How do you assess Norwich’s start to the season so far?
I think we’ve had a great start to the season. With the halfway stage approaching we’re still around the middle of the table plus we’ve had some memorable wins against the likes of Man United and Arsenal which will live long in the memory of most fans.
Chris Hughton seems to be enjoying his time in East Anglia. Do you think he’s adequately filled Lambert’s shoes?
Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood (assistant manager) have done an impressive job since they joined in the summer. A number of fans were concerned following Lambert’s departure and some thought that we might have gone for the cheap option with Chris and I think most were worried after losing 5-0 to Fulham on the first day of the season but we’ve improved steadily and have been in great form in November and December. So far he has been great and he’s improved on most areas from last season especially in defence and the signings in the summer have all played their part.
You mentioned signings; you signed a number of players in the summer. How do rate their start to life at Carrow Road?
I think there were worries about Bassong when he was signed but he’s impressed in defence and also popped up with a number of crucial goals. Whittaker has been solid and has scored a few. Alexander Tettey, our Ghanaian born Norwegian has been solid in the middle and so has Garrido at left back. I didn’t rate Garrido before but now looks settled at the club. For me, we look like we have a good squad with a lot of cover for the first time in a while.
Grant Holt had a great first season in the Premier League last year. How do you think he’s coped this season?
He’s had a quieter season but has some scored a few goals including the winner against Arsenal. He’s a good player but I think his talk of England has distracted him a bit. He needs to concentrate on his game more and if he’s scoring the goals then he’ll get picked for England. Some fans would’ve liked to see us cash in on him in the summer but I’m glad we didn’t.
John Ruddy has been included in recent England squads. Do you this is deserved?
I know I’m biased but I think he’s definitely one of the top three in England. He is prone to make errors and has given away a few penalties this season but most ‘keepers do to be honest. For me he’s a great ‘keeper.
You seem to be well served in goalkeeping position?
We signed Mark Bunn in the summer form Blackburn Rovers to offer a bit more competition for Ruddy. He’s been forced to play a few times so far this season because of injury and looks competent enough. We’ve also got a couple of youngsters coming through in Declan Rudd and Jed Steer.
Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Norwich’s first XI?
Snodgrass and Pilkington (below) are both dangerous and know where the goal is. Grant Holt has been quieter this year but equally on his day can cause defences all kinds of problems.
What’s your opinion of West Ham this season?
I’ve been impressed with West Ham especially after our goalless draw in September. You look hard to break down and your defence looks good. I think Winston Reid has been immense this season and if he continues this form I can see him going to one of the top four teams. I do worry that without Carroll you don’t have the firepower up front as I’ve never rated Carlton Cole. You also seem to have a lot of injuries at the moment which could help us.
Which West Ham players would you have in your squad?
I think Winston Reid would add quality to our squad and I’ve always liked James Tomkins although I’ve seen he isn’t playing much at the moment. Diame looks a good player and as much as it pains me to say I’d quite like Kevin Nolan in the Norwich team!
What’s your prediction for both clubs this season?
I think we’ll end up 9th, you’ll finish 12th