To set us up for the game at Villa, I spoke to Andrew Raeburn. A Villa fan for 20 years, Andrew is a freelance sports journalist and commentator; among other things, he contributes to BBC Sport Online, West London Sport and WhoScored. As you’ll see, Andrew does not look at his club through rose-tinted glasses. […]
I’ve fallen behind. That statement could apply to many facets of life – particularly those involving technology – but in this case I’m thinking of the writers on this site. Through the summer my fellow columnists have produced incisive analysis of tactics, formations and the Championship contenders, while I’ve been wallowing in Cambridge nostalgia and […]
By kind permission of the club, our friends at Along Come Norwich and Stewart Lewis of MFW spoke to club director Tom Smith at the former Anglian Windows Sports & Social Club, now acquired by the Community Sports Foundation. Today’s piece focuses on CSF and that project; a further article will cover Stewart’s conversation with Tom on […]
My dad’s father was unquestionably clever enough to go to university, but his poor background gave him no chance. He worked as a docker in Yarmouth until bad health forced him to stop. My dad was equally clearly a university candidate, but the outbreak of World War II prevented it. He eventually taught, inspirationally but […]
“Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” Abraham Lincoln I won’t take this into a discussion of our current political leaders, tempting as that might be. Suffice to say, perhaps, that Lincoln himself passed the test with flying colours. The principle applies to leadership in […]
The publication of the 2016/17 Championship fixture list naturally brought two questions to mind: – What’s the ideal question to ask the Prime Minister at PMQs? – Was Robert Louis Stevenson a Norwich fan? I didn’t have much time for William Hague as Leader of the Opposition. But I later heard him as an after-dinner speaker, and […]
Today, just a quick re-cap on where things stand at Carrow Road. Then let’s move on to other important matters – in particular money, envy and (unrelated to the other two) my birthday. Current developments at Norwich warrant at least our interest, and possibly a bit of excitement (though Dave B is excused). What we’re […]
Deep breath…. I said a few weeks ago that Stuart Webber would test our faith by letting some of our favourite players go. Little did I realize the test would come so soon and so personally. My favourite player, Jonny Howson, seems destined to be gone before we see our team in action again. In […]
Stuart Webber could be forgiven a quiet smile. While the rest of us immersed ourselves in speculation about Rosler, Monk, O’Neill, Keller and assorted others, he quietly went about sealing the deal to secure his number one target. He smiled sweetly as other names were put to him. I saw him, without a word, buy […]
If we want a more competitive Norwich team next season we’ll have to put some trust in Webber’s dispassionate analysis. Most of us would love to see Mitchell Dijks starting at left back in August. If he’s been won over by the charms of Norfolk, it would be frustrating for City not to go through with the agreed deal with Ajax.
While there’ll no doubt be a major turnover of players at Norwich this summer, it would be absolutely wrong to describe it as a ‘fire sale’ – that is, a situation in which you’re looking to sell any asset you possibly can to raise money. We are not QPR of a couple of years ago.
“It’s obviously easier if someone’s dumping a lot of cash in, as long as you’ve got the right structure. But I absolutely think it’s sustainable to be in the Premier League with the funding structure we have, if we’ve got the right set-up to spend the money properly.”
“If you’ve got the right coach, you sign the right mentality of player and get them in early, it gives you six weeks for them to gel. Because our identity and the way we played was so nailed at Huddersfield, it was easy from a tactical point of view for people to settle in.”
We often agree that most of our football discussion comes down to opinion. Should City start with Jerome or Oliveira? How many games should Wes be asked to play? Who is our worst central defender? We can debate all those and more.
Interesting as the new Sporting Director (and for some of us, the process of getting him) is, the real excitement will come with the appointment of a Head Coach. Given Webber’s track record, it should be exciting even if we’ve never heard of him. It will bring to life the issue of which players stay and go in the summer.
Whenever we get back to the Premier League we’ll need to use a big chunk of the income to strengthen the squad (i.e. what we failed to do in summer 2015). However smart our recruitment this summer, we’re simply not in a financial position now to build a PL team. So my view is: grab any chance at promotion.
Our owners shouldn’t be closed to outside investment. It’s my understanding that Delia’s Times interview and Michael’s comments at the AGM were borne of frustration at previous attempts to find investors, and came over as more closed and definitive than they actually are.
It has to evolve and change over time. Giving David McNally free rein to supervise and intervene in every aspect of the club’s operation was crucial (as was Bowkett’s re-negotiation of our debt) in steering the club away from disaster in 2009. But it’s not the right way for Norwich City in 2017.
Relegation reduced City’s income by around half. The club’s good housekeeping, the relegation clauses in its contracts and parachute payments have helped to mitigate the situation, but they don’t fill the gap.
Undoubtedly the issues go further than the manager. But who can deny the manager is a significant part of the problem? Mathematically we can still make the play-offs, but under the current arrangements there’s no chance of the sustained form it would take.