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Rudolph Hucker

ASHTON WAS A DISRUPTIVE INFLUENCE. HE HAD TO GO.

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I am fed up with reading about how the sale of Ashton has blown our only chance of promotion.

We were no more likely to gain promotion with him than without him, he was a disruptice influence.

The man surely had a charisma bypass operation before joining us. He didn''t  lift or inspire his colleagues; he just didn''t fit in.

Oh! It was okay in the Prem'' with our players on enhanced wages and with ''big wedge'' earners brought in for the season but as soon as we got relegated the built in wage re-adjustments came in, and then what did Ashton do?  He signed an improved contract which no doubt singled him out as the highest wage earner by a pitch width, with a nice signing on fee so large that it sucked up most of the 2 million available for his replacement: Clinton Morrison.

I wonder just how much money Ashton earned out of Norwich. If I was the manager I wouldn''t have let him come off with a broken leg let alone a few muscle pulls.

The best match he played this season:  Southampton, he went off and stretched before the game and missed the huddle, he was clearly single minded and singled himself out.

Don''t tell me there is no envy of team mates in football, it is obviously rabid with so many large ego''s all around and there you are, working away in the Championship for less money, playing more matches and watching your big hope smacking the ball wide against his former club and missing the Reading goal from the penalty spot. Do you remember Huckerby commenting on the car he and the other players saw Thomas Repka driving when we played at Upton Park last year?

When we got promoted, as Reading are getting promoted and as Wigan blaze away there is  team ethic. There are no outstanding ''stars'' and everyone plays for each other in a meritocracy. Ashton stole that from Norwich this season through the Club singling him out and putting him on a pedestal in order to try and win promotion. Watford had this quality and it is one of the things posters who demand youth be played really want as they are not playing for money.

I am delighted Ashton has gone, his wages have gone, his price has gone up, money has gone into our coffers, he has gone into different circumstances where he will flourish until his hamstrings have gone, his ego has gone, the envy and insipid instability have gone, and now we need players who will fit in.

I am not interested in players like Jerome, another Ashton in the making, I would like to see a Lisbie instead. I don''t want proven millionaires I want good solid round pegs to go in the round holes who can be blended into an effective unit because whatever level you are at the unit has to be effective: Chelsea do it at the highest level and Colchester do it at a lower.

I expect the club and it''s players to begin to gel and come together now Ashton has left. He was a disruptive influence. He had to go.

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Excellent post Hucker.

Ashton certainly had the potential but has never seemed to be that interested this season - forever coming up with various niggles and aches.

The goals missed would probably have easily in the playoffs had they had been scored.

It could well be that when the dust settles a bit more might surface.

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Very, very well written and persuasive post Rude.I have to say I agree with you on a lot of those points - Ashton just never "fitted in" when in the Championship. Whether this was Worthy''s fault for not using him to the best of his ability, or whether he wasn''t interested and was just biding time (or, more likely, a combination of both), I don''t think anyone could deny that he became less and less interested until <em>that</em> match against Soton when he was in the shop window.Would be interesting to know exactly what changed - you look at his face after the Fulham game last season and he looks genuinely gutted. Perhaps the rumours and lack of success got to him, or perhaps he was only ever really interested in using us to get Prem football? Whatever, that''s water under the bridge now, and I for one certainly wish Dean the best of luck at West Ham. He''s a decent guy and a superb footballer.It''s now Worthington''s last chance I feel. If he doesn''t get in players that work well, regardless of their reputations as good/bad players, then I think he should do the decent thing in the Summer...

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An interesting spin on the whole ''kiss goodbye to Ashton, kiss goodbye to the Premiership'' debate raging in other postings... Hucker, you raise some very interesting points too, mainly concerned with creating a balanced team, of a collective of like-minded individuals all working to one aim, with no private agenda''s - I like that trail of thought, hopefully it is one the Club will look to undertake...

With the cash in the bank, and a clean slate to work from, the future could well be a tad more rosier than I and a lot of other supporters would expect following Ashton''s departure...

Hucker, what are your views on the ''buy youth, buy hungry players'' mantra mooted by Worthers..? You stated that you don''t fancy going for Jerome as you reckon it could lead to a smiliar situation as the one with Ashton... Would you instead prfer to go for other Pink''Un messageboarder''s suggestions; Neil Danns and Greg Halford, along with other lower league youngsters..? 

This isn''t a flame posting, or a testing post, just merely interested in your views, as you seem fairly level-headed and a non-provative poster...

