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  1. 37 points
    I arrived fairly early tonight and my old friend Roger Smith had already bagged a couple of seats in a nice position. Before proceedings began I had a nice chat with respected Pinkun poster Myra Hawtree, one of the very few who have been supporting this club longer than me. The surprise of the night was to see Mark Attanasio walk in with Delia, something I don't think any of us expected. We kicked off with the now customary slick video, nice but I don't know what it really adds. Then quickly got on with the formal business where all resolutions passed on a show of hands. Tom Smith was chairing tonight and I thought he did it in a very professional manner and later on handled a few slightly difficult moments quite well. On to the Q and A where the first question was obviously the rift between the club and the local media. Zoe explained how the arrangement worked in the past and how in her opinion the press had made unwarranted personal attacks on members of staff. The comparison of Dean Smith to rotting mushrooms was mentioned. There was a plea from the floor to the effect that the relationship needed to be healed which received affirmative applause. There was criticism of Stuart Webbers recruitment and the man himself had the courage to stand up and admit mistakes were his responsibility. He also explained the difficulty of recruiting established Premier players when we had to include a 60% wage reduction if we were relegated. I expect we all wished it were different but wishing won't make it so. The club are looking in to complaints about the new floodlights but the lumination is now controlled by what the broadcasters wanted rather than what suits spectators. However they hoped to make some changes. For those who want the ticket office to reopen for face to face purchases, hard luck, its not going to happen. Tom Smith explained that an expletitive email had been submitted by an unnamed person re the flying of the Pride flag. He rightly stated that the club were totally committed to equality and this again was received with affirmative applause. A question was then asked of Mark Attanasio. There were thanks for his 10 million quid but reservations re the conditions which could see him getting his money back with interest if things didn't go as planned. I was quite impressed with his fullsome relpy and his statement that he was not here to take advantage of the club and supporters. Only time will tell us how this works out. There were questions on fan engagement, betting companies as sponsors, season ticket prices etc and my friend Roger Smith asked the same question he did 20 years ago when we were all hoping for stadium enlargement. Apparantly there is still nothing concrete but the same firm of architects that did Liverpools enlargement are reporting on the feasibility of building over the top of the present main stand. I still expect that I will be long dead before this comes to pass. Stuart Webber said a few words about his close relationship with Daniel Farke and explained why he felt we needed to go in a different direction. The intimation was that being pretty wasn't enough and that we would see a tougher approach from now on from the manager and players. Questions were asked as to why Dean Smith was not in attendance and Zoe had to be corrected that this was not normal practice. To my recollection the manager has always been there to field football related questions, certainly since AGM's have been held in the Norfolk Lounge. Finally there was another plea for peace with the local press from another old guy who used to read the EDP in the outside bog with a candle. Thats about all I can remember.
  2. 27 points
    Parma’s State of the Nation Farke brought us a precise, carefully-constructed philosophy, using intelligent positional play, Dortmund-esque fan engagement, attractive sporting entertainment, though clear top level failure. Webber - it must be assumed - also implemented this very particular methodology throughout the youth ages. Planning purchases based on that particular style (Or?). Delia - though passionate, loyal and committed - has no ‘football money’, so the self-sustaining model is a top down necessity, as shown by the £5m fan Bond to build the training ground (via the Tifosys finance model). Promotion to premier duly puts Webber in a difficult position: Do we accept the glass ceiling of our model or blame Farke? The external questions were clear: Were the new players good enough for now? Were they investment purchases to appreciate at some future date? The idea - surely - is that as you develop, the risk on buying youth is less, as you pay more, you buy experienced youth playing at higher levels already. Vid Tzolis, Sargent. You try to get a weapon. Vid Rashica (really?). The ‘Pissed up window wall’ window had Klose (longevity, good quality, value), Pinto (longevity, fair quality, value), Naismith (expensive here-and-now investment, Sat on contract, nightmare -£15m), Maddison +£18m, Godfrey +£20m), so an overall window balance of say +£20m? Did we do better than this under the new model? The top level is where we are judged, where our aims are focused as per our attractively-presented 2022 Report. Trotsdem , top level failure occurred despite implanting an excellent, attractive, coherent playing philosophy. Record points totals had been achieved, there was a clear identity, followed by a high spend on new players. The Sporting Director had had plenty of preparation time and a free operational hand. Including with the limited ring-fenced chequebook. Farke (despite recently-signed 4 year contract) was summarily replaced by Smith, who was suddenly available, opportunistically persuaded, so not pre-planned. Both parties fell into each others’ arms via timing. Webber - I think just about understandably - just could not accept that our structural ceiling (financial-operational-sporting) had been reached, plus the further implication that his big investment signings were not successful. He just couldn’t (be seen) to accept either at that point. However history shows that within the parameters of owner finance this was-is as good as we can expect (particularly after first Premier season failure, which was ‘taking the money, to come back stronger next time’) Thus the glass Norwich ceiling was concretised. No further dreaming was possible. Everything that could have been done, was done. Mistakes were perhaps the inevitable product of imperfect financial and sporting compromises. QED Attanasio? Or an acceleration-expansion of his involvement? Nevertheless Sportingly Smith replacing Farke looks like correcting yesterday’s mistakes. Thus everything is a step behind where it should be. Smith immediately tried to solidify an exposed defence, the over-committed midfielders (particularly out of possession). A desire to counter-press effectively, stay-in-shape, not be so vulnerable on transition. The flaw with this approach - which has been endorsed also by the Sporting Director whose *new* vision now also ‘aligns’ - is that the Premier League and the Championship are fundamentally, dramatically, operationally so different from each other. And for very good reason. At the top level you are one of the worst, so you have to defend a lot, so you come under lots of pressure and you lose a lot. So you must be pretty good at defending or have awkward weapons that others have to adjust for. In the second tier you are not punished much for your mistakes (relatively), you don’t need to set up to defend, lots of teams are hard-working but