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Old Man Andy

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  1. There is no "cancer". Or conspiracy theories. The only course of action available to professional footballers (as a squad, not individually) when they have realised that their manager is not as good as he thinks he is, is to lose football games. And not JUST lose football games, but lose them in such a way that everyone realises that something is badly wrong. Put yourself in the position of a current Norwich City FC squad member. Yes, I know you''d all like the money, but that''s a different arguement for another day. You are a Norwich City player, and your boss is Nigel Worthington. You have seen what happens to any player who dares to voice an opinion. (Matt Jackson, shipped out immediately, various others dropped from the team for non-footballing reasons) You have seen what happens if you dare to stop and sign autographs for kids outside the ground for longer than you should, causing you to be 5 minutes late into the dressing room. (Andy Hughes, dropped from the team 90 minutes before kick-off) In short, you work for a strict disciplinarian who will tolerate no dissent in the ranks, or else you''re out of here. So that means, of course, you will not find any NCFC players (who, almost to a man, genuinely love playing AND living in this fine City) picking up the phone to Rick Waghorn and saying (on the record) what they really think about their boss. No way. They might be footballers, but they ''aint that daft. They''ll say what they have to say to stay in the manager''s good books. So, when you hear the joint majority share-holders of the football club give their absolute and non-negotiable backing to the manager that you have long ago given up on, what option is left to you? You don''t give your 100% on the pitch, that''s what. You know that results are all that counts, and you know that anything less than 100% will result in being beaten by average and even poor teams. You hope that this variation of "industrial action" will force the board of directors to look long and hard at the management, and to realise that if things don''t change, this football club is stuffed. Believe me, players of the quality of Dean Ashton and Darren Huckerby do not become good imitations of Sunday League pub footballers without a good reason. Top quality players cannot become bad players overnight, in the same way that amateur hackers like you and me cannot become Premier League standard footballers overnight. The players are performing badly for one reason, and one reason only. They have lost faith in their manager.
  2. And another thing, while I''m in full on "revolution" mode...... If any shareholder is thinking of attending of Monday''s AGM and is stuck for a question to ask the board, consider asking them this one: "Does the board still consider that granting long term contracts to managers who hold them to ransom with ''I''m ambitious to manage in the Premiership, are you as ambitious as me'' speeches is a good idea? Considering the fact that we are now in 20th position in the Championship with 16 points from 16 games, after being dispatched back from where we came just one season ago, does the board not now believe that employing a manager who is not as good as he thought he was on a contract whose length and terms makes it financially impossible for it to be terminated even if the board, fans and, who knows.....even some of the players realise that he has completely lost the plot is a very bad idea indeed?" Managers should be employed on 1 year, rolling contracts. Get results, do your job properly, and you keep the job. End of. It''s harsh, but, hey......it''s the kind of pressure most of us poor sods(the supporters who live in the "real world", follow the team home and away, and don''t get paid a FRACTION of what Nigel Worthington is pulling down every week) have to live with. I don''t want to hear lame excuses from a man who could probably pay off my mortgage with less than six months of his salary. I don''t want to hear him talking about "pressure". I want to see him doing his job properly. And if he doesn''t do what he''s paid an enormous amount of money to do, I want him to be replaced with someone who will. On a one year, rolling contract obviously.
