creativity and drive in all areas

.We don''t press effectively or in numbers, we huff and puff individually and make it look like we''re trying but our defending from the front is pathetic

.None our players except Redmond and Hoolahan are capable of holding onto the ball under pressure and are the only ones who can dribble ''round players

.We lack a leader on the pitch and our heads go down too easily, needing a half time rollicking to get ourselves going again

This is an entirely negative squad assessment on purpose, we have a lot of good attributes to our squad as well. But these are the issues for me. If we could fix them all we''d win the PL, so I''m not expecting that......Good luck Alex!!!

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Very good Darth. I''d agree with much of that. I don''t think we''re particularly week in midfield though, I just think we need to sort the tactics out and play with more purpose. Even against Preston we got into good situations and were then too scared to play the final ball.

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I agree with what a few have said so far. Here''s my sort of assessment.GK: Ruddy, Bunn and Rudd.- First off in my mind we need to keep Ruddy. If we need to trim the wage bill then we could lose Bunn and bring in a cheaper 3rd choice?RB: Martin and Whittaker.- Firstly, AN needs to assess Martin and decide if he has more to give at right back at this time, and if so it''s maybe a bit soon to take the step inside. Despite him playing there for Scotland and doing well, and doing fairly well for us there.- Problem is, Martin is our best right back. People argue the point about Whittaker being better at going forward. Whilst I agree with an aspect of this, Martin also goes forward, but I find his runs to be better timed but his final ball to be less consistent than Whittaker. And that is really the difference. If you play Redmond, or an out and out winger, I''d want Martin behind him, not Whittaker.- If Martin is deemed to be a CB then it would be nice to get another right back in that is perhaps, early to mid 20''s to offer competition. AN also needs to identify what Whittakers long term plans are. He''s 31 this summer and may want to move back to Rangers if they get back to the Scottish Premier League?CB: On his day Bassong can be the best defender we have. AN needs to look at this and assess it. Part of me wonders though, if Phelan is the answer to Bassong - he''s experienced, he''s a name - perhaps he can have a word and Bassong will respect him? Either way, if Bassong wants in, work out if it''s possible. Then you have the likes of Turner, Bennett and Cuellar before the Martin question. Plus Hoiveld. And then the likes of Adel Gafaiti who might be knocking on the door of the first team. Cuellar''s contract is up in the summer and Hoiveld is on loan - again, if numbers are an issue and Bassong can be drafter back in then to me Hoiveld needs to go. I wonder if Cuellar will stay beyond the summer as well. He''s not been awful for us but it''s a matter of whether he is good enough to improve our squad for another season or good enough this season to be part of the most consistent and successful side.It''s also one of the most unsettled areas of the team so for me, big questions need to be asked at CB. We have the players to choose from, AN has to decide which pairing he feels works best for him and the team. It will be interesting to see the outcome.LB: Garrido and Olsson. Olsson is another we need to hang on to. Garrido is another interesting one. Whilst he has class on the ball and quality passing wise, he is on a contract that has a year option to take up in the summer. So again, if wages are an issue and he isn''t seen as a first choice player would he be released? Probably our most solid department as you''d feel confident with either player starting. Ollson has more pace and uses it to get forward, but Garrido arguably is better at retaining the ball and at delivering them into the box.CM: Howson, Johnson, Tettey, O''Neill and Odjidja-Ofoe. Personally, I see no need to tinker here particularly. It''s an area where you need depth and I think five is a good number, especially as Johnson, Howson and O''Neill have all played in other positions. Defenitely one of the best midfields in this league on paper - just need to start proving it now.Wing/AM: Redmond, Murphey''s, Hoolahan. E. Bennett. Again, in theory, when all of those are playing at their best they have all shown they can hurt teams. It looks good when you look at the list but then you start asking yourself - Hoolahan? Probably best deployed in behind a striker or two. E.Bennett - has that injury taken that bit of pace and quality away from him? Murphey''s - are they ready for regular first team football? That said, Jacob did well by most reports and Josh has done well in phases this season. Same goes for McGrandles who may need more time yet before he is ready to make a mark - one for the future no doubt. Redmond is another we should try desperately to keep hold of. He is quick and his play in the final third has been improving. But again, a difficult area for AN to look at. He may decide that we need a bit more experience in width.Strikers/Attackers: Jerome, Hooper, Grabban, Lafferty, Loza and Becchio. To me, if Loza isn''t considered close to a first team position he needs to be out on loan. If Becchio wants out or again, isn''t deemed to be good enough then he needs to be let go as well, although if we can get some money for him it would be nice. Part of me would still like to see him given a shout but I wonder if that time has passed now with the plethora of strikers we seem to have. Grabban and Lafferty could be the answers in wider positions if more experience is deemed necessary - Grabban especially, has played a fair amount on the wing in his career.Overall, I''d say that AN is quite right in saying that he needs a week to look at this squad. He may even need longer. Lack of cover at RB may be one to deal with but only if Martin is not considered to be needed centrally. Looking at that squad, it is a strong squad. It needs ''tinkering'' rather than wholesale change in my view. Ideally, you have two players fighting for each position (22) with an extra keeper as minimum in my mind. We have that and some. Perhaps trim the striking department down - Becchio (sold) and Loza (loan) for me. Especially when Wes often takes up a position to make a 4-4-1-1, almost as a number 10.It certainly isn''t straight forward if you ask me.

