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Patches OHoolahan

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Everything posted by Patches OHoolahan

  1. Patches OHoolahan

    Paul Heckingbottom...

    Indeed Lessingham. I fear that we may not be in a position to pry Jokanovic away from Fulham but I would hope we could get Heckingbottom in before the end of the season.
  2. Patches OHoolahan

    Paul Heckingbottom...

    ...a name I''ve seen mentioned in passing in connection with our vacant managerial/head coach position. Heckingbottom has done well with Barnsley on a relatively small budget, has them playing attractive football and used to play for Norwich which may make us a more attractive proposition for him.

    If we are to have a director of football, it might work quite well to have a young coach like Heckingbottom in place as he may be more amenable to ceding control over transfers to someone else, than an older manager who could be reluctant to relinquish control over such matters.
  3. Patches OHoolahan

    This "new structure"...

    Presumably the board has been planning this new structure for some time. In his interview with Michael Bailey, Ed Balls framed Neil''s dismissal in terms of the board discussing this new structure and plans for next season.

    How do we envisage this working? The director of football/head coach model appears to be the direction of travel, with the new CEO being less hands-on when it comes to player transfers. Perhaps this was planned in conjunction with the dismissal of Moxey? You don''t need a CEO in the style of Moxey or McNally in place if you have a DoF. It wouldn''t surprise me if Steve Stone ends up being appointed as permanent CEO with a more functional role overseeing the business as a whole and informing the DoF/head coach of the budget for wage and transfer expenditure.

    I can see benefits to using a genuine DoF model. It would result in greater forward planning and consistency in terms of transfers and it would decentralise power in terms of the running of club affairs which means it''s less damaging when say the CEO/DoF leaves. However there are also dangers if the model is not correctly implemented. An unscrupulous DoF could be waiting in the wings to replace the head coach or at least may be perceived to have pretensions to that effect and may not communicate effectively with the head coach. This is why picking the right personnel is so crucial.

    I sincerely hope that I have interpreted Balls'' comments correctly and that they have been planning this restructure for some time with rigorous procedures in place to ensure that we make a success of it. Executed correctly, we could be lucky enough to emulate the likes of Southampton, who use the DoF model very effectively. But if we get the DoF appointment wrong, we could risk alienating a talented head coach and putting back our development as a club by some time. I look forward to the club releasing more details next week...

  4. Patches OHoolahan

    We never looked like getting promoted

    At no stage this season have I felt confident that we would be promoted. Certainly we flattered to deceive in the early parts of the season, but our descent down the table after THAT Newcastle defeat has been accompanied by a sense of numbing inevitability on my part.

    The current wave of apathy sweeping over the fan base indicates that I am not alone in this feeling. In most recent seasons I have felt a certain sense of excitement, an anticipation that we would, eventually, force our way into the playoffs, that we had a chance of escaping relegation but that feeling has been sorely absent this season.

    It is incumbent upon the board to take action, to inject an inkling of excitement into the club again. The same tired excuses are trotted out game after game by Mr Neil. I appreciate what he has done for the club in the past and I certainly respect his achievements, but there is a long term rot in the squad that he has distinctly failed to address during his time at the club. Moreover, some of his recent purchases, or rather a lack thereof, have made little sense. Spending £7 million on a winger when we are already blessed with a number of talented wide-men is frankly bewildering.

    Without action this season or early in the close season I fear a prolonged period of inertia which will eventually be punctured with a further deterioration in our position, as we gradually lose the quality members of our squad.

    This is not a bad team. Far from it. That is what makes our present situation all the more frustrating. Build the team around the likes of the Murphy twins, Maddison, Pritchard, Howson and Oliveira. Consider overhauling the defence (bar perhaps Pinto). But first and foremost, new direction is needed from the dugout. We cannot continue down the present path as we saw where it led in 2008/2009. We laboured too long under the ponderous direction of Nigel Worthington after relegation from the Premier League and subsequently a series of poor appointments compounded our position to diminish the advantage gained from our brief stay in the top tier.

