Monday, 29 December 2008

Stop idolising those who cared little for Norwich

What a bunch of arseholes some Norwich fans made of themselves yesterday applauding and fawning over a former Norwich star who is no longer at the club.

No, I am not on about Darren Huckerby, who deserves our thanks and cheers, but Robert Earnshaw.

I my opinion Earnshaw left the club at a difficult time, appeared to make sure Norwich were unable to make any real money from the deal, such were the terms of the contract he wanted when he signed for City, and in the same way as Huckerby showed selfless loyalty to Norwich when other clubs were offering better deals, Earnshaw was the complete opposite by showing himself to by the typical money grabbing Hummer driving professional footballer whose idea of loyalty extends to keeping his wallet full.

Yes, it's all my biased opinion, but in my view he didn't deserve anyone's applause. Some people have spent more time in Norwich Airport than he spent at Carrow Road. Missed on the field, but not someone I will ever look at with great fondness.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

My Christmas Message

Well this year has seen many ups and downs for Canary fans, but overall, we can look back with some good memories.

Firstly, some sad goodbyes to some much loved players.

Dion Dublin's signing was, at first, considered to be some sort of joke, but he turned out to be the most consistent and dedicated player wearing a yellow shirt in the last few years, and rightly ended the season as player of the year. It is a great shame he joined SKY TV, as I think it was clear to everyone that his organisational abilities, even form the sidelines when directing players as a sub, showed he has much to offer in coaching and management.

It goes without saying that Darren Huckerby was an absolute star for Norwich and something of a talisman. Although in the last 18 months of his time at the club he only showed his true class in fits and starts, he was still able to conjure wonder goals out of nothing and his ability to draw fouls is second to none in the Championship. The manner of his leaving, with no goodbye, is to be put right on 28th December against Nottingham Forest (five years after he signed for Norwich before the Notts Forest game on 26th December 2003), but there is no doubting his contribution and he will always be remembered as a Norwich great.

As for the team, I think we have a much stronger team that a year ago. Sammy Clingan is a Premiership player in waiting (and I am surprised Everton have not poached him to replace Lee Carsley) whilst the rest of the squad of permanent signings (not loan signings) are capable of better than 20th in the league, if only they could be more consistent. If Bell, Hoolahan and other could be more consistent, all we would need is a striker who is actually signed to the club. Sadly our only striker (Cureton) is on loan, and we cannot move on without a striker signed to Norwich, which leads me to my Christmas wish.

All we want for Christmas is Leroy Lita ... please ?

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Views from a Charlton fan

I work with a Charlton fan who is surprisingly up beat about today's game against Norwich.

He assures me that Charlton are genuinely on the up, despite throwing victory away against Derby earlier in the week in the 94th minute, and that today is the perfect game for Charlton.

My own view was that Charlton were robbed during the week, they dominated and looked a good side, but this may suit Norwich because teams that come and have a go are the type of teams Norwich seem better able to contain. Birmingham, Sheffield united, Wolves and Ipswich are all a testament to this, whilst teams who sit back cause us more problems than they ought to.

Either way, Christmas will be a lot more enjoyable if Norwich can get a win today. Another home defeat and people won't just be sharpening their knives for their turkey !

Update : What a spineless lot Charlton were. They turned up looking for a 0-0, and when they went one goal down, they failed to change their play and still seemed to be playing for a 0-0, seemingly unaware that they needed a goal !

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Why do some refs lack personal honour ?

As Norwich fans we are all used to watching the inept performances of referee Lee Probert, the joker who made a real hash of the first half of the Norwich vs Ipswich game last week when he missed a clear penalty, booked Sammy Clingan for winning the ball and then awarded a series of goal kicks when they were clear corners. Of course, Mr Probert's series of crimes go back much further that last week. But what a surprise it was to see that he had been given another chance to referee a premiership match yesterday.

In yesterday's match (Villa vs Bolton) he missed a clear penalty (again), refused to consult his linesman over it, and then proceeded (according to Sky) to have an absolute howler.

