Swapping the yellow and green for blue rarely works out well but we can ‘occasionally’ be a forgiving lotSat 16 Jul 16 by Russell Saunders
Mick McCarthy “likes him”.
He is rumoured to be a transfer target for McCarthy.
Most Norwich fans like him too but the rumour is causing some discomfort over a long, not very hot summer.
Elliott Bennett, or EBenno, is presumably currently ‘considering his options’ in time honoured fashion.
After joining the putative Paul Lambert revolution at Blackburn Rovers in January he now has the former Bolton and Wigan boss Owen Coyle in charge of his destiny at Ewood Park.
Maybe he’s now ’surplus to requirements’ or he is restless for a return down south? Who knows.
For many a City fan, any crossing of the line from Norfolk to Suffolk (even if there is a period of time between as would be the case with Bennett), is heresy – taboo – a no-no of the highest order.
For others, he is perfectly welcome to ply his trade for whoever the hell he likes. His time at Carrow Road will remain untainted.
I wonder if that will be the case if 1) he does make the move, and 2) he pops up with the winner in the East Anglian derby?
Some bigger names than Benno have faced the same dilemma and taken the plunge.
Denis Law crossed the Manchester divide – in both directions. City – Utd (via Italy) – City. Wow, now that does take some balls.
Peter Beardsley crossed the park directly from Anfield to Goodison – again brave beyond words.
Being a Geordie boy though, I suspect that Beardo knew any thoughts of a move to Sunderland at any point of his career would have been the end of his welcome on the Tyne.
Both brave men survived to tell the tale but almost certainly came in for dog’s abuse from diehard fans of the clubs involved.
All in an age before the online vessel gifted everyone and his dog an opinion of course. Modern technology ramps up the spreading of vitriol and rancour.
I’m sure you can think of other examples.
Only a handful of such cases have made the Norwich to Ipswich move.
Some have come the other way but that’s different. That’s coming to their senses and seeing the error of their ways.
Louie Donowa, that pacey, tricky Canary of the mid-80s who played at the old Wembley in 1985, went to Suffolk for one season but only after a time spent in Spain and Holland.
Louie was born in Ipswich, so did have some ‘excuse’ maybe but he soon moved on to Bristol City, so clearly the lure of Constable country didn’t turn out to be so strong.
Louie’s fellow Milk Cup Final winning colleague John ‘Dixie’ Deehan did the unthinkable and moved straight from the Canaries to the Tractor boys in an exchange deal which saw Trevor Putney make the opposite journey.
Deehan must have taken serious flak for that move at the time but the club was big enough to invite him back to first assist Mike Walker – that went rather well – before taking up the full managerial reigns from 1994-95.
That didn’t go so well with Deehan jumping ship shortly before relegation from the Premiership.
However, long-serving stylish midfield ace Ian ‘Chippy’ Crook deserves centre stage when discussing those who risked the wrath of the yellow and green faithful, albeit he didn’t even play for Ipswich in the end. But only just.
Crooky’s Suffolk near miss is one of the most curious episodes in the club’s history.
After serving the club with distinction for the best part of a decade and leaving an indelible impression for his beautiful range of passing and midfield guile, Chippy suddenly found himself surplus and available on a free.
He was not alone in that regard with other legends, Mark Bowen and Jeremy Goss, similarly ‘Chased out’ in a clear-out by Gary Megson. Those were dark days.
Chippy did the unthinkable and was persuaded to sign up for the move to Portman Road by George Burley, even having his photo taken with the dreaded blue and white shirt.
As fortune would have it, Megson got the boot, the silver fox Walker returned and one of his first acts was to re-instate Crook at Carrow Road.
Much gnashing of teeth followed, a tribunal ensued, fines were issued and the local Suffolk rags vented their spleen at the ‘Judas’ who changed sides without ever seeing action there.
There must have been a hell of a stink for a while.
All was forgiven with most as Chippy resumed his Norwich career (if only briefly) before disappearing off to Japan.
Crook of course did, again briefly, reappear in Norfolk as coach in the Bryan Gunn regime but the least said about that episode the better. He now plies his trade in Australia.
Now, Benno is no Ian Crook or John Deehan in terms of his record with the Canaries – they both became hall-of-famers – but a Canary he was and, as such, it would be tough to see him turning out for the mortal enemy next season.
It is entirely a free decision he has to make if he does want away from Ewood Park. If Mick does make the call, then he has said time-honoured tricky decision to make.
And with Twitter waiting for his decision, he better be prepared for a less than 100 per cent positive reaction if he does join the Marcus Evans revolution.
Most though I suspect, would get over it… unless he pops up with the winner in a certain derby match. Now, that would be unforgivable.