The season is back, I can’t wait and I bet you’re feeling the same, or presumably you wouldn’t be reading this!
As you will have noticed over the last week or so, if you read VN, I am a little worried about the way things are going to pan out this season. My major concerns are that Norwich will be too predictable, based on last season, and that Daniel Farke won’t change things significantly enough to produce the attacking football I’d like to see us play.
I’ve purposely waited until Friday to give you my team sheet for St. Andrews, so that I can be sure who is available and who isn’t.
For the record, I would go 3-5-2 or you could call it a 5-3-2, it’s obviously fluid enough to change depending on the situation at any given time. So who starts?
The first name on the sheet is always the goalkeeper but it’s only been less than a fortnight since we signed out new number one, Tim Krul. The new man is a vastly experienced keeper though and he seems hungry to get back on the road to regular football.
Grant Hanley is the Captain and that was clearly Daniel Farke’s easiest decision of the summer. He was skipper in all but name last term and should relish wearing the armband. Alongside him are Timm Klose (left) and Ben Godfrey (right). Godfrey did so well in the pre-season games at centre back that it looks as though that is where Farke looks set to use him. He’s a talented ball player too, which will help out massively back there but he’s surely a longer term bet in midfield, isn’t he?
The lone holding midfield player in the 4-1-4-1 used at Charlton last Saturday was Tom Trybull but at times, he was overrun. I don’t like that role for him and think he’s better with a partner in the centre. Kenny McLean is hard as nails and scores a few goals and Mo Leitner has the passing range to make things happen – I hope. He’s not been outstanding in pre-season but would still get my nod here on the opening day.
The wingbacks are Marco Stiepermann on the left and Ben Marshall on the right. If he was fit, Jamal Lewis would play on the left and he no doubt will, as soon as he returns. James Husband has not shown me anything to suggest that he should be starting the first game of the season.
Marshall is a proven Championship operator and gets the nod over the injured Ivo Pinto and not yet up to speed, Felix Passlack. Ben is no slouch and he has a trick or two in his locker, coupled with good crossing ability, which should suit the forward pairing of Pukki and Rhodes.
Rhodes will need service and if he gets it, he should score goals. Teemu Pukki will probably play just off him and pick up loose balls as well as linking up with JR.
It’s an attacking line-up and it depends on the wingbacks getting up and down the field and providing crosses one minute and then helping out at the back if we haven’t got the ball.
On the bench I’d have Emi Buendia, Onel Hernandez and Felix Passlack for some pace and width along with Louis Thompson, Dennis Srbeny, Christoph Zimmermann and Michael McGovern.
Onel Hernandez is very unlucky to miss out but I can’t fit him in with this formation. I do expect Farke to play him though, in his own line-up.
I should stress that this isn’t a prediction and I don’t think that Farke will do this. I think he’ll probably go 4-1-4-1, which worries me a little.
Anyway, here’s my team in full:
Anybody got any thoughts?