The point for me is that most people have a sense of decency about them which means that when you are really crap at something, you do the honourable thing and step down from it or do something else, except, it appears, for referees. A bad referee just keeps on going, getting managers sacked, players banned, and fans annoyed.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great referees about (Lee Mason and Howard Webb stand out), but some of them lack a certain something which does make you question why (apart from the money) they do it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Bloody hell, not again !

Another win followed up by another loss. This time 2-1 to Watford and a game, by all account, that Norwich played well in and deserved more from.

Bloody hell !

Monday, 8 December 2008

Jim Magilton - What a whinger

What a shame it was to hear Jim Magilton, the Ipswich manager, whinging after the Derby game yesterday about how the referee had cost them by not awarding them a penalty deep in to injury time at the end of the game. Hadn't Mr Magilton the long term memory to notice that the incompetent referee missed a blatant handball in the first half which should have resulted in a Norwich penalty or the fact that Sammy Clingan was booked after ten minutes for making a good tackle or the fact that Ipswich kept getting award goal kicks which were clear and obvious corners for Norwich.

In the cold light of day, and given some time to think, I note Magilton's comments on various websites have been much more controlled and give some credit to Norwich. But perhaps Mr Magilton, like all managers, would do well to take a sharp intake of breath and count to ten before making such daft comments immediately after a game.

Friday, 5 December 2008

What is wrong with a Derby game at 3pm on a Saturday

Speaking to fellow City fans today, we were all bemoaning the policy of the police in Norfolk and Suffolk who insist that Derby games are always played on a Sunday.

Yes, I know that Sky are covering this game (which accounts for the early kick off), and yes, I know that the fixture had seen crown trouble in the far distant past (and we are talking 80s and early 90s). But things have moved on, there is never a hint of trouble at Carrow Road and its about time we were treated with more respect by the authorities.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

ITV highlight why they should be kept as far away from football coverage as possible

I am sitting at home watching ITV's coverage of Histon vs Leeds United in the FA Cup second round, and it highlights just how incompetent ITV are at covering football.

ITV, it seems, have no system for keeping rain off their cameras. They have no special devices, coverings, enclosures or anything that BBC and SKY use when they cover football matches in the rain, meaning that we are left with a blurred and distorted view of the match.

ITV highlight again what utter crap they produce.

Red cards and penalties

What on earth has happened this year with Norwich City's discipline.

We are shipping penalties at a ludicrous rate whilst we have now had four red cards.

I'm all for a bit more bite from the team and I know Roeder wants the team to be less nice, but some work has got to be done on ensuring we finish matches more often with 11 men and without giving away stupid penalties.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Common sense from Peter Cullum

I've not been entirely impressed by Peter Cullum's attempt to buy the club at, what I felt, was a price that was not fair on Delia and Michael Wynn Jones. However, it is good to see Mr Cullum speaking out in support of Delia and her husband in today's EDP.

Mr Cullum stated

" that the "one disappointing aspect" of the truncated investment talks with the board was the "fierce critical reaction" of some fans to Delia and Michael.

He said: "Maybe that's the fickle football fan being disappointed with the performance of his team. But the two of them have been brilliant for Norwich City - and I've always said that."Every home and away game they are there. They've put a lot of their own personal wealth into this. If you happen to be Abramovich and you have stuck £10m into Norwich City, it's an accounting entry that barely covers the cost of a holiday. But here are two people who have put in a considerable amount of their total wealth.

"So I feel it's disappointing if they are now being seen by some as the devil incarnate. It's unkind and it's unfair."

Hear hear is all I will say.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Picking the wrong eleven players

Right from the start tonight it was clear the wrong team was out on the pitch.

In summary, Adam Drury cannot play at centre half whilst Ryan Bertrand has not played well for about a month, so the inevitable switch of Drury to left back at half time made complete sense. Also, why is Antoine Sibierski allowed on to the pitch when he is unable to win headers, cannot hold the ball up and fails to inspire or perspire during a match. Again, his replacement by the excellent Hoolahan at half time showed what a monumental cock up it was to have put the starting 11 on the pitch.

Sadly, the game was already lost before half time after one calamitous error for the first goal and a sublime finish for their second. But in the second half, there was only one team in it, and it wasn't Crystal Palace.

