Gary O’Neil can be Norwich City’s man for all seasons

Gary O'Neil's versatility is a big plus for Norwich City boss Neil Adams. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. Gary O'Neil's versatility is a big plus for Norwich City boss Neil Adams. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
7:00 AM

Neil Adams has labelled Norwich City’s new midfielder Gary O’Neil as his man for all seasons after becoming his third summer signing.

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The Canaries headed off interest from a number of Championship rivals to secure O’Neil’s services on a two-year contract following his release from QPR.

O’Neil joins Lewis Grabban and Kyle Lafferty as the fresh faces in Adams’ plans for the Championship assault, although the 31-year-old is suspended for Sunday’s Championship opener at Wolves after a red card in his final Rangers’ appearance in the play-off final win over Derby.

Adams is in no doubts he will prove his worth and confirmed City were well aware O’Neil would miss the Molineux trip after his Wembley dismissal. “It was a professional foul, we checked that out and straight reds are usually three games for violent conduct but it’s just one game for a professional,” he said. “When someone like that becomes available you jump in quickly.

“We know with a Gary O’Neil playing to the potential he has got he is going to be more than capable of playing in this league.

“He has just played in a promoted team, he knows this division and he played 25-odd games last year so we have no qualms about his fitness or any previous injuries.”

The former Portsmouth and Middlesbrough midfielder could also have an important role to play nurturing some of Adams’ younger talent in a league he knows well.

“I am looking for him to give them a hand up. He is not just here for the experience, he is here for us,” he said. “He has played virtually all his career in the Premier League or the Championship.

“He is somebody who is versatile and adaptable and can play in a number of different midfield roles. He plays the holding player and if we need someone to play further up the field or wide he can do that as well.”

26 comments

  • Oh put amother record on , WHY is every signing City make hailed as some paragon of the game ? We have been fed this bunkum for 50 years that I have been reading it , then a year on the same journo's that puffed the player are asking if Mr X is the worst signing in the history of the club . I hope sincerely that Gary O'Neil is a talented player who does good things for NCFC , but to boost expectations in this over-positive way does the player no favours , simply setting him up to disappoint if he is actually just another useful midfielder , and no more .

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    Bring on Foggo

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • ….Financial incentives used to work....bearing in mind that It's not WHO scores the goal, but that the goal gets scored!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Totally agree Stew and TK. Apologies Stew as well! In an ideal world you want 2 players for each position. Pushing each other to the maximum so everyone is on their toes and should anyones form drop (no matter who they are!) they can be replaced by someone else desperate to get in the team. Obviously you need to get the team spirit level right and have the right characters in your dressing room. More reason why I feel a good man-manager is required just as much as a good tactician in the modern game with so many personalities and nationals from different countrys in each sides squad.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • .....Well Trev!...their are usually 5 substitutes sitting on the bench...capable of tweeking things a little!...Plans B and C should only be a variation of Plan A!...and I would hope we would never sink again to Plan H!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Stew, I like your plan but there is one major draw back, this set up does not allow for a plan B or Plan C to be put into action. I do not disagree that Olsson was our best defender by a country mile last season and would not have objected had he been given POTS but I think far too many people simply have the knives out for Snodgrass, he is history as far as the club is concerned as is RVW so lets all simply move on and talk about what lies in store.

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    TrevorKeith

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • .....and wingers would not be played inside out or back to front!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • …..Matt! ..I would like to read ALL you say but you do go on a bit!.....I go along with the majority of your thoughts...but please do some work occasionally!.....If I was manager -no way- or was asked how I would tackle the problems of players not being chosen to play....I would after much consideration choose me a FIRST eleven.....Each one of them would know EXACTLY what was expected of them..... They would have to specialise in their position (not multiple positions)!....The 2nd eleven would be assigned to understudy their given position!...much like the goalkeeper role! ..They may not like my decisions...but at least they would know where they stood and it would be up to each individual to prove his worth to the team!...Logic would tell them that they would be required to cover for injuries....but they would know that they would be next in line!.....So in my team goalkeepers would play in goal and strikers would not be replaced by left backs!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Agree goldie. Olsson was my POTS simply because from my memory he was the only one to play consistently well (or above) all season and played through a painful injury to try help us to. Snodgrass talked the talk a lot and run himself into the ground but overall had a very poor season. His assists from corners from from 9 to 3 and he had a poor first half of the season from a playing sense. People only remember the last few months of a season though. Always the way with the POTS though.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • I think get promoted is as much about getting lucky with injuries and suspensions as it is about having an actual good team. Adams made the comment recently (maybe today even) that hes fair happy with the squad and we've just about got enough. Just about is worrying because it only takes a few injuries and you are in trouble. However I did hear Wolves Boss Kenny Jackett on talksport early this morning saying they've only made two free transfer signings and while they haven't got a big squad, he wouldnt want one as its a tight balance act between having competition and competitive fights all over the pitch for places, to having unhappy players wanting out. Similar at NCFC. If we sign a centre back like I personally believe we should, you face the risk of who ever gets left out (Turner, Bennett etc..) getting fed up (thats if the two ahead are playing superb). Likewise though if someone is out there who could improve our side, lets go blooming get them and let the rest take care of itself. I suspect Adams will go down the loan route and get someone young in. No problem with that as plenty of centre backs and full backs in the prem who will be keen to get out and get experience. Chelsea have a fair few youngsters that might be worth looking at, as well as Liverpool. Palace have signed a wealth of experienced defenders this summer and may have some younger players stuck looking for a loan move. WBA similar. The young lad Boyata at Man City can play right back as well as his main position of Centre back. Heard LOTS of good things regarding Michael Keane at Man Utd. Very young and unlikely to get in the first team yet. Loan move could be ideal and he can cover right back too. All just food for thought of course but get the feeling a youngster on loan may be the path we take (saves the club money which our board will obviously love, a youngster will be keen to impress his parent club etc, and we may not even have to pay his wages depending on t he agreement).

