Candid Cantwell opens up on struggles during 'whirlwind' summer

Todd Cantwell of Norwich celebrates scoring his sideÕs 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship matc

Todd Cantwell has opened up on a turbulent summer of speculation after Norwich City's relegation from the Premier League. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Todd Cantwell has described feeling as though he was caught up in a 'whirlwind' last summer as speculation surrounding his future at Norwich City dominated much of their pre-season.

That hit fever pitch after the Dereham-born midfielder was omitted from Daniel Farke's matchday squad against Bournemouth in October amid reports that Leeds United had tabled a £15million bid for him, a claim that was untrue. 

City's boss then criticised the focus of Cantwell and team-mate Emi Buendia over a lack of focus that saw both dropped from the squad. 

Cantwell has been a key protagonist during City's promotion push and has sparkled in the Championship this season. Reflecting on the difficulty of last summer, the 23-year-old has admitted he struggled to cope with the intensity of the speculation linking him with a move away from the club.

"The biggest problem for me, and the biggest problem for the situation and how it developed was that the media were still linking me with these teams after the season had started. 

"Everything that seemed to be said in private conversations was in the media somehow. Yes, they weren't detailed but everyone could see what was going on. But that doesn't mean that is what's going on. 

"I remember one day, I'd been left out of the team and I saw that Leeds had apparently bid £15m for Cantwell.

Most Read

"My phone was erupting. People were saying 'are you coming here?' and 'welcome' and I'm sat there thinking how am I in this position where I've not travelled with my team to play in a game and according to the papers I'm going to Leeds today? 

"I'd been spotted in Leeds and I was thinking 'I haven't'. I was sat in the gym. Things can look so different to the truth. I'm not saying there was no truth, I don't want to get into that. I was ready, I think I just had to convince other people I was ready."

Cantwell was one of several City stars who found themselves linked with other clubs after impressing in the top-flight despite the disappointing nature in which the Canaries were relegated. 

City's academy graduate eventually held a series of clear the air meetings with Farke, a coach he says he has 'mutual respect' for. Cantwell eventually worked his way back into the side and has scored six goals and assisted five so far this season. 

Graeme Shinnie of Derby County and Todd Cantwell of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championshi

Cantwell's future dominated much of the pre-season debate. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Asked which part of the summer was the hardest to process, Cantwell told the All in Yellow podcast: "It was the speculation, to be honest.

"Nobody ever sits you down and trains you for any of this stuff. When you're going that way (down), nobody prepares you for when people are pointing the finger at you and the club you play for, when clubs want your services.

"You're sat in the middle thinking 'I'm sat in a whirlwind here and I don't know what is going on'. 

"I had nobody who had been through it before. It's very difficult to speak to anyone about every detail because I'm sure you can imagine that there are details that you don't let out. To me, it was either adapt to it now or you drown in it. 

"I thought to myself, there has to be a point where I take control of this situation. Ultimately, no one was taking control of it for me. That's no fault of anyone. I'm not pointing fingers when I speak like that. This is the first opportunity I've had to speak and say that it isn't 'black or white' and no one ever tells you how to adapt to situations that they don't know about.

"It was the intense conversations about your services. You get caught up in it. Anybody would. It's not just football.

"I was 22, I've not been through any of that before. I've had a pretty good start to my career and the trajectory has been up since I became a professional. Then everything went crashing down. We got relegated. There were links, there were conversations about whether I'd be there next year or not.

"It got to a point where I sat round a table with my family and said 'it's got to the point where I've had enough of hearing this and that.' I had a real salty taste in my mouth about my local club (going down) and what it means to me for this club to be in the Premier League."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus