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Everything posted by Mariner

  1. I believe squad size is a most important factor and neither Board nor Manager can escape responsibility.  Should we now have to endure a difficult Christmas period, the Club has only itself to blame.  I''m not so certain that all clubs are running on a squad as small as ours, and I do hope this statement will not cause a bout of the "We''re only little old club" syndrome.  Should we not reach the play-offs because of a lack of numbers it could be seen as a very false economy.  One of the things so pleasing at the time of our promotion to the Premiership was our move to a better Reserve competition.  I think we owe that competition some respect, particularly if we want to stay there.  A bigger squad would allow for the reserve team to have a greater leavening of experienced professionals. I am afraid a good performance against Southampton has not removed any of my doubts about Mr. Worthington.  I remain deeply concerned about his judgement on players, both young and mature, and his tactics.   Perhaps the Board/Management relationship is a little too close to allow for objectivity.  As I love the Club, I hope he will prove me wrong.
  2. Splendid posts. This ''little'' thing permeats everything we do and not just football. Nobody needs to patronise us, we are perfectly capable of patronising ourselves. If our own perception is so poor, how can we expect others to give us our due. Have our neighbours to the south ever regarded themselves as a little club? Of course not. If we ever come anywhere near realising our potential, we shall firmly occupy the middle ground. Delia and others, please give ''little'' a rest.
  3. Yes, I''m inclined to agree with you. Much as I like Neil Adams, I turned off the ''phone in'' last evening as I was sick of the "Just get behind Nigel, Delia and the boys and all will be well" tone of the calls. Of course, I was pleased we had turned in a better performance but there are still things to worry about, it cannot all be down to lack of commitment. What about an inability to pass well and obvious deficiencies in midfield. Is our Manager beyond criticism? If we drop any further down the Championship, will it still be the crowd needing to get behind the team. Of course, we all do that but we expect skill and flair in return, and this season there hasn''t been too much of that so far.
  4. The Club is generally so well run, in marked contrast to what I have often known over sixty years, that I would hesitate to advocate hasty measures, BUT...Managers in the end live or die by their results. I would say give a little more time for injuries to resolve themselves and then, the results must improve or else. There is a moment to "think the unthinkable".
  5. MadDan is quite right. It''s worth remembering that the debt, although pretty frightening, is managed. That is to say, with structured repayments and not open to foreclosure as some football club debts can be. All in all, I think the club is on the right path and we have had enormous improvement to the ground. I can understand the hotel venture although a little concerned at seeing enlargement of the City Stand as the only way of increasing the capacity. Should we want to do this, I hope there is no problem with the old road running past the City Stand. This is still a maintained highway as far as I know.
  6. Mr. Worthington needs to remember that all Managers, however distinguished live or die by the results they achieve. I think the Club has made great strides in the last few years and is generally very well-run BUT I think supporters have every right to wonder if the undoubted talent at the Club is being used to the best advantage. I do wonder about the coaching side of things occasionally and I do realise that one member of the staff has only recently returned from serious illness. Do we, even now, appreciate as we should our extreme good fortune in the level of support we receive, looking at the attendances elsewhere in our division and below it, I am still mystified after 60 years of support how we still love to regard ourselves as a little club. I don''t agree with booing but I do think the supporters are entitled to ask why the Club is not doing better at this time. Some of us believe it it time for the Club to realise its potential. Patience is a virtue but it needs to be sweetened with a little success.
  7. There was a familiar feel to last night''s review. A Royle appearance and the bookmakers'' odds mentioned. Said to be fifth favourites for promotion. No mention of the actual favourite. I suppose Craig Fleming on the Diana seat in front of the Taj Mahal was meant to keep us satisfied.
  8. Yes, one shouldn''t judge too harshly on friendlies but I''m still very disappointed we couldn''t beat Southend. Shouldn''t the club''s reputation count for something. The other thing that worries me is that Eastwood seems to be a natural and scores at every level at which he plays. Didn''t we look at him? I wonder why in our opinion he didn''t match up. I believe we once looked at a chap called Ted Phillips, then playing in local senior football. Probably thought he wasn''t quite what we wanted but he did rather well south of here. I worry about our professional judgement sometimes.