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Mat333 I think Olson should have had POS but virtually the whole team could have been POS as they were all so poor.

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    goldie

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • So many posters talk as though there is going to be no injuries to City players and don't need back up. Would be nice to think that no one will be injured all season as this would mean a settled side and a much lower wage bill. City are allowed 25 players and IMO we should fill all the spaces so we have as much cover as possible.

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    goldie

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Im itching to say something but wont because I know it will spark the "Snodgrass" debate again. I refuse to slate him, but im certainly not heart broken about losing him, even if it was for less money than we've recieved. Maybe its how you view the game from different areas but everyone around me in the Lower Barclay (A Block near corner flag) seem pretty united in our opinion of him. Ill miss his free kicks and his first season delivery of corners that supplied 90% of our goals. I wont however miss his lack of pace, consistent moaning at players, his own players, the ref, the fans etc...his second season delivery of set plays, his obvious desire to cut in and curl it straight towards the keeper and away from our strikers and the "oh dear im not going anywhere here, ill just fall over and look for a free kick". Everyone appeared to let out a collective groan when the ball made its way to him from open play as any counter or momentum we had, suddenly stops as he slows the game down again into the usual pattern. Anyway im on the verge of getting nasty now and sparking an uproar of comments back at me so ill stop because I dont want to look at him playing for Hull and hate him. End of the day I appreciate his efforts and appreciate those final weeks in the Prem. I will never forget standing (for the 6th time) at Fulham and watching as all the other players half hearted clap the fans and cleared off, while Snoddy stood there applauding us for ages for our efforts and he got the same back. Have to look forward though and the club got extremely good money for him in the last year of his deal and more importantly the club needs to be positive in play which wasnt always the end result with him. Im looking forward to seeing players like Wes more involved creating chances for the strikers, Elliott Bennett, Redmond, Josh Murphy etc...on the wings running at full backs like an old fashioned winger would. Plenty of positives.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Spot on, jigs69, on all those points.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Olsson was my choice too. I'm looking forward to seeing us play as a team without Snodgrass who I believe, along with Hughton and his cronies who condoned his naff delivery, was the player mostly responsible for our relegation. I guess he got POTS as recognition for all his huffery and puffery. I think O'Neil is a good signing. Now, where is the cover at CB?

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    jigs69

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • I see Gary as a "Lucas" to Wessi`s "Bryceland". There could only be 3 candidates for PotS last season: Ruddy, Olsson and the ever-present, unshiftable Snodgrass. Olsson was my choice, Ruddy second. No further placings.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • To be fair I prefer Surman out wide pal. Hes not got electric pace but played there a majority of his career for Southampton and in my opinion isnt strong enough for the centre. In the diamond LCM role, fair enough but in a traditional 442 (for example alongside Johnson this sunday) I wouldnt be keen on over a long period. O'Neil is basically a no thrills central midfielder who can cover a variety of areas. Not going to score 10 goals a season from midfield but im thrilled with his signing. Just what we need, more cover in the middle who isnt injury prone and has experience of getting out of this tough division. In the few times ive seen him play live hes mostly played the holding midfield role that Neil described, but I also saw him play right midfield as well so its handy he can cover different areas. Saw a clip of him scoring against Ipswich so he likes to get forward as well it appears! PS-Snodgrass wasnt POTS for me. Olsson all the way based on consistency over the whole season rather than a bit of passion at the end. Each to their own though.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Boys, stop having a dig at RS, he was rightly voted player of the season but has now gone, lets move on. Does anybody know exactly where on the park O'Neil is most suited to playing. I presume he is basically a defensive midfielder, so where does that leave Surman, fighting for the left wing slot along with Pilks and possible Redmond. I suspect all will be answered once the season get under way. When fit I would expect Howson to be fighting Wes for that attacking midfield roll but where does that leave Tettey and Fer?

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    TrevorKeith

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Three days to go. .. wish we were at home first game!

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    el dingo

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • With Wes taking his time over extending his contract Gary could well be our 'ace in the hole'.

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    cutty

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • .....Did you mean a 'four' letter word Brew.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • ... do you want abet on it? ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • No, Stew, I don`t believe there`s any cause to fear that Gary could be `another Robert`. I have an interesting book here; "The Selfish Gene", written by Richard Dawkins. Reportedly, there is a special Scottish edition titled "The Kilt of Cupidity" with a foreword by Robert. I think Gary will aid and `abut` Wes... ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • .....Hope you are right Brew...but it does seem to read that he could be another Robert!......Heaven help us!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Clumsy sentence construction. Subject - verb - object and all that stuff. The test is "does it mean what it was meant to mean?". On footy, I think O`Neil is a good signing.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • The intro reads like Adams has signed for O'Neil. ..

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    el dingo

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • .....Yes Paddy,but what abut Wes?.,...

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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