Date: 8th April 2016 at 10:35am
Written by:

Selecting the team this season has often been like doing a jigsaw for Alex Neil and, just like any good puzzle, it has been a very hard one to work out for the City boss.

It would be fair to say that the team has been altered on many occasions, with varying degrees of success as the Canaries struggled to forge any kind of momentum in their bid to move away from the bottom three.

In January, I think Neil may have found the one piece of the puzzle that had been missing for the first half of season though. Step forward Timm Klose.

The defender has really captured the hearts of the people of Norfolk since his arrival and it is clear to see why after turning in a string of impressive performances.

It took the Switzerland international a while to settle in, largely down to his lack of match fitness due to the Bundesliga having a winter break, but he has gone on to shine in a City shirt.

For those who may be unaware of what Klose has brought to the team, he is best described as an old school central defender who is not afraid to put his head in where it hurts.

12 March 2016 - Barclays Premier League - Norwich City v Manchester City - Timm Klose of Norwich City in good spirits as he talks to Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

12 March 2016 – Barclays Premier League – Norwich City v Manchester City – Timm Klose of Norwich City in good spirits as he talks to Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart – Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Norwich fans affectionately sing about Klose’s nose, which it would be fair to say may have had plenty of long running battles with footballs over the course of his career.

To say that the big defender can only head a ball would be doing him a discredit, with the former Wolfsburg man very capable of picking out those in yellow on the deck.

He holds a peculiar claim to fame too, completing the Speed4 “Super Dribbler” course in a quicker time than Lionel Messi, which is certainly an impressive feat.

Klose is clearly a well-rounded defender and perfectly suited to the demands of Premier League football, but his determination and leadership qualities have really caught my eye.

Even in the opening five minutes of the Newcastle game, he was encouraging goalkeeper John Ruddy to speed up his distribution and was constantly applauding and motivating his defensive colleagues.

His partnership with Ryan Bennett will be an interesting one to watch and one I think could blossom as Bennett looks to reach the potential that we have seen glimpses of this year.

Klose is a battler and demands the same levels from everyone else around him. It has been no coincidence that he picked up three consecutive man of the match awards.

He showed this spirit against Newcastle, winning the ball on halfway with a typically well-timed tackle and then bringing the ball forward to start an attack.

It is really easy to see why he has become a favourite with many Norwich fans and, had he been at the club for the whole season, he would surely be in line for the club’s player of the season award.

Next season will be a very exciting one if the club can retain their Premier League status and continue to spend their money wisely. Alex Neil has taken time to find what he needed, but crucially he has found it at just the right time.

 
Brought to you by Shoot!