  9. Much as I admire all that Delia and her husband have done for the Club, I wish, just once she could stop the self-deprecating, self-patronising nonsense she seems to specialise in. On Canary Call, after the blow had fallen, she was at it again, "You know, we''re a small football club" Are we really, looking at our season ticket sales and our catchment population, not another professional club within forty miles. I would say we are a medium-sized club. Has the lady spent much time in, say, Blackburn town centre, on a Saturday afternoon. I don''t think Norwich and Norfolk need to be so modest. What we need to be is more thrusting and confident when we start the task again next season - and have a look at this season''s goals against column. That''s where the trouble surely lies, not in our perceived country cousin status.
  10. I admire Greeno enormously but I too am worried by the number of times he is beaten from a long way out, and it isn''t just this season either. He makes wonderful stops but then leaves me thinking, "Shouldn''t he have got to that". To be fair, he has had a hell of a task this season, particularly when we weren''t looking the side we do now.On another point, why are referees so inconsistent about the offence of a player taking his shirt off in celebration. No booking for that yesterday, I think.
  11. I think all this amounts to what may be called the new morality. Because Palace were probably badly treated in the first half, then diving in the second is quite justified. I too read the comments in the Times today and feel they are true, I''m far from impressed with Nigel Worthington''s comments that "I don''t blame the lad". What nonsense. Is this the image that we want our professional game to have? What about the effect on young people. Will the coach in future say, "Now we have done tackling and crossing into the box, today we will practice going down with effect in the penalty area". Have I read somewhere that Johnson is a nominee for Player of the Year? He is undoubtedly a fine player but perhaps his fall, which appears more ridiculous every time I seem it, should be held over for the next Baftas.
  12. The worse we play, the more composed and happy our Manager seems to be. Isn''t there supposed to be some creative tension between team performance and Manager''s position. I''m getting more than a little sick of Worthington''s constant refrain of his pleasure at just being able to share a pitch with these great teams and players. Even allowing for the limitations of our squad, is he picking the best team available? I think not. We certainly need alternatives to Fleming, Holt and Edworthy. Why on earth doesn''t Worthington try to find them in the remaining matches.
  13. In, if only for the stability of the club and our reputation for sensible conduct but, all the early talk about the club going forward even if relegated, has got to be justified next season. Our manager is talking of a spine of players, Green, Shackell, Francis and Ashton for a team to be built around. I wouldn''t argue with that but why has Shackell only just be brought into the side?
  14. In, if only for the stability of the club and our reputation for sensible conduct but, all the early talk about the club going forward even if relegated, has got to be justified next season. Our manager is talking of a spine of players, Green, Shackell, Francis and Ashton for a team to be built around. I wouldn''t argue with that but why has Shackell only just be brought into the side?
  15. A very good player, no doubt about it BUT for me it would be Ron Davies, for a time thought of as the best centre-forward (yes, it was that long ago) in the four home countries. Signed by Ron Ashman from Luton Town and a quite superb performer, particularly in the air. O.K. it was a long time ago.
  16. Is there a moment when one is allowed to question managerial competence? There is such a climate of "I can''t praise my players too much against such great opposition", that the matter of whether we should have done better this season in the Premiership is being obscured. There''s too much of the, "We''re just a small club in a big league" about. The MOTD comment is the right one, we can''t defend. The ''Goals Against'' column tells the story. Palace can keep a clean sheet but it seems to be beyond us now. Shackell should probably have been in the team weeks ago and Fleming, good servant that he has been, is hardly up to the task these days. His lack of speed was brutally shown up yesterday and the third goal was embarrassing. Worthington has the sort of sunny smile that suggests he at least is under no pressure at all. I suppose we are back to the pre-season comments that it doesn''t really matter if we are relegated as long as the club goes forward. Yes, the ground improvements are excellent but I still that, even with limited playing resources, we should have made a better fist of this season than we have.