    I implore the board to see sense and to recognise that their loyalty to Alex Neil, admirable though it may be, is misplaced and is not in the long term interests of this club. If finance is the primary motivation in their decision-making, then the board need to seriously consider the current downward momentum that we have, and the financial implications of that continuing into next season. This is not a time to shy away from taking difficult decisions, we fans require, indeed deserve hard-headed decision making from the board and if they are not able to take those decisions, they need to consider their own positions and that of the vacant CEO role very carefully.
  5. Patches OHoolahan

    Michael Morrison

    I think most fans would recognise that we''re in need of a decent centre back to pair with Klose. How about Birmingham centre back Michael Morrison? Always seemed commanding when I''ve seen him play (admittedly not that frequently) and wouldn''t cost the earth. Other suggestions welcome...
  6. Patches OHoolahan

    Championship podcasts?

    Thanks for the suggestions folks. While young Jack seems a nice enough lad, I have to say that Talk Norwich City is not quite my tempo. The LYBP is good but they aren''t always able to produce a podcast on a consistent basis - understandable given day jobs etc of the people involved. DDD, I''ll have to give the magic sponge a listen. I suppose the problem is that the mainstream journos who provide good Premier league content focus solely on the Prem and the Football League is the poor relation by comparison. Will update this thread if I find any noteworthy podcasts.
  7. Patches OHoolahan

    Championship podcasts?

    Can anyone recommend any good quality podcasts focused on the Championship? The ones I''ve found lack insight or are effectively Premier League fans moonlighting as Championship "experts" before their season begins. Any suggestions?
  8. Patches OHoolahan

    Predictions for Sunday

    2-1 to City. Howson and Jerome to score for us, Benteke for the scousers.
  9. Patches OHoolahan

    Felipe Caicedo?

    Good shout that. Admittedly I''ve not seen him play much in recent years, but from what I remember of him, he has pace, power and a decent goalscoring instinct. Are Espanyol likely to be willing to sell?
  10. Patches OHoolahan

    Radio Norfolk and dumbing down football debate

    Until last Saturday, I hadn''t listened to Radio Norfolk''s coverage of Norwich for quite some time. I rate Chris Goreham as a commentator, but always found the debate following matches to be dominated by ill-informed, often fickle fans.

    Having listened to both Canary Call, and the first 10 minutes of the latest edition of the Scrimmage (I could make it no further), I worry that the lunatics are now running the asylum. Rob Butler possesses an undeniable enthusiasm for Norwich, but he does not appear to allow much room for alternative opinions, often shouting down those who dissented from his own views. Perhaps worse is Mr Butler''s attitude towards the discussion of tactics and the manner of play that Norwich adopt. He stated unequivocally at the start of the Scrimmage that they wouldn''t be discussing tactics and formation as that is not what the fans in the pub discuss. It might be that I am in the minority here, but that is precisely what I discuss in the aftermath of a Norwich match! Is thinking of sports which Simon Hooper might also struggle to referee really a good use of airtime and licence fee-payers'' money? Canary Call also completely failed to address the defensive frailties which led to Norwich conceding 3 goals against Palace, with Mr Butler repeatedly extolling the virtues of Dwight Gayle in relation to our search for a striker. In fairness, it could be argued that Radio Norfolk mirrors the demands of the supporters who tune in, but I would like to believe that the majority of Norwich fans think more deeply about football than their coverage would suggest.

    I think this is part of a broader dumbing down of football debate in this country, as exemplified by the rise of reactionary and often poorly informed pundits such as Robbie Savage and Ian Wright to front the BBC''s football coverage. In this apparent race to the bottom, I would really like to see Radio Norfolk buck the trend and produce a better standard of football coverage.

    Does anyone else share my frustrations?
  11. Patches OHoolahan

    Who blinks first?