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I initially thought that this would be another rant at money but what a great and well thought out post, makes a great deal of sense as well.

Maybe he was the negative effect that was there with the team as all the time that we were informed that training was fine and there were no behind the scenes rifts the team still did not cut it on the park.

I liked the player and wish him all the luck at West Ham as he has got a quality that seems to be lacking in a lot of forwards, maybe he will do it for England one day

 

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top notch post rude old. agree with alot of what you said, i too noticed the missed pre-match huddle verus soton. however, i didn''t detect an obvious arrogance or selfishness about ashton that some top strikers have. to me, he looked a serious, determined and single minded individual when playing for city and make no mistake he always ran for lost causes and never gave anything up - setting up goals for colleagues as well.  he has self-belief in bundles, and after his successful prem introduction, he and the club must have felt he was worth the extra contract and doss - having had multiple bids upto 6m for him, probably believing he would score 20 goals by xmas, and who back in early august would have doubted otherwise?if deano has continued his prem form, scored 20 plus by xmas, city in top 4, what offers would have been flooding in by the jan window, 10m plus?fact is, and he admits it, pardew paid over the odds for deano - probably he bought on the basis of deano''s reputation on the training ground, as part of the under england 21''s performances and last seasons impressive exploits in the champ and prem.  in isolation, this season for city marks him out as a 2-3m striker only.if deano scores 7 goals plus in the prem this season, then pardew walks away vindicated, if he bombs, then the hammers fans will be on his back again.  what a gamble.

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I also agree with post, i have been reliably informed Ashton was on £10 k a week prior to improved contract, £18 k after,  also he often threw his toys out of pram, and wanted to leave after crew game. No disputing his talent, but i do feel he was becoming a disruptive influence.

 I am sorry to se him go, but feel maybe it was for the best for all concerned.

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Anderz wrote

An interesting spin on the whole ''kiss goodbye to Ashton, kiss goodbye to the Premiership'' debate raging in other postings... Hucker, you raise some very interesting points too, mainly concerned with creating a balanced team, of a collective of like-minded individuals all working to one aim, with no private agenda''s - I like that trail of thought, hopefully it is one the Club will look to undertake...

With the cash in the bank, and a clean slate to work from, the future could well be a tad more rosier than I and a lot of other supporters would expect following Ashton''s departure...

Hucker, what are your views on the ''buy youth, buy hungry players'' mantra mooted by Worthers..? You stated that you don''t fancy going for Jerome as you reckon it could lead to a smiliar situation as the one with Ashton... Would you instead prfer to go for other Pink''Un messageboarder''s suggestions; Neil Danns and Greg Halford, along with other lower league youngsters..? 

This isn''t a flame posting, or a testing post, just merely interested in your views, as you seem fairly level-headed and a non-provative poster...

Thanks for your comments Anderz, and others who wanted to share in a bit of intelligent debate for a change (absences noted). Sorry if that is a little provokative, albeit true.

Like most others I know nothing much about some of the players touted, but I did see Lisbie and saw potential. Unlike most others I am prepared to say I don''t know and, like them, am having to trust and hope that Worthington and his team can get it right.

I hope he does get it right because this cash windfall is the last chance to keep some progress momentum going although I have personally given up all hope of a play off spot.

Age does not govern a professionals hunger, some people in all walks of life are driven without change; some need change and some seldom have the quality whatever their circumstances.

I think we all feel a little uneasy about the sort of money certain players command, particularly looking at where we have come from. It is not so long ago our own players were signing up for share issues, then Huckerby was taking a pay cut to join us and suddenly we have a top player on a top player contract unsettling the ranks.

I think a good team needs a mix of youth and experience, it needs a strong spine, it needs balance and round pegs in round holes and it needs players who want to be here for all the right reasons.

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This is a post I like Mr Hucker, the team theme is welcome in a club such as ours.  We were a half chance saloon for Ashton and we were milked by him and his manager. He has realised his dream and taken his money and his baggage with him. We have made a few quid and hopefully learned a few things about contracts and the sting that is in the tail of a bad one.  Best wishes Mr Ashton and go quickly without my blessing. OTBC  You mention Chelsea whom, with their manager, no one player is allowed to stand out above the team, or allowed to select their own tactics.  If Mr Huckerby was playing for them he would''nt get in the squad until he learned to defend, and quickly.

