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Norwich pay price

Norwich City

Manchester City lead Premier League transfer grades after brilliant summer

As the transfer window shuts, the ESPN FC panel take a look back at Arsenal and Manchester United's inability to secure a marquee signing, Chelsea's new additions, Kevin De Bruyne joining Manchester City to bolster Manuel Pellegrini's attack and much more

With the summer transfer window finally done and dusted, ESPN FC grades all 20 Premier League clubs based on how they fared in their dealings.

Manchester City - A+

Winners of the window and, consequently, now strong favourites to be winners of the title. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho spoke recently of how City "reacted" to his team winning the league in the way the London side itself did last season, but it was more than that.

This was more than a reaction. It was precise and rational business,...

 By Paddy Davitt

Norwich City pay the Premier League price at Southampton

Premier League: Steven Whittaker Red Card 31''

Norwich City have been bold and bullish under manager Alex Neil, but the Canaries' limp 3-0 Premier League loss at Southampton was a reminder of what just it takes in the top flight.

Much of the focus will inevitably rest on Steven Whittaker's red card aberration after two bookings inside three first half minutes, which reduced the Canaries to 10 men against a rampant Saints who decided this was the day to finally get their season up and running.

Dusan Tadic scored twice after Graziano Pelle's...

 By Paddy Davitt

Cross Alex Neil at your peril is the lesson for Norwich's Lewis Grabban

Alex Neil's prowess in moulding a successful team at Norwich City was already beyond doubt, but his impressive handling of Lewis Grabban's incendiary Capital One Cup no show embellishes a soaring reputation.

Neil has handled the fallout from Grabban's no-show at Rotherham while trying to prepare for Sunday's Premier League trip to a Southampton bruised from their tame Europa League exit and striving to attract the bodies he wants in the final throes of the transfer window.

Grabban bailed without...

 By Paddy Davitt

Norwich denied by Jack Butland but Alex Neil desperately needs a striker

For all Jack Butland's defiance as Stoke's last line of defence, Alex Neil had to face an uncomfortable line of questioning after Norwich City's pulsating 1-1 Premier League draw at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The Canaries pounded away for most of the second half, defying the intolerable heat and an expensively assembled Stoke line up, but were unable to find a way past the inspired Butland, who was beaten just once by Russell Martin after Mame Biram Diouf's opener.

Mark Hughes' postmatch admission...

 By Paddy Davitt

Xherdan Shaqiri set for Stoke debut as Norwich plan to ruin his big day

Alex Neil aims to establish Norwich City as a genuine Premier League entity and Stoke's enviable evolution shows it is possible to buck the trend ahead of this weekend's Carrow Road meeting.

The Potters are embarking on an eighth consecutive top flight campaign. That is a remarkable feat in itself but under Mark Hughes' guidance, Stoke appear to be attempting a radical policy shift.

Xherdan Shaqiri -- the "Alpine Messi," he of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and now deepest Staffordshire is poised for...

 By Paddy Davitt

Norwich City profit from Sunderland's misery

For those who pegged Norwich City as sacrificial lambs in the Premier League, they served due notice at the Stadium of Light that they are good enough to survive.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat's expression at the final whistle following his side's 3-1 defeat said it all. Goals from Russell Martin, Steven Whittaker and Nathan Redmond were a minimum return for the Canaries' dominance before Duncan Watmore's late consolation. Advocaat chose his words carefully in a diplomatic postmatch press briefing,...