lack quality. And no one has any weapons (really). So you don’t need to defend so much or so well. Farke also knew the above perfectly well. What he did was no accident. As Guardiola has repeatedly stated (including in writing if you read his books), positional play is actually a defensive tool. If you keep possession and ‘do nothing with it’, no one else has it either do they? Passing it backwards and sideways for 90 minutes is a bloody good idea against most top level teams (nil-nil is better than you will do in about 25 games). Of course upon demotion, very few teams can live with positional play. It takes high intelligence and it requires a level of coordinated press and defensive shape to combat, that few teams in the championship have enough players of sufficient intelligence to achieve. So we now have a a pragmatic mercenary journeyman manager that might suit a top level team destined to defend every week and be attritional, with a structure that is hard to break down and shouldn’t get hammered every week (I appreciate that we are not seeing this, though it is-was the intention I believe). The problem is that we are solving yesterday’s problems again. We don’t need to ask the players - say Cantwell - to counter press like marines. You need this at the top level. There are limits to professional footballers (at our level). They cannot chase defensive shape chickens like Gary Holt, then magically make through passes like Buendia a second later. The very, very best can do this (sometimes). We cannot buy them. So we end up neither fish, nor fowl. The irony is that many accused Farke of doing something that needed top level players only. He proved many of you wrong. With coaching, teaching, studying of positional play principles, it spread through the club. It became second nature to many. I would suggest that what Smith is asking for is more geared towards top level players only. Be a machine out of possession, switch to Litmanen cool upon turnover. We’d all love to think we can do that, though try sprinting flat out for 200 metres, then beating the computer at Chess. It’s not really how the brain and body typically operates. Hence we often look disjointed, erratic and play in fits-and-starts. Farke chose a certain compromise. Smith is trying to pretend that no such compromises are necessary. That we can have all things. Furthermore both he and a Webber appear to think that we need ‘to be prepared for the Premier’ in the way we play now. In our current circumstances. I think that this is fundamentally flawed. We need to jump the Championship hurdle - whereby you can attack teams, be expansive and overwhelm opposition if you have Pukki and players who can score regularly - first. This methodology is then proved (within our parameters) not to come close to working at the top level. At which point you need different tactics, a far more mechanical, low-risk, high running, high physicality, couple of expensive and strategically-protected weapons (which is where you spend all your available money). However there is even a further flaw. None of our players would be good enough for the top level anyway (except Pukki who’ll leave shortly anyway). We couldn’t invest enough to buy what we’d need to reframe the squad make up and approach anyway (which would also require a coaching-sporting pivot). So we return to our nexus points. Our sale of Buendia, our sacking of Farke, our huge relative investments strategically in Rashica-Tzolis-Sargent. Our style pivot to a prosaic Smith-headed philosophy - even in the second tier (and is it now through the age groups? Does-can anyone teach positional play anymore?) As fans what do we have? Identity no. Entertainment not really. Continuity not obviously. Clarity of corporate future not yet. Dreams of top level success extinguished. Unique Fan led club no longer. Money no. Investment purchases unnrealised and seemingly mostly unrealisable. Large swathes of too-good-for-Championship yesterday’s men out of contract. A huge pivot on unproven new players that have not obviously improved anything. A much smaller, cheaper squad by necessity-design. We are chasing a chimera. Even success is just expensive and embarrassing. Though in its stead we are drifting into that awful, anonymous, disinterested purgatory of mid-table second tier quicksand. The ‘camels coming down Carrow Road’ were previously dismissed, now the Cowboys are embraced. Despite the planning, sporting strategy and legions of forecasters, it all starts to look a little ‘events dear boy, events’. Parma
  3. 19 points
    Again unseasonably warm here in Norwich so still no need for woolly hat and gloves for the ride down to CR. It was announced that Mark Attanasio was here with his family and they received generous applause when introduced to the crowd. Before kick off we were treated to a splendid Rememberance Day rendition of The Last Post from a member of the City staff and as the last strains died away I couldn't help but wonder if there might not be something of a prophetic message hidden here. Boro certainly began with a bang and a City player had barely touched the ball before a cross from the right was nodded narrowly over the bar. I was aware that Boro had come into a run of good form and from the off they looked neat and tidy and comfortable in possession. City finally got some decent play going after five minutes when Ramsey got the better of a tackle in centre field and made progress towards goal. Pukki was available to his left and a nice ball left him with a chance that on other days he would have netted with ease but he's lost a bit of sharpness this season and could only direct the ball at the keepers legs and away. A couple of minutes later the lively Sara combined with Max down the City right and a cut back slipped beyond Pukki only for Kenny to clip the ball across to Sargent who's powerful low strike found the far corner. City were buzzing now and the visitors needed all hands to the pump to prevent a second goal. More neat play down the right led to Ramsey dragging the ball past a couple of defenders before unleashing an on target effort that Steffen in the Boro goal could only parry and a defender had to nod away with Pukki lurking. A good opening twenty minutes ought to have brought more than one goal but Boro survived the onslaught and began to get the reward for some decent possession. Thankfully crosses in to the box were being well dealt with by the City central defence at this stage but the margin of comfort was rather slim. The home side still appeared to carry the greater threat in front of goal and Sara nearly sneaked a second when turning on Kenny's knockdown and scuffing the ball just over the top. You could feel thethe crowd beginning to get edgey as the balance of play continued to alter in Boro's favour and I for one was more than happy to herarthe halftime whistle and preserve the lead. I expect they got a bit of a rocket in the dressing room because they set off the second period at a faster clip and only a flying save by Steffen prevented Josh Sargent from nailing a second. Unfortunately the home side couldn't sustain it and Boro were soon back dominating proceedings as the City were forced to back pedal. A couple of times crosses went right across the City six yard line without anyone getting a touch and it was plain to see something had to give. Only a brilliant interception by Sara saved the day as Boro strikers were lining up on a cut back from the right. I don't try to second guess tactics but it seemed to me that we needed a better grip in midfield where Boro were now totally