  3. Every now and then, in life as well as football, there comes a time when you just know that things have to change. Excuses just won''t do anymore, the evidence is there, plain and simple, for all to see. On Saturday afternoon, at about 4.30 pm, came that moment for Nigel Worthington. Not content with playing a centre back at right back (Craig Fleming), Nigel decided to further confuse the opposition by bringing on a strapping, bustling, powerful centre forward(Peter Thorne)......and playing him on the right side of midfield. Next, came the masterstroke. Jurgen Colin (a full back) was brought off the bench to replace Craig Fleming (the centre back playing as a full back). And was played as striker. Jurgen looked even more stunned than I did. By my reckoning, during one 90 minute game of football, we had four different players operating as a right sided midfielder at various stages of the game. Marney to start with, then Huckerby, then Thorne and finally Jurgen Colin. No wonder then, that at about 4.30 the moment arrived that finally proved to me that something is seriously wrong at this club. The players were so busy trying to sort out amongst themselves just what the hell their manager wanted them to do and where they were supposed to be, they failed to realise that we were 0-1 down with only a few minutes left to play. The ball went out for a Norwich throw in, and the only player to notice it was Robert Green who sprinted almost to the halfway line, grabbed the ball and then realised that it might be a little dangerous to have your keeper taking a throw in half way up the pitch. We are, in short, a laughing stock at the moment. We are getting beaten, regularly, by average and even poor teams. Poor teams who are organised, know what they have to do and what is expected from each player. Am I the only one to find the sight of Dean Ashton sending crosses from the left wing in to the box for the combined ariel "threat" of Darren Huckerby, Ian Henderson and Jim Brennan a little strange? That should be the other way round, shouldn''t it?? It''s not bloody rocket science after all, is it Nigel? Poor teams, who are well organised. That''s all that is needed to beat Norwich City these days. And that hurts.
  4. First of all, apologies for starting a new thread about a topic that is already under discussion elsewhere on this board. This whole business about people who leave early is interesting. Hundreds of people left the ''Boro game when we went 1-4 down. Fair enough. It''s a free country. Allegedly. As far as I know, it''s not against the law to give up and go home. However, all those "supporters" who abandoned the team in their hour of need missed some of the most incredible scenes I''ve ever witnessed at Carrow Road. The scenes of unbelievable joy, relief, passion, pride and sense of "togetherness" that was shared by everyone who stuck it out, hoping and praying that the small miracle that did happen might  happen, will live with me ''till the day I go to that great big Snakepit in the sky. The last ten minutes of Saturday''s game summed up what being a "supporter" is all about. We only got a point for it, but it felt like we''d won the Champion''s League. Supporters take part in the occasion. They can actually make a difference. They shout, sing, scream, swear, laugh and cry. In short...... they care. Spectators (like the bloke who sits to the left of me at every home game) just sit there silently and sullenly, occasionly shooting me filthy looks when I disturb his peace and quiet by having the temerity to sing or (even worse) stand up in excitement as Darren Huckerby goes on another rampage past the opposition''s right back in front of the ''Pit. He might as well sit at home and watch Ceefax.  Of course, this bloke left 10 minutes before the end on Saturday. Bloody well serves him right. Sometimes, I think that we underestimate just what a difference we (the fans) can make. Ask any of the players. They really do respond when we get right behind them. Whoever it was who started that defiant "loyal supporters!" chant in the Barclay after we went 1-4 down, which led onto the loudest "On The Ball, City" I''ve heard for a long time, can be very proud. Don''t just spectate. Take part in it. Be a supporter. It might just make the difference between Premiership or Coca-Cola football next season.
  5. Radio Norfolk, you say? It is my firm belief that there are only two types of people. 1) People who listen to Radio Norfolk. 2) Sane people. As long as the people who listen to Radio Norfolk are making cranky phone calls to ex-Norwich City wingers, the rest of us are free to roam the streets in comparative safety. I found myself driving behind a car on Grapes Hill the other day. Halfway up the hill, the car suddenly stopped dead, straddling both lanes. There was no traffic in front of it, no jam at all. The car''s windscreen wipers then went on. Then they went off, and the left hand indicator started. Then that went off, and the windscreen wipers started again. Then the right hand indicator started flashing, the windscreen wipers went off and the fog light came on. I glanced across at the bus driver who was stuck in the right hand lane watching this performance with some bemusement. He shook his head, and pointed towards a sticker in the rear window of this car. "I''m not daft, I listen to Roy Waller"  it said.  
