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"We do not buy superstars, we make them." Arsene Wenger

Friday, 12 August 2011

Cesc waves goodbye

The Cesc Fabregas saga is eventually over as it looks like Barcelona have done enough to re-unite themselves with the 24 year old. I for one am not disappointed about him leaving, he never really looked committed at the end of last year and with his regular hamstring injuries, i think it's good business for Arsenal. Yes he was our captain but i think the time is right for him to go. What this does mean is Arsene Wenger now has an additional £35M in the transfer kitty which I expect him to spend fully. Another positive of the move is that it allows Ramsey a full-time role in the squad and i look forward to him and Wilshere playing together this season. I just hope neither gets injured (fingers crossed).
Unfortunately we now only have around two weeks to find a suitable addition to the squad. In January we could lose both Song and Frimpong to the African Cup of Nations. What's more Denilson has gone on loan so a new central midfielder is necessary, the only question is who?
I've done a bit of scouting (on FIFA it has to be said) and have found a possible shortlist for this role. They aren't the biggest of names as I cant see Wenger going for someone worth more than £20M.
I start with the most obvious, Juan Mata. I think we all know enough about him already, yet i think this is unlikely. Valencia set a deadline and we failed to meet it so now the price has risen so although many want him at Arsenal, it might take a larger amount of money than expected.
Now for my list. On it I have: Javi Garcia, Biglia, Kuzmanovic, Asamoah, Honda and Parker.
I start with the oldest, Scott Parker. He may be a loyal Hammer but I would like to see a loan deal. This would mean that should West Ham be promoted they would still have their captain and he wouldn't need much change as both are London clubs. He has great experience and being the FWA footballer of the year, last season should be playing in the premier league.
I would not just get Parker, I would get a second midfielder, maybe Biglia. He has been rumoured with the club and really needs to move away from Anderlecht if he wants to add to his 6 caps for Argentina. Or maybe we could get Javi Garcia. A former Real Madrid player, the Spanish player who has already won three trophies at Benfica in two seasons would be a good addition. If not them how about Kuzmanovic? It seems this guy has been around for years, making his debut for Basel in 2005 at just 17. He then went on to make nearly 20 appearances that season so is probably one of the most experienced players I've mentioned.
From a different part of the world is Honda. He came to fame in the World Cup and despite being a more attacking player, he could still play centrally. A fact here about the Japanese player. He started his career at Nagoya Grampus which is the same club Arsene Wenger managed before Arsenal so maybe there could be some strange link. Finally from a different part of the world again, Kwadwo Asamoah. As much as I am a fan, he wouldn't be top of the list due to the ACON but still he has a great long shot and is still only 22. What's more we can even scout him for free on the 16th when we play Udinese.
That's all my options. I haven't commented on Jadson but I am aware he's an option. Still, i think we can all agree that we need at least one midfielder. I would like to see Nasri sign a new deal because then we avoid the hassle of signing another replacement. If he did stay, we could switch him to a central position then buy another striker like Rodallega.

Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment either below or on twitter. My name is @davidarsenal95

