Spud Thornhill: We're back ... and ready to prove the doubters wrong

City fans have had plenty to cheer of late
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

City fans have had plenty to cheer of late Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Happy New Year to all fellow Canaries.

Is the Premier League ready for the Canaries? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdIs the Premier League ready for the Canaries? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

However much I enjoy pre-season games, there's nothing like the opening day of the campaign.

Tonight will be the start of my 38th season as a Canary and I still get the same buzz as I did as a seven-year-old back in 1982. The hopes and dreams of what we do for the next nine months are what keeps us going week in, week out.

But if it was down to the national media and so-called fans of other clubs from the Premier League, I shouldn't bother with the hopes and dreams. They believe our beloved club has not gone and spent enough money on big names to replace the squad that was easily the best team in the Championship. Some clubs have spent stupid amounts on players, up to £100m.

Even recently our very own Archant reporter David Freezer was defending our ways and the quality at the club to Talksport radio station. Yet they still stated how some clubs who've got promoted to the Premier League over recent years have spent a lot of money to improve their squad. Like Fulham. That went well, didn't it?

Max Aarons - happy to stick with this bright young talent Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdMax Aarons - happy to stick with this bright young talent Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Maybe if they had done their homework they wouldn't have been surprised by what Dave was saying, especially as they also think we should be doing what Aston Villa have done in the transfer market.

Villa have spent well over £100m, and that's before all the add-ons, but are they better prepared for their season back in the Premier League than we are? I'm not sure.

Both teams signed new goalkeepers. We signed Ralf Fahrmann on loan, a keeper with 196 games in the Bundesliga and Champions League experience whilst Villa paid £8m for a 33-year-old keeper with less 100 games in the top flight.

They've paid a reported £50m for defenders Matt Target, Ezra Konsa and Tyrone Mings. I would like to think I take a lot of interest in the English game, but I'm struggling to tell you much about those players, apart the one who used to play for that lot down the road.

Would you really want to swap them for any of our defenders, such as Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis or Max Aarons? Nope.

Then there's Sheffield United.

They signed Lys Mousset for £10m from Bournemouth, a striker who scored one Premier League for the Cherries. And don't even get me started with Ravel Morrison. With his history, I'm sure there'll be some interesting moments with the Blades manager Chris Wilder - something I can't see happening in our dressing room.

Would you want to swap them for Teemu Pukki or Josip Drmic? No, didn't think so.

But that has still not stopped some Norwich fans saying we need to spend millions to survive this season. You would've thought the miracles that Daniel Farke and Stuart Webber performed last season would remove any doubts.

But for those fans who do have the doubts and concerns, try and put some faith into both Farke and Webber. Whilst there has been some mistakes on the way back to the Premier League, they have been overshadowed by the great successes.

There may be times when we will be outclassed by some teams, but not too often I'm sure. And I'm sure we are going to surprise many teams, as well as supporters of other clubs and the national media ... which will be satisfying.

With the style of football we play, maybe, just maybe, we may follow on from what previous Championship winners Wolves achieved last season, finishing seventh on the return to Premier League and qualifying for Europe.

Whilst I may think that's being over-optimistic, even by my standards, you just never know. Who would've thought this time last year we would've had the season we've just had?

It's those hopes and dreams that will keep me going for the next nine months. City 'til I die

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