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Poll results: Improving defensive strength should be the transfer window priority for Norwich City

Central defender Sebastien Bassong has received plenty of criticism from Norwich City fans this season, with our poll indicating a new centre-back is a January priority for the Canaries. Photo: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES

Central defender Sebastien Bassong has received plenty of criticism from Norwich City fans this season, with our poll indicating a new centre-back is a January priority for the Canaries. Photo: PAUL CHESTERTON/FOCUS IMAGES

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The January transfer window may have got off to a slow start for Norwich City but supporters are sure of the key area for the Canaries to invest in once the merry-go-round starts to spin.

City boss Alex Neil has already reiterated that any incomings will be dependant on money generated by sales this month, as the club continues to adjust to the financial realities of life outside the Premier League world of ridiculous riches.

At November’s AGM technical director Ricky Martin admitted that some turnover of the squad will be needed, with a desire to lower the squad’s annual average age and moving on some out-of-favour 
players discussed, as it was revealed that he would be taking on added responsibilities for player recruitment.

So far the only arrival has been that of Icelandic 16-year-old Agust Hlynsson, clearly a signing made with an eye on the future, and the only outgoing has been young left-back Harry Toffolo returning to Scunthorpe on loan.

Any signings that Neil, Martin and chief executive Jez Moxey went to make appear to be waiting on the potential exits of players including Robbie Brady, Sergi Canos, Michael Turner and Kyle Lafferty.

With a third of the transfer window already gone, fans are having to wait patiently to see if City are able to boost their play-off hopes with new signings, so we asked which position is the main priority to be strengthened.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, as only four teams have conceded more goals in the opening 25 games of the Championship season, central defence was the overwhelming winner of our poll on pinkun.com.

Neil’s team have let in 37 goals in those 25 matches and sit in ninth place in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rotherham.

The bottom-of-the-table Millers have the worst defensive record with 55 goals conceded. Nottingham Forest (45 conceded) in 20th, Blackburn (40) in 22nd and Cardiff in 19th are the only other teams to have conceded more than City and Barnsley, who are tied on 37.

It is not a record reflective of a team hoping to be promoted and makes clear where the problem lies – with only three teams in the league having scored more goals than the Canaries’ 41.

That could mean an exit for one of the current centre-backs but who is in line for the chop?

An average of 1.8 goals have been conceded in matches when Seb Bassong has been playing (14 in eight league games) – making him the worst defender statistically.

Timm Klose (23 in 17) and Ryan Bennett (29 in 21) both average 1.6 conceded when on the pitch so far and Russell Martin 1.6, although some of his games have been played at right-back.

John Ruddy’s return in goal in the last 10 games has steadied the ship, with nine conceded in nine games and clean sheets in the last two matches as Klose and Martin have returned at centre-back – will they soon have fresh competition though?

• Poll results correct as of 5pm yesterday, when over 1,000 votes had been cast. See the latest results and cast your vote in the poll above.

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29 comments

  • Spot on, HoustonCan.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • I think reading all the comments it comes down to the Manager and the BOD wouldn't Lambert , Stringer, Bond , McCauley, Mike Walker, Ken Brown not have made this squad fire not forgetting Ron Ashman and Ron Saunders

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    TonyfromThailand

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • I think reading all the comments it comes down to the Manager and the BOD wouldn't Lambert , Stringer, Bond , McCauley, Mike Walker, Ken Brown not have made this squad fire not forgetting Ron Ashman and Ron Saunders

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    TonyfromThailand

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • I think reading all the comments it comes down to the Manager and the BOD wouldn't Lambert , Stringer, Bond , McCauley, Mike Walker, Ken Brown not have made this squad fire not forgetting Ron Ashman and Ron Saunders

    Report this comment

    TonyfromThailand

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • If I was Lafferty ( he's not in AN favourite club) I WOULD do my upmost to get out from the clutches of AN at NCFC as he is ruining my career.. As for Brady it's a case of being played out of position week after week and destroying his confidence and style of football...... that is just two players who's career is disappearing down the can... I hope Canos gets his move, he's young keen and eager to play, if he stays at Norwich his days are numbered, he has been brave and gone onto social media liking the info of Leeds looking into buying him... Radshenko, I hope Tim Klose isn't leaving but he needs game time to get fit, we are told he is naive by AN because of walking off the pitch injured saturday (HELLO THE PLAYERS ON THE PITCH ARE PROS, SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE PROBLEM AND ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY TO COVER HIM BEING OFF THE PITCH) so he's obviously not going to get anymore game time... best of luck to you Tim Klose...

    Report this comment

    Houstoncanary

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • I really can not see the point of these polls asking us fans what we think is necessary for our club.... Nobody on the BOD or that so called half wit manager will pay any attention EVER to what the fans think.. Already in this transfer window AN isn't looking into bolstering the NCFC defense.. he's already signed a young midfielder and missed out on a striker.....I'm wondering if the BOD have hired this half wit to wind us fans up and to drag our beloved club south into hard times again...

