It’s been the case in recent years that Norwich get promoted to the Premier League, they get relegated, and then they come straight back up. However, that was when Daniel Farke was at the helm. And after being replaced by Dean Smith last season, the Canaries failed to beat the drop, and they have yet to take flight in the Championship.
If there was a team that you wouldn’t have expected to see at the foot of the second tier, even after the first three games, it’s Norwich. Based on what’s been the case previously, you’d more than likely expect to see them at the top end of the division. But, after two defeats and a draw in their first three outings, things are not going to plan at Carrow Road. And the pressure is already mounting on Smith to turn things around.
Norwich undoubtedly have the talent required in their ranks. Grant Hanley, Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki are players who have all been there and done it in the Championship, but it’s potentially now the time where making it a third promotion to the top flight is a bridge too far to cross. And, failings in the transfer market could lead to the Canaries not making it back.
It's a claim that has been levelled at the club for a while in terms of the recruitment not being good enough or ambitious enough to make a fist of staying in the Premier League. When comparing to what the likes of Nottingham Forest and Fulham have done, they’ve gone up and spent the money to give themselves a fighting chance to retain their top-flight status.
Whereas Norwich, guided by Stuart Webber, have either spent minimal amounts. Or, when the purse strings have been loosened, the money has gone on players who have failed to make the grade. They’re currently in receipt of parachute payments and have signed Gabriel Sara and Marcelino Nunez for fees worth over £10 million combined. Isaac Hayden arrived on loan from Newcastle but is injured, and youngster Aaron Ramsey has joined from Smith’s former club Aston Villa.
But as yet, Smith has failed to get a tune out of the Canaries in the second tier, a division many are expecting them to push for promotion from once again. They suffered an opening day 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City before drawing to league newcomers Wigan. And, a chance to finally get that all-important first win came and went as Hull secured a 2-1 home victory, with Nunez notching more than a consolation goal on 72 mins.
It's still early days, but the Championship is once again proving itself to be one of the most competitive leagues around. And, if Norwich fails to start picking up the points, and the wins, in the coming weeks, they could quickly find themselves out of the promotion conversation altogether, which would be a disaster.