Glen Roeder can moan to the players about their application, but he has got to accept that he picked the wrong team tonight, and that is what cost us.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Winning with ten men

I have to admit that I couldn't watch the last 10 minutes of the Forest game tonight on Sky, such was the stress I was feeling.

The team, it has to be said, played out of their skins. Croft not only ran his socks off but also used the ball really well, didn't give away cheap possession, and posed a real threat. Marshall was immense in goal whilst you really couldn't fault anyone, including the referee who, for a 23 year old, had an amazing game. What a difference it makes having a fit young referee who can keep up with play.

The fact though that Norwich won with just 10 men for 70 minutes could be a real turning point. Now lets keep it going on Tuesday against Palace.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

AGM Stuff

Lots has been written in the Eastern Daily Press this week about the Norwich City AGM, with much criticism being aimed at the board about finance and at the manager about Darren Huckerby. my view is that most of this criticism is unjustified.

Lots of fans like to moan about Delia and Michael Wynn Jones, somehow under the impression that they are coveting Norwich City and preventing a takeover of the club. Media reports in the summer about the billionaire Peter Cullum's interest in the club came to nothing, but fans still seem to believe that Delia is raking it somehow at the expense of the club.

A few fans need a reality check.

Since taking over the club Delia and her husband ahve stuck about £1.5 million a year in to the club for no return at all. She allows the club to use her name for the "Delia's" restaurant, a name and a brand which would be worth a small fortune to her if she chose to launch restaurants by herself. Instead she has gifted this to the club, the restaurant makes several hundred thousand pounds a year for Norwich City football club, and still some fans moan.

As for Mr Cullum's interest, as Delia made clear, not one written offer has been received from Mr Cullum. The phrase "put up or shut up" would be the one I would use in relation to Mr Cullum. I am sure he has the best of intentions, but his unwillingness to deliver a deal has actually caused the club problems, which would be best avoided.

Then there is the criticism of Glenn Roeder's decision to release Darren Huckerby at the end of last season. This is a difficult one for many Norwich fans. We all remember Huckerby at his best, and even last year he seemed to be able to turn on the style and deliver a moment of magic, but these moments became fewer and far between, with the best of Hucks only being seen towards the end of the season and not during the worst winter months. Did he deserve a new contract ? Possible yes, I think so, but what did he want in terms of wages ? Norwich have made it clear that they are running at a £2 million defecit each year (this only being found by loans and investors like Delia and other Norwich supporting business people), and with Hucks on a reported £10k a week, this would represent 25% of the club deficit.

It was interesting too that his preferred choice of club in the USA (San Jose) was made in great part because of their pitch and the effect that Toronto's astro turf pitch (where he appeared to be heading when he first left Norwich) was likely to have on his dodgy hip. It is clear his hip was affecting his ability to produce in every game.

Emotionally, I'd have loved to have given him a proper send off, but financially and perhaps in terms of his performance over a whole season, I think Roeder made the right call.

So with another home game today, I go in hope rather than expectation, but I will not start criticising the board and despite misgivings about the performances of late, we must all get behind Glenn Roeder as there is no more money for players and so the team we have has to start performing.

Monday, 10 November 2008

What a disgrace David Norris is

Yes, it might look like I am wading in because an Ipswich fan player is in the wrong, but I would have complained about this had any footballer done what David Norris did on Saturday.

For those who didn't know, after scoring against Blackpool on Saturday, Ipswich player David Norris raised his arms up as if handcuffed, reportedly to show some sort of solidarity with his disgraced friend and former Plymouth team mate Luke McCormack who many of you will realise killed two children and left their father permanently disabled when he ploughed in to them when speeding whilst being drunk in his Range Rover.

Yes, well done David Norris. Your apparent message of support to a child killer must make you and your family very proud.

Of Course, Norris said it was a private gesture. Yes, doing it in front of the ITV and SKY Sports cameras as well as several thousand people really is a private gesture ???

Sunday, 9 November 2008

How NOT to do a minute's silence

I wasn't sure whether I should have posted this on my other blog or put it here, so I've compromised and put the same posting on both.