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    Houstoncanary

    Thursday, January 12, 2017

  • Ironic isn't it. A large majority of fans think we should strengthen the defence & the first likely departure is a defender ! Yes ironic but not surprising given Alex Neil & the BoD track record this past few transfer windows

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    Victor Bullimore

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • The Board must have read your report, David! As our first bit of "improving the defence" is.........the sale of Ollson! AN has also extended Toffolo's loan for the rest of the season - just when he should be in the frame for a call-up.

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    malaga flier

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • The problem is that Alex Neil, being experienced in lower league English football and Scottish football which is the equivalent standard in terms of defensive play, knows absolutely nothing about having a strong defence. Look at any clips of Scottish football and there is no marking, little tackling, rubbish goalkeepers and soft goals. Look to prove my case, how many games has Russell Martin played for Scotland? Thought so, proven beyond doubt.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Radshenko, when it's time to close, it's time to leave. Trust me it just is.

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    waclor

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Like selling Olsson !!!

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    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Just been annoinced that selling Olson to Swansea, what could possibly go wrong ? Sigh

    Report this comment

    Canaryboy65

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Remember we have the fat controller in charge, he does not sign big names and will avoid it like the plague.This is the man who reduced Wolves to being a non-entity and kept them mid table in Championship for several years..........as will Norwich under this regime.

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    dave123

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • LFG. Add a decimal point and that is the smiffs budget.

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    Harman

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Our worst four players in the last 12 months have been Russel Martin,Bassong .Naismith and Brady we need to despatch these players as soon as possible.With the money raised and saved on wages we need to invest in a decent centre back.At the same time Hoolahan with no doubt been on of our best players in the last five years can not play regularly.At his best he would win us one in three games ( Huckerby would win us two in three games) in the premiership he could win us one in six games back in the premiership he is only capable of winning us one in six games ( before Hoolahan fans make comment I have been a great fan of Hoolahan but after his terrific match against a poor Rotherham side he then had five bad matches on the trot). So we need to spend at least 15 million on a replacement,in other words we must spend at least 25 million or we will sink further .

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    L-F-G

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Oooh, beeehaaaiive!

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Deep down the long suffering faithful know they are going to be left bemused at the end of not only this transfer window but the season. Fan dabbi's obsession with midfielders seems a tad narcissistic ; is he trying to build a team in his own image, maybe Canos should shave his head and demand to play centre half or goal keeper.

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    Oh matron

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Also, on the thought of signings, the NCFC board were criticised for not getting McCormack from Fulham last window, and he has subsequently warmed the bench at his new club

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    Claus Capes

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • There is a hot striker available in Holland, scored 9 in 18... name is Ricky Van Wolfswinkle,,,, remember how well he was managed

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    Claus Capes

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • I've never seen anything offensive in your comments, @JimBob, even under severe provocation from the site troll(s). Keep yew a-gorn, buh.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • I expect Brady, Canos, Klose and Naismith to leave. We will sign a young attacking midfielder from the lower divisions at 23.59 on deadline day and immediately loan him back to his parent club for the rest of the season. Nothing else will happen.

    Report this comment

    Shots-Canary

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • PS. Lymmcanary is still reporting my comments as offensive and good old archie agrees. Just so you all know. I don't report his comments that are actually offensive about me...just saying.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • What did Timm do wrong?

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Third of window gone. Players needing to leave before signing can be made. History of haggling for weeks before selling or buying. These facts plus the total incompetence of the recruitment team who appear to be searching for even more midfielders look like leading us to Neil announcing on 31 January how happy he is with Turner, Baffoon, Martin and Bennett ( assuming the appallingly treated Klose moves to be with a much better manager ).

    Report this comment

    Harman

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • What makes me and thousands of others angry is that we can see the position that needs strengthening most is the manager he is still making the same mistakes.

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    Randy

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Jandki - I feel for you. When you can't justify a journey any longer for the team you love, there is something seriously wrong inside carrow road. Rotten in fact. Under the smiffs, hope will no longer be tolerated.

    Report this comment

    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Another transfer window that feels that it will be a missed opportunity. Even if we do somehow manage to prise a half decent player away from the Premiership or our rivals in the Championship we won't see them play until end of March at the earliest. ANs record speaks volumes in this regard. If you don't 'fit in' then you don't play! Who actually knows what that means? Sergi Canos, Kyle Lafferty, the mysterious absence of Klose to name but a few. Bought for their potential. Great that we have attracted another developing player to our Academy but don't expect to see much of them in the senior team. That will be for others to achieve. We are committed, life long supporters proud holders of season tickets which we will sadly not renew next year. The recent changes to the Board and the direction of travel all are very disappointing and we feel we cannot justify the four hour Tavel time and costs for home games when we left with so little hope. Always Yellow!

    Report this comment

    Jandki

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Why do 66% of respondents think that the centre back position needs strengthening? I would have thought that Time Close is one of if not the strongest players on the pitch. Is he leaving?

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    Radshenko

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

  • Yes we need better defenders but our players need better coaching too. I watched the youth team lose 1-2 to West Ham and the same mistakes are there for all to see. It is such an important aspect of the game now. Teams like Middlesbrough know how to defend much better than us and that is why they will stay up while we went down. I do admit though that some players like Bassong are beyond any coaching and should be shipped out asap.

    Report this comment

    suffolkcanary

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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