Timm Klose made his debut against Tottenham on Tuesday night with a certain weight of expectation on his shoulders.
Norwich (and most other clubs) don’t disclose transfer fees these days. That used to be part of the fun but for whatever reason, the clubs announce fees as being ‘undisclosed’ now.
The rumour is though, that Klose cost around £9m, which if true, makes him Norwich City’s record signing.
No pressure, Timm.
So, how did he do? Well, I’m going to give him 5/10 for his first appearance in a Canary shirt. He partnered Seb Bassong in the centre of defence at the expense of Russell Martin. Russ had a horror show of a game against Liverpool and was always likely to be the one to make way.
There will be a certain amount of adaption to the Premier League required from the new boy, but I thought he had a solid if unspectacular debut. He won plenty of balls in the air and always looked for the ball on the floor too. When he got it, he looked calm and stroked it around nicely. He made a couple of excellent medium range passes and generally looked quite assured.
Speaking to Norwich City TV after the game, Klose said: ‘We’re very disappointed because we conceded goals too easily.
‘That’s what killed us today, even though we were good at points in the second half. You go into the match with a game-plan and going down 1-0 early on changed things.
‘It gave them the chance to play how they wanted to, which made things hard for us. They pressed high and gave us very little time on the ball.
‘I’m not completely happy with my performance, and I know I have things to work on in order to reach the next level.’
I think that’s a fair assessment from the big man. He was dispossessed at one point in the second half by Harry Kane but wasn’t punished as Kane fired wastefully wide. As far as I can remember (I’m writing this from memory rather than Opta Stats or some such like program)that was his only real mistake of the night. He made some blocks, some tackles and as I said, won most of his headers and was often up against a forward in Kane, who gave the best centre forward display I’ve seen at Carrow Road this season.
This was all in stark contrast to his partner, Seb Bassong. Seb looked his usual nervous, dithering self. One Spurs fan I know described him after the game as ‘a liability.’
Klose will need to adapt, as he himself admits but needs a decent partner. If I were Alex Neil I would be trying him with Ryan Bennett in training and definitely be considering that for the Aston Villa game, which is a must win now.
Of course, I don’t see the players like Alex does but that’s what I’d do. In an ideal world, I would’ve liked to have signed another quality centre back to play with Timm but we didn’t, so we go with what we’ve got.
Looking ahead to Villa on Saturday, Klose thinks his new side are capable of finding some form, and added: ‘There’s a lot of quality in our team and I’m confident we can produce a good performance.
‘We have to be prepared because it’s an important game. There’s going to be pressure, that’s for sure, but as football players it’s our job to go there and fight.
‘If we want to stay in the league we have to win games like this, or at least not lose them.’
So, it’s a 5/10 from me and a steady enough debut from the new boy against the best team to have visited Carrow Road, this season.