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McNally made it quite clear in his interview that any ins will be as a result of outs so unless we see either Martin or Whittaker leaving, can''t see him bringing in another fullback unless he sees Martin as a centre half, which will result in 1 if not 2 central defenders leaving.

As for the rest, if they all want to stay it''s then a case of getting rid of surplus like Becchio and E Bennett and sending kids on loan to Hamilton, suspect some have already been lined up as part of the agreement and would be great experience for our fringe players, we at least better than League 1 down here.

On the subject of right backs, the best I have seen at Carrow Road this season is Bruno from Brighton, very quick, great at attacking and solid defensively, is he a Hughton kind of player and if I was in Neil''s shoes I''d be offering Bassong and E Bennett to secure him.

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Agree with most of these assessments, when put like this it is amazing we are 7th and not in the top 2! Not sure anyone has mentioned RVW, will be coming back here unless St Etienne pays the £5m or whatever it is. We''d have a lot of strikers......

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I wouldn''t be disappointed to see Hooiveld go back to Southampton and Miquel to go on loan to League 1/bottom Championship/SPL because they''re just not good enough or needed atm. Turner, Cuellar and Bennett are our only central defenders who should start, Martin as an emergency replacement.

I wouldn''t mind seeing another come in to compete. I would love Barnett back here as he''s sensational at this level and has some pace unlike the rest of our options and we would be less susceptible to conceding from basic lobs over the top.

I don''t care what Martin sees himself as now, he was awesome before as a right back for us last time we got promoted. Yes at PL level he was found out big time in that position and was more suited to the centre but in this league he''s better than Whittaker and should make that position his own

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in all honesty I hope that he works out that neither strikers or defensive midfielders make a good winger. So for me getting in a LM/LW is essential in this window.

CB''s are a massive problem in my book, Turner is very hot and miss in his performances, Hooveild is terrible from what I have seen when played, Ryan Bennet is not good enough either. I was impressed with Cuellar whilst was in the team and for me would be first chiice CB but who to pair him with? Maybe Bassong.

In midfeild we are not exactly lacking in options however we appear to struggle in finding the right balance and fitting every one in. Howeve like I just said a LW/LM would help massively

Same goes for our strikers whilst Adams was obviously trying to give equal game time to all our forwards by playing laffs or Grabs on the wing I feel our best forward pairing is Hooper and Jerome with Grabban being the next best forward.

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Nice detail but :-

How can Voo be classified as Good Choices

CB: Hooiveld, Cuellar, Miquel - all 3 a complete waste of money in loan & transfer fees

Grabban, Lafferty - why so many players signed in same position - will only start if Jerone injured ?

The majority of the £17M invested in the summer wasted & not even mentioned one pace McGrandles who is not even L1 standard

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