Viva la Roeder revolution
Michael Bailey Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder is tantalisingly close to completing the rebuilding task he doubted he could achieve in May. The Canaries boss set himself the goal of having two players in close competition for every starting position and was cautious about whether he would be successful.
Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder is tantalisingly close to completing the rebuilding task he doubted he could achieve in May.
The Canaries boss set himself the goal of having two players in close competition for every starting position and was cautious about whether he would be successful.
But with the new season kicking off in little more than two weeks time, Roeder's revamped City squad has only a few holes left to fill before the Canaries' Coca-Cola Championship opener at Coventry City on August 9.
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“Two players for every position would be the target in an ideal world but finances and availability may dictate otherwise,” said Roeder back in May, as the dust settled on his first seven months in charge. “If that is achievable, that's what we will try for but, to be honest, I think there will be a couple of players on my list that can play two positions and you wouldn't know which was their best position.
“So we will have a couple of players coming in that can double up, which is always very useful to have around the place.”
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Norwich's release of nine players in May was among the highest in the Championship and with Dion Dublin retiring from football, at one point City sat with just 15 professionals contracted for this season.
Six new faces have arrived, a mixture of returning loan stars, permanent Premier League captures and League One promotion winners who have finally given City's squad a few pounds of flesh on its previously strained bones.
But there are still a few holes for Roeder to fill, most notably up front where the City boss has already stated his desire to sign a big man for Jamie Cureton and Fiorentina loanee Arturo Lupoli to play off, with Leicester City striker Steve Howard a likely target for that position.
And the jury remains out on whether the City boss will include Chris Martin as a fully fledged member of his first team plans this season.
Despite the capture of Dejan Stefanovic from Fulham finally providing permanent competition for Gary Doherty and Jason Shackell at centre-back, it would be a surprise if Roeder left it there and Celtic's John Kennedy has been linked, although his arrival will only happen if his desired loan move to Motherwell collapses completely.
The Canaries seem in good shape on either flank, especially at full back, while midfield promises an intriguing scrap over starting positions for eight players who will be expecting first team football.
The final hole is goalkeeping back-up for David Marshall, with Declan Rudd considered to raw by coach Tommy Wright and former Leyton Orient stopper Stuart Nelson in with a chance after staking his claim during his trial at Norwich. Laszlo Koteles from Hungarian First Division side Diosgyor has also been linked.
Only Derby have been more active in the transfer market this summer and although most City fans can point 12 months in the past to dispel any notion that quality equals quantity, for the sake of a few more holes to be filled, Glenn Roeder's Norwich City model mark 2008/9 is close to completion.