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Cesc Fabregas Saga

Is it just me or are the majority of Arsenal fans fed up of Barcelona being linked with Fabregas without bothering to put a serious bid in? It happens every summer and will continue to do so until they finally get their man.
There are many reasons why Barcelona won't buy Cesc, the main one being Barcelona's financial problems. It's rumoured that the Spanish giants have around £40million in the kitty and if Pep Guardiola wants more, he has to raise it from sales. However I can't see them selling that many players so realistically they will have maximum transfer funds of about £50-£60million. But there's more problems their side of the deal. The first is that they want to buy Sanchez from Udinese. They have to compete against Man City for the Chilean winger and currently the price on his head is around £40million which is probably double what he's actually worth. If they succeed in this signing, they would be likely to miss out on Fabregas due to a lack of money. The second problem caused by themselves is that they are unwilling to offer more than £35million. That is a very low valuation for someone who, in just 303 appearances for Arsenal has 100 assists and 57 goals. Just in the league alone last season, Fabregas had 3 goals and 14 assists in just 25 games. That's an average of 1 assist every 1.8 games and that's considering Arsenal don't score nearly as much as Barcelona do. That is very good reading yet Barcelona don't think Fabregas has improved since last year. Did they watch the World Cup? In extra time, Iniesta scored the winner thanks to a pass from none other than Cesc Fabregas which meant the Spanish won the World Cup. In 10, 20 or 30 years time, when Spanish people re-live that great moment they will see Fabregas setting up the goal which gave his country the World Cup. Purely for this, the Catalan club should stop embarrassing themselves with offers below what Cesc is worth.
Time for a little comparison, what does £35million actually buy you in football? Well, I start with Alex Hleb. At 28, Barcelona snapped him up for 17million euros. A lot of money for someone that only started 5 La Liga games. Alternatively there was Andy Carroll, bought for £35million. So, on that basis, he is worth the same as Cesc Fabregas. I don't think so. Or maybe Torres who, for a fee of £50million scored 1 goal in 14 games and that was against the worst team in the division, West Ham. Also, there's the £20million for Henderson, who didn't even impress at the U21 European championship or £16million for Phil Jones who will sit on Manchester United's bench. Finally, for the same price, Lazio bought Hernan Crespo some 11 years ago. So for Barcelona to say Fabregas is worth no more than £35million, it's ludicrous.
If Barcelona eventually stump up around £45million for Fabregas, there is still a large obstacle in the way. This is Arsene Wenger. He has built the Arsenal team around Fabregas so to let it all go down the pan for nothing, would be unthinkable. Should his reluctance to let our captain go finally give in then it would have to be on his terms. 
Arsenal have the upper hand in this deal as we don't need the money, nor do we need to get rid of one of our finest. Barcelona, on the other hand, want Fabregas for Xavi's replacement and feel the best man for that job is one of their youth players. Fabregas has a lot of respect for Arsene and I'm sure he will want to repay him in the form of silverware. There's still 3 years left on his contract but should Arsene feel it's time to bid farewell, it would have to be a serious offer and early in the summer to allow plenty of time to find a replacement.
The press won't give up on this story however and so we will have to accept the rumours and believe that Wenger has the final say.

To end with, I would like to tell you about Yahoo's take on this. They heard Barcelona are banning colour photocopying and firing security guards. However they said this was done to raise funds for Fabregas. An extra couple of grand isn't going to change our mind.

Pictures courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Monday, 20 June 2011

2011/2012 Fixture Review

The fixtures for next season were released today and so I'm going to analyse what months should be easy and those which could see Arsenal slip up. 