    Who blinks first in a staring contest where no one has any eyelids? That''s how its looking at the moment between ourselves, Bournemouth, Watford and Boro. The result is of paramount importance this Friday, but with all 4 teams in such relentless form of late, you feel that we have to mindful of our goal difference as well. Watford are scoring freely at the moment, and look like giving Forest a seeing to this evening, so we may need to go more offensive in matches where we might ordinarily try to manage the game a bit more. Will we do it? Nobody can be sure, but with Alex Neil at the helm we are as well equipped as we can be.
  12. Patches OHoolahan

    Norwich 4 Middlesborough 4

    I enjoyed the ''Boro commentary as well, although it would be nice to find the Radio Norfolk version. Not sure it could ever measure up to the commentary on the match against Derby though!

    Lessingham, I believe Francis scored a few goals that season, and looked one of our better players for the most part. That said his no-show against Fulham on the final day does stick in the mind somewhat.
  13. Patches OHoolahan

    Norwich 4 Middlesborough 4

    I believe the last time Steve McClaren brought a team to Carrow Road, this happened:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3tcacE2ZBI

    One of the craziest games I''ve been to, it was bedlam when Drury got the equaliser.
  14. Thorougly enjoyable piece. Also agree with Chip20''s comments that the Prem can be enjoyable if you have a go every week.

    The risk averse football that we were exposed to under Hughton smacks of wanting to hold on to Premier League status at all costs. Is there irony in the fact that freed from the shackles of the Premier League, the current board have made much more adventurous managerial appointments?
  15. Patches OHoolahan

    Your favourite fringe player?

    Over recent years there has always been at least one player that sections of our support have thought would be the answer to all, or at least some, of our problems. I admit to being one of these optimists who perhaps forget some of the deficiencies of players when they are not in the team, but that doesn''t stop me from doing it!

    One classic from years gone by was Cody McDonald (remember that prolific spell at Gillingham?). More recently Luciano Becchio, David Fox and Elliot Bennett have filled the void for those who like to tinker with the team, albeit only in our minds. So to that end who is your favourite fringe player of recent years? I would have to go with Fox. Memories of him pulling the strings in midfield lingered long beyond his stay in the first team for me.
  16. Patches OHoolahan

    What about the defence?!

    Unfortunately it seems that my pre-season fears were alarmingly prescient after the last few games. Hopefully Neil can rectify this, or at least have us scoring freely enough to compensate for the frequent defensive lapses.
  17. Patches OHoolahan

    What about Elliot Bennett?

    Has anyone else noticed the small amount of first team football that Elliot Bennett has had so far this season? Generally I''ve been impressed with the way the team has played and I understand the tactical flexibility that it gives us to play say Grabban or Lafferty on the wing, but could we not create more by having a specialist winger on either flank? Admittedly nobody covered themselves in glory against Shrewsbury, but it might be worth giving Elliot a go either down one of the wings, or through the middle in Hoolahan''s role, should Wes prove ineffective.

    Having Elliot in the team would suit a swift counter-attacking game particularly when one considers the pace of Redmond, Jerome and Grabban. He also puts a shift in defensively.
  18. Patches OHoolahan

    Rvw

    May have been a touch lucky with the goalkeeping, but was still a good finish last night:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTOnOdM2eDo
  19. Patches OHoolahan

    How long since we had a positive goal-difference?

    Can''t remember the last time we had a positive goal-difference, it is a nice change! Long may the goals flow for us.
  20. Patches OHoolahan

    What about the defence?!

    I''m all for us playing open attacking football, but I''m getting increasingly concerned that our defensive organisation will suffer to an extent which will tip the balance in the favour of our opponents come the start of the season. I''m not for one minute calling for a return to "Hughton-ball" but I for one am not sure that we are placing adequate emphasis on the defensive side of the game. Hopefully I''ll be proven wrong with an exciting season full of goals that ends in promotion, but today was the first real test our defence has faced this pre-season, and while we did not lose, I can''t say I''m inspired with confidence.
  21. Patches OHoolahan

    Neil Adams: A "Norwich Man"?

