FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE – MANAGER PREVIEW – CHRIS HUGHTON


The Norwich players and all fantasy premier managers wont know what hit them next season.  Imagine being, or owning from a fantasy premier league view point, Andrew Surman and not have to spend until 2.30 on a Saturday wondering if he’s going to be in the starting line up.Rotation was the essence of Paul Lamberts Norwich City.  That was great for fans as their high tempo high pressure attacking football saw Norwich finish in an amazing 12th place, scoring more goals than anyone outside the top 6.  Grant Holt scored 15 goals in 24 games (imagine if he played regularly!) and was the highest English goal scorer in the premier league after Wayne Rooney.

Imagine the pressure that Chris Hughton is under to follow that.  Except that this will seem like a stroll in the park when in the  previous season you saw the owner arrested for money laundering shortly after you were appointed.  The resultant financial turmoil saw a sell off of anyone that could raise a few quid including Gardner, Jerome, Dann and Ferguson.  Despite this Hughton presided over his own miracle season and Birmingham finished 4th losing in a 2 leg play off with Blackpool.

The challenge for Hughton will be centred around whether he can keep Grant Holt.  There have already been a number of reports saying the striker wants to leave.  Without a reliable defence Holt will  definitely be  needed to compensate for a team that only kept a total of 3 clean sheets last year.  However Hughton is known as a methodical organised manager and a strong tactician who should improve the clean sheet column.

Fantasy premier league players views on Norwich will very much be dependent on price.  Its hard to think that there will be so many bargains as there were last season and this will probably compensate in a negative way for more certainty over players game time.  Therefore I will be one fantasy premier manager who will be very cautious.