Yesterday at Carrow Road before the Norwich versus Preston match we were given an object lesson in how NOT to show proper respect for those who serve or have sered this country in our armed forces.

The announcer announced that we would be showing our respects, we all applauded as some servicemen came out along with some people form the British Legion, and then as we waited for the announcement of one minute's silence, instead we got 50 teenage girls wearing tiny short waving pom poms whilst the tannoy system played "Right Here - Right Now" by Fat Boy Slim.

Quiet how this was honouring our servicemen, quite how this showed respect was lost on me and all the other people standing around me who felt that it was a balls up of quite embarrassing proportions.

Well done NOT to Norwich City and all those who were involved in the planning of this balls up.

As to the match itself, what a disappointing result given the first half performance. Russell might have bene provoked, but his sending off cost us two points and he should not be given the Captain's armband again if this is the way he lets his team down.

On the bright side, Docherty was great and David Bell was terrific.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Another "Must Win" game

Every home game now seems to have become a "must win" game given the team;s abject away performances. After two consecutive home wins, city really loused things up with abject performances at Derby and Burnley, leaving the team still sitting only just above the relegation zone.

The real fear today is that Norwich are again playing a team who, on paper, Norwich should beat. Preston have struggled this year after a super second half of last season, but we all know that Norwich put in their very worst performances against those team they should beat and only bother to turn up against teams in with a genuine chance of being promoted.

I cannot say I am looking forward to today's game and I know many other fans feel the same.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

What is there to say ?

I am starting to sound like a stuck record. Another weekend, another away game, another defeat. It is all rather depressing.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

What is the strategy ?

At the weekend against Doncaster a lacklustre very poor Norwich team eaked out a somewhat lucky win against a poor Doncaster team. Everyone left Carrow Road happy, but not entirely happy. The phrase I used to my brother who came to the match with me was "it's a good sign when you win when you play bad". Who was I fooling. The fact is that Norwich play bad most of the time, only turning on the style against top 6 sides (Wolves, Birmingham, Sheffield United).

So the question is, what is the strategy now ? The truth is, as the EDP and Radio Norfolk comentary made clear, Norwich were not worth their 3-1 loss on Tuesday against Derby. The team turned up for just 20 minutes and were second best for 70 minutes and deserved to lose by more than two goals.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A simple way to afford to pay for Leroy Lita

At half time today in the Doncaster game, I deceided to get myself a drink. knowing that there would be some sort of queue at the bar, I went down to the bar three minutes early. And what time did I finally get my drinks order ? Four minutes before half time.

Why was this ?

One till was broken, one bar had only one person serving (whilst lots of car park stewards stood around drinking - now there is a good use of resources) whilst my plans to have a drink were eventually curtailed as like many others I realised that there was no way I could drink my drink and get back to my seat for the start of the game (you can't take alcohol back to your seat.

So in a bizarre way Norwich City turned us in to low spending tea-totallers. The potential, if they got the correct amount of staff in and working equipment, to sell inordinate amounts of drinks and snacks at half time is completely wasted. However much income is lost to the club by the pathetic way the business managers at Norwich actually serve us, the customers.

Piss poor, like the performance for 83 minutes today. At least we won 2-1, and at least I saved some money by not having a drink.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Huckerby is back

Isn't it just brilliant to see that Darren Huckerby's son is not only a Norwich fan, he is a junior Norwich player and he can also score five goals against the scum.

Read the EDP report HERE.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Oh what a night

I can't remember a match I have so not looked forward to as much as tonight's game against Wolves. I friend of mine, also a season ticket holder, told me today he was relieved to be going to the theatre (to see the excellent Steve Coogan who I saw on stage last night) and not to the match whilst my good friend Andy who sits near me was on urgent business in Edinburgh and was almost revelling in not having to go.

Oh how wrong we all were.

Anyone who thinks that football is boring would have been proved wrong by a pulsating exciting match the like of which you cannot see for several seasons at a time. The game had everything.

Omozuzi had a 30 yard shot touched over the bar, Clingan scored in a comedy moment from the keeper who caught the ball and fell in to the net, Leroy Lita scored an excellent hat-trick, Wolves were reduced to 10 men, and all in all we were thoroughly entertain.