  17. Perhaps there is something in the group memory and your user name is very apt, Bly Bly Babes. Some of us remember a snowy pitch in January, 1959, very well indeed. A little-regarded team from the Third Division South. Wouldn''t it be wonderful if something quite unexpected happened again!
  18. We should not forget that our Suffolk cousins are not lacking in self-confidence. When the UEA started to validate degrees from Suffolk College, they promptly called it a University College and were made to withdraw it. This is the only example I know of such a thing happening. On failing to become a city on a recent occasion, someone in authority said he was disappointed and suprised! Ipswich doesn''t do modesty. I hate to think what would happen if they should change places with us Look East would be quite unbearable.
  19. The defence is a great worry at the present time. Of course I am thrilled by today''s result but at times I thought the word appalling was justified. There was a period just before half-time when we were an absolute shambles. Surely Worthington must address this before the next match. The idea that we rely on experience before all else just doesn''t make sense. At least get Shackell on to the bench so a change may be made. Don''t throw away the advantage that has been quite incredibly earned today
  20. It is suprising how eagle-eyed referees can be on occasions and then miss other incidents completely. Yes, I know, they are on the flat and players can get in their way but one wonders when difficulty shades into simple incompetence. Greeno quite forthright on the box this evening. Careful, lad, less the truth gets you into trouble. As for our hopes of avoiding relegation, never give up (it''s nice to see Churchill quoted on the board). Other sides in other years have been in just as big a fix and survived, think Southampton once or twice. The good thing is the team is not playing badly, it has been strenghtened, and some of the injured are coming back or about to. I''m not ready to throw the towel yet.
  21. I''ll admit I can''t think of much to cheer about just now, and I''m probably being a little unfair, but did the Look East coverage tonight seem more than usually smug? What they will say at the end of the season if we can''t escape the bottom three, I dare not think. I suppose we will all have to be very brave - and anyway its not to going to happen - is it?
  22. Lawrenson on MOTD seemed quite certain we shall not survive in the Premiership. Of the three promoted teams plus Southampton, he expects Crystal Palace to come out top because of their striker. No allowance made for our many injuries. It would be nice to be able to challenge that view with more confidence. The club appears to be remarkably sanguine about a pretty dire situation. Are we already thinking about a promotion fight in the Championship? I hope not. The good thing is that after the Middlesborough game we shall have a breather and a chance to regroup. We need to worry about the defence now, things are looking very ordinary, especially on the left - Charlton is badly missed.
  23. With have heard a lot in recent times about "prudence with ambition" but I think prudence is becoming the dominant partner. I was worried before the season began when Delia and Huckerby both said it didn''t matter if we were relegated as long as the club went forward. What does going forward mean? To me, it should mean doing our very best to stay in the Premiership, getting another £18-19 and gradually building up the playing staff in quality and quantity. This to me is very much more attractive than parachute payments and a hope, no more than that, of becoming a ''yo-yo'' club. I think, in general terms, the club is in very good hands, but we do become infected with this, "We''re only a little club'' syndrome, something from which our southern neighbours never seem to suffer. For heavens sake, let''s just say, "We''re not dead yet" and put up a fight. There is a dreadful acceptance about Worthy, and the whole management, at the present time. It is no good saying we need a little more quality and then doing nothing about it. Sell Green if we have to. Football is like politics, the art of the possible.
  24. I wasn''t very impressed with the "expert" discussion after our match was shown. A somewhat half-hearted opinion that we were a little unlucky not to score and then things tailed off into the Linacre personality show. From what Greeno has said in the press today, I suspect the injury to Jonson came about through a pretty bad tackle. Neither Mike Riley or MOTD seemed to notice. Not a particularly good day for the officials, one thing MOTD did show was that it was not a corner in the incident leading to the first Spurs goal.
  25. Only the Club can give specific answers to those questions BUT should we be relegated at the end of this season and see our place taken by another only recently in administration, I shall feel very aggrieved. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but too much caution, when the prize is so great, can be a fault. The question of goals, or the lack of them must be addressed, if we are not to subside without a whimper. Oldie.
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