    A hypothetical scenario for you to consider on this humid Monday morning. Suspend your disbelief for a time and imagine that Neil Adams'' tenure at Norwich is like the second coming- we romp home to the Championship title, followed by a top-ten finish in the Prem, and European qualification the next year. What do you think would tempt Neil away from the club he says he supports? Would he, like Lambert, jump at the chance to manage a so-called bigger club like Villa? How about Everton? After all he did spend some time there early in his career. Or would it take one of the really big teams for him to be tempted away?
  22. Patches OHoolahan

    Michael Mancienne

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28328736

    On the verge of signing for Forest. Is this a deal we should hijack? 26 with years of experience in the Prem and the Bundesliga, and if we aren''t going to play Bassong we''ll need another centre-back in my view as I''m not convinced by Russ in that position.
  23. Patches OHoolahan

    The Spirit of 2011...

    Neil has spoken about generating good team spirit while the squad are at St George''s Park, so my question is how do we recapture some of the spirit which we had in 2011? Without knowing a great deal about the inner-workings of the Lambert era, three key elements emerge for me. Firstly we believed we could beat anyone we played, and often played on the front-foot. Secondly Lambert protected the players by refusing to criticise individuals in the media (on the touchline it was a different matter). Admittedly this is a fairly widely used convention, that Neil appears to be following to date. Thirdly and most importantly, it really felt like everyone wanted to be here, that they were prepared to work hard for each other to achieve something that was greater than the sum of our parts. With our current squad we have every right to expect a promotion challenge, but we can''t be carrying any passengers. If we are to keep the likes of Bassong, Hoolahan, Pilks and the Dutch pair, they need to be prepared to give everything for the cause (see the USA at the World Cup).

    I''m not looking for a total repeat of the 2010/2011 season in terms of style- exciting as it would be- but I''m hoping that we can regain the spirit that propelled us to such great heights.
  24. Patches OHoolahan

    Snoddy and Loyalty

    http://www.pinkun.com/norwich-city/robert_snodgrass_hull_deal_did_not_hinge_on_norwich_city_pay_off_1_3667001

    So Snodgrass''s move to Hull wasn''t contingent on a final big payment from Norwich, but from the story, and other stories involving Hoolahan, it can be inferred that the club uses loyalty bonuses in their player contracts. How do people feel about this? I realise its becoming more the standard to include loyalty bonuses in contracts, but when did it become necessary to incentivise loyalty? Is this just a symptom of our mercenary footballing culture, or should players be rewarded even more than their basic salaries, simply for not agitating for a move away?
  25. Patches OHoolahan

    How much has changed since last year?

    Looking at the squad and the areas we need to improve, have things really changed too much? We needed a target-man with a goal-threat at the start of last season and brought in Elmander (ahem). We needed another centre-back to provide competition/cover to the likes of Bassong, Turner and Bennett, and for me this was a position we failed to fill- I know we tried to sign Alderweireld, but didn''t appear to have a backup. Yobo was half-decent but according to recent reports was a bit half-arsed. I still feel we could do with one more centre-back, although its possible that Neil will look to the youth team to fill this gap in the Championship, if we keep hold of the 3 aforementioned centre-backs. Finally and perhaps most crucially we needed to sign a quality number 10 to link the play between midfield and the strikers. I think this was one of the key reasons for our relegation, as the forward(s) were constantly left isolated, having to feed on scraps. Nobody we tried there looked likely to consistently produce in that role, and I include Hoolahan in that, much as I like him as a player. I imagine that we will play a different system this year, which might make the number 10 less crucial, but if we do manage to return to the Prem at the first time of asking it is a position that we will need to fill, and it must be with filled with a quality player.
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