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Good thread rudolph, and a persuasive and eloquent argument (of the kind that''s been missing on here of late).I agree with most of your points, and it''s interesting how a player of Ashton''s quality can be a talisman for his team-mates in the premiership, but somehow seem to unsettle them in the championship. The same was true of Damien Francis, and a player''s desire to leave the team, which both Francis and Ashton had, is the most unsettling influence of all.Sheffield Utd and Reading have proven that you don''t need stars to get out of the Championship, you need a smattering of quality around the squad and most importantly the will to play together to achieve something great.There is also the  question of differing promotion incentive. Ashton knew the simplest way for him to play in the prem was to move to a premiership club; most of our other players know the only way for them is to get promoted. Guess who''s going to be more motivated to take us up?

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[quote user="Rudolph Hucker"]

I would like to see a Lisbie instead.

[/quote] I was with you ''till this point.Lisbie''s goal tally is abysmal, he looked quite tidy otherwise, but strikers are judged by their goals and hes not scored nearly enough. Even if he''d scored 5 times as many as he has, his record would still be decidedly average.I put it to you - are you having a laugh?

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Herb,

Lisbie will get behind defences in this league and would be a good support striker. We still need a main striker.Jerome is a support striker but should be avoided if he costs over 2 mil. I want to see some pace and width in our team.

Incidentally, I have had a right good go at Huckerby this season but if nothing else the guy obviously fits in, gets on with his colleagues and wants to be here. This episode has made me look at Huckerby in a different light, the guy wants to play for us and that is something money cannot buy.

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Unlike many of those responding Rudolph, I don''t particularly agree with or care for your post. Here''s why. While you and I agree that it was good business to make the deal with West Ham, your post is too quick to dump at Ashton''s door much related to our woes because, as you say, he was a disruptive influence. Do you notice how quickly some KTF''s ( re Worthy ) have responded, complimenting you on your post. This, despite the fact that you, like me, believe it''s appropriate for Worthington to be replaced. They do so because, in a way, it vindicates their point of view. You give the impression that Ashton has clearly been a problem ( disruptive influence ) since we found ourselves back in the Championship. However, it was less than four weeks ago that you were chastising Worthington on here for not getting good players in but, conversely, being the reason for our quality player ( you were referring to Ashton ) being likely to leave. Of course, everyone''s entitled to start a new year with a different point of view as long as we are just throwing opinions around.

With respect to your point about creating a team environment ( all for one and one for all ) rather than one built upon one or two star players, it sounds wonderful, in theory. However, in practice, professional teams  in most sports around the world, including football, will contain players of different levels of talent. Being a star is not what prevents them operating as team players. It''s the way they are managed that accomplishes that. Regardless, as their talents develop they generally command more reward and/or move through the ranks. Your point about solid round pegs to go into round holes to create an effective unit, again, sounds wonderful in theory. I note that you only use examples of those teams who are currently enjoying success. Reading, Wigan, Chelsea and Colchester ( no Sunderland there or Norwich in our promotion year ). You cite Chelsea doing it at a high level and Colchester at a lower level. Well, Chelsea only started to do it when Abramovich came in with his millions and the club acquired millionaire players. Even then, it required a change of management to optimize the effectiveness. So it wasn''t star players that held them back, it was how they were managed. With regard to Colchester, prior to this season they had spent the past several seasons losing more games than they won and, if they should lose a couple of their stars shortly, it would likely have a negative rather than a positive effect on ensuing results.

The final point I would make is to my good friend beelsie. I don''t think Norwich City were "milked" by Dean Ashton. Crewe made good money off of him as have Norwich. It will remain to be seen how West Ham fares. For all we know, Dean Ashton may have wanted to move when we failed to stay in the Premiership. If those in charge at our club shared the same philosophy put forth by this thread then they would not have improved his contract and convinced him to stay. Equally, if we had also, at that time, acquired  a couple of players who could service Ashton, we may have improved our results and made redundant the need for a thread such as this.  

Incidentally, Rudolph, your comment about sharing in intelligent debate for a change was probably best left to someone who didn''t initiate the thread, otherwise one could think that a country boy like yourself forgot to carry  your humility with you when venturing forth into the city.

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Where is the evidence that Deano was a dirsruptive influence?  This is as bad as accusing Worthy of losing the dressing room or any of the more imaginative behind the scenes allegations that are simply gossip.

Every team has its lively (Hughes) and quieter members as well as those that dont quite gel as well as others.  Yes Deano seems to be more independent han most and he is single minded - but so are all successful players.   He worked hard in most games cotributing to the team effort overall and while his mind may have been in the prem  for much of this season neiong off pace is not a disruptive indicator - in that case Worthy is the most disruptive soul in the camp and every single player other than doc and youssef are disruptive too.  If Hux cant cope not being THE star in the club is that Ashtons or Hux problem to deal with?