August   Games: 6
The first month definitely looks the hardest but part of this is down to the Champions League Qualifiers which are must win games. Just a week after our final pre-season friendly, we face Newcastle away. Now I should be thinking 3 points in the bag but after last season, I'm not to sure. Thankfully however, the Magpies will have no Andy Carroll to push defense and goalkeeper around or Kevin Nolan who was arguably their most creative player. Instead now we just have to watch Tiote and Barton as the only main threats and should we lead 4-0 again at half time, I'd expect the team to hold on this time. After that is the first leg qualifier for Europe. This may see the same squad that played Newcastle as this is a crucial game. I would like to see a very attacking outfit so we can get 4 or 5 goals, allowing the youngsters to play the second leg. If not then it would be likely that 14 players will play the majority of the first 5 games which also include Liverpool at home and a trip to Old Trafford. I'd be extremely happy if we got 9 points and got to the group stage of the Champions League but even so a draw to Man United would be great considering previous visits to their ground.
September   Games: 4/6
After an international break which is likely to see at least one Arsenal player injured, we welcome newly promoted Swansea to the Emirates. We need to use this fixture to show we mean business and also boost the goal difference. Next is hopefully the first group game in the Champions League followed by Blackburn away. This could be Samba returning to Ewood Park but nevertheless I predict a similar result to last season, just without the Van Persie injury. We end the month with the Carling Cup third round, a home game vs Bolton; which I can see a 2-0 win for the Gunners then game two in Europe. Much easier than August and we should see 9 points and hopefully plenty of goal.
October   Games: 4-6
The North London Derby (away) starts what looks to be another tricky month. Another international break precedes that, then it's Sunderland (H), game 3 in the CL, Stoke (H), a possible Carling Cup match and then finally Chelsea away. Prepare for anything in October as this is usually a month in which we struggle. Despite this, it's very balanced and a minimum of two wins would be upsetting.
November   Games: 3-6
On paper, one of the less challenging months. Two European games and maybe a quarter final in the Carling Cup are accompanied by league games against West Brom at home, a trip to Norwich then Fulham at the Emirates. We may have struggled against West Brom last season but we had Almunia in goal for both of them games. We also found it difficult against the Championship teams that we automatically promoted so that includes Norwich this year. Hopefully, we will be stronger this year and if we lose I will never hear the end of it as I live close to Norwich surrounded by Yellow and Green everywhere I go. There's no doubting that Paul Lambert will put up a fight and with 24,000 fans that treat Saturday as a religious day for football in Norfolk, it might need some class to win.
December   Games: 6/7
Another balanced month for the Gunners. An away game to Wigan shouldn't be too much of a problem but then again, we were saying that last season and the one before. Then it's the final champions league group game which is hopefully a meaningless game for the youngsters. Next it's three tough games against Everton, then trips to Mancini's blues and then to Villa Park. This said we could beat all three of those teams as long as Man City don't park the bus. Over the festive season it's a little easier with what will probably be two relegation strugglers; Wolves then QPR.
January   Games: 5-8
It remains simple for Wenger's team at the start of the new year; a trip to Fulham is followed by an FA cup round three match then a journey to Swansea. One week later, it gets a lot tougher with Man United visiting the Emirates. Despite this, we had a good home record last season, losing only to Tottenham, West Brom and Villa. We even beat United and Chelsea at the Emirates so we should no longer be afraid of the big teams.The month ends with a likely 4th round FA cup match and an away match against Bolton. There is also the possibility of two Carling Cup semi-finals should we reach that far in the competition. Overall a fairly manageable month with just one mid-week game, that being the Bolton match so plenty of recuperation time for the players.
February   Games: 3-5
February could see Arsenal play as little as 3 times providing we aren't in any cup competition (which I doubt). Therefore the month is more likely to see a couple more fixtures added. In the league, we face Blackburn, Sunderland and then Tottenham on Carling cup final weekend. We also play our first knockout game in the Champions league and a possible FA cup game.
March   Games: 5-7
As we get towards the end of the campaign, March could be vital in success. We start away to Liverpool who will be fighting for Europe. That's followed by a Champions League 2nd leg, the visit of Newcastle and then either Everton away or an FA cup quarter final. It continues, we then play Villa at home and possibly again in the Champions League. Finally, the Gunners end a tough month at Loftus road to new-boys QPR. Whether we have a successful season will largely swing on March. Win all our games and we will be in the semi-final of the FA cup, halfway into the same stage in Europe and also have a strong position in the table. On the hand, if this doesn't happen, the same questions will be asked.
April   Games: 5-8
The penultimate month is equally if not harder than the previous. A possible quarter-final second leg kicks the month off which is quickly preceded by a home match against Manchester City. Just two days later we travel to Wolves then return to play Wigan or go to Wembley for the FA cup semi final. What follows will be crunch time for Arsenal. Should we remain in the Champions League, we'd play twice in a week with Chelsea in the middle. Wenger would have a massive dilemma on his hand if this happened as he'd have to choose between league and cup then play a stronger team to co-inside with this. Finally, it's a trip to play rugby in Stoke. In terms of must-win, this is definitely the toughest month although the first team may be given rests for Wolves and Wigan to save some energy for the final sprint.
May   Games: 2/3
Eventually, the campaign will end with a game against Norwich then finally a trip to West Brom. Now, your final games are never the easiest in the year as everyone is fighting for something but you could ask for a lot harder so should we be top of the league, we would expect to remain at the top then celebrate into the night. I have to also add there is the Champions League final in Munich but I'm not going to be too greedy.

