Lupoli signs – with Bell to follow?

City yesterday sealed the season long loan signing of former Arsenal striker Arturo Lupoli from Fiorentina – with signing no. 7 to follow.

Lupoli, who once spent a season on loan with Derby County, arrives on the recommendation of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and has excited a great deal of City fans. Small, bit nippy and clever with a great finish, Lupoli will probably be in direct competition for a spot in the starting eleven with Jamie Cureton with the other spot apparently going to a bit more physical a striker.

What’s intriguing then, is the link to Mifsud of Coventry. Having scored 17 goals last season, Mifsud has clearly seen the arrival of Eastwood and impending arrival of Morrison and thought the time was right to go elsewhere. Having scored 17 goals, there’s plenty of competition for his signature – but at 5’5″ and just 9st 10lbs, I’d hardly call him “physical”. Yet in the article above, Roeder clearly is a fan of the lad – and has made an enquiry about the want away striker.

Despite this, many expect the 7th imminent signing to be Luton’s David Bell. Bell, who has not featured for Luton in their pre-season fixtures is known to have undergone a medical and is thought to have agreed terms. With all that done and just signatures to be made, it’s widely thought that Bell is the man who will be signing on the dotted line for Norwich in the not so distant future. If he does, it would put to bed an almost nine week chase of the Luton midfielder and finalise an already strong midfield group.

Ahlafors IF 1, Norwich City 2

The pre-season tour of Sweden got off to a reasonable start when Norwich beat Ahlafors IF 1-2. The winning goal was scored by Jamie Cureton in the dying moments of the game after a neat Korey Smith cross.

The first, however, was possibly the more newsworthy of the goals as it was scored by trialist Chris Makiese. The Congo international was released from Lille last season after scoring an impressive 16 goals in 25 games for their ‘B’ team and has obviously been recommended by Roeder’s vast scouting network. The young lad didn’t seem to do his chances here any good after scoring a decent goal.

As usual, Youtube offers a little glimpse of Makiese in this video:

For a more in depth report on Saturday’s friendly, see MyFootballWriter. But for the goals, view them here:

Omozusi and Stefanovic sign to make Goreham and Adam’s job that little bit harder. Is Bell next?

Well, after reporting that Fulham duo Elliot Omozusi and Dejan Stefanovic were about to sign, Norwich fans got the official confirmation they were waiting for on Friday evening. Hurrah!

With those two signings in the squad now looks to be shaping up nicely with quite decent competition for places all around. Omozusi will challenge Jon Otsemobor for that right back spot, and Fulham fans seem to rate him highly.

Stefanovic is an experienced center half who will, I think, turn out to be an important signing for City. He has proven himself a very good center back at the highest level, and whilst not in the peak of his career has enough in the tank to contribute well to a Championship side like ours.

You may well remember that this duo came with a third possible signing – Luton’s David Bell. For whatever reason, Bell didn’t sign on the dotted line. However, Sky Sports reported yesterday that Bell has agreed a 3yr contract with us and will sign imminently.

That seems to tie in with Roeder saying that two more were due before the middle of this week with a further two more for the week after. Hopefully the other three will be mostly strikers – we do need strikers now as a priority. If you were to push me for the other for this week, I would tell you Maceo Rigters – but why? Well… just call it a hunch!

Plenty this morning…

Plenty of stuff to tell you this morning! Let’s start with an update to an old situation.

Peter Thompson, Linfield’s impressive goal scorer, can now add Hartlepool Utd to his ever growing list of admirers. Stockport County, Kilmarnock, Motherwell and us are known to be interested, with Stockport and us believed to have tabled a bid. Apparently, Hartlepool are now wading in with a bid of their own.

The Mirror are this morning reporting that one of our longest ever running transfer sagas is drawing to a close after we agreed a £600,000 deal with Luton for midfielder David Bell. Apparently, the winger – who has yet to feature in Luton’s pre-season friendlies – is coming to Norwich today for a medical and to complete the deal.

The Blackpool Gazette are reporting that we could attempt to hijack QPR’s deal for Kaspar Gorkss. The strong defender is widely coveted around the Championship and is thought to want a move to QPR for the mega bucks they’re offering. However, Oyston is refusing to sanction a deal with QPR due to the way they have conducted their business. It’s believed Roeder is hoping he can capitalise on this and secure one of the Championship’s most underrated defenders.

