Norwich return to second tier – prepare for another push

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It was a season of disappointments for Norwich City, who won the promotion to the Premier League rather surprisingly at the end of 2018 campaign. After taking the Championship by storm, the harsh reality of the Premier League hit hard and the Canaries only managed to win five games all season, finishing dead last with 21 points, 14 points separated from the safety. The issues were obvious all over the pitch and injury problems added to those shortcomings in a brutal way: Norwich the least goals in the league, while conceding the most.

Manager Daniel Farke remained confident and positive throughout the season, despite the performance somewhat lacking time after time. After barely spending anything in the transfer market during the summer after promotion, the message was clear and staying up would take a miracle – such as the one provided by Sheffield United. Norwich and Farke were handed an insurmountable obstacle, which they never looked like climbing over.

There were positives in Norwich’s season and every cloud has a silver lining. Now it is certain that simply by dominating Championship there’s no guarantee of any success in the top tier. Also, individual players took leaps in development, while occasionally being utterly outplayed by the more experienced Premier League striders. The likes of Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia drew their first blood and showed glimpses of promise, while Teemu Pukki proved to be efficient and lethal Premier League forward. If Norwich is able to hold on to their young talismans for at least two seasons more, their return to Premier League might prove to be much longer term than the last time.

Entering the season in Championship, the team remains much the same as the Premier League visitors. Left back Jamal Lewis went to Newcastle and was replaced by loanee Xavi Quintilla. Jordan Hugill joined from West Ham to provide support for Pukki, while Ben Gibson and Oliver Skipp add more depth to the defensive end of things. With the squad occasionally challenging the bigger Premier League sides already, the current Norwich City team should be an unstoppable force in the Championship this season.

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