Thanks for ready. I know it was quite long so I will make sure my next post isn't an essay. If you would like to say anything about this then please mention me on twitter where my name is @davidarsenal95

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Positives

Now the season's over, I'm going to look at both the highs and lows of the year, starting with the positives. Obviously, if asked an Arsenal supporter to sum up the 2010/11 campaign in one word, it's unlikely to be 'good.' However there are still many things we can look back on and be proud to brag about.

I start with Jack Wilshere. What a name he has become. Some fans may have thought that putting him in the side against Liverpool on the opening day of the season could have been risky due to his age but they couldn't have been more wrong. Wilshere appeared in all but three Premier League games and even won man of the match against Barcelona at the Emirates. He is probably one of the first names on the team sheet now and shows that die hard English spirit that this team currently lacks. In the Carling Cup final, without Fabregas, he seemed to be the motivator in midfield and because of this, I would bet on him being a future Arsenal captain. Jack is skillful, a great passer and overall one of the biggest up-and-coming talents of the world. I think this is a good reason to congratulate the youth coaches at Arsenal and also Arsene Wenger who has put a lot of faith in our number 19. You'd have to think that had Wilshere played for Chelsea or Man City very few would know him but for once Wenger has shown that potential can turn into success.

The Carling Cup run is next which can be seen as a success in one way. Not the final itself, but getting there was an achievement. Tottenham in the third round looked a tricky tie yet the manager fielded a somewhat stronger side than usual (in this cup) and it finished 4-1. Roll on round four, another thrashing. This time it was Newcastle who got beat 4-0. After beating Wigan and then Ipswich in the semi final, Arsenal were drawn against Birmingham in the final. This game will be talked about in the negatives post but to reach a final was a step forward. It was our first final appearance since 2007 in the same competition and if you don't get to the final you can't win the cup so at least the players were given the opportunity to win something. Despite this, our record in the competition isn't the best and so we weren't victorious.

16th February 2011 will be remembered well by supporters of the club as the day we beat Barcelona! Never before had we achieved this, failing most recently in the Champions League the season before and in Paris. This would turn out to be the only defeat that Barcelona suffered in the competition and this result has shown that the Gunners can beat the best. This game also saw the Arsenal goal of the season (arsenal.com) when Van Persie shot from an almost impossible angle to beat Valdes at his near post. I think that had Walcott not been injured for the second leg and Van Persie not been stupidly sent off then Arsenal would have given Barcelona a run for their money. Walcott is very influential to playing the Spanish champions as they try to win the ball back in the oppositions half asap. With Theo, you can chip it over the defence and let run at goal, either scoring or just allowing the defence to push up. If we'd beaten Barcelona 
then we would have definitely beaten Shakhtar in the next round. This would've put us in the semi-final which is a great success for any team. Not only did we beat Barcelona for the first time but we also came victorious against Man United and Chelsea after a poor run of games against both teams showing that we no longer fear the bigger teams.

Another good point about the season is that we had the best away record in the league scoring the most goals (39). This includes 3 against Man City and Tottenham. We also got 4 goals at Villa Park and St James Park. Our biggest results were 6-0 against Blackpool, 5-0 vs Leyton Orient as well as 11 past Shakhtar and Braga at the Emirates. A huge thank you has to go to Van Persie for this because despite an injury he still bagged 18 league goals. Nasri chipped in with 10 and Walcott also added 9 goals for himself. These players need to remain at the Emirates next year, and with a better defensive record, the red side of north London could be celebrating.

