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Johan Elmander joins Norwich City’s attacking revolution

Aug 21, 2013, 1:52 PM EDT

FBL-WC2014-GER-SWE Getty Images

Norwich City targeted one area to strengthen over the summer… and they’ve certainly done that.

On Wednesday Canaries manager Chris Hughton added a third new striker to his group, with Swedish international forward Johan Elmander joining from Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Elmander, 32, will spend the season at Norwich and joins new forwards Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper at Carrow Road. Van Wolfswinkel joined from Sporting Lisbon for $14 million, while Hooper arrived from Celtic in a $7.5 million deal.

They’re changing their identity and by adding Elmander on a season long-loan, perhaps an adventurous three-pronged attack will be seen from the Canaries this campaign.

(MORE: Norwich City 2 – Everton 2; Canaries, Toffees draw in pulsating clash – Video)

Elmander impressed during his first-spell in the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers, scoring 12 goals in 45 games in the 2010-11 season and scoring 22 goals in 108 games total with the Trotters. He mostly played in a wide-role.

However after a good season at Bolton, Elmander signed a lucrative deal with Istanbul-based Galatasaray. His return to the Premier League will be mainly in a supporting role, but Norwich are now building strength in-depth up front.

It’s in complete contrast to last season, when either Grant Holt or loanee Kei Kamara lead the line. With those two bruising forwards gone, now van Wolfswinkel and Hooper will be the main men in Norwich’s attack.

But will we see all-out attack from Hughton’s men? It’s never been his way over the course of his managerial career. With Newcastle they were solid and ground out plenty of 1-0 wins, thanks largely to Andy Carroll headers, in gaining promotion to England’s top-flight in 2009-10.

And at Birmingham City Hughton built a team that was well-organized and full of grit and determination. The long-time Tottenham Hotspur assistant coach developed that same mentality at Norwich last time out with the Canaries drawing 15 PL games, the second highest in the league.

However the main issue was scoring goals, as City scored just 41 times in 38 games for the third worst offense in the league. Only Stoke and struggling QPR failed to hit the back of the onion bag less.

In Saturday’s season-opening 2-2 tie with Everton, Norwich looked sharp and opportunistic going forward and a change in philosophy is occuring at Carrow Road.

It’s certainly a gamble to go from mid-table safety to the top 10 playing attacking soccer, but Norwich are willing to take it. Elmander, van Wolfswinkel and Hooper are the heartbeat of a new-look side.

Let’s hope the goals keep flowing, for Hughton’s sake.

  1. 77cjh77 - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    “They’re changing their identity and by adding Elmander on a season long-loan, perhaps an adventurous three-pronged attack will be seen from the Canaries this campaign.”

    or, perhaps, they need some cover if rvw or hooper go down. why would you want a three-pronged attack consisting of 3 almost identical players. they’re all strong, good in the air, and play through the center. you don’t field 3 players like that unless you’re desperately trying to get a result at the end of a game and are just bombing the ball forward every time. elmander can play out wide if required, but his preferred role has always been through the center and, at 32, he’s lost some of the pace required to be successful out wide

  2. jackalope78 - Aug 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    A pronged attack is very unlikely. Elmander will play wide or in the AM to feed RvW and Hooper. Good signing.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      We will find out over the coming weeks.

      One thing is for certain, Norwich look a lot more exciting than they did last season.

      • jackalope78 - Aug 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        Did you see Elmander against Bury last night? We may indeed get some excitement from Norwich this year. Very optimistic.

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