Bloody marvellous and very well done indeed to the team.

Now lets not mess it up against Doncaster at the weekend.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Bad to worse ?

Another Saturday, another defeat, but worse than that, we seem to be going backawards in our development.

Towards the end of last season we went to Bristol City when they were flying high in second place in the league, and we played them off the park, only being consigned to defeat by one of the most bizarre ferereeing decisions of the year. But despite the defeat then, the performance gave the fans hope that things were really getting better.

Sadly, from my spies at the game, Norwich seemed moer toothless than ever and lack a create spark. Six months on, despite Roeder's clear out, were looking worse than ever.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Norwich vs Derby Match Fixing Allegations

It was a bit of a shock to hear that the Norwich versus Derby game, the only home league games I have missed in about three years, is the game that is being investigated because of strange betting patterns in the far east.

As I didn't go, I cannot comment in detail. But the one overriding thing people said to me was that as soon as Otsemobor was injured, followed by the odd decision to push Sammy Clingan, who was dictating the match, to right back and bring on Fotheringham, it was clear to Norwich fans that they were not going to score.

Perhaps the betting syndicates in the far east were also aware that Norwich lost to a 10 man QPR side only a couple of weeks before ? Or perhaps they realised like city fans that Roeder does not have a clue.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Are Norwich fans starting to tire of Glen Roeder ?

In the summer Glen Roeder had something of a clearout. He got rid of fans favourite Darren Huckerby whilst people raining from physios, coaches and scouts were also shipped out of the club, many of whom had given the club years of great service. Even the kit man lost his job. Quite how his role affected Norwich's performance on the pitch was never explained, but to many people, however harsh, it was a sign that Glen Roeder was a man with a plan. it was rather unpalatable, but like any medicine, we were made to feel it would make us better.

Sadly, there is always a reaction though to a foul tasting medicine when it seemingly has no affect.

Twelve months on from the disastrous start we had under Peter Grant, Norwich are barely any better off, sit only just above the relegation zone and the harsh fact is that people are now starting to question Glen Roeder's abilities and whether he is not so much a man with a plan, but a man who makes lots of changes in order to make it seem like he is doing lots.

Clearly, on the pitch, he is not making the club any better. Norwich's best players were bought in under the previous regime (Russell stands out every game) and more and more people are muttering that Roeder has upset too many people and the team is still worryingly fragile.

What difference does 12 months make ? Very little.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Saved by the traffic

Given my difficulties in getting in to Norwich today meaning I missed the match (read a full account of it on my other blog HERE), I am somewhat surprised to feel in hindsight that it was a blessing in disguise given that Norwich played a great proportion of the game against 10 men (as they did against QPR) and lost (like they did against QPR).

As one of my friends who went to the match said in his text "Bloody Poor". Too right !

Central Defensive Crisis

Oh dear. I didn't read the EDP or Evening News this week and with their website being under reconstruction I have been out of touch with the defensive crisis we are facing today.

After discussing over lunch with a colleague how solid Jonathan Grounds and Elliott Omozuzi looked at the heart of defence in the last home game against Sheffield United I was somewhat surprised then to pick up and old copy of the Evening News in the staffroom at work only to read that Jonathan Grounds had been recalled from his loan by Middlesbrough.

This leaves us with only Omozuzi able to play at centre half. The chances are now that Adam Drury may have to play centre half, but given his weakness in the air, it is likely to make what was a solid looking defence in to a shaky one.

The only good news from the defensive problems is that with Omozuzi having to play at centre half, Roeder will have to play Otsemobor at right back. The options he gives the team with his pace and the way he links up with Lee Croft means that Croft will have a better game and new loan signing Leroy Lita can be guaranteed at least half decent service in to the box down the right.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Leroy Lita - A signing to excite fans

I was slightly taken aback and excited today to see that Norwich have signed Leroy lita from Reading on an initial one month loan.

Lita, to me, seems like a fantastic prospect, has done well for England U21's, has scored lots of goals at Championship level and could be that extra spark that Norwich desperately need.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

What hope does a team like Norwich have in the Premiership when refs are biased towards "bigger" teams ?

