Tony Cascarino decries Norwich experience for loan duo Billy Gilmour and Brandon Williams
Tony Cascarino has hit out at Norwich as he believes young loanees Billy Gilmour and Brandon Williams have “gone backwards” in their time at the club.
The highly-rated 21-year-olds have been at Carrow Road on year long temporary moves from Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, but with the club once again relegated from the Premier League it hasn’t gone to plan.
Both needed first-team football that was not necessarily on offer at their parent clubs, but former Republic of Ireland international Cascarino doesn’t think they have benefited from being with the Canaries.
He said on talkSPORT: “The lad Gilmour that came to Norwich, didn’t do particularly well at the club, and the fans turned on him at the start season.
“He’s a terrific young footballer but, somehow, he’s not grown.
“We talk all the time about young lads going elsewhere and improving – the lad Williams as well from Man United – but they’ve gone backwards this year.
“Two players have gone there from big clubs have gone backwards at Norwich.”
Not much has gone right for the club this season as they have once again been relegated at the first attempt.
After being named Manager of the Year while winning the Championship last season, the top flight again proved too much for Daniel Farke who was sacked in November.
A change in manager necessarily would disrupt the progression of any loanees who would have been brought in on the agreement of the previous manager.
And in the cases of youngsters at top sides they would have been released on the proviso that the style of play suited their development.
Yet both have arguably been seen as more important by the incoming Dean Smith, and have both seen extensive action.
The pair have managed to exceed their appearance totals from previous seasons in the Premier League, with Gilmour featuring 21 times, and Williams 25.
Not many youngsters shine in a team that finishes bottom of the league, so regular football and what might be seen as a learning experience should represent a qualified success.
The strange disconnect between the esteem Smith holds Scottish midfielder Gilmour in, and the team’s habit of winning when he isn’t in the team (The Athletic) has made him a lightning rod for criticism among Canaries fans.
But unless that quirk translates into future Chelsea results they won’t see it as a problem.
Cascarino is unimpressed by the development, but it is hard to separate the situation from that of the club as a whole.
Clearly neither were able to inspire the the team to safety and the fans will resent the idea that while the club goes down again the two players will be fine.
Both sides would have hoped for different at the start of the year, but the Canaries have certainly come off worse.
In other Norwich news, the club triggered a contract extension for young attacker Matthew Dennis.