We trusted in them… and they duly delivered.
Just a week after the nationals had us staring into the managerless abyss, Messrs McNally and Bowkett duly produced one Chris Hughton – no messing, no legal threats, no dramas, just sorted. Simple as that.
Clearly behind the scenes there have been – and will continue to be – some battle-lines being drawn, but as far as we’re concerned it’s job done.
The fact that they have delivered us someone who was high up on most of our wanted lists is a bonus – although such is the current stock of our two leaders I suspect we’d have found a reason to trust them even if the appointment had been an assistant coach from the Latvian Second Division.
But Chris Hughton it is… and I for one couldn’t be happier. I knew little about Chris the person, but having read Mick Dennis’ excellent piece on here it’s clear he’s a thoroughly decent bloke. A good guy, with a decent track record, who has a happy knack of getting his team to play attractive, winning football… I’ll take that all day long.
The Press conference confirmed to us that he would indeed bring his own management team in en masse providing us with an Irishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman – incidentally all of whom were full internationals for their respective countries. (We’ll ignore Chris Hughton’s cockney accent for this purpose!).
In addition Ewan Chester is returning as chief scout – which is a funny one. We were told by Paul Lambert what a ‘top top’, scout this gentleman was when he arrived – and certainly nothing happened during his tenure to disprove this boast.
It’s fair to say that most of the players who arrived in the period May 2010 to June 2011 all contributed significantly to the triumphant Championship campaign – and that includes the likes of Lansbury and Pacheco who bucked the trend of short-term loan flops.
His departure in June 2011 was as surprising as it was disappointing, and whilst it appeared that the original intention was to join the massed ranks at Stamford Bridge he eventually popped up at St Andrew’s.
It seems that the ill-fated Chelsea revolution inspired by Andre Villas-Boas left no room for someone quite so British of origin, but Hughton was quick to seize the opportunity.
That he’s now already seen as an integral part of ‘Team Hughton’ speaks volumes for his standing within the game. The bloke clearly knows a good player when he sees one and we’re lucky to have him back.
With Colin Calderwood and Paul Trollope presumably taking up the assistant manager and first team coach positions respectively this curiously leaves no obvious gaps in which to slot Messrs Culverhouse and Karsa.
I’m content for now to assume that they will eventually work their way down the A14, once Macca has done his dealing – but if we open the season with their organisational and coaching skills on board, that’d be another massive bonus.
Not only that – it would strike a significant blow to our friends in claret and blue, who perhaps underestimate the key role played by Culverhouse. However, I’m dreaming… and I’m guessing Team Lambert will be reunited quite soon.
If this doesn’t happen then it’s further proof that if Lambert’s desire and drive to get to the very top incurs a few casualties along the way – then so be it.
As things stand I have my doubts as to whether one Grant Holt will be with us on opening day, and this clearly represents Mr Hughton’s first serious challenge. He spoke yesterday, quite correctly, of having 24 others to think about equally, but deep down he well knows the value of a 15 goal-a-season striker to a club like ours.
One thing is for sure – having managed some fairly tetchy characters along the way, particularly in Newcastle, he’ll certainly have the wherewithal to get the best result for Norwich City whatever that may finally turn out to be.
My own feeling on the subject has swung from near heart-break to indifference… helped in no small way by Holt feeling the need to remind us all of his outstanding transfer request the day after his former Gaffer offered his resignation.
Being the sensitive soul I am that struck me as a tad spiteful, and however hard I try, I now love him just that little bit less.
Having said that, we all know what happened with Rooney and how quickly a Premier League brace or two can help us forget… we’re a fickle old bunch us football supporters!
Either way I trust McNally, Hughton et al implicitly to do what they consider best for Norwich City.
After all, in Hughton we now trust.