Creating a team ethic within a club is the managers role;  that team togetherness was evident at the end of last season when ashton was here so why has it been lost this year - saying that is Deano may be the answer but pretty unlikely.

I agree with Yankee - you are trying to put the blame at Ashtons door for citys failings this season and while I agree he has not lived up to last seasons performances I dont see any evidence of being a negative influence on the side.

Deanos contract was signed willingly by city and it was us who agreed to increasing his salary at the start of this season when it was clear that he would leave if we werent looking at a promotion spot - deano is no different from any other player - taking what wages he can negotiate from a dumb club that simply did not need to give him any more as he was already on a three year deal.   Player greed is not limited to Ashton - every player is guilty of the same thing - from Hux to Hughes and none of them would behave any differently and many would have also insisted on their back pay; Ashton is no saint but he is not the devil either.

 

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Oh! Dear Septic,

What a transparent attempt at taking a swipe at me dressed up as a serious post. Is this your idea of ''shock and awe.''

Just read what I actually wrote and save me the effort of explaining.

Why oh why do you persist in in -depth analysis of contributors styles. Who are you, some Special Agent Literacy Squad for Team America World Police?

Just accept your cultural limitations in understanding irony and accept that English humour is dry while American is as wet as a coughed up Presidential pretzel.

You cannot divide contributors into two camps. I disagree with Squit''s attitude towards Worthington but today he posted some efforts which were first class in my opinion. Some of us have views which cross boundaries.

Why do you make points and then set out to disprove them by later comments? Do you lose your way? I told you to try paragraphs, you know, one idea or theme per set, it works!

That said I did love your last paragraph, you obviously have ability which just needs to be honed. I will be adopting your expression for a while as my signature, thank you.

Other than that please get your F16''s off my radar and remember it is ''soccer'' we are actually discussing on here.[:D]

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I''m disappointed in you Zip.

I have always respected you as a knowledgeable free thinking contributor.

Was Septic''s bandwagon just too tempting to avoid jumping on?

 

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[quote user="YankeeCanary"]Incidentally, Rudolph, your comment about sharing in intelligent debate for a change was probably best left to someone who didn''t initiate the thread, otherwise one could think that a country boy like yourself forgot to carry  your humility with you when venturing forth into the city.[/quote]Same way you forgot your manners when you moved to the country infamous for having none?

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What Planet are you on M8, Ashton was good at his job - scoring goals!Now who else in our squad has anywhere near ashton''s tally!as for disruptive, all players come with baggage. take mcveigh apparently does not work hard in training or reserves but plays bloody well for the first team.I''ll take the ashton''s of this world along with the pro''s and con''snow who''s going to score all those goals to shoot us into the playoffs.................

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Your ego is still showing Mr. Hucker. With respect to losing one''s way, I''ll leave it to others to judge who''s getting off topic. You provided a theory, and then I, followed by ZLF, disagreed with it and gave clear reasons why. You had a number of choices; ignore the responses, respond by saying we will just have to disagree, or indicate some weaknesses in our arguments or, indeed provide further substance to support yours.

You failed to do any of the above but chose to get personal with me along with a backhanded dig at Zipper. I am glad you chose to use my input as your sign-off. Let it be a constant reminder to you ( let''s see how long you can stand to look at it ). Just remember, there are a good number of people on this board who stimulate intelligent debate who do so without using a foghorn to announce the fact.

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I think I can live with your disappointment Rude Old[}] and I have no particular affinity for YCs views having agreed and argued over many in the past to be satisfied that I can make up my own mind.

But just as I decried the lack of eidence of worthy losing the dressing room (these allegations were made as early as stoke) I cant seen any here either;  Worthy and Ashton both have faults - these are both comments I dont agree with and posted as such.

