The last decade was one marred by inconsistency for the Canaries. It was a tale of promotion to the Premier League and relegation to the Championship shortly after. However, Norwich City have seen quality in abundance at Carrow Road, making for an exciting team of the decade.
Norwich City Team of the Decade
Goalkeeper: John Ruddy
A stalwart of Carrow Road, Ruddy had a magnificent seven-year spell with Norwich City.
The now-Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper joined the Canaries in 2010, for a fee of £250,000. During his first year with the club he helped them earn promotion to the Premier League, keeping ten clean sheets in the process.
Throughout his time with the club, he was the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper and proved tough to displace. He made 243 appearances across his tenure, and became much-loved by the fans in the process.
Right-Back: Max Aarons
While it is still only early days in his career, Max Aarons has shown immeasurable quality and potential in his time with the club so far.
Current manager Daniel Farke put his faith in the youngster, as Norwich returned to the Premier League as champions. He made 43 appearances in his debut season, registering six assists from right-back.
As the Canaries returned to the top-flight, many questioned how their young side would cope. So far this season – before the Covid-19 pandemic caused a suspension of all games – Aarons showed that he is one of the best young full-backs in the division.
Centre-Back: Russell Martin
Another player who was a mainstay in the side for the Canaries during his time with the club.
Russell Martin made the move to Norfolk permanently in January 2010, following an initial loan spell. He proved to be an outstanding acquisition, making 308 appearances for the club before departing in 2018.
The Scotsman was a rock at the heart of defence in his eight-and-a-half-years at Carrow Road. He wore his heart on his sleeve throughout and portrayed immense passion for the side he captained.
Centre-Back: Sebastien Bassong
Choosing who to partner Martin has proved to be a difficult decision, as there was no standout option. As a result, the former Tottenham defender and 2012/13 Player of the Year has been selected.
Bassong joined the Canaries in 2012 and would enjoy five years with the club. A charismatic and bold defender, the Cameroonian would also put his body on the line when needed to.
Left-Back: Jamal Lewis
The 22-year-old is held in a similar regard to his team-mate Aarons, and is likely to depart should Norwich be relegated at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
Jamal Lewis broke into the first-team a year earlier than his team-mate on the opposite flank. He made 24 appearances during the 2017/18 campaign, and he did enough to make the left-back spot his own the following season.
Lewis has also acclimatised to the surroundings of the Premier League superbly. Like Aarons, it is his consistent performances that have seen earn interest from those higher up the Premier League table.
Defensive Midfield: Alexander Tettey
The Norwegian midfielder is into his eighth season with the club and has been a superb player to call upon when needed.
Tettey is excellent in the holding midfield role. He breaks up play, is not afraid of doing others dirty work and has an excellent eye for a pass.
Much like many other members of this side, Tettey’s loyalty has helped become a fan’s favourite in Norfolk.
Attacking Midfield: Wes Hoolahan
Another legend of the club. Ten of the Irishman’s current 18-year career was spent at Carrow Road.
Wes Hoolahan joined the club in 2008, but was on the receiving end of relegation during his first season with the club. However, 11 goals and 13 assists helped them return to the Championship at the first attempt.
He did not stop impressing either. Loved for his clever presence on the ball, Hoolahan established himself as one of the most underrated players in the top two divisions.
Right Wing: Emi Buendia
There were several contenders for this spot, paying testament to Norwich’s academy and scouting system. However, it is the diminutive Argentinian who claims the right wing spot.
Buendia joined in the summer of 2018 from Cultural Leonesa in Spain. Fans were unsure whether he would be able to make the step up, with the physicality of the Championship being a cause for concern.
The 23-year-old, however, would prove those fans wrong. He would go on to score eight times, as well as providing 16 goals for his team-mates, as he helped his side earn promotion back to the Premier League.
Left Wing: James Maddison
James Maddison’s one full season with the club is what helped him rise to the prominent throne that he sits in now.
Arguably, it was the best single-season by a Norwich City player in the decade. Teemu Pukki’s goal-laden season was astonishing in its own right, but Maddison’s was more rounded at the edges.
Aged just 20 at the beginning of the season, he registered 15 goals and 11 assists in 49 appearances. An average one goal in every three games and one assist in every four is a sensational record. His quick feet and silky movement is what has earned him a place in this side.
Striker: Grant Holt
For three years in a row, as Norwich bounced through the divisions in succession, Grant Holt could not be stopped; he was firing on all cylinders. The old-fashioned targetman registered double figures in three of his four seasons with the club.
Having signed from Shrewsbury, he helped the club return to the Championship by scoring 24 goals in 39 appearances in the 2009/10. Holt then reached the 20-mark once more, scoring 21 times as the Canaries sealed back-to-back promotions. Embarking on his first season in the Premier League, he then scored 15 goals to help Paul Lambert’s side earn a 12th placed finish.
Feared for his strength and ability to hold up the ball, Holt was the ultimate modern targetman.
Striker: Teemu Pukki
If you scored 30 goals in one season, you have to be in the team of the decade.
Pukki arrived at Carrow Road on a free transfer in 2018, and was initially the club’s second-choice striker, playing alongside Jordan Rhodes. However, that soon changed.
Daniel Farke’s decision to move the Finland international into the lone-striker role proved to be a stroke of genius. After scoring five goals in the first 12 games of the season, the 30-year-old scored 24 goals in the remaining 34 games of the season.
There were doubts as to how he would perform in the Premier League, having never played at such a high level before. However, 11 goals shows that he is more than competent in the top-flight.
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