ULLEVAAL STADION (VG) They expected a Viking warrior, but they have served perhaps the most important offensive player on the team. Norwich fans are delighted with Mathias Normann (25).
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– If there had been a vote on the best Norwich player of the season now, I’m sure Normann would have won, BBC football commentator Chris Goreham tells VG.
A brilliant start to the season was followed by a great solo touchdown as Norwich posted their first win of the season.
– It was unbelievably good. I’ve had a few tries before that, and this was really the worst ending, but I take it with a smile, Normann says, and he keeps his word with a big smile on his face.
Later, Brentford manager Thomas Frank said his own team started very well and created chances, but “then Mathias Normann suddenly became Messi, he went through five players and put the ball into goal.”
That’s exactly what Ståle Solbakken doesn’t impress:
With Patrick Berg and Sander Berge injured, Mathias Normann can become a key figure in the Norwegian midfield, just as he has been for his English club.
Norwich is struggling at the bottom of the Premier League, but for fans, Normann has been one a much needed bright spot and an audience favorite.
– It’s probably because of my winning mentality and what I have achieved. Of course, it’s nice to hear and if you make fans happy, then at least you’re doing something right, Normann says when asked about popularity with fans.
Former national team manager Lars Lagerbäck has also compared Normann with Messi:
This summer the club lost three key midfielders, including Norway’s Alexander Tettey. Goreham believes fans have been thrown off track by the 25-year-old’s qualities.
– The need for a defensive midfielder, who could recover the ball, was great. Normann has really impressed with his tackles, but he’s much more dynamic than fans expected, says Goreham, highlighting Normann’s willingness to shoot.
– He has a very good attitude that soccer is a martial art. When he’s at his best, he has a positive swagger to the way he plays. And then he often looks for an advance pass before looking for the secure pass. It’s always good to have a player who sees the long pass first, says national team manager Ståle Solbakken.
Figures from statistics agency Opta show that Normann is among Norwich’s best players on a number of offensive parameters:
With dribbling, passing and spiking, Normann is an attacking threat as well as a defensive compensation guy.
– Normann has solved the task with style and courage and has given Norwich a little extra energy.
The performance earned Normann a spot on this week’s BBC crew. Also the all-time top scorer in the Premier League, Alan Shearer, chose Normann for his students.
The midfielder has been a bright spot for Norwich this season and inspired the team to their first win with a fantastic opening goal. writes Shearer.