  6. I think it''s time for a reality check here. A couple of years ago, this club was 48 hours away from extinction. It was that close people, believe me. We were crippled by debts, and the vulture bankers were closing in. This time last year, we were a mediocre, mid-table Nationwide team who had just been beaten by Northampton Town in the League Cup. Who, on this board, in their wildest dreams, drove back from Northampton that night expecting to be playing at Old Trafford, Anfield, and White Hart Lane in the Premiership just a matter of months later? Not me, that''s for sure. The manager, team AND board delivered a minor miracle last season. In short, this club massively overachieved its expectations last season. Even if we do get relegated this season, we will be financially stable. That is a very good thing, after what we''ve been though in the last ten years. But I happen to believe that we WON''T be relegated. Which is an even better thing. We will stand a much, much better chance of survival however, if we all stick together. I find it incredible that Norwich fans are even contemplating slagging off the very same people who sent us into such ecstasy last May. Keep the faith. This club is in good hands.     
  7. A question. Does anyone here honestly believe that slagging off one of our players during a game is of any help at all? Even if if the player concerned is not playing as well as he (or us) would like? I don''t. And I can''t understand why some fans do it. If a player is not having a very good game, the last thing he needs is abuse from his own "fans". I love this club. I''m sure everyone reading this does too. We all want success, we all want promotion back to where we belong. For 6 days a week, we can''t do anything to help. But for ninety minutes every week we, the fans, have an opportunity to have an influence on what happens on the pitch. We can do that by giving 100% support to EVERY player who is wearing a Norwich City shirt. We might all have different opinions on what our preferred starting 11 might be, but when the game starts and for the next ninety minutes we should shout ourselves hoarse encouraging the eleven players who are out there. If you don''t rate Svensson (or any other player) that''s your opinion and your right, but for hucks sake keep your opinions confined to message boards like this and don''t encourage the opposition by slagging off your own players during the game.
  8. I wonder if the "journalist" (and editor) of the Evening News who decided this story merited such prominence have ever themselves taken or made a call on their mobile phone whilst driving? I would hazard a guess that they probably have. Like 99% of the population who own a mobile phone and have a driving licence. But, of course, nobody knows (or cares) who they are, so if they had been caught by the Old Bill we would never know (or care) about it. If the editor of the Evening News thinks that it is a good idea to start hounding the most popular man in Norfolk at the moment just to boost his circulation figures, than he is sadly mistaken. As has been said earlier in this thread, a paragraph would have sufficed.
  9. *bangs head on desk* I give up. The people have spoken, and I must now come to terms with the fact that I need counselling....... SHRINK: Come in, Andy. Lie down on this couch. What''s the problem? ANDY: It''s Roy Waller, doctor. I''m obsessed with his bloody awful commentaries. SHRINK: Get a life. ANDY: Thanks, doc. You''ve been a great help. SHRINK: No problem. That''ll be five hundred pounds, please.
  10. Roy Waller may have a Norfolk accent, but unfortunately that''s not top of my list in desirable attributes for a football commentator. I''m sorry to be so harsh, but the man is spectacularly inept at his job. In fact, he is so unutterably inadequate, if he was working for any other organisation than the BBC, he would have been booted out years ago. Roy, if you happen to ever read this, please consider the following: 1: I''m not at all interested in how cold you are. 2: The fact that you didn''t get a very good free lunch at half-time is of no interest to me. 3: I don''t care about the details of your tortuous journey to the match. 4: I couldn''t give a flying huck that Darren Huckerby doesn''t fly into 50/50 tackles in midfield with the tenacity of Roy Keane on speed. THAT''S NOT WHAT WE BOUGHT HIM TO DO!!! UNDERSTAND?? All I ask from a football commentator is that he lets me know (roughly) what the hell is going on. Waller has no idea. He doesn''t understand professional football in 2004. He doesn''t understand formations, tactics or even what Darren Huckerby has been bought to do. I do, however, have one thing to thank the world''s most inept commentator for. His utter incompetance has forced me to start going to away games again. Judging by the fantastic away support for Norwich City these days, a lot of other people have decided to do the same thing. It causes me a lot of ear-ache from the missus, but at least I can see what is REALLY going on at the game. And I''d forgotten just how much fun away games can be. Thanks, Roy!
