Cantwell Expresses Discontent with Norwich Treatment Pre-Rangers Move
Todd Cantwell, once the midfield dynamo at Norwich City, has opened up about what he perceives as “barbaric” treatment by his formative club before his pivotal switch to Rangers, marking a sour end to what was once a fairy-tale journey from the Canaries’ academy to the first team.
Rising Through the Ranks to Feeling Like a ‘Bad Egg’
Emerging from Norwich’s youth system, Cantwell’s journey was nothing short of a dream. Integral to the team’s Premier League promotions in 2019 and 2021, his prowess was beyond question. However, the dream started to unravel as a loan spell at Bournemouth followed, and his presence in the Norwich setup dwindled from mid-November 2022. Speaking on The Beautiful Game podcast, Cantwell shared, “After everything I achieved at Norwich, being relegated to the under-23s felt barbaric. It was as if my past contributions had suddenly been erased.”
A Relationship Strained Beyond Repair
Despite his deep roots at Carrow Road, starting his journey at just 10, and a once “amazing relationship” with significant figures like Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones, not to mention his admiration for former coach Daniel Farke, Cantwell’s rapport with the club frayed. The issues compounded with personal challenges in the 2021-22 season, leading to sporadic appearances and a sense of growing detachment, especially under the tenure of Dean Smith.
“My time at Norwich just fizzled into a bad place,” Cantwell disclosed, feeling the club’s respect for his history and contributions had dissipated with the administrative and managerial changes.
The Unheard Pleas to the Top
Cantwell didn’t remain passive in his plight. He reached out directly to Delia Smith to convey his side of the story amidst these trials. While he understood the limitations of her role, his main aim was to clarify that his loyalty to Norwich City remained unshaken. However, he felt the corporate mechanisms of modern football clubs, particularly how Norwich navigated the turbulent waters at the time, left little room for his voice to be genuinely heard or considered.
Departure to Rangers: A Fresh Start
As the situation deteriorated, a conversation with then-manager David Wagner signaled the end. Cantwell’s departure was on the horizon, with Wagner publicly acknowledging the player’s stagnated progress at the club. The resolution was Cantwell’s transition to Rangers. The move, completed days after this decisive interaction, offered him a fresh canvas. His impact on the Scottish Premiership has been noteworthy, with six goals in 20 appearances, rekindling his once-doubted career trajectory.
Norwich City, when prompted for a response regarding Cantwell’s statements, chose the path of silent discretion, offering no comment to BBC Sport’s inquiry.