There’s been a lot of talk over the last season, much of it here, about Norwich City’s lack of a prolific striker.
This season has ended in frustrating fashion with a mid-table finish and a minus goal difference, which has seen us finish behind Ipswich, despite being level on points with them, for the first time in a decade.
In plenty of games this term, City have only been able to draw, despite dominating the ball but quite simply we haven’t had anyone who could put the ball into the net.
Nelson Oliveira came out of the blocks firing but quickly misplaced his shooting boots, Cameron Jerome managed just one goal in half a season before being sold to Derby in January, whisper it but he’s currently scored 4 in his last 5 including the only goal in the game against Fulham last night.
Dennis Srbeny has scored just once since his arrival in January, a tap-in that I’d fancy finishing myself, and hasn’t looked like he’s got “it.”
Just quite what “it” is, is a tricky thing to define but we all know it when we see it. Some players are born to score goals. They have the knack of knowing where to be to finish a move. A certain amount in football can be taught but the rest is just natural ability and that’s what separates a decent player from a World Class player.
Getting back to Norwich City, we do have a lad in our youth ranks that you may have heard of, who might just be the answer to our scoring problem. Whether he’s ready just yet for next season’s Championship football is another thing though.
Adam Idah is currently with his Republic of Ireland teammates, competing in the U17 European Championships, having had a rather good season in the Canaries’ Academy.
Adam was a key player in City’s recent FA Cup Youth Cup run and won the Academy player of the season award and Daniel Farke has also had him training with the first team at the tail end of the season.
He was top scorer in the ROI’s U17 Euro qualifying campaign, with 8 goals in his first four games and he played in Ireland’s 2-0 win over Bosnia at St. George’s Park, scoring late on to seal the victory. With one win and one defeat in the two previous group games, that win now sends Ireland into a Quarter Final meeting with Holland on Monday night.
Idah is now just two goals away from becoming the U17 Euro top scorer of all time, having played in last year’s competition, despite being only 16 at the time.
— Paul Saffer (@UEFAcomPaulS) May 11, 2018
So the big question we all want an answer to is “is he ready?”
Obviously I can’t answer that for you but it does seem likely that he will get a chance in pre-season.
One thing I would say is that if he’s good enough, then I’d expect Farke to give him that chance. He will be 18 next February so much will depend on his physique. If you remember when Wayne Rooney broke into Everton’s first team at just 16, he looked like a boy in a man’s body.
He was physically strong and a real unit and he needed to be too, in order to play against the likes of Martin Keown and Rio Ferdinand.
I am confident that we have the right coach to give youth a chance and that bodes well for Idah. If Alex Neil had still been in charge at Carrow Road this season, would James Maddison or Jamal Lewis have developed as they did?
Despite our poor 2017/18, Farke deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done with young players and don’t forget that he loaned in Angus Gunn as well, a player who had zero experience of first-team football last summer. Alex Neil would’ve played Michael McGovern.
All three of them have been superb and so, it strikes me that if he’s ready, Idah will be given a shot. I wouldn’t expect him to be first choice due to still developing but playing the odd game in the cups and getting a few sub appearances will be very good for him.
If he grabs those chances with both hands then he may give Farke a conundrum.
Youth football is not senior football, obviously, and there is a very big difference. In spite of that, here’s a showreel of his abilities, mostly scoring goals 🙂
Make no mistake though, Adam Idah is certainly one to watch.