Finally I will mention players such as Szczesny, Miquel and Henderson who made their debuts this year so hopefully can only get better. 
I will end with some statistics. I hope you enjoyed reading this, stay posted for (unfortunately) the negatives of the year.
  • Johan Djourou had the second best pass accuracy with 90.1%, just 0.1% behind Scholes
  • Denilson made the most touches in a single Premier League game - 142 away to Wigan
  • Arsenal hit the woodwork the most times with 22
  • Jens Lehmann made his 200th appearance for Arsenal becoming the oldest player to feature for the Gunners
  • Cesc Fabregas made it to 300 games against Blackpool
  • Robin Van Persie scored his first career hattrick against Wigan in January 

 Pictures courtesy of arsenal.com

Monday, 16 May 2011

Arsenal vs Aston Villa

4 trophies? More like 4th place.

Thomas Vermaelen finally recovered from an injury to make his first start since September. Unfortunately this is about as good as the news gets for the Arsenal faithful. A host of injuries saw Squillaci in the starting eleven, on the bench were youngsters Miquel and Henderson.
The Gunners were slow to start and after 11 minutes they were punished. Arsenal were pushing up after a corner but Darren Bent, who was on the shoulder of Squillaci, controlled brilliantly then put Villa 1-0 up.
4 minutes later, the same player doubled the away sides lead in similar fashion. It was Sagna this time trying to play offside but Bent was there again to slot it underneath Szczesny. This was Aston Villas second shot, both resulting in goals.
On the half-hour mark, Arsenal had a definite penalty turned down. Wilshere with a superb ball to Ramsey who went to pull the trigger, only for Dunne to stop him making contact with the ball. The defender didn't make any contact with the ball yet Michael Oliver gave a goal kick. Had it been given Dunne would have seen red and you'd count on Van Persie to score for 12 yards out. This sparked a come back for Arsenal who were having all the attempts. The post kept it 2-0, Van Persie denied what would've been a fantastic goal.
Referee howler number two came on the stroke of half-time. Van Persie turned Dunne who had tried to get to the ball before him. The Dutchman then passed to Ramsey who was halted by the whistle as Oliver felt Van Persie had fouled Dunne. Shock for everyone with this decision as the Villa centre half ran into Van Persie.
Haft-time and the boos began from frustrated fans. Arsene Wenger's side should have had at least a goal but their poor start and terrible refereeing meant they went into the break trailing by 2 goals to nil.
Arsene's answer to this was Chamakh on for Squillaci. 4-4-2 was adopted and Song dropped into defence.
The second half was all the Gunners however they failed to really test Friedel so on came Bendtner for the once again disappointing Arshavin.
Arsenal continued to dominate the possession but made little with it.  A rare attack from Villa needed two saves from Szczesny and two minutes later, the ball was in the net. Chamakh had scored his first goal since March only for mistake number three by the official who claimed the Moroccan pushed the defender to reach the ball.
Shot after shot after shot, none managed to cross the line until the 89th minute when Van Persie scored his 21st goal of a season limited by injury. What a player he is but his goal was a mere consolation as it finished 2-1 to Aston Villa. Arsenal's third defeat in four games.

Part of the blame has to be on Wenger who has stuck to 4-5-1/4-3-3 all season, only to change to a more attacking formation later on in games. Even when we tried to get a goal back, he brought Bendtner on as a left winger. I'm sure, like me the majority of fans are frustrated with Bendtner but wrongly so. His goal record is impressive considering his abuse and if he was deployed as a target man, he'd definitely score more goals this term. Secondly, he tried to play offside to a team with Darren Bent in it. By the way can I add, I'd love to see the English striker at Arsenal. Anyway Bent is one who plays on the shoulder so fail to catch him offside leaves him one on one with the keeper which ultimatley happened twice in the game and we lost because of it.

The final home game of the campaign is usually a day of celebration. Not this year. All players did a lap of the pitch for those supporters that remained after the game. All fans know that should Man City win on Tuesday, they will go above us with one game left. 4th obviously isn't a disaster, it just means two extra games in August to qualify for the Champions League. Yes, it would be an inconvenience to qualify for the Champions League but you'd expect them to win without too much trouble against a Benfica side or Rubin Kazan which could await us. Still, we can always hope that Man City lose 1 of their final games so we go straight into the group stage. Yet I cannot see this. 

