Norwich City Canaries – Championship Season Preview 2006/07 – Norwich City

Norwich City

Odds: 14/1

Last Five Seasons

2005/06 – 9 (Championship), 2004/05 – 19 (Premiership, Relegated), 2003/04 – 1 (Championship, Promoted), 2002/03 – 8 (Championship), 2001/02 – 6 (Championship).

2005/06 Cup Progress
FA Cup Third Round vs West Ham United (h) – lost 2-1.
Carling Cup Third Round vs Birmingham City (a) – lost 2-1.

Top Goal Scorer 2005/06: Dean Ashton (striker) – 11 goals.

Players Out
Simon Charlton (Released).

Norwich City had a disappointing start to last season following their relegation from the Premiership at the first time of asking. The Canaries were the bookmakers favourites for an instant return to the top flight but only a late run of good results ensured they broke into the top 10.

With money to spend following Dean Ashton’s 7.25 million sale to West Ham United in January, manager Nigel Worthington is finding it difficult to attract new players to the club. He has approached Arsenal contact Pat Rice, a former Northern Ireland team mate, to check on the loan availability of fringe players at the Emirates Stadium.

Worthington has also expressed an interest in Stoke City’s former Manchester United and West Ham United winger Luke Chadwick and Luton Town striker Steve Howard before he made his 1 million switch to Derby County. However, Worthington rejected reports linking him with a 2 million bid for Leeds United striker Rob Hulse, despite him being keen on pairing a tall striker with the lively Robert Earnshaw.

Worthington dismissed speculation linking Earnshaw with a move to Blackburn Rovers. Manager Mark Hughes needs a replacement for the departed Craig Bellamy and since he is linked with every Welsh player he managed during his time in charge of the national team, Earnshaw’s name has been bandied about in the press. Earnshaw proved an immediate hit at Carrow Road following his 3.5m arrival from West Bromwich Albion and he scored eight goals in 15 games.

Adam Drury has been named as the club captain for next season after the armband was passed around last term. The 27 year old defender has made over 200 appearances for the club since he arrived from Peterborough United in March 2001.

Defender Jason Shackell has signed a two year extension to his contract at Carrow Road while teenager Michael Spillane, who broke into the side late last season, has signed a three year professional contract. Andrew Cave-Brown, Matthew Halliday, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk have penned one year contracts.

Verdict
A play off place at the bare minimum would be expected by the supporters but new signings and a replacement for Dean Ashton have not been made. Another season just outside the coveted top six spots is the call.

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