I’ve allowed the dust to settle on Stuart Webber’s round of interviews and have read, listened to and digested everything I could find.
I have arrived at a few conclusions and would like to share them with you. I’ll be interested to hear what you all think.
The first thing is we need to put another name to the so-called Gowers/Penney Mafia. It should now read Gowers/Penney/Webber Mafia.
Gary and Martin have been accused of criticising the self-funding model, but once and for all Webber admitted, with no prevarication, that the present model HAS to change. He said it must change because, as so many of us on here have said for months or even years, self-funding cannot work if its aim is to get Norwich City FC into the Premier League on a regular basis and keep them there for any length of time.
It has now been said by the Sporting Director himself. He reinforced this by using examples of how much money the owners of Brighton and Brentford have put into their respective clubs; millions he said and then said our owners had put in… zero.
I also, personally, believe that he has told Michael and Delia that their idea for running the club going forward is toast. Why? Because, funnily enough, he was at his most honest on the in-house interview. I don’t believe that would not have happened without The-Powers-That-Be’s blessing.
Where I agree with him is when he talks of the great work done on the training ground, the number of youngsters we have had come through to the first team during his time (in liaison with DF), and we have to give him credit for his contribution to those two wonderful Championship wins.
I was also pleased to hear him finally fess up to the fact that the pursuit of Isaac Hayden was utter madness. Signing Lionel Messi would have been absolutely great for us but a total waste of time if he had a long-term injury. I feel for Hayden, just as I did Sam Byram and Matt Jarvis before him, but we must sign players who are fit on July 1st.
In no way do I condone the language used towards Stuart and have said so on here. In the incident he referenced, I think the supporter involved apologized, but once you start swearing and being abusive you lose the argument.
In terms of what offers have been put in the past to Delia and Michael for a stake in our club, it appears we have been misled, but we have to judge what is on the table now – the Attanasio Family.
I can understand that many of you on here do not see them as the answer, and you may well be right, but to me, they are an improvement on the status quo, so I will give them every chance.
I am sorry, but when I hear “sack the board” my heart sinks. How do you sack the board?
I would love to see Delia and Michael leave and give that opportunity to someone who can push the club on to greater heights and who actually has the financial muscle to do it, but it is impossible to sack them.
It is like trying to sack Richard Branson from Virgin.
But, now to the parts of the Webber interviews where I disagree.
Has the improvement on Colney been at the expense of the first team? A Soccerbot sounds great but it can’t play as a holding midfielder. The number of youngsters signed for an EPL relegation fight last summer was doomed to failure as I have said ad nauseam. Southampton have gone down a similar route this season to the tune of £143 million, and they will join us in the Championship next season.
He also said we need to keep our “identity” and he didn’t want us to be like Brentford, “a set-piece team”. Sorry, Stuart, I disagree. I think that is one of our biggest problems – what is our identity now?
He said no one watching Norwich 0 Burton 0 could see what Daniel Farke was trying to do in his first season. Not true, my mate Marty was in the Seychelles and my report to him was that we dominated from start to finish and Josh Murphy missed two sitters. I could see a style of play emerging, we just lacked firepower.
That was put right the next season by the addition of one Teemu Pukki.
Stuart says we (the club) and the fans have had two awful seasons. That is factually incorrect. Due to Covid and games being played behind closed doors, fans have seen three consecutive absolutely awful seasons.
And that really takes it out of you.
Was I jealous of the excitement that the Coventry supporters had in their successful playoff semi-finals? Of course I was, but give those same supporters the three seasons that we have had when fans were allowed in regularly, and they will soon lose that enthusiasm.
Webber asks for patience at the start of next season. Fair enough, but that will only work if the supporters see signs that the team knows what it is doing. If they start off by playing the right way the fans will get behind the boys big time.
I remember clapping the team off after a 1-0 defeat to Stoke City, even the then-Stoke manager Gary Rowett said it was daylight robbery. It proves that if you give the fans something, they will respond. It isn’t always about winning.
Webber’s tone at times is too combative, and it doesn’t help him.
“Divorcees”, really 😂?
And so, he doesn’t like women’s football, but why does he say these things? My wife and I watched women’s football in the early days, and it has improved out of all recognition. It is his right not to like it, just don’t mention the fact.
If, for example, I was in the sports industry, I would keep it to myself how poor I think Formula One is these days… boring. Can’t overtake on team orders🤬… it is meant to be a race!
And II still didn’t hear any real Webber apology over the recruitment over the last few windows although in fairness he has, at last, reluctantly admitted it wasn’t good. So progress I suppose.
He is clearly pinning all his hopes on David Wagner and the sweeping changes that are happening at the club. For me, DW has a lot to prove but, personally, I hope he does it.
He comes across as a nice, energetic, informative, and positive guy but then again so did poor old Smudger, so it really is a case of wait-and-see.
Stuart and David are clearly enthused for next season here at Carrow Road. Right now, that enthusiasm is only shared by a few.
Interesting days ahead all around.