We can finish this season with a maximum of 70 points which will be our lowest total in since 2007. We are currently 10 behind Man United and went out of the Champions League in the first knock-out round. I think this maybe enough evidence to suggest the team needs improving and by improving I mean players of the same quality as Nasri and Vermaelen not Denilson and Squillaci. Having said that it i'd be slightly surprised if Wenger went for £20 million signings. Still we hope which seems to be the only word Arsenal fans can use when descibing our beloved team.

Pictures courtesy of skysports.com

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Euro U21's - 40 man squad

Stuart Pearce named the 40 man provisional squad to travel to Denmark in the summer. The list is set to be reduced to 23 by June 1st but the list does surprise somewhat.
Has 'Psycho' made  the right choice?
Despite their managers opposing the decision, Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll are the two biggest names on the list. If the 2010 World Cup wasn't enough evidence to suggest that players find it hard to compete at the top level without a summer break then I don't know what is. At Arsenal alone, you only have to look at Bendtner or Fabregas to see that the tournament has caused a decrease in form and an absent due to fitness. The biggest risk to these players are a burn-out which Wenger has said will see Jack Wilshere to miss the start of next season. Also there's injuries. One word to back this up is 'Vermaelen'. He went on international duty in September and has only just returned. How would Dalglish or Wenger feel if their player was ruled out for eight months? Not very happy to say the least. 

Four other players on the list to also have been capped by the senior side are Welbeck, Micah Richards, Gibbs and Jordan Henderson. Personally I think that all international players should choose between the seniors and U21's. I know that these players want to play for their country but in 10 years time, nobody is going to think "ah yes Jack Wilshere, England captain with 87 caps...oh and he played 13 times for the U21's." That just isn't going to happen. Wilshere is already a big name in football and so the chance should go to someone else who could see the tournament as the start of his career.
I know Pearce wants the best for the future of England but the only effect the championship will have on first team players like Wilshere is a negative one. Surely playing someone like McEachran could see his beginning of his professional career.

Other players on the list include: Phil Jones, Mancienne, Smalling, Albrighton, Cleverly, Lansbury, Muamba, Rodwell, Sturridge, Wickham. Most of them players, like all the others not mentions, will not be missed by their respective clubs. For example at Man United, there's Ferdinand and and Vidic ahead of Smalling and I'm sure Chelsea won't miss Sturridge. That list will, however also annoy some other clubs that may disagree with the list. Ipswich will begin their season in early August so if England reach the final on June 25th, Wickham would need 4-6 weeks rest, then additional time to get match fitness back up so he could end up missing 4-5 games. This is the case for some of the championship clubs who could be without key men for the first few fixtures of the new campaign.

Should Wilshere go?
I suggest that, after requesting Stuart Pearce to rethink his player selection, managers who are affected like Wenger have a long talk with their future talents. Jack Wilshere regards Wenger as one of the most influential people in his life as a footballer so if Arsene approached him then he would definitely listen. Because he is only 19, he is also eligible to play in the U21 World Cup in 2013. Add onto that the Euro 2012 tournament and 2014 World Cup in Brazil you could be looking at 4 consecutive summers without rest for the Arsenal midfielder. That, for a footballer is unbearable. He may be young but he has struggled recently through tiredness so to add 6 competitive games to what has already been an energy sapping year for him is ludicrous.
These players need to think about the close future before thinking about getting on that plane to Denmark. For some, it will be the month of their lives but for others who are already in Fabio Capello's plans for the future, it is just a massive risk. The U21 Euros are the Carling Cup of international football and who remembers the winners of Carling Cups from a few years ago? Not many I expect. Yet if I asked who won the 1998 World Cup, many of you are already thinking France. My advice then is think hard, there's the Euros next year; save yourself for then. Extra advice for Carroll and Wilshere are that Liverpool will be wanting top 4 next year, Arsenal a trophy. Could they do that without them players?

All that aside I hope England do well in the tournament and their success is transferred into the senior side.

