Survey results: Can Mario Vrancic live up to his pre-season expectations at Norwich City?
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As the Canaries enjoy a break from Championship action, DAVID FREEZER looks back on the predictions of City fans in our survey ahead of the season’s kick-off.
He was the player that Norwich City supporters were most excited about at the start of the season but Mario Vrancic is yet to live up to his billing.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina international midfielder was the first player the Canaries paid a fee for during the early stages of a hectic summer of change at Carrow Road.
Signed from German side Darmstadt for a reported £650,000 soon after the opening of the transfer window, the 28-year-old was showing clear flashes of his capabilities during pre-season for Daniel Farke’s side.
In our pre-season poll at pinkun.com, which just short of 3,000 City supporters took part in, it was Vrancic who topped our question about the additions to Daniel Farke’s squad.
Which new signing are you most looking forward to see play?
Mario Vrancic 52pc
Marley Watkins 19pc
Harrison Reed 12pc
Angus Gunn 7pc
Christoph Zimmermann 6pc
Marcel Franke 2pc
James Husband 1pc
Yet those flashes of quality are yet to become consistent contributions to the Canaries cause for the stylish midfielder.
Two goals, both in the 3-1 League Cup win at Brentford, in 12 starts and two appearances as a substitute have seen a player who was playing in the Bundesliga last season struggle to find his feet.
Adjusting to the demands of English football can take time but if Vrancic can’t add defensive urgency and quicker passing to his repertoire then his average rating of 5.9 out of 10 in the fan ratings at pinkun.com looks unlikely to change.
So how are those predictions from our pre-season survey measuring up in other areas?
Where do you think Norwich City will finish this season?
Play-off winners 9pc
Top six 48pc
Lower half outside the relegation zone 2pc
With Daniel Farke’s team currently sitting 13th and four points adrift of the play-offs following three consecutive defeats, the 48 percent who voted for a place in the top six are still in with a shout of being proved correct.
Of course with two thirds of the season still to play anything could still happen.
After 16 games of the 2014-15 season City were seventh on 26 points, just one adrift of the top six. They eventually finished third and won promotion in the Wembley play-off final.
Last season they were fifth on 27 points but fell to eighth and 10 points short of the play-off pace.
Which team will win the Championship?
Aston Villa 16pc
Norwich City 8pc
Sheffield Wednesday 3pc
Derby County 1pc
Just 1pc of voters predicted Wolves would win the title but the big-spenders are sitting pretty at the top of the pile at the moment.
Just two points behind them are one of the promoted sides, Sheffield United, who we didn’t even put forward as an option. Bravo to those of you who voted ‘other’ and were clearly in the know.
• The other results of our pre-season survey can be seen below, with an updated version featuring fresh questions above
Which position does Daniel Farke need to strengthen the most?
Defensive midfielder 11pc
Which summer exit will you miss the most?
Jonny Howson 54pc
Jacob Murphy 33pc
John Ruddy 10pc
Graham Dorrans 2pc
Ryan Bennett 1pc
Are you happy with the direction the board have taken the club with the new structure?
Very happy 55pc
Still unsure 38pc
Very unhappy 2pc
Where do you think the club will be in five years time?
Yo-yo club 53pc
Settled in the Premier League 26pc
Stuck in the Championship 20pc
Lower than the Championship 1pc