C''est la vie [H]

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YC, I believe NCFC were milked in a more suttle way than I implied. This opinion, and that is all it can be is that he "DA" was aware of our interest and with the complicity of the Crewe manager who was in dire need of funds, with DA''s manager who is a close relation, put their heads together and decided this oportunity will be a way to test the Prem waters, get the feel so to speak, DA, with his obvious touch and undoubted talent, was quick to realise that the lack of talent, and the lack of drive, or gusto, cohesion in the NCFC team, meant that however he tried NCFC were going nowhere fast the way that they were playing.  Whatever you chose to call it he declared his disolusionment with his fellows to the NCFC management, and from the obvious on show body language, DA also made his feelings known to his underperforming teammates who in turn were not best pleased.  After he "DA" renegotiated a lucrative contract that NCFC could not afford and also caused disatisfaction in the camp which YC you chose or forgot to mention, he was still uneasy, unsettled one might say, especially when he noticed that there were more Prem teams interested.  Body language on the pitch indicated to me certainly that he was no longer a NCFC player and the quicker NCFC board etc. accepted that the better it would to secure a quick release, not quick enough I''m afraid.  He will become a fantastic player if he irons out those suspect ham-strings and includes in his young Psychie a less selfish attitude.  I just felt that due to our part in his move to fame we were entitled to at least this season of effort from his presence in our team. For reasons I have stated before, this does not mean that I blame the situation at NCFC solely on Worthington, it is a collective policy adopted by the board, that they will support Worthington as long as he fits in with their ideals.  This is because they are not confident that the funds in football in general being at the present level for too much longer therefore, they are not going to commit NCFC to the huge wage levels that will be required by the "quality footballer" to venture into a Prem battle with no guarantee of securing a mid section foot hold and keeping there.  The crowd base will not fund such an operation either in my opinion. 

There is another slant on things to come in the future, and that is the requirement for the workforce to fund their own pensions, and to secure a pension the workers contribution will amount to a considerable sum, at least double the present contribution up to one third of one''s earnings, and finding the money to indulge ones-self in a football match will be done at the expence of a pension.  Do''nt forget the mortgage contribution either.  All these things do impinge on the viability and the prosperity of NCFC, and we ignore these inroads into our earnings at our peril.  But not in our case, eh, YC.

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" Deanos contract was signed willingly by city and it was us who agreed to increasing his salary at the start of this season when it was clear that he would leave if we werent looking at a promotion spot - deano is no different from any other player - taking what wages he can negotiate from a dumb club that simply did not need to give him any more as he was already on a three year deal. "

durrrrrrrrrrr

Perhaps, just perhaps someone on the board might just have recognised that the buying club has to pay a transfer fee that reflects the length and value of the contract - hence the £7m for a player bought for £3m a year before.

I do wonder if some of the anti club brigade actually learned their stuff at the Dave Sheepshank''s college of financial ineptitude.

" Player greed is not limited to Ashton 2

Perhaps you could point out where the starter of this thread so. He merely stated that having the club offer a far higher amount to one player was boundc to be disruptive - no comment on whether Aston instigated, demanded or even asked for the contract extension.

But what the heck, in the good tradition of the pinkun forum why not make up something then argue against that far easier than bothering to construct an argument based on actual facts or events.

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Deans contract was already long term and to be honest as we declined a £6.75m offer in August getting it to £7m + limited add ons 4 months later makes you wonder whether is was cost effective to give him that raise - whether through sheepshanks eyes (poor quality irrelevant insult really MD) or anyone elses.  

Hux has remained the clubs biggest earner even after Deans pay rise and theonly way deano would have been disruptive was if he flaunted his increase to other players - but again where is the evidence that Deanos extended contract caused any grief in the squad?  Perhaps thats why theclub got relegated last year - Flems contract was extended and it upset tehrest of the squad - get real.  Why let the lack of evidence get in the way of having a go at another poster just because I sit the other side of the worthy hockey cockey debate? 

Rude old has his view - I have mine; neither are fact and I am just airing my thoughts.

But of course -having a different view and sharing it without insulting another isnt on and makes me a thrid class fad that should cross the border doesnt it?!

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Why did I come up with this thread?

Well, it was reflective rather than retrospective and it was an attempt to try and identify just what the malaise has been this season;  infact since Fulham.

You all know it has been there and no one has been able to explain it; but it has been a tumour of discontent.

Does anyone else have an idea?

I guess only time will tell for all of us.

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It aint just this season though Hucker, last season, at the time, many decisions were baffling, looking back they were abysmal. seasoned internationals sitting on the bench!!

starting the season with a strikeforce of Hucks Mckenzie and svensson!! who were we kidding!!

Last season was there for the taking, a single away win and we would have stayed up. the lowest points total ever stayed up.

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Why did you start this thread Rude Old - like all of us who post anythng on here - it was on our mind and you wanted to share;  Iw ould rather you shared and we discuss it than not at all - interesting theory, just not one I agree with, given my record I am more likely to be wrong than not, but I still keep spouting - and I urge you to do the same. 

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