And so, just over a month after being installed as new Norwich City boss, Glenn Roeder has finally put the final piece of the ?staff jigsaw? in place by completing the cast of his backroom team.
As far as on-field matters are concerned it's quite apparent that Roeder needs to add as many new faces to this present City squad as is humanly possible and on that score you would hope that there's plenty more business to come once the transfer window reopens in four weeks time, but what about this new look management line-up?
Well, at ages 35 and 39 respectively Lee Clarke and Paul Stephenson obviously do not possess bags of coaching experience and will inevitably be new to trying to escape the drop from the other side of the fence so to speak, and when they arrived in Norfolk, neither had the kudos of coaching senior professionals for any significant length of time etched on their CVs.
Roeder, of course, is no stranger to trying to keep a cool head whilst tackling the prospect of steering a side clear of the relegation zone, having encountered similar situations at most of the clubs he has coached or managed at.
And he obviously has enough faith in himself to not be concerned that when he gathers his new assistants together for a brain-storming session he will stand alone in being able to recall previous experiences as any sort of a guideline on future policy.
So on that basis we have to trust the new City boss with the appointment of his youthful colleagues.
No doubt one or two people will draw similar comparisons with the new Norwich coaching team to that of former boss Peter Grant.
Grant was criticised for bringing in too many fellow Scotsmen, not only on the playing front, but also with his own assistants in Jim Duffy and Bryan Gunn, yet Roeder has just done more or less the same thing by bringing two Geordies to the fold to join – in his own words ? an 'adopted' Geordie in himself.
And with Matty Patterson already in from Newcastle, well, more fuel to the fire for those with a bee in their bonnets on that particular front.
Watching the manner in which the Canaries have basically rolled over and submitted in the majority of their games this season though, it is only too apparent that the one thing that is required more than anything else in order for Norwich to give themselves a fighting chance of escaping what would be a catastrophic drop into the third tier of English football, is precisely that – a fighting spirit.
Roeder himself has admitted that the Canaries are ?too nice? and rapidly need to develop the knack of playing ugly if need be in order to start winning games, and if he decrees that Geordies are the perfect answer to that particular problem, be it on the playing or coaching front, then so be it?and bring 'em in by the boatload as well!
Stephenson is a bit of an unknown aside from his Newcastle links, but he comes highly recommended having overseen the progress of many junior players through to the first team ranks.
His job will be to bridge the gap between the Academy and reserve teams through to the first team, whilst remaining fully involved with all the first team matches and as many of their training sessions as time and commitments allow.
Clarke, of course, is the epitome of everything that Norwich have lacked, and if he can help mould the Canaries into possessing only half the never-say-die, run-till-you-drop, die-for-the-cause qualities that he freely effused himself as a player, then his job will have more than been done.
This new coaching team has the future of Norwich City Football Club resting on its every decision from hereon in, and as straightforward and simple a job description as there can be. And that is to keep the Canaries in the Coca-Cola Championship.
Nothing more, nothing less.
If they can pull it off, their places in Norwich's folklore will be assured.
Leave a Reply