dominant, indeed at times it looked like a Premier team toying with a Championship side. A change had to come and on the hour Onel replaced Pukki. I doubt if I was the only one bemused by this decision for it did nothing to alter the direction of travel. Five minutes later the inevitable equaliser came and nobody present could deny that it was fullty deserved. A nothing ball into midfield was picked up by Howson and he quickly found McGree who volled a glorious strike into the top corner leaving Gunn with no chance. I could only see the game going one way after this although to their credit, with Cantwell and Gianoullis coming on for Ramsey and McCallum we did look a little more dangerous. Sara had a shot brilliantly turned away by Steffen and the Max Aarons effort from inside the box whizzed just the wrong side of the post. The Onel really should have done better when put in on the left but tried one too many swerves and lost the ball. With six minutes added there was still time but for a long while I had felt that it would be our net that bulged and it duly transpired as two Boro players came away down the right against one defender and when a hard low cross came in I wasn't surpised to see Crooks turn it past Gunn from close range. Boro players naturally milked the time added but even so Onel had another great opportunity but nobody was shocked when he blazed it wide. Hanley went up front for the final knockings but this is not a season where the ball falls kindly for late goals to be scored and on the balance of play today Boro were good value for their win. I repeat what I said a couple of weeks ago, this doesn't look to me like a team that is going to win automatic promotion although playoffs remain possible. Far too many points are being lost from winning positions and too many decent chances are being squandered. And I still don't understand the thinking in the first round of substitutions. Sara my MOM, Max was also good today. McCallum got caught out in the second half and Ramsey seems to fade out of things once we go on the back foot. What Attanasio thought I can't imagine but that Last bloody Post turned out to be prophetic after all.
  4. 17 points
    Three points away from home. Up to 4th. Kenny scored. Two Rays Funds wins adding £40 to the pot. If Carlsberg made Saturdays...
  5. 14 points
    I live here in the Tampa Bay Area and I put this on twitter if any of you care. Sad about Jonathan Rowe he will be out for a while with a foot injury he was walking around in a boot & crutches I asked him how it was and he said “Not good but didn’t have the results back yet” & I asked Tzolis if he was coming back in January and he said likely not. Also congratulated Kenny on his new contract which was announced on the website during the practice and when he came to say hello to the fans and he was like finally it’s been done for a while. It was good times wasn’t organized very well with it being Announced last minute and right before the England usa match and everyone including players wanted to leave pretty quickly to get back over the bridge to Tampa. Btw the heat here is almost like Qatar right now and these players were gasping after only a few mins. I can only imagine how the European teams are feeling over there playing in the heat.
  6. 14 points
    More than I regret voting for Brexit. And that's saying something. What were we thinking? What were the board thinking? We can't blame Webber for this entirely, the fans had turned on Farke. They should have turned on Webber and his recruitment, but they didn't they turned on Farke. He was a great coach, lets be honest, is a source of regret, as I'm sure it is for a lot of people, that we didn't get behind him like Forest did with Cooper this season. Cooper was set to be sacked, fans voiced their displeasure at this, recruitment team got sacked instead. That's what should have f*cking happened here isn't it, and Webber led the recruitment.
  7. 12 points
    Excellent example of what our club has to deal with from the fanbase. I'm surprised Webber can be bothered to give as much as 90%
  8. 12 points
    "After that , I now have clarity of what we need to over the next 3 weeks with these players" ....so what the f*uck do you do with them all week with them at the training ground , every week???! Don't fall for any more of this bloke's bullsh!t and give him a minute more. Nothing will change Don't waste this next few weeks, act now, Russell Martin Scott Parker or Mark Robins in tomorrow #SmithOut
  9. 12 points
    I think that there were 3 notable sets of comments made by Zoe, Stuart and and Mark Attanasio, that all indicate something of the past, the present and the future. Zoe was surprisingly honest - perhaps a little put on the spot by Tom? (Which seems strange with pre-submitted questions) - when asked about whether the introduction and involvement of Mark Attanasio was an acceptance that the ceiling of the current self-sustaining model had been reached. She stated really quite clearly that there was now a more than tacit acceptance that Premier clubs had basically all moved away from us. Not just those at the top end, but the vast body of the Premier. That our finances simply could not compete. This is honest, clearly the case, though of course at considerable odds with the mission statement that runs right through the core of the Annual Report 2022 and the club’s stated aim. The Premier aim is the point of everything according to that document. Stuart initially responded very spikily and defensively to the question on whether the recruitment was not fit for purpose at the top level. Whilst initially defensive - talking of how the signing may yet come good - he then wisely ‘owned’ the mistakes, saying how difficult it was to sign ready-made Premier level players with our budget, honestly said the failings were ‘on him’ and that his role is to protect others. He got a round of applause for this (which I joined in on), though I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps Daniel Farke’s agent didn’t clap quite so loudly. He might well argue that it was Daniel that ‘owned’ the unsuitable recruitment. Mark Attanasio spoke well. The detail of what he said was interesting and - in my view - at huge counterpoint to the style and content others used and have used in the past. He said very clearly ‘it is not about training grounds’ and that ‘the fans don’t want to hear about that’ . He repeated on 3 or four occasions that it was ‘about winning’ …‘about winning football’ …’winning’. I thought the obvious follow up to the Sporting model failure question was to ask Mark Attanasio directly whether his initial investment and indicated ‘period of internal due diligence’ (my words) was a pre-cursor to a full takeover. He had made quite an effort to be there and might well have been keen to talk. Parma post script: sorry I missed you @nutty nigel, had other directors with me and they had to shoot off
  10. 12 points
    Unfortunately Nutty I forgot to take the blood pressure pills. It was a bit unkind of Ricardo to refer to me as an old guy. I am only 84. It was pretty clear that Delia and Winnie have taken a back seat and the show is run by the Webbers and the new typical modern Britain directorships. Not a word about the accounts and the Manager not present. Clearly to avoid any criticism and all a bit stage managed. There is little doubt this Board is making little effort to engage its supporters. To sum up their attitude in a nutshell - they have an income of £120 million but feel it necessary to charge a loyal supporter a pound to issue a ticket.
