New Norwich City signing Alexander Tettey ready to make his mark in Premier League
Alexander Tettey is unlikely to be fazed by a Premier League debut at Tottenham.
Norwich City’s new Norwegian international midfielder has fond memories of the capital after earning a Champions League draw against the reigning holders Chelsea on his previous visit back in 2007.
The confident 26-year-old revealed his biggest issue will be adapting quickly enough to the demands of the English top flight after a more sedate pace of footballing life in France spent with Rennes.
“It’s different, even the training is different. I’ve been telling everybody I have to get used to it, to adapt really fast,” he said. “In Rennes, the team is more possession-orientated. We do quite a lot of stuff that since I’ve been here we haven’t done, so it’s different. It’s the style of football.
“In France, when you keep the ball down, you try to start at the back and get it forward to the wings to players that can dribble. But here it can be possession, it can be quick in the air, it can be everything. I just have to think really fast.
“In a moment they can play the ball up so in my mind I have to tell myself I’m not playing at Rennes any more. I’m in England now. I watched the QPR game and I thought the pace wasn’t as scary as I expected.
“It was a good game, a good response from the lads and I think they should have won, of course.
“My advisor, Bjorn Tore Kvarme, used to play for Liverpool, so he told me the differences between France and England.”
Tettey is ready if called upon by Chris Hughton at White Hart Lane this afternoon and the midfielder has been well briefed on what is expected of him in Canary colours.
“The manager spoke to me and said he wants to play 4-2-3-1 with two midfielders, one more defensive than the other, and I’m competing for one of those two places,” he said. “I’m used to playing in 4-3-3, or as a defensive midfielder, I can play also box to box. I can do both.
“You have to ask the coach (if I am ready). I’ve trained three times with the team since I’ve been here. Of course, I hope to be in the squad. And if the coach thinks I’m capable of playing in the team, for me it’s okay.”
Tettey is relishing the prospect of becoming part of a growing enclave of Norwegian footballers now operating in the Premier League.
“You have the captain of Fulham, (Brede) Hangeland and John Arne Riise. They tell me the Premier League is different. There is the pace everybody is talking about and I want to test that pace,” he said.
“In Rennes when we played on Saturday or had a day off when there was a match on Sunday, I was watching the Premier League. There is no other league you watch. For me, to be in the Premier League it is a dream come true and now I’m here I have to do the best out of it.
“Of course, you have the big players in the big teams you look up to and you watch every weekend and try to learn something from them.”
Tettey has already scanned the Canaries’ upcoming Premier League fixture list and the former Rosenborg trainee knows a trip to White Hart Lane marks the start of a testing early season period.
“The second game against Queens Park Rangers, the guys showed another mentality from the first game, so to go to Tottenham I think we will know what to do, better than they did against Fulham,” he said.
“I’ve seen some quite good players here – a different style from what I am used to, but a lot of good players. I have to get my fitness to a good level so I can try to help the team and play in the team, but there is another person who is going to decide that, and that is the coach.
“If you look at the teams from 10th to 20th in the league, everybody can go down, so for Norwich, it’s just trying to grab as many points as we can home and away and try to do our best.”