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The Great Mass Debater

All gone Tits up since BJ?

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Was wondering about our sorry set of affairs and had a strange feeling of Deja Vu.

Chris Hughton, say what you like about his current success, IMO made his biggest mistake here in not appreciating the important role that Grant Holt played in our team. He replaced an inspirational, talismanic, workhorse, who carved out territory, won free-kicks and generally led the line, with RvW, a completely different type of player, who was only ever going to be a luxury player.

People will argue that Holt had reached his sell-by date, but if he had been replaced with a similar warrior, surely we might have done a bit better.

And so this led me to think about BJ. For most of his time at Norwich I was one of his biggest critics, I was keen to sell him due to his one-dimensional play and desire for an ''upgrade''. Despite this I was converted when he suddenly added goals to his game, but this is not the reason I highlight his absence.

Say what you like about BJ, he, like Holt was a warrior. For years he beefed up our midfield, provided astute cover when we stormed forward, and always put a shift in. Im pretty sure he would not tolerate no-shows from his team-mates lightly.

Now I have not seen much of Norwich this season, frankly I havent much wanted to, but all I do hear about this team is how lightweight, workshy and gutless it is.

Was Alex Neil''s biggest mistake akin to Hughton''s in not recognising and retaining/replacing what perhaps a ''less technical'' player brought to the side in terms of graft, inspiration, and leadership?

Interested to hear the views of those who have more closely followed such a disappointing season.

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I think Johnson''s "warrior" like image is over done.

What I do think has been absent for most of the time since we departed Wembley victorious is togetherness.

And I guess losing Johnson lost some of that togetherness.

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Does any poster know the real reason he was sold?

I have seen and read the rumours but find them hard to accept.

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keelansgrandad wrote the following post at 09/03/2017 5:42 PM:

Does any poster know the real reason he was sold?

I have seen and read the rumours but find them hard to accept.

I know for a fact that he wasn''t expecting it. He turned up for training that day to be told the club had accepted a bid and to get himself to Derby. I don''t know if those rumours were the reason but he certainly didn''t want to go.

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BJ had his knockers but he was an upstanding pro who usually came good. His departure left us exposed to a full frontal assault as our scanty protection fell away to expose a soft underbelly all too easy to penetrate.

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Puns aside, replacing BJ with Matt Jarvis has to be the worst bit of business Neil has done, and that is saying something.

If Neil was any good at his job he''d have just waited for all of the rumours to blow over.

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Every successful team has to have a BJ/GH type player - a grafter, an inspiration to other players and the crowd, someone who keeps going when the going gets tough.Teams in the Championship need one of those players more than virtually any other league although if you''re battling to avoid relegation they''re not a bad assest to have in the PL.You can look through our entire current squad and you''ll be hard pushed to find anyone with those qualities.In fact, to a man, with the possible exception of Howson and Jerome (neither of which are close to BJ or GH in that department), our squad is full of players who are gutless serial quitters when things go against them.Hence we crumble at the slightest hint of adversity, we don''t play well away from home and we rarely turn a losing position into a winning position.In the long list of mistakes that AN has made, and that seems to get longer every week, getting rid of BJ must be in the top 3.

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Ok Dunc, Brady and Johnson were both in the team/match day squad at the time. When Johnson left, Jarvis took his place in said team/match day squad. Hence, Jarvis not Brady replaced Johnson so no, not better.

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We received the enquiry from Derby a few days before deadline day and it was rejected even tho the money was good, Johnsons agent knew of this so Alex and Johnson had a meeting as he wanted clarification on his position in our team, he was told he wouldn''t be guaranteed many starts in the prem as Neil wanted more width in both wide positions to counter prem full backs being able to get forward, johnson then decided he wouldnt mind going to talk to Derby and with the money so good the club decided to go with the deal, the transfer was his choice as he wanted first team football the club were happy for him to stay

Straight from the manager

He also said he was surprised fans were moaning saying Bradley could have still started for us but playing centre midfield instead as when he played there two years previous under Hughton most fans singled him out as a weak link, which we did.

He also said he doubted that Johnson had ever met Grabbans missus as she spent most of her time still down on the south coast with her family, probably the reason Grabban wanted to go

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Mister Chops wrote the following post at 10/03/2017 12:46 AM:

I hate it when the truth gets in the way of a good story.

But it isn''t the truth. He had no idea he was going until he turned up at training. I was working on another players house that day and had only seen BJ''s family the day before, his child fully kitted out in the Norwich kit. They were very settled and didn''t want to go. But we can''t deny that at the time it was a good deal for the club

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the season was going ok without BJ until newcastle away.

He had been shunted as he was found wanting in the middle, great in the air but never that effective at winning a ball back. It was a good deal at the time and would take the same again.

I do agree that we do miss his personality though; he gave his all and encouraged his team mates; more of a leader than those touted as captains that have remained.

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So what you''re say JF is that Bradley turned up at training and was bundled into the back of a car, driven to Derby and forced to sign a contract with a gun to his head?

He had two years on his contract and didn''t have to move unless he wanted to

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He turned up to training that morning and was told the club had accepted an offer and that he was no longer wanted at the club. His family were very happy and settled here and had only just had a lot of work done on their house. We had been round there 2 weeks prior to price up some work. He wasn''t going to stay when it was made clear he wasn''t wanted

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