  11. 12 points
    I’ve thought about this @Taiwan Canary. No there are no weapons really. Though just to re-clarify you can have very good players that are not weapons, and conversely not very good players that are weapons. To explain by using extremes, I could probably argue that Kevin de Bruyne is not technically a weapon, he is ‘just’ brilliant (that is weaponish of course, I know I’m reaching, humour me), though Andy Carroll - who is now not the greatest footballer - still is a weapon. The weapon can do certain ‘special teams’ things that you cannot as an opposition coach ignore. You have to change your own preferred tactical blueprint for your own side, to take account of the the opposition’s weapon. Carroll gets thrown on in the 80th minute. They go high and long and hit early deep balls to him. He is not mobile, but he’ll win the headers. You definitely can’t sit deep and let crosses rain in. So you have to get one in front one behind, get your midfielders to be alert to second balls, try to get wide players alert - and quite possibly pressing a little higher - to stop full backs at source. Conversely what exactly are you going to do about Kevin de Bruyne? He’s just better than anything you’ve got (He is a weapon with his set pieces too, so you really can’t give free kicks away), you certainly have to go 3 in the middle if you don’t already and you have to keep a tight catenaccio 4 with very short spaces between them to prevent slide rule balls. Ok so he is a weapon, but you know what I mean now… Anyhoo, we have nothing like either of them. Only Pukki. I won’t be disingenuous to @Petriix and - here’s some hope for you and @nutty nigel @Taiwan Canary - will acknowledge that when clumsy Sarge starts driving hard and cutting into spaces, looking to shoot, he can look hard to stop, though I’m afraid he is ‘a level’ player. With a fraction more time and space, and a fraction less diligent and counter-threatening opposition he can look quite a handful. Take those things away (higher level) and I am afraid he doesn’t and won’t. Sara and Nunez are interesting additions that represent gambles on a number of levels and have novelty value and some nice moments. We will see whether diligence and positional discipline come to both or either. I am not at all sure I have seen it yet. The good news: Love Nunez’ free kicks, that’s a weapon actually, as he genuinely strikes them all well and correctly. Sara’s corners also please me, they should be more weaponised, though I dislike our attacking of corners. I don’t yet see the quality of runs and movement I would expect. I am not knocking Alan Russell, who has good pedigree and valuable ideas, though Gibson and Hanley are simply not good enough at attacking headers (as opposed to defensive headers, two very different techniques). Kenny is the best at getting into good positions, though he is not as good at finishing as he might be either. Sarge is good in the air, though makes poor runs, gives free kicks away cheaply and is too ‘noisy’ about it all, often getting ‘tagged’ by referees (and thus treated sharper, to his and our own harm). It’s a wasted opportunity from one of our very limited weapon-like things (best phrase I could find). I imagine Alan Russell is a bit frustrated by it and Smith might well want to add someone who can profit from these deliveries better. It’s a huge source of cheap goals that we don’t get. Aarons can be weaponish when he is really on song. His advantage is his deep position - with often plenty of time and space - and his ability to cut both ways and accelerate past players. Wonderful in full flow. Hard to defend against sometimes, so opposition coaches have worked out not to. They actually overload his side, pump balls high and get him defending. Not a great compliment really. He’ll have to overcome that to move on (and not just be distant back up). His sliding last-ditch save was absolutely magnificent yesterday by the way, I thought it got a bit overlooked. Every bit as good as a goal I’d say. That’s what’s he can do. Cantwell I desperately want to do ….well?…better? It is there, striking cleanly off both sides, magnetising the ball at his best, though - sorry Todd - I do always think of Brian Clough when I watch him play, what he said about how he achieved his success with provincial players: ‘They come to me with false confidence, I strip that away and give them real confidence’ Onel flatters to deceive, Dowell doesn’t run hard enough and gets bypassed too easily, he also isn’t nasty enough. Psychologists studied the best players, trying to find out what really made them great. They found all the things you’d expect: drive, determination, will to win, an attitude of continual improvement…but that was just the averagely good ones…they found that the very best had all of that, though equally just hated losing, couldn’t bear it. It Pathologically troubled them. One doesn’t get any sense of that from Dowell. We have finally woken up - I think Smith totally knew it from the outset to be fair - to the fact that we need the role of CDM desperately. You need 2 good CDMs at least actually. To have none in the Premier was madness. The only way I could forgive it, is if we totally threw everything at getting Skipp and it fell through on us….though a Plan B was surely in a drawer somewhere too?…Quite how that drawer ended up marked ‘Gilmour’ is far beyond me. The Gunn-Krul axis is far too good - and surely too expensive - for this level. So that is a positive that must surely be fairly short-lived. The Hanley-Ono-Gibson triumvirate is super strong at this level. Though Gibson has been strangely below par, his passing can be quite sweet, with good range and accuracy. Perhaps Omo can start scoring a few more goals too, he has quite a decent presence and eye I think. Giannoulis-McCallum is of course good enough. McCallum has something about him too. I like him. Giannoulis can look dynamic and daft in the same minute. Bit frustrating for coaches that. Ramsey is a good player and it’s perfectly ok to have good loan players at 10 - or even 9 - if you don’t have them. Assist and scoring players don’t need to care much about the team, they can be selfish and just want to look good, get headlines and further their careers. It fits the space in the jigsaw anyway.. Pukki is brilliant. He is and always has been our weapon. The only issue - and anyone (any forward) that has dropped down the leagues from a good level knows this - is that you are reliant on everybody else. And they don’t and can’t think as fast as you. They make the right pass half a second too late. Lots of what you have doesn’t get used. It’s frustrating. It can make you snatch at what does come your way. Pukki is better than this, he has a world class temperament and a supreme level of movement. We’re just not good enough for him. And we are increasingly not completely set up to serve him either. Whisper it, but the way we are starting to play looks better suited (designed?) more for Sarge. That’s where the money went and we probably don’t have any more to spend. Strikers are bloody expensive. Personally I dread the day we don’t have Pukki anymore, though - as @chicken says - it is the model. Rinse and repeat. We have bet some of the farm on Sargent and we are - again - going to bank on him. If I was feeling a bit Norwich Private Eye, I would say this was fine. He will fit our requirements perfectly. Somewhere between 8th and 4th in the second tier. Parma
  12. 11 points
    Good news. Been one of our better midfielders this season and I'm not shocked that those who are experienced in football within the club seem to think so too.