  11. It is becoming a problem. Originally, the ballboys (and girls) weren''t given spare balls. They were just stationed around the ground to retrieve the match ball when it went out of play. It always seemed a pointless exercise to me, the crowd is so close at Carrow Road that ballboys aren''t really needed. The fact that all the ballboys now each have a spare ball suggests to me that someone on the coaching staff has decided that it could be a distinct advantage to NCFC to have the ball back in play very fast, hopefully catching the opposition unawares. I have seen on a couple of occasions the opposition have a shot at goal that has sailed high into the Barclay, and while they all have a breather thinking that it will take at least 30 seconds for the ball to come back from the crowd, Greeno has snatched a ball from one of the kids behind his goal and launched a quick goal kick trying to get Hucks one on one with the keeper. It can work, and I''m all for anything that gives us any advantage over the opposition. But for it to work properly, it''s no good using kids from local primary schools. Nigel Worthington should use young players from the Acadamy who are already completely savvy about all the "professional" tricks of the trade and will ensure that the ball is quickly back in play for us if we need it to be (if we are behind or level and time is running out, for example) and ensure that the same doesn''t happen if the opposition are chasing the game. It''s slightly naughty, but hey, I want Norwich to win. Anything that helps that happen is ok by me. Of course, the crowd would have to do their bit as well by not chucking the original ball back onto the pitch causing the game to be stopped, and that might prove rather trickier to organise!
  12. Rick''s ok. I like the stuff he writes. Especially his "hatchet jobs" on the binners and the binner-in-chief David "Hey, trust me" Sheepshanks. He has an uncanny ability to wind up our destitute neighbours by the novel approach of telling them the awful truth about their financial situation. This is, of course, all very surprising news to Ipswich fans, who continue to cover their ears, hum very loudly, and insist that everything is just fine. Keep up the good work, Rick. Give ''em hell!
  13. I still fondly remember the Craig Bellamy "shirt off and twirling it round his head" celebration at Portaloo a few years ago. Bless him.
  14. It really is looking promising, isn''t it? The last time I can truthfully say that I was completely confident that Norwich City would beat just about any team that was put in front of them was during the 85/86 season when we won the old second division at a canter. That season just gathered an almost unstoppable momentum of confidence and self belief in both the team AND the fans that proved too much for all the other teams in the division to live with. I must say that this season is starting to feel the same. We have a bigger away following than many league teams get for a home game. We could probably sell out a Carrow Road with a capacity of 30,000 at the moment. The team are winning games comfortably without ever really turning it on like we know they can. Someone, very soon, is going to be on the wrong end of a 5 or 6 nil thrashing. Wouldn''t it be funny if it was Ipswich? The way things are going, and if we manage to stay relatively injury free, the next couple of months might just go down in Canary folklore. We don''t tend to get many seasons like this. Hang on tight folks, and enjoy the ride!!
  15. Roy does his best. Bless him. The trouble is, it''s just not good enough. He is what he is, an ex-employee of the AA (the motoring organisation, not the boozers) who, 20 years ago was given a job by then BBC when they decided to take revenge on the licence dodgers of this county by inflicting Radio Norfolk on us all. Now, I don''t mind the BBC using our licence fees to employ people with no professional journalistic training, ability or background whatsoever, as long as they only use them to present strange weekday afternoon "tea time" programmes that are much beloved by, and only listened to, by old age pensioners in Melton Constable, Binham and Little Snoring. But when it comes to matters Norwich City FC, I expect the BBC to be able to provide somebody as a commentator who can actually manage to see and understand what is happening during a football match. The ability to then communicate what he is seeing in a manner comprehensible to his audience wouldn''t go amiss either. It doesn''t seem an unreasonable request to me. I don''t mean to be too hard on Roy Waller. I''m sure he''s a really nice bloke. But a football commentator he ''aint. No wonder Norwich City have such a fantastic away following. If you want to know what''s happening during a Norwich City away game, you have to be there yourself to see it with your own eyes.
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