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The fall from grace

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Nigel Worthington getting carried away with success, and making some of the worst signings I have ever seen, in the form of Mattias Jonson (0 goals in 28 games, nice return for £850,000), Thomas Helveg (quite obvious he was looking for a nice pay off), Graham Stuart (why?) and Simon Charlton (If had been any good surely he would have still been at Bolton!). These signings had been brought in to replace the holes left by Canary legends in the form of Iwan Roberts and Malkay Mackay, who were released and sold respectively for being "too old" (35 and 32). This makes the signings of the above all the more comical with each player being 30, 32, 34 and 32 respectively (nothing like a hypocrite managing the club). Surely Roberts and Mackay would have had far greater impact, one thing for sure is Norwich wouldn''t have lost 6-0 to Fulham on the final day.

If signings in the 2004-2005 season were a joke than far worse were to come in the following season, in the shape of Jurgen Colin (sounds suspiciously like a Bryan Hamilton buy!), Carl Robinson, Jason Jarrett, Andy Hughes, Mathieu Louis-Jean (a replacement for marc edworthy, a man of far superior ability) and Peter Thorne (1 goal in 36 appearances not good enough for a man who would have been on large wages due to his free transfer). To make the season even worse well respected coach Steve Foley was sacked and made a scapegoat by the board, ignoring the poor work Nigel Worthington and his non-existent assistant manager Dougie Livermore had been doing.

Probably the biggest blame must go to possibly the worst managers the club has ever had, Peter Grant. if you thought the signings of Worthington had been poor, Grant was about to take the competition to another level. For some strange reason Grant felt the apparent need to bring in a number of scottish players, who in all fairness would probably find their level in a sunday league side. The signing of Mark Fotheringham is probably the worst I have ever seen, there was a very good reason why he didn''t have a club and had only managed 3 appearances in 5 years at Celtic. I would go as far as saying he is one of the worst players i have ever seen play for the club, made far worse by his arrogant character. Simon Lappin was another poor sighning for a fee of £200,000, a hint surely in the fact he was playing for St Mirren.

More comedy was on the way with the import of David Strihavka for £700,000 on a four year contract. The big striker managed a return of 1 goal in 10 appearances, before being released at the end of the season which must have been extremely costly for the club. Other shocking signings included Jon Otsemobor (still putting in poor performances to this date), Jamie Cureton, Chris Brown (£325,000, managed 1 goal in 18 games) and how can we forget the mercurial Julien Brellier. In my opinion Dion Dublin was another poor signing given the club''s apparent policy of releasing player over their mid 30''s. He must have been on a fortune, and a return of 12 goals in 70 games is no where near worth the wages the player must have been on. I have never been able to comprehend the fans obsession with a player who only spent two years at the club, even awarded a sentimental player of the year award in similar fashion to the recent success of Ryan Giggs as PFA player of the year.

Oh, and to make Grant''s era even more comical, he tried to blame it all on the board, who must take part of the blame, however this does not divert attention away from the signings which I believe in the long run, has cost the club it''s championship status.

Glenn Roeder''s crazy decision to release Darren Huckerby, still don''t understand the thinking behind that decision. Also the appointment of Mark Fotheringham as captain, possibly one of the biggest low''s the club has ever reached. Although I believe that Roeder did a reasonable job with the resources available to him, I must admit he left the board no choice with his arrogant and dismissive attitude towards the 24,000 fans that continue to appear each week.

The appointment of the cheap option, Bryan Gunn. The club had stated they wanted an experienced manager, so logically they appointed Gunn! However, Gunn''s non-existent tactical awareness and uninspiring appearance in post match interviews as such has also contributed to the club''s downfall. Many seem to forget Norwich were outside the relegation zone when Gunn took over, leaving part of the responsibility at his feet.

The board, and in particular Neil Doncaster, must take their share of flack for the club''s current state, with many poor decisions made both in footballing terms and financially being made upstairs. There is one question that is puzzling everybody, made further problematic by the fact that 24,000 fans turn up every week, is where has the money gone?

On the bright side Mark Fotherinham has left!

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