  13. 11 points
    I do not see the need for the personal animosity towards Smith. I don’t think it’s working and I think we need to make a change now. I’m frustrated that our club will once again not need to be done when it needs to be done in order to try snd compete this season. However I don’t know anyone who has met Dean Smith who doesn’t say that he’s a decent bloke. I know the staff at Colney like him. He may be failing but there is no need for the personal hatred towards him I’m seeing in some quarters.
  14. 11 points
    If these two don't make them want to change their mind and go back to America then nothing will.
  15. 11 points
    Actually feel a bit sorry for people who make comments like these. Must be a sad way of life.
  16. 10 points
    People warned weeks ago we were in a false league position based on the teams we’d played when we were 2nd but some people refused to believe the cold truth, that was obvious to most who have a modicum of football knowledge, that we were miles off where we needed to be. Mid table is about right with the standard we’ve been shown.
  17. 10 points
    You are right on a number of these points @sonyc ‘ Zoe was surprisingly honest - perhaps a little put on the spot by Tom? (Which seems strange with pre-submitted questions) - when asked about whether the introduction and involvement of Mark Attanasio was an acceptance that the ceiling of the current self-sustaining model had been reached. She stated really quite clearly that there was now a more than tacit acceptance that Premier clubs had basically all moved away from us. Not just those at the top end, but the vast body of the Premier. That our finances simply could not compete.’ Checking further in our notes, there were further direct quotes from Zoe as follows : There was ‘no denying’ the sporting ceiling had been reached under the current sustainable model. The Premier League was ‘was beyond’ our capacity and that it was ‘too challenging’. In normal Board meetings we would naturally be a little more forensic at that point and ask whether and how that admission synchs with the presentation of the Annual Report 2022 which has Premier central to everything. If that is not achievable are the resources, parameters and capabilities of the company commensurate with its stated aims and mission statement? If you want my clear opinion on this - particularly those who think it is ‘just business talk’ - it is precisely this lack of self-awareness and false self image that leads to sales of Buendias and over belief in Billy Gilmours ‘popping it around like Pirlo’. Webber acknowledged this and took responsibility. Though of course he is in a job at Norwich and Farke isn’t. Webber described the sporting outcome of last season as a ‘disaster’….’not good enough’ ..and that they now have to face the ‘truth’ He didn’t want acknowledge any such ‘truth’ pre-season when almost 100% of football people I knew said proctor hoc that the approach was disastrous (yes including selling Buendia which he was a driver of, so other signings could be made, that he desperately wanted. A clear commercial choice. A case against Buendia was then built into a temple), that it would be destructive for momentum, team spirit and would negate the better players we had (Pukki and Cantwell were the two that pros said would suffer most). We couldn’t help noting that that noise had been defiantly ignored, though the noise about ‘mushrooms’ could now somehow not be ignored. That is not good enough at Board level in my view. I believe I noted in Tom Smith’s mannerisms and responses that he wasn’t necessarily terribly impressed by it all either. Do something then my Prince. Stuart defensively said about his signings that …‘not every player was bad’…that they were ‘not too far off’ …before relenting. He sacked Daniel because of 6 wins out of 50 (I thought first one was a write off?) and that ‘the swing to Brentford was too far’…why aren’t we Brentford eh @nutty nigel ?… He said next time we would be ‘more pragmatic…not so pretty…do things differently..’ . Then - I suppose it was intended as proof- he said how we had now only conceded 2 set piece goals against (2nd tier) and had to be ‘harder to beat’ for the top level. That we would need to sign ‘different types of players’ The problem with that is obvious. If you cannot sign players good enough upon promotion, why and how will you be able to build with them in the championship? If you are just an ersatz Premier team in the second tier, aren’t you then just like everyone else? Why would that get you 97 points? It certainly won’t see Guardiola in the stands (which might get you tomorrow’s Man City reserves who would finish mid-table premier league though). Do different then? I would argue that was Farke, not pragmatism Premier parodies. Stuart referenced the £400m invested by Brighton (and also said that Forest might come good). I doubt that was intended for the quiet Delia’s ears. Truthfully we expected others to follow up the ‘Attanasio investment..acknowledgement self-sustaining model ceiling reached’ with a direct question on his intention-ambition-desire-option to effect a takeover of the club. It was the obvious sequitur. Though such obvious business-like questions appear not be ‘the flavour’ of Norwich City AGMs which we would suggest actually does the club-Company-Board no favours. There is some merit in leaving out managers from proceedings if - and only if - shareholders can ask the questions that hold decision-making, errors and future plans to more professional account. If people want 5 minutes of fame to talk about string and ceiling wax, that will set the tone and culture of these meetings. Whilst Zoe squirmed at being given some meaningful questions (why the surprise when they were pre-submitted? Nothing wrong with a board prepping individual members to sing a prepared hymn sheet, provided questions are forensic and poignant), much of the proceedings would be better suited to a different context. Perhaps this is what the club is trying to achieve by leaving out the managers (though I remember Farke speaking fantastically well - and commercially - at the only other one I attended). Mark Attanasio flew over to be here. He sat patiently, politely and was engaged. He spoke well, fluently and - we sensed - would have loved to have been asked more, though he wasn’t about to scene-steal unless the door opened freely. A chance missed. He is very different to what we have. I would suspect that his appointment is more to do with the horrible last 2 premier campaigns that any real long-term planning, as I cannot believe there are not other Attanasios. In fact I know some. I can certainly believe that there weren’t any other Delia’s over the years. Mark Attanasio talked of ‘smart’ investments, of his £10m being ‘help’. That