Hughton now needs a middle man

Thursday 4th July 2013 17:15

Chris Hughton: Needs to add to his midfield options

Chris Hughton: Needs to add to his midfield options

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Norwich FanZoner Ben Tuck wants Chris Hughton to focus on improving the middle of his midfield to make the new season an exciting one.

After a pretty raucous finish to the season at Carrow Road, all Norwich fans turned their attention to Monday July 1 and the arrival of the new hitman Ricky Van Wolfwinkel.

With the main issue last season being a stuttering attack, a young, hungry and unquestionably talented striker to lead the line next season has got to be a good start, with more to follow.

Before I go into what we need, I must say goodbye to those who have left us. Simeon Jackson's departure is one which, while not a shock, is still an exit that I am sad to see.

While he has struggled to step up to this level, nostalgia dictates that we must look back fondly on his run of form which was so conducive to our promotion two years ago.

Alongside him are senior defenders Marc Tierney and Elliot Ward; again two great professionals who found chances limited last season. Ward never recovered from his clash with Ruddy in 2011/12 and Tierney's season, like a few others, stalled at the start through injury.

We also said goodbye to Chris Martin, Korey Smith and Tom Adeyemi who have all stepped down divisions, to what I believe to be clubs at their level. They are all young enough and talented enough, that if the hunger is there, they will improve.

Moving forward, Norwich need just two or three quality signings plus another keeper to replace the departed fourth choice, Jed Steer.

Don't listen to the naysayers who have us as favourites to go down, we've been favourites for the last two seasons and we have finished 12th and 11th.

The priority is to build a central midfield unit that will allow us to boss the middle of the park, pass the ball and interrupt the opposition's flow.

We have three central midfielders who can be seen as Premier League class, alongside the enigmatically talented Johnny Howson.

Bradley Johnson is Chris Hughton's preferred choice. The former Leeds grafter may be limited on the ball but he is at his best when City don't have the ball. Johnson needs a creative thinker alongside him.

Alexander Tettey seemed the complete article when he arrived but his latest performances have seemed timid and short of confidence. His passing appeared rushed and unimaginitive and he will need a good pre-season if he is to be our answer.

Finally David Fox, the (almost) ever-present in 2011/12 was a non-starter in 2012/13. While possessing the best passing ability at the club and patience needed in heated situations, he lacks the ball stopping, bullying attributes needed for the role alongside Howson in City's midfield.

With a few names linked, including an exciting array of exotic and foreign talent with European experience, and some quality British prospects, we can only hope that Norwich use their new income as the CEO promised they would.

To fail to build on last season would be a disappointment. Let's not pretend that it was not a boring, drab and tedious affair the majority of the time. Maybe this was because Hughton didn't trust them to get a result if they were allowed the freedom to play. This slowly changed with the introduction of Howson in the last few games.

We now have the defence and the striker to make an impact at this level. Now we just need that missing piece in the middle.

By Ben Tuck, FanZone's Norwich blogger. Follow @FanZone on Twitter.

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