The Norwich City manager could be about to oversee the club's best season in many years.
I have always thought Chris Hughton would be a good neighbour. He struck me as being a genuinely nice bloke. But in recent times he has also become a mightily impressive football manager.
When he first took over from Paul Lambert at Norwich City I had my doubts. Replacing a headstrong Scotsman with a polite bloke from Forest Gate seemed too much of a risk. And no wins from the Canaries’ first five games last season wasn’t about to prove me wrong.
And yet that ultimately changed, and Hughton’s spending this summer has been among the most impressive I have seen from any club for many years.
Now we have all got over the school-boy-hilarity induced by Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s name, the simple fact is he is a natural goal-scorer who – along with Gary Hooper – could propel the Norwich to the next level.
I have predicted they will finish eighth this season. I think their first 11 is now among the best in the Premier League. But what can we expect from Hughton during the next eight months?
I believe he will quietly inspire Norwich to their best finish in many a year, and that Leroy Fer and Nathan Redmond will prove to be two of the signings of the summer…and two of the club’s stars of the future.
As ever, the boss will achieve this with no fanfare. He will simply do it because it is his job. And while some managers shout from the rooftops even when they have nothing to shout about, Hughton will talk only when necessary.
Sometimes you see legacies being built before your eyes. That is now the case for Norwich and their fans.
With top flight stability comes the possibility to build something truly great. Hughton has the faith of the club and its owners to do just that, and I can’t see him letting them down.
And in years to come, who knows…maybe they will return to Europe, if not to Munich then to another club who would be foolish to underestimate them.
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