Saving the best for last, though – reports eminating from Italy seem to suggest we’re close to signing Arturo Lupoli! The former Arsenal and Derby striker has had a bit of a rough time in Italy so it seems and could be keen for a move back into a league where he performed so well for Derby. Fiorentina are thought to be considering the move, but would prefer a loan spell. Let’s hope they see sense and allow us to sign him permenantly! Here’s the Pink ‘Un article.

So with all this going on AND reports of the imminent signing of Stefanovic and Omozusi, things are looking up for Norwich City once again!

A Gorleston Report

Thanks to Lincoln Canary of the Official Message Board (who I attended the match with and is graciously allowing me to nick his report)

Hello all! After a short break where I posted only a few times, I’m now returning with the advent of the pre-season friendlies with my report from Gorleston.

Those who read my reports regularly will know I usually do the good, the bad and the player ratings. I’m not going to bother doing this to that format as I don’t see much point in giving player ratings versus Gorleston.

The final score was 8-1 to City with an own goal opening the scoring, Chris Martin scoring with a superb finish for the second, (Gorleston then pulled one back), Pattison slotting the ball home from 25 yards for the third, Luke Daley making the most of some Gorleston defensive confusion for the fourth, Martin again slotting home for the fifth, Manny Richardson calmly sending the keeper the other way from the penalty spot for the 6th, Darrel Russell adding the 7th and Wes Hoolahan dribbling the ball around the gorleston keeper after a superb second half showing for the 8th and best goal of the night.

The first half team lined up as:

Marshall

Smith     Spillane   Doc    Lappin

Chadwick  Lathrope  Pattison  Adeyemi

Martin    Daley

The second half team was:

Steer

Semi   Spillane    Shackell   Sam?

???    Clingan     Russell    Hoolahan

???    Richardson

A few things:

1. First half started poorly, but with a goal within 40-odd seconds. We were hoofing it forward with no real aim and Daley was tryng his best but is no target man.

2. A fantastic finish from Martin for the second goal, smashing it into the top corner. Martin looked thinner, but still could have got into the game more. I liked how he would drift out to the wing to get possession, though. Seemed effective.

3. The youngsters in the first half seemed ok – Adeyemi being the best of them. Tall, strong and reminded me a bit of an Etuhu on the wing. Lathorpe needs to work on his possession play a bit and Spillane needs to be a bit better in challenging in the air.

4. Of the more senior players, Lappin was poor – he didn’t look comfortable at all and it was his poor marking and tackling that lead to the goal. Also he didn’t take a single set piece. The impression I got was of a man on the move.

5. Second half was generally better – City imposed a better passing game that was quite good to watch. At the center of it was Wes Hoolahan, who if I was choosing MotMs, would be my MotM. He looks like a totally different player to Hucks – spraying balls long and short, taking on players and doing his bit defensively. I’m not saying better – I’ve not seen enough, definitely – but the signs are promising. His goal was comfortably the best, rounding the keeper to score his goal.

6. Clingan pretty much covered every blade of grass over on that right side – he worked hard, and worked well with Rusty, staying back every time he came forward and vica versa, covering his full backs when they moved forward.

7. No Curo, Croft, Fozzy or Drury in the squad, by the look of it. No idea why, either – probably injuries.

8. Second half youngsters looked ok too – Manny Richardson in particular. If that boy could find some composure in front of goal, I think he’d be a great little player. Plenty of hard work, plenty of opportunities and a lick of pace – a bit like Leon McKenzie, really. And he’s got McKenzie’s inability to finish too. Great. Some chav called him Obafemi Martins – and I think that’s his sort of game, just no where near as good. A quick mention about Jed Steer – the loudest, most commanding Norwich keeper I’ve ever seen. Very encouraging.

9. Seemed quite the trip out for Norwich staff! Neil Doncaster was there, as was Gunny, Clarky and Roeder. Seeing the new staff out warming up the side was very strange though, and will take time to get used to.

10. Last but by no means least – Gorleston. Not a bad little side, worked their socks off and deserved their goal. A well worked goal.

Hope that’s good enough for you all!

Roeder’s raid on Craven Cottage?

Excuse the rather journalistic headline. As soon as it popped into my head I couldn’t resist!

Anyway, according to the Sun, we’re closing in on Dejan Stefanovic and fullback Elliot Omozusi. Stefanovic is a solid, reliable 33 year old center half who is a regular international for his country, Omozusi is a talented young English/Nigerian full back who many Fulham fans feel is capable of playing for the first team.

