Winter forecast: What Norwich City can (and should) do before the January transfer window


The season, so far

As an eternal pessimist, I have been able to see the storm clouds gathering over Carrow Road for some time now. Norwich City have started slightly better than I had expected this season, but we seem to be creeping ever closer to where it is I expect us to inevitably end up … the Relegation Zone.

Prior to the previous international break, Norwich City had been plodding along nicely, thank you very much, and had been putting in some fantastic performances that should have yielded more of a reward than we actually got. The first game back from that international break was to be against Newcastle United, who up until that moment had been struggling badly, and couldn’t even come close to buying a win.

As a result of that, I was feeling semi-confident we could come away from St. James Park with a draw, at the very least. What followed was a horrendous 6-2 battering which knocked us totally out of our stride. That result was followed up with a 1-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion, who you could argue are one of our relegation rivals.

Thankfully, there have been signs of late that we are beginning to recover. A vastly improved performance saw us lose late on to Manchester City, 2-1 away from home, and our last effort before the international break was a much needed confidence booster. A 1-0 home win against Swansea, another of our relegation rivals, it would seem, leaves us 15th  and four points clear of the relegation zone.

The road ahead

The most worrying thing from my point of view, is that we now have an absolute nightmare run of fixtures to see us through to the New Year, whilst some of our rivals have either improved of their own free will or brought in new managers. who will no doubt improve things. too.

Between now and the New Year, Norwich City will play seven matches, which will include visits to Chelsea (another relegation rival), Watford, Manchester United and Tottenham. Also in that nightmare run, we will play host to Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa.

MORE FORECASTS: Arsenal | Everton | Liverpool | Manchester United | Tottenham.

I believe that we need to really focus on the games against Watford, Everton and Aston Villa and look to pick up some points in those fixtures. My heart tells me that we can possibly get two wins out of those games, but my head is saying that a realistic outcome will be a maximum of five points from the 21 on offer in that period.

I have had a cursory look at the fixtures that our rivals have coming up, too, which has given me reason to be hopeful. Whilst I am the ultimate pessimist when it comes to Norwich City, I tend to be even worse when it comes to our rivals. With that in mind, I find it hard to see where Watford, Sunderland, West Brom and Bournemouth are going to pick up points in the coming weeks.

Come January

Once all the dust has settled, I expect Norwich to be in 16th place on 17 points. We will be ahead of Newcastle by a solitary point, six clear of Aston Villa, eight clear of Bournemouth and nine clear of Sunderland. Come May, however, I still expect Norwich to be in the bottom three, and we will be relegated along with Bournemouth an Sunderland.

For any chance at all of survival, it is imperative that Alex Neil signs a decent center back in the January transfer window. We are reasonably well covered in other areas, but the heart of defense remains our biggest and most glaring Achilles heel. It has to be sorted in January or we will be down by early April.

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  1. Josh November 19, 2015
    • Christopher Harris November 19, 2015

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