is a lovely corporate finance term for ‘sweetener’ that I hadn’t heard before. Nice and gentle. He talked of it as ‘a runway’ and any further plans were airy, we can ‘work it out’ he said. Any thought he might sit on his ‘loan’ and take the interest was rebuffed ‘I wouldn’t do anything to drain the club’ he said. Not worth the paper its written on, though a very clear public statement nevertheless. I believed him. He is doing his ‘internal due diligence’ now and I very much doubt it is for a fairly passive minority shareholding. His words - as stated before - were very much at odds with the rather tired, defensive tone of others. ‘Winning’…’consistent winner’…’win’ is what it’s about he said. Now that is consistent with the Annual Report 2022. Change is coming. I think it’s probably time. We were only one Attanasio away from keeping Buendia, sweet-talking Skipp and - who knows? - even engaging an Eriksen. I think Attanasio understands Weapons and ‘special teams’ pretty well. He might be what we need. I don’t for one second think he was Mr Right succession planning, though he might be Mr Right Now anyway. Our bed is cold, we are on the rebound, our selection standards have dropped, he smells nice, he has good manners, he has money and is keen. It is solving yesterday’s problems again, though I think of what my father says ‘it’s not love, it’s the commitment to love’ Parma
  18. 10 points
    He brings egg on the face of short sighted "fans" like you.
  19. 9 points
    **** gives interview to another ****. Shock horror.
  20. 9 points
    I'm struggling to formulate a sensible or coherent response to either today or the progress so far this season so I will leave this here in lieu of me calming down a bit...
  21. 9 points
  22. 9 points
    A business that takes its toys away when it doesn't like what is being said, can not be that confident in what they are doing. It is utterly pathetic and the opposite of a good community club.
  23. 9 points
    Brian Gunn over rated..... The goal keeper who even in this thread is mentioned as we would have not been relegated if Gunn did not break his ankle... Gunn who kept the force of Munich at bay to bring us European football nights that will never be repeated... Over rated you say.... I'm lost for an insult to close this post....
  24. 9 points
    The forecast was for rain this evening so Mrs R nagged me into togging up with the appropriate gear for the ride down to CR. For once, the starting line up didn't look like it had been picked at random and I expect most would have come up with something very similar. After an early rush of blood from a Rangers defender that sent Byrom sprawling and resulted in a yellow card, the game evened out with some nice neat play from both sides. The first goalmouth action came after about ten minutes when the lively Cantwell found McCallum on the left and his low cross was met by Gabby Sara about sixyards out. I was expecting the net to bulge but Dieng in the Rangers goal did well to block the ball away. Almost immediately the action sprang up to the other end where Chair found a bit of space to get his shot on target but Gunn was well positioned to parry and the danger was cleared. The home side were playing some nice stuff at this stage and threatened again moments later when Ramsey picked up a ball over the top and raced clear down the City right. His cut back to Pukki had the crowd out of their seats but again Dieng was equal to it and just got enough of a hand on it to turn the ball over the bar. A goal looked in the offing as City continued to dominate and look dangerous and on the quarter hour came within a whisker of going in front. Another raid down the right saw the City talisman turn inside a defender on the edge of the box, and then get the better of a couple of tackles before firing a low shot past the Rangers custodian, only for the ball to rebound off the foot of the far post and back across goal before being cleared. It was an inspired opening quarter and the only thing missing was a goal to ice the cake. We had seen little of the visitors up to this stage but they gradually got into the game and responded with a couple of shots but well off target. Then Cantwell might have done better to take a shot when he picked up a loose ball on the City left but he chose to pass inside to Pukki who couldn't drag it between two defenders and the chance was snuffed out. The game seemed to settle more into a midfield battle and it began to rain quite hard as things got a bit scrappy towards the interval although Gunn was again called into action when diving to his right to push away a well struck shot from outside the box. From the resulting corner, Cantwell danced away into the Rangers half only to be brought down from behind. Not for the first time ref Andy Davies saw nothing amiss. The visitors began to make it difficult for the home side to pass their way out of defence as the second half began and there was discontent in the crowd as City could get nothing going in the opposing half. Indeed it was now Rangers that were calling the tune and around the hour mark only a remarkable double save from Angus Gunn kept the scoresheet blank. The City defence seemed to open up as a Rangers forward strode through the middle and struck a low shot from about twenty yards. My view from directly behind expected to see the net ripple but Gunn's finger tips did enough to turn it on to the post. The City keeper was then up quickly as the ball was returned across goal and a powerful header again looked goalbound, until as if from nowhere, Gunn went full length to turn the ball away for a corner. It really was top drawer goalkeeping. We had Hernandez on for Sara then Nunez for Cantwell as City tried to kick into gear and although it resulted in a succession of corners they couldn't fashion anything clear cut. To be honest Rangers looked equal to pretty much all we could throw at them and as a consequence the crowd never really got into the game was very quiet for long periods. Kenny and Max were also introduced and then Dowell for an injured Hayden as City took up the ascendancy again as time ticked down. With injury time approaching, it appeared that Onell might be the hero as he went one on one with Dieng only for the Rangers keeper to deny him with what looked from my end a point blank stop. City earned a corner at last gasp but Hanley's shot went narrowly wide as the ref blew for time. The Men of the match were obviously the keepers, both of whom had one of those matches where they knew they wouldn't be beaten. I'm disappointed not to win but you couldn't say that a draw wasn't the fairest result. For my part, I think I've seen enough now to say that an automatic spot is looking increasingly unlikely. We are just not scoring enough goals to make that seem possible.
