In Carrow Road press conference this morning, Glenn Roeder has been appointed as the Canaries' new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
There had been much speculation over the past three weeks since Peter Grant left the club, with name after name being bandied about, but in truth, G Roeder came up on the rails and he is now handed the task of saving City from the unthinkable – relegation to League One.
With the Norfolk club three points adrift at the bottom of the Championship table, Roeder certainly has a task on his hands and his first match will be a baptism of fire – the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road on Sunday.
“After a lengthy and diligent search I'm more than delighted to confirm that Glenn Roeder is the Board's unanimous choice as the next Norwich City manager,” said Chairman Roger Munby.
“We discussed the current position of the Club and team with him at length and I'm thrilled that he has joined us.”
The Club's joint majority shareholders, Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones, added: “Glenn's experience in taking on clubs in difficult situations and improving their fortunes is clearly relevant to us.
“He carries enormous respect in the game, both from players and other managers. We are absolutely delighted that he has agreed to join us and we are all really looking forward to working with him.”
Roeder has been out of the game since leaving Newcastle in May after an indifferent campaign last year.
Before that, the 51-year-old left West Ham in 2003 after a two-year spell in charge. A year earlier, he had guided the Hammers to seventh place and an Intertoto Cup place but following season saw relegation and the diagnosis of a brain tumour – something that will surely have put the trials and tribulations of football into perspective.
“The experience has taught me so much,” said Roeder at the time, speaking of his ordeal.
“Not least that the doctors and nurses who cared for me are the real stars, not footballers.
“Mr Afshar, who performed the operation and the neurologist Dr Gawler, they truly are unsung heroes, the silent superstars They don't seek the limelight but every day they are saving lives.
“The nurses too, both in the London Hospital and the London Clinic, were magnificent. They have smiles on their faces as they work their 12-hour shifts simply because they care about people.
“I will also never be able to repay the two club doctors, Ges Steinbergs and Sean Howlett, for what they've done. They are two magnificent guys.”
“The fortunate thing is that, because of the position of the tumour, it provided an easier opportunity for Mr Afshar to remove it.
“I'm no expert but I have learned a fair bit by necessity.
“He obviously had to remove some of the brain in that area as well but I was fortunate again that it was in an area that doesn't control anything vital. I know there is a chance that brain surgery can affect personality but people tell me I'm just the same.
“My wife was disappointed. She was hoping it would have softened me because I can be opinionated at times when I believe I'm right but I'm no different.”
“The five days I spent on a life support machine were the worst for the family. I had tubes everywhere, I was motionless, I looked as though I was dead.”
The stress of managing West Ham, who were relegated from the Premiership, was blamed for Roeder's illness. He had been under pressure for months following the team's poor form. But Roeder insists the stress of the relegation fight did not cause him to collapse.
“Stress didn't cause it,” he maintains today. “Anyone can have a brain tumour, it doesn't matter what job they have or whether they have a job at all.
“The tumour was apparently a slow-growing one although no one can say exactly how long it had been there. What happened that day was going to happen at some time.”
Much, much more to follow…
Leave a Reply