Yesterday we witnessed one of the poorest days of refereeing decisions in a long while with, again, a clear bias in referees decisions towards the bigger teams in the league.

In the Merseyside Derby Cahill was fouled badly, no card was issued. In the second half Cahill commits a foul, which in Alan Hansen's view (and he is not noted for his bias against Liverpool), was not as bad as the one on him in the first half and Mike "old mother" Riley produces a red card from nowhere.

Then later on in the day we saw Rob Styles give a comedy penalty to Manchester United for no reason at all. It would not be so bad had he been in a bad position to see it, but replays showed he was perfectly placed. It would not be quite so bad had he got the guts to step forward in front of the cameras and say "I'm human, I made a terrible mistake". but his silences always makes you wonder why it is that Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea always get those decisions.

Of course, when it comes to the smaller teams, it clearly depends who you are playing. Last year Fulham had some awful refereeing decisions against them in matches when they were playing bigger opposition whilst Norwich fans will have little difficulty in remembering the away game in the Premiership against Portsmouth when not only were Norwich somewhat controversially down to 10 men from an over officious referee, but Norwich were ultimately robbed of the points by a referee who decided when a Portsmouth player hand balled in the Norwich area, to award them a penalty !

What hope is there for those smaller teams who go up to the premiership when you know you are playing against 12 not 11 men ?

Friday, 26 September 2008

Now is the time to build momentum

So far this season we have already had a couple of false dawns.

Firstly we started the season in some hope of a good start. Lots of new signings left us all, like fans of many other team, in a position of thinking maybe this is the year. Sadly a lame defeat in a game dominated by Norwich to a poor Coventry team shattered those early dreams along with succession of draws.

Then, folowing the excellent draw with Birmingham and an away win at Plymouth, not seen since the 1960's, Norwich fans again began to hope that Norwich would build on the points only to this come undone in rather spectacular fashion when losing toothlessly against a ten man QPR team at home.

So tomorrow, following the late win against Sheffield United last week, it really is time for City to lay down a marker, not just to other team but for themselves and the fans. Back in the promotion season it was at the end of September that Norwich started to string some results together and gather momentum and it was in this period that the team themselves started to walk on the pitch like winners.

Tomorrow then a defeat must be avoided at all costs if we, the fans, are to start taking the promotion and play-off talk seriously.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Lee Clark is right. I was there

I am in full agreement with assistant manager Lee Clark in his assessment of the Norwich team that faced Fulham on the last day of the season in 2005.

For those who do not know, if Norwich had won the game that day they would have stayed in the Premier League. Instead a spineless Norwich team lost 6-0 to a Fulham team who had absolutely nothing to play for except their pride.

Lee Clark, who was playing his final game for Fulham that day explained

“It was my last game for Fulham, after I had been there seven years as captain. We couldn't move any higher in the league. If we won we couldn't change our position, no matter what."

“Our preparation that week was that this would be the toughest game of the season - they are fighting for their lives, we could be getting kicked from pillar to post come Sunday. Dean Ashton missed a chance after about 12, 15 minutes to make it 1-0 and it was goodnight, Vienna. The towels were thrown in, the white flags were out. It was the easiest Premiership match I have ever played in."

“There were so-called superstars in the team that day who actually went on to do not bad, but they didn't do the fans justice that day. I can guarantee that. That was a pathetic effort to try and keep the club in the Premiership.You go down with a fight and that didn't happen that day. It was an unbelievable turnout and they let the club down.”

As someone who went to the game with my wife (then still my girlfriend - one wonders why she accepted my offer of marriage a fortnight later), as people who turned down offers of £250 each for our tickets by the many hundreds of Norwich fans who travelled down to London just to support the team on from outside the ground where there were probably a good 6,000 Norwich fans present, it is difficult to explain how let down we were by some Norwich players.

For many fans, people like Damien Francis, Thomas Helveg, Mattias Jonnson, Dean Ashton and several others all looked like they had their minds on their next transfer move, a signing on fee and perhaps larger wages, and the fans were the last of their concerns.

It is good though to read how seeing this capitulation has helped motivate Lee Clark now he is at Norwich. Hopefully this attitude from Lee will help us next time we are in the same position.

