Some of you who are regular, daily readers of the site might be thinking "How the hell can Kevin possibly have time for this?" Well, the fact is, I don't. I do not have time to do in-depth previews of all 20 Premier League teams. However, I am going to do short previews on this site just to get the Spurs fans who can't keep up with the entire English Premier League a quick primer on each of our opponents in this upcoming season. I am going to commission someone who is a fan of a rival team to write the Tottenham preview in this series.
I am going to be going through each of these in the order that I think that they are going to finish in the Premier League this season. The Tottenham preview, though it will have none of my views, will come up in the place I think they're going to finish, so you'll all love that little surprise.
First up is Norwich City, who I think will finish bottom. Will the Canaries prove me wrong? Let's be 'avin ya! Come on!
Norwich City won automatic promotion to the Premier League last season with their second place finish in the Championship, and they are probably the most English team in the history of Englishness. The only person on the team who is not from an Anglophone country is Richie De Laet, and he's a strong defender on loan from Manchester United. They are big, strong, direct and generally lacking in skill compared to their fellow Premiership competitors.
That's not to say that they'll play anti-football or that they're crap, they just are what they are. Stoke City aren't crap and it's at least debatable whether or not what they do is anti-football. Paul Lambert could very well do a Pulis, barely keep his team up, then slowly make them better each season. Unfortunately, the Premier League looks strong from top to bottom, and someone has to finish bottom.
Norwich probably won't do a Derby or a Sunderland from their previous couple cycles in the top flight, but I'm not sure they'll be as good as West Ham were last year. I know that sounds harsh, but West Ham were actually pretty good as far as bottom teams go, finishing on 33 points. Something like 25-30 seems like a more realistic finish for Norwich.
The good news is that they have a few guys who could possibly get them some goals. Grant Holt is a freaking ox, Simeon Jackson is fast and can finish, and though he's struggled in recent years, James Vaughan wasn't compared to Wayne Rooney as a 16-year-old if he's a complete no-talent hack. They've got a few other guys who have been ace in the lower leagues, but heaven knows if they can contribute in the Premier League.
The Canaries midfield is lacking a superstar like Charlie Adam, but is still super Blackpooly in that they have a lot of talented players, but none who are proven at this level. My personal favorite is 20-year-old Korey Smith, who was discovered in 2007 playing Sunday League football. He's since captained the Norwich youth team and made over 60 professional appearances. Irish attacking midfielder Wes Hoolahan and Welshman Andrew Crofts have proven that they can score goals from midfield, though I'm not sure how much of a chance they'll get to do it in the Premiership.
Along the back, the Canaries have the aforementioned De Laet, our own Kyle Naughton, American Zak Whitbread and Scotland international Russell Martin, among others. This is arguably the strongest part of Norwich's team and the one area where they have the quality to compete with the big boys. Hopefully for them, their midfield doesn't get bulldozed, giving the adequate defense way too much work to do.
Grant Holt - The Canaries' captain is a big bulldozer of a dude and a quality finisher. He'll need to score once every three games or so for them to feel like staying up is an attainable goal.
Zak Whitbread - AMERICA, F--K YEAH
Relegated - Sorry Canaries, it ain't your year.