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Farkes The Herald Angels

View From Afar

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I live 6,000 miles from Norwich. I have seen one game in three years (Sothampton away this year). I am probably not in a position to make much valuable comment.

But, maybe I am. I love this club. It reflects my heritage and my heart. OK - soppy I know, but as all true supporters know this thing is not rational. It''s got you by the ballls.

I am disappointed by our results and I''m even more disappointed about how - according to these message boards - we have been losing. Disorganised, lack of passion, poor substitutions and the like.

So what''s happened?

As I see it it''s an issue of mindset,

Two years ago we were flying. Average players (with a few exceptions) lots of heart, a bucket lload of confidence and a team gelling on teamwork: Board, manager, players and supporters.

Now we have a more experienced board and manager and a better set of individual players. But we''re clearly failing.


There is a lot of value in everyone having their say. Worthington to go. Better buys. Better tactics etc.

But I think it''s more fundamental than that.

Ipswich got into Europe one year and the next George Burley gest sacked.

Forest got relegated then relegated again.

Others got relegated and then bounced back.

What''s the difference?


I don''t think that Worthy is necessarily a bad manager or the players are poor. But something is clearly missing. Belief.

You can say all you like about Hoddles antics with clairvoyants or others ''secrets of the mind'', but one thing I''ve learned is that successful business is about collective belief.

If the board and manager have failed it is in this area.

They have lost belief.

And it is high time that football understood what has been apparent in the most successful organisations for years: that success is built on belief that you can succeed.

It''s not really about tactics and players and formations. It''s going onto the pitch knowing you can win.

There is no easy answer to this, but the sooner that ''managers'' recognise that too win is to inspire the better. Personal management and coaching of the players minds as well as their roles is at the heart of success.

So there''s no point in having Delia. Nigel et al talking about injuries and ''lack of luck'' as the reason.

If the management can''t motivate as well as coach then they are not the right people for the job.

The light of passion has gone and it needs to come back, whatever players and tactics we adopt.

If the Board and Nigel can do this then let''s keep them. If not, then it is time for them to go with our best wishes for a job - for the most part - damn well done.

Football is not a rational thing - it''s emotional. We need the desire and belief to win and it has gone.

Whatever it takes, this is what we should be looking for, for the club we all love.

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very good post imo.

another example of this is at wigan. not the best team in the league, but their confidence and belief going in to every game is massive. if they had dropped their heads after chelsea, they could have been 1 off bottom!

as you said, alot of the game is a mental thing, and clearly they are not going into every game confident. how/who/what can change this, is something that needs to be sorted out. quick.

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Great post Kevin great to hear you are still about, we need the passion from the team because the fans are now beginning to loose there’s.

Every week for last 3 years, the fans have given that passion.

But the players do not believe what there are doing on the pitch. I went early the last home game and their body language, when warming up was just going through the motions, you could see some players doing an easy!

Why they do not believe I can not say, but there something wrong.

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nice post Kevin

before the QPR game their manager had a little "dig" at us saying we had got into a losing habit.

That annoyed Worthington but the truth is their manager was right. We are expecting to lose.

Fans, players and mangement alike.

It stems from last year when we tried to just survive instead of believing that we could win.

IMHO the only choice is a new regime to change the attitude and the tactics employed.

BTW if it is "the" Kevin Keelen we were actually related at one time.

I also currently live in the US (midwest)


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Great post and very true. An ex-Liverpool player was talking the other day on the radio about how Shankly never mentioned the opposition - simply dismissed them as not as good as Liverpool. I''m sure I remember Cloughy being exactly the same, always preached something along the lines of football is a simple game and the opposition are always a worse team.

Mark .Y. 

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I agree 100%. Look at how John Bond kept us in the old first division, Dave Stringer got us into two FA Cup semi finals and high league finishes in what is now the Prem and Mike Walker had that incredible 18 month spell. There was the odd star name here or there (Martin Peters in particular) but those teams were made up largely of so called journeyman pros who when put together gelled and played some terrific football. Some managers can instill that belief, some can''t and most can do it for a while before they lose inspiration after too many pre match speeches. That where we are at with Worthy- they have heard it all before and their pilot lights need to be relit by a new man.

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Good to see the responses and thanks. The people that have been mentioned - Shankly, Clough and others like Malcolm Allison, John Bond, Mourinho (despite his arrogance), Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, even Bobby Robson to a certain extent - all had one thing in common. They were / are all a bit larger than life, had an unswerving sense of self belief, were great communicators and - importantly - just a touch daft. They were charistmatic and acted like a beacon for players and supporters. Of course there are the quieter calmer types like Alan Curbishly, but the common fact is that all the best managers are ''people'' managers. Not tactics, not substitutions, not formations (important though they are) - but great inspirers of and communicators to people. There''s no doubt Nigel Worthington has been successful in the past and he is not a bad manager (I know some would disagree with this). But, in times of crisis (which is how I see the current situation) maybe he is less motivating and convincing than someone who, by their very presence, commands respect and trust. I do have some sympathy with those who say don''t chop and change managers (a la George Burley at Ipswich) and most certainly it isn''t just the managers responsibility. But managers are there to manage people and get the best out of them. There''s no point in him publicly castigating players as that''s de-motivating (should be said in private) and isn''t that what he''s there for - to inspire players to do the right things. I see little point in him moaning about why Adam Drury backed off into the penalty box to allow the first Wolves goal. Why did that happen? Is Drury stupid? No. Is he a bad player? No. Did he make a mistake? Yes. Why? Partly because everyone makes mistakes and because he has not been filled with the kind of self belief that stems from the top.

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