Madders – View from Norwich

Following on from the Danny Ward article, today we feature the views of Robin Sainty, Chairman of the Canaries Trust, on James Maddison who we hope may be the solution to the No.10 role in our current preferred formation

“When James Maddison was signed by from Coventry in the closing minutes of the January 2016 transfer window he was a totally unknown quantity to Norwich City fans.

We soon learned that we had snatched him from under the nose of Spurs, but I think the general consensus was that he was a young kid with promise who might come good in time, and that view was reinforced when he was immediately loaned back to Coventry for the rest of the season, then to Aberdeen for the first half of the next one.

It was there that his reputation started to grow, but on his return to City he was largely ignored by Alex Neil until he was finally given a debut as a substitute in a 3-1 win at Preston, a game which also saw his maiden goal for the club.

However, with Neil sacked Maddison’s fortunes changed under the new Head Coach Daniel Farke and he was to be virtually ever present throughout the 2017/18 season as his pivotal role in Norwich’s midfield role developed.

Although it was obvious that he had massive self confidence and a mesmeric ability to keep possession under pressure I think most of us expected that his age would mean inconsistency, but in fact his performances not only increased in quality but maintained those new levels, and his ability to come up with goals both from set pieces and open play soon made him one of his goal shy team’s main attacking threats, ending the season with 15 goals.

It was obvious that he was destined for great things on the pitch, and an England Under 21 cap soon followed, but his off-field activities produced a bond with City fans which will never be broken, and which goes a long way to explain the universal outpouring of affection when he left.

James was always happy to donate to good causes or help to publicise them, but his nature was best exemplified when a long-standing City fan passed away and a minute’s applause was arranged during a home game. Not only did James contact and offer help to the bereaved’s family, but also joined in the applause during a break in play.

It will be interesting to see how he adapts to life in the Premier League where he is likely to get more time on the ball, but will not, at least initially, be the dominant personality he was at Norwich. One thing I can be sure of is that it won’t phase him in the slightest.”

To read the latest from the Canaries Trust, follow this link