  25. 8 points
    Always gives 100% does Kenny. Underated by many fans but not by the managers. Im happy for him.
  26. 8 points
    I'd love to find the one where Grefstad argued that he was a better football analyst because he had a bigger telly.
  27. 8 points
  28. 8 points
    Delia & MWJ involving Tom = Bad, we don't want nepotism. MA involving sons = Good, clearly a family affair.
  29. 8 points
    Videos: LEST WE FORGET Our players will be wearing strips featuring poppies owing to it being the closest match to Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday - this year, being sandwiched between the two. More on this in a bit. Articles:The Pink'Un has it's usual presser coverage article here.Canaries.co.uk have the clubs official build up piece here. Middlesbrough have their own pre match piece here.Ins, out's, shake em all abouts:Norwich: Nunez is set to return. All others that were out for our last game due to injuries continue to be, however there is light at the end of the tunnel. Rowe is already back "on the grass", and Idah, Sorensen, Byram and Omobamidele will all be traveling and be fit to take part in the warm weather training during the world cup period that is to take place in Tampa. Middlesbrough: unable to find any info about injuries at this time.A little bit of kntowledge: I thought I would go with something a little different this week and focus on something a bit closer to home and a bit more poignant. I came across this website called football and the first world war. It had intrigued me because I wondered how many of our boys in green and yellow had also served their country. Of course, at the time, football wasn't nearly as lucrative as it is now and every fit and able man was called up. I knew this, but I didn't know the names of those players. These are those that are listed as having both served and played for Norwich City in two categories "players that served in 1st world war" And former players that served (which is a tad unknown to me as it would appear that former includes those who last played for Norwich, but who also, sadly, never returned). The home page of the site also holds a quote from a general, Of course, we remember those who also served during the 2nd World War too. Though at this time finding a good source of information on that is difficult. I will certainly be thinking of those I knew well in my family and close friends but also those who I have met over my travels and adventures, all of whom are now no longer with us. I'm not sure we will ever know generations quite as great as them. Rays Funds for the Community Sports Foundation:Nutty has his PUPs thread up and running as usual. Please do go and take a look and take part in all of the fun.
  30. 8 points
    It's simply not possible to play at that pace for 90 minutes, regardless of what they plan. It's why teams put their foot on the ball, passing sideways and back. 'Resting on the ball' is a huge part of the game and a massive part of how Farke was able to dominate this league. Remember all those late goals? It was because we'd reserved more energy than our opponents by making them chase shadows for 90 minutes. Football is about so much more than just running around at a high intensity. You have to be intelligent about how and when you spend your energy.
  31. 8 points
    When there was the first raising of discontent on here , quite a few on here responded with the usual “he’s a nice bloke’ a ‘proper ‘footballing man’ etc. For me from the very start he has come across as a bit of a pr**k who doesn’t seem to give a toss about the club and actually is just seeing how long he can string us along before he gets a huge pay off and can then get back to spending his match days watching his beloved Villa. My opinion hasnt changed and I’d just wish he would just f*** off now,
  32. 8 points
    The real weapon was the Emi / Teemu combo. It seems neither have hit the same heights since. It was a weapon that fell into place rather than planned. I don't think either was bought with the other in mind. But that's often the way in football. That's why the future is of hopes and dreams as much as plans and the past. A big part of the state of the nation is Colney and the Academy and making sure that pathways are made to the first team. That was the first priority of this board even though originally funded by fans. I wouldn't have stumped up to pay players wages even if those players were Emi and Teemu. But Norwich fans have always supported the academy ever since the events of the mid- nineties. Let's not forget that Ray's Funds was originally Rays Funds for FONCY and we took pride whenever one of our own made the first team. For me playing a small part of the FONCY story was a bit of a dream come true. When premier league riches brought the prospect of Cat One Academy our contributions would make little difference so now we take even more pride in our wonderful DS and pan-disability football teams. However that connection we feel with the club and the youngsters of that time will always be there. Now as well as our own youngsters we buy in young players from other clubs and try to make them better. But that' won't work if there's no pathway to the first team. I remember a post on here from 2018 stating that having sold Maddison and Murphy there was just Lewis left with any value. Within a couple of months Aarons, Godfrey and Cantwell had found their paths. Mistakes are always made when buying players but we mustn't compound those mistakes by having them here blocking the pathways for our youngsters. Calls to sign a journeyman fourth choice centreback would certainly have stopped Tomkinson's games this season. Keeping Rashica and Plachetta would have blocked Rowe and Springett. Of course you have to have a manager who's prepared to use those pathways and it seems Smith is carrying on where Farke left off in that regard. So although I haven't really taken to Smith I do recognise and appreciate that continuation. As for Sarge he is still very young for the type of player he is. He played 50 Bundesliga games before he was 21. He's still young and still one who can improve further and become that weapon for us. I've always liked him and made no secret of that. So as well as Sarge (and we still have Pukki) other reasons to be cheerful include Gunn, Aarons, Omobamidele, Tompkinson. McCallum, Gibbs, Cantwell, Idah, Rowe and Springett. Also Saxon Early and Bali Mumba appear to be having good loans and if that's not enough a young Welsh centre forward called Roberts signed a pro contract last month.
