F2C: On the eve of the Season
On the eve of the new football season, the time for talk is over and the pressure mounts on Team Gunn. Whilst there are very few doubts that the close season signings are more than admirable, it is the ability to gel the team that many supporters will be paying attention to.
Many have argued that as well as the large amount of loan signings left at his disposal for the last 19 games of the 2008-09 season, which may have lead to City's relegation, it was also Team Gunn's tactical ineptitude that should of also been questioned.
A lot of water has gone under the bridge since 3 May, and in that time Gunn has made sweeping changes to the football team. The loan signings and the consideration of bringing an excessive amount of loan signings in has obviously been discarded, but many will be looking to see whether playing players out of position and making substitutions too late into a game has also been shown the door.
Many City supporters, myself included, have a good feeling about the forthcoming season, and we also feel a bond to our football club again, something that was sadly lacking under Glen Roeder. Of course there is an air of expectation, but also a general feeling of 'stepping into the unknown'.
It is nearly 50 years since City supporters have had take any real notice of the goings on in the third tier of English football, and many of us just don't have a clue about Huddersfield Town, Brentford, Leyton Orient or Exeter City, and that is the scary part.
Before, we have always had a rough idea about how we were likely to fair against our Championship opposition, but this season is totally different. But, get the team selection right, with players playing where they are meant to, make substitutions so that players have a chance to make a contribution to a game and we may just start hitting the notes and the back of the net.
So, as Colchester head up the A12 ahead of this afternoon's game, who is likely to take to the pitch to welcome in the new season at Carrow Road?
Well, with international clearance having come through for Maric and Askou, I can see both players on the substitute's bench, with Holt and Martin starting up front. Holt will no doubt be hoping to make it five in five, having scored on his debuts with Barrow, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Shrewsbury.
Chris Martin, having returned to Carrow Road after a season long loan at Luton Town, will have given Gunn something to think about after netting two goals against Wigan Athletic last weekend.
In midfield, I think Stephen Hughes's lack of match fitness will see him start on the bench, and Whaley, Hoolahan, Tudur Jones and Gill will figure. At the back I can see starts for Otsemobor on the right, Drury on the left and a central partnership of Doherty and Nelson, with the new number 5 taking time out from his honeymoon when he signed for the Canaries.
Finally, in goal I think Gunny will start with Theoklitos with Alnwick on the bench, where I think he will be joined by McVeigh, Spillane, McDonald and Lappin, but of course all will be revealed at 1500 this afternoon.Forces2Canaries is the official Norwich City Supporters Group for current and ex-members of the Armed Forces and their dependants. For more information visit www.forces2canaries.co.uk, or via Twitter @Gus_F2C.You'll be able to follow live interactive text commentary on the game, plus all the build-up via our Matchday Live! service. Just click here after 2pm.
Date:Saturday August 8 2009