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What Went Wrong for Norwich This Season?

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What Went Wrong for Norwich This Season?

The main issue at Norwich this season was undoubtedly their poor summer transfer window, as well as their lack of January recruitment.

City lost several key players from their 2020/21 Championship title-winning side, a side that gained 97 points, beating the club's previous points record. Norwich released Mario Vrancic, Marco Stieperman and Alex Tettey, all players that had been key to the squad in recent years, and in addition to this they arguably lost two of their most influential players, Emi Buendia left to Aston Villa, and Oliver Skipp returned to Tottenham after his outstanding loan spell.

Buendia was named Championship player of the year, after 15 goals and 16 assists that campaign, and in letting the Argentine international leave the club before the season had even started it certainly caused outrage amongst the supporters.

However, it was mainly the incoming transfer business that have been blamed for this season's embarrassing performances. Norwich signed Milot Rashica (£9m), Josh Sargent (£9m) and Christos Tzolis (£10m) as well as Pierre Lees-Melou (£4m) the latter two have just four Premier League goals between them.

Mattias Normann, Brandon Williams, Ozan Kabak and Billy Gilmour all joined the club on loan, and have failed to impress on a consistent basis. In total Norwich spent nearly £60 million, though they did receive around £35m through the sale of Buendia. Fans have recently called for Sporting Director Stuart Webber to be held accountable for the shocking transfer business of last summer.

Sky Bet Championship Winner 22/23

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Norwich City @ 7/1

The Managerial Situation

Dean Smith has been somewhat underwhelming since his arrival at Norwich City in November. Though he has improved on what former manager Daniel Farke achieved in the Premier League, it has still been a disappointing points return for Smith, as he has accumulated just 16 points since he came in.

Though Smith has a decent track record in the Championship, in his managerial spells at Brentford and Aston Villa, he has never won the Championship title, and in his most recent promotion, he finished sixth, 20 points behind league leaders Norwich City in 2018-19. However, Smith is certainly qualified enough to be thought of as one of the best managers in the division.

Sky Bet Championship Promotion 22/23

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Norwich City @ 9/4

So what does Norwich Need to do Next Season?

Firstly, keeping star player Teemu Pukki is a must, as well as captain Grant Hanley, and goalkeeper Tim Krul. These players have performed consistently for the club for over four seasons and have been amongst the club's best performers this season.

Pukki is essential to Norwich's promotion push, other than Mitrovic he has arguably been the Championship's most potent forward in recent times, with 55 goals, and two Championship titles in two seasons.

Additionally, the club should look to sell misfit Todd Cantwell, and key defender Max Aaron's in order to fund the rejuvenation of the team that the club desperately needs. The club needs to bring in several players this summer, as many loan signings contracts will expire and many permanent players are expected to leave following another poor Premier League campaign.

In terms of incomings, Norwich needs to find the creative spark that has been missing since the departure of Emi Buendia and the demise of Todd Cantwell, so a purchase of an attacking midfielder is vital. Additionally, as Aarons is expected to depart this season, and no Norwich fan would begrudge him for doing so, the club need to bring in new full-backs to replace him and the departing Brandon Williams.

One positive is that the club currently have several players out on loan in the EFL that could come back and make an impact; Jordan Hugill (Cardiff), Onel Hernandez (Birmingham), Bali Mumba (Peterborough), Todd Cantwell (Bournemouth), Danel Sinani (Huddersfield), and Sam McCallum (QPR) are all expected to report for pre-season this summer ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, and most of these players have been pretty regular fixtures at their loan clubs.

Whatever happens next year, It will be a season of rebuilding, and without Daniel Farke’s Championship magic, Norwich may find it harder this time than they have in previous campaigns.