For anyone wanting to suffer the pain again, the YouTube clip below shows the 6-0 defeat.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Let's all laugh at Spurs

This amusing story from the West Ham Blog "West Ham Till I Die" should bring a smile to any Canary fan still smarting over the mauling we received from Spurs in the pre-season friendly.

Will the Hoolahan knockers "knock it off"

What is it with some Norwich fans who seem to revel in trying to make new players who struggle to instantly shine feel like dirt ?

The current target for some fans appears to to Wesley (Wes) Hoolahan whose main crime, it appears, is to play in the same position as Darren Huckerby. Norwich fans who sit near me seem absolutely obsessed with repeating over and over again that "he's no Huckerby" and "he's not like Huckerby", to which my response would be simply that for most of last season, particularly up to the last eight or so games, Darren Huckerby was himself a makeweight, unable to turn a game in Norwich's favour, seemingly unable to beat his marker and was a pale reflection of the player he once was. Norwich fans, it appears, can sometimes wear rose tinted spectacles.

Personally I think Wes Hoolahan is improving in each and every game. Yes, he is very left footed, but he constantly tries to link play and pick a pass rather than tamely giving the ball away by hoofing it long up the field. Like any new player, it is taking him time to bed in, but let's give the bloke a chance.

Whatever your views though on Hoolahan, we ought to all accept that moaning and booing Norwich players is hardly like to make them play better.

To be fair, the so called fans behind me moaning about him last week were also moaning about Norwich signing Dion Dublin a couple of years ago, they didn't rate Jason Shackell (until he left) and they now like to moan about Stefanovic !

Yes, some fans are just born to moan.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Some fans don't deserve Premier League football

I am not one of those fans who believe "only the big clubs should be in the Premier League", after all, smaller teams deserve time to get up to the higher echelons of football and develop a fan base. However, there are some teams whose fans really do not deserve Premier League football.

Yesterday less than 20,000 people turned up to watch Blackburn play at home to Fulham. now granted, this was not the umber one game of the day, even on a day when only five matches were being played. But for less than 20,000 fans to turn up on a warm day (the weather might have been an excuse on a bad day), is appalling.

Blackburn have been in the Premiership for all but one season since the league started in 1992 and during that time they even won the league. I might point out that Norwich yesterday had more than 24,000 people at a Championship match and Norwich actually have 20,000 season ticket holders and a waiting list too !

As I said, some fans don't deserve to have the likes of Robinho, Ronaldo, Deco and Yakubu visiting them every week.

It reminds me of an old joke.

I phoned up Ewood Park to ask them what time the Blackburn match was due to start. They responded "What time can you make it ?"

Peter Thorne - How on earth ...

A simple statement which also leads to a series of obvious questions.
Peter Thorne has scored 22 goals in 40 appearances for Bradford since leaving Norwich City.

Question 1 - How ?

Question 2 - Was he the most overpaid player Norwich's history relative to what he achieved on the pitch ?

Question 3 - Do you remember his one goal for Norwich ? (I do)

Question 4 - Was he taking the p*ss by staying at Norwich , playing reserve team football and taking his large wage packet when he could have gone elsewhere (and Norwich had accepted offers I understand) but he would have earned less.

The Lee Croft conundrum

What is it with Lee Croft ? When we first signed him from Manchester City he looked like a potential world beater in a side under Nigel Worthington that was lacking ideas and direction. But ever since about Christmas in his first season he has looked like a pale imitation of himself seemingly unable to beat opponents consistently and having no end product. Yet yesterday he produced a stunning performance, beating the Sheffield United left sided players at will with a combination of unadulterated pace and skill and topping it all off with a goal.

Hopefully, Croft's goal will cement his place in the team, meaning we will see more top quality performances. But what must definitely happen is that Lee Croft needs to make sure this is not another one off. We have seen before at Carrow Road how a dynamic winger who can contribute a few goals can make a dramatic difference to a team. Back in 2002 Paul McVeigh's goals and consistent form saw us through to the play off final whilst Darren Huckerby's contribution over many years saw City promoted and also saved from relegation to League One.
So come on Lee, make the difference for us this season.