Both, however, are considered surplus to requirements if you believe the Sun, and hopefully both can be persuaded here to further bolster our defensive options in a squad quite thin on the ground as far as they go. Let’s hope the Sun’s sources are spot on!

The Rumour XI Updated to version IV

So, take four of my rumour XI, including a genuine and proper goalkeeper link!:

First, though, remind yourself of version III before looking at this one. There’s only been a few changes!

GK : Lukaz Fabianski / Mark Tyler
DR : Jack Cork / Gavin Hoyte / Elliot Omozusi
DL : Ian Harte / Ryan Bertrand
DC : Martin Taylor / Dejan Stefanovic
DC : Kaspars Gorkss / Tamas Kadar
MR : Marceo Rigters / James Brown / Pat McCourt
ML : Matty Etherington / Wes Hoolahan
MC : Kevin McDonald / Barry Nicholson / Sammy Clingan
MC : David Bell / Gary Roberts
FW : Marlon King / Ched Evans / Shola Ameobi / Richard Offiong / Freddy Eastwood / Andy Carroll / Peter Thompson
FW : Gregor Rasiak / Martin Paterson / Jermaine Beckford / Clinton Morrison / Andy Cole / Antoine Sibierski / Alan Gow

Anyone I’ve missed?

Unreliable reports: Tamas Kadar set to sign

Those of you who know the Norwich City community know that Canary Corner, run by Ricky Bilverstone, is to say the least, an unreliable source of information. Well, yesterday they released a report claiming young Newcastle defender and Hungarian international, Tamas Kadar was set to sign on loan from Newcastle Utd.

Kadar, a 6′ 2″ center half cum left back, is very highly regarded at Newcastle and is thought to have been told he can leave for pastures new on loan to get him that competitive experience. With Roeder’s Newcastle links and our shortage of defenders, you put two and two together and without a doubt come out with four.

Do I believe it? Well, we’ll wait and see. Kadar is highly rated, and by the sounds of it, would cope well with Championship football. However, I for one would much rather have Jack Cork from Chelsea on loan, as his experience of Championship life with Scunthorpe last season would put him in very good stead for this season – and he is known to be someone Chelsea are willing to sell. Get him in, get him enjoying life at Norwich and sign him up – and in Cork, you’d get a young, very potentially talented defender who will be an integral part of Norwich City for years to come.

But that’s just my opinion 🙂

Peter Thompson on his way to Norwich?

Reports this morning are linking rated Northern Irish international Peter Thompson with an impending move to Carrow Road.

Thompson, who has scored an exceptionally impressive 152 goals in 234 appearences for Irish Premier League side, Linfield has been linked on and off with moves to teams in England and Scotland for a few months now and his latest suitors, Stockport County, looked set to seal a deal. However, it’s believed by the Belfast Newsletter that Norwich have joined the race and could well have scuppered County’s hopes for the deal.

Whether Thompson could convert his impressive strike rate to a higher level is debateable – however, with Reading’s Kevin Doyle showing that players can make the step up surely someone with such an impressive strike rate is worth taking a chance on in a team where goals seem to be at a premium?

We can only wait and see!

 

 

In truth, not an awful lot has happened…

You may well have noticed not an awful lot is happening on this site. Mostly because I didn’t want to comment on the Peter Cullum situation. There’s plenty of talk about that all over the internet (my personal opinion is for a balanced view, read MyFootballWriter’s view of the situation). So…

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Until and unless someone actually buys the club, you will not find any talk of investment here!

So, on to the catch up!

Ryan Bertrand has signed back on loan from Chelsea – a good signing, without a doubt. Apparently, with Bertrand’s success here at Carrow Road last season, he had attracted a large number of admirers, including Coventry and Watford. That he has chosen to return here is, in everyone’s eyes, a real boost.

Other than that, we have actually not signed a single soul! I’m sure some, if not most, are concerned by this lack of transfer activity. Truth be told, I’m not. I know Roeder knows exactly what we need – and if he fails to get that, then he and the board are the ones to blame.

Even rumours have been scarce, to say the least. In the time I have been away, the only concrete rumours we have involve Fulham’s experienced centre half Dejan Stefanovic. While he would be a class signing, at 33 he is a player coming to the end of his career. Still, with our lack of finances, he represents a solid option that I hope Roeder follows up on.