  33. 8 points
    Oh, it was carnage. There was tutting, fists being shook, raised voices and once there was a bin knocked over. Dark days my friend. Ones we don't want to return to.
  34. 8 points
    Their fans seem to be enjoying it
  35. 8 points
    I don't know, there were a lot of fans at the time, myself included, who were incredibly disappointed by the decision. I said at the time, and maintain now, that Farke should've been allowed to take us down if need be.
  36. 7 points
    I'm fine because I rate him
  37. 7 points
  38. 7 points
    USA USA USA I'm 100% more excited about TEAM SARGE than England earlier
  39. 7 points
    Great to see Sargent starting for USA
  40. 7 points
    If you didn't see outrage over Russia hosting you didn't look very hard. There is also the thorny issue of the conditions migrant workers are working in to make the world cup happen.
  41. 7 points
    For all the hate they get they produce some of the most watchable content of the club. We’re lucky to have them.
  42. 7 points
    A very strange game, but basically shows all our strengths and weaknesses at once. We were all over them, carved them open at will and could have put the game to bed inside 20 minutes. Middlesbrough figured out what we were doing and adapted to completely nullify us. No problem because they were absolutely no threat. We let them have the ball and play it around in front of us. Then Smith takes Pukki off. No problem adding an extra midfielder, but he should be bringing on someone central rather than dropping Kenny in there. Onel simply didn't do the defensive part of his role, and Sara also stayed far too high. It's basic stuff but we handed them control the midfield. Then we go totally gung ho and leave huge spaces for them to exploit as we chase a winner. Mental. Hayden doesn't have the speed to play as a single pivot against an athletic midfield. It was obvious we needed another midfielder. But sacrificing Pukki was bonkers. And Onel doesn't have enough attacking threat to justify his lack of defensive work. Middlesbrough didn't look like they were going to unlock us, for all that possession. So Smith unlocked us for them with his strange substitution. In the end we were pretty shambolic. Which is ridiculous when you consider how well organised we were while we were winning. Playoffs at best now. Are we happy with that? 2 wins in 10. Surely that's not good enough? Can we afford to keep Dean Smith?
  43. 7 points
    Attanasio struck me as a man who is unlikely to countenance mediocrity or drift. I suspect we will quickly see sparks fly if we fail to move forward.
  44. 7 points
    He's says it's not the brexit he wanted. We say it's exactly the brexit we were expecting. And that is why we have made a lot of noise about it.
  45. 7 points
    I can think of a few.. Where’s all the profit gone? Why have we needed loans when getting Prem tv money? Will Attanasio have an option to buy out Delia? Why are we charging the 13th highest price for a season ticket in the country whilst in the 2nd division? Why is there no accountability for higher ups when they make mistakes such as the BK8 fiasco? Why has the club stopped giving access to local media? Why is our sporting director allowed to climb mountains in transfer windows?
  46. 7 points
    I'm pretty satisfied with that. The diamond is possibly a bit too open for my liking these days, but we carried a lot of thrrat throughout and were reasonably disciplined out of possession. Kenny looked pretty solid in his preferred position. Sara had some moments of brilliance (and some not so good). Aarons was back to his best and Hayden put in his best performance yet.
  47. 7 points
    Erm, aren't we playing Rotherham??? Top work by the media team
  48. 7 points
  49. 7 points
    The Guardian writer Raphael Behr has come up with a pithy summation of Brexit: To Brexit, to rage, to division and economic downgrade. A dozen years wasted. A crusade whipped up by nationalist zealots to a holy land that doesn’t exist to fight an enemy that was actually our friend, defeating no one but ourselves.
  50. 7 points
    Further to @BigFish ‘s counter-factuals and what we’ve learnt and will do differently, a really obvious error was buying wingers. Even the very best sides don’t play with what anybody over 40 would understand as a winger. That we were obviously going to be weaker, had little money, had sold our only weapon, neutered our half weapon and were about to spend a once-in-a lifetime amount of cash was a hugely significant set of circumstances. And we spent 2/3rds of our fortune on wingers that we should never have bought. For a bit of double irony, the other 1/3rd was a striker that we played as a winger. @Petriix greatly laments abandoning the comfortably-grooved pathways of the 4231, which can easily be played with only one forward, plus a half 10 (about what a top level weaker Italian side would do at maximum), though to then play a 433 openly, with a striker wide, a non-stick 9 (I love Pukki), a wide Rashica, looks a horribly flawed ideology. Throw in the massive over-dependence and hugely heavy structural pivot on Gilmour - with the corollary belief that must have existed that we would ‘pop the ball around’ to our heart’s content - and I am afraid it was not simply a case of ‘being a bit unlucky’ whilst fishing in a lower pond ‘which is the common lot of newly-promoted sides’. No. A huge amount of false beliefs and false strategic decisions were made. That they didn’t work is not ‘bad luck versus Brentford’. We did the wrong things for the wrong reasons because we had a false self-image. We might have ignored the noise, though we also ignored the mirror. What we bought made little sense in the context of the job at hand. Parma
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