Pictures courtesy of wikipedia.org

Welcome back, Norwich City

Norwich City knew that if they won their last two games they would gain automatic promotion into the premier league. Once Cardiff lost 3-0 to Middlesbrough, all that was needed was a win against 16th place Portsmouth. As the final whistle blew, the whole of Norfolk was celebrating as their side was returning to the top flight of English football since 2005. 

As loyal Norwich fans filled the away section of Fratton Park, they would have been very happy hearing the news that Cardiff suffered a terrible blow to their chances of finishing 2nd and so three points would see them going up. The players would have also heard this news as just a few minutes in a free kick which found Whitbred at the back post see his header just wide. Another good chance came from another set piece. This time it was Elliot Ward trying to direct the ball into the top corner, only to see it go the wrong side of the post. The Canaries were playing with the determination to win and after a half time the deadlock was broken. Just a couple of minutes after Jackson failed to score when 1 on 1, a brilliant cross from Fox saw the Canadian to nod home what was to be the winner. Portsmouth then came back into the game but they failed to test Ruddy in the Norwich goal. Then, after a nail biting 4 minutes of added time, the celebrations began. Norwich are back in the Premier League!

A few fans rushed onto the pitch to party with the players. Delia was over the moon and so was Paul Lambert who somewhat surprised after a second straight promotion. Police did their best to avoid a pitch invasion but it wasn't enough. Large numbers of fans surrounded the team as they danced into the dressing room.  The Canaries manager described this memorable night as miracle. He told sky sports that 
     "I never thought this was going to happen. To come from League One and to do it back-to-back,     
      honestly it's a miracle that it's happened. They've given everything that is possibly in their body and 
      they've been an absolute credit to the football club."
Norwich City deserve this and to have a manager like Paul Lambert is great for the club. He sets a winning mentality into the players minds, making them think they can beat anyone. Next season's Premier League will be interesting with the yellows included.

With promotion comes the money and so with Lambert having £30million of that to spend, can they stay up?
There's no doubt that they will believe they can stay up however summer signings may be key in their survival.
This is their current starting 11.
Ruddy, Martin, Ward, Whitbred, Tierney, Fox, Crofts, Surman, Hoolahan, Holt, Jackson.
Now is that strong enough? Well lets see who the club have been linked with and would they help?

Paul Konchesky-the Liverpool left back is unlikely to be in Dalglish's plans so a move away from Anfield is likely. Whether he wants to go to Norwich is the main question although his experience would be of aid for the club.
Ian Evatt-The Blackpool defender's contract has only 1 year remaining and if the tangerines get relegated he could want a move.
Ashley Williams-The 26 year old Swansea defender has been linked with the club already and having played 24 times for Wales, this would be a good signing which may become easier is Swansea fail to win the play-offs
Henri Lansbury-Currently at the club on loan, Wenger may feel a loan move to a premier league club will help the midfielder gain crucial experience.
Dani Pacheco-Another loanee who may see his stay at the club. He's only played 5 times for Norwich but like Lansbury, Dalglish will feel there's a better chance of playing under Lambert.
West Ham Players-With relegation looming for the hammers, their biggest names are likely to remain in the Premier League with other clubs.The most likely player to move up north is Rob Green, a former canary. He could be purchased by Lambert to try and lower the amount of goals they could concede. Benni McCarthy is another player who is a free agent after being released by the club. At 33, the striker has great experience with can be very useful when fighting at the bottom of the league.

I also expect the Canaries to look at other loan signings as there are many young stars who are unable to get game time at their current clubs but if you like highly unlikely rumours then how about Michael Owen. The former Real Madrid striker is rumoured with a move to Norwich but I think there's more chance of Messi signing. Although a problem will arise for Norwich City when they try to sign players. This problem is that not many people have heard of Norwich, all a player will know is that they just got promoted to the Premier League. Therefore if the club face competition from other top flight teams, they are likely to lose out. This means if they want players with years of experience in the league they will have to be the sole bidder. If not it may have to be top Championship players for Lambert and the Canaries.

Norwich will give the Premier League a real go and with Paul Lambert as their manager I can see them avoiding a drop back into the Championship. 

Pictures courtesy of skysports.com