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Pete Raven

Huckerby autobiography serialisation Day Three

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I honestly cannot believe how vile that man really was, how on earth did a club like us ever employ him as manager?!

Lambert really does seem like a god after all this turmoil. I still feel sorry that Hucks never ever got his chance to say goodbye properly. He really should have been given the chance to end his playing days here, he was a legend, albeit struggling, who could still perform to a very high level. He could change games, which is something which inevitably got us relegated in his absence. At least, mind, Hucks did get to play abroad in America the end as he expressed he wished to one day, before injury ended his career.

Sounds like a really good read though, and I''m hoping someone will pick this up for my birthday or Christmas ;)

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I''m a bit surprised that Archant is started so many seperate threads on the same subject ( we get told off for that) and also that they are serialising Hucks book in so much detail, it won''t be worth buying soon and is spoiling the surprise element of what''s in it.

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[quote user="cityangel"]I''m a bit surprised that Archant is started so many seperate threads on the same subject ( we get told off for that) and also that they are serialising Hucks book in so much detail, it won''t be worth buying soon and is spoiling the surprise element of what''s in it.[/quote]

No body is forcing you to read the snippets the Pink''un have put out though...

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Brellier sounds good doesn''t he?

Absolute disgrace that he ever ''played'' for us. The Club obviously felt he was an improvement on Safri and Etuhu though. The board should hang their heads in shame for the series of clamatous events that led to us sitting at the bottom of League One![:@]

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Well it''s interesting that Hucks felt sorry for "Granty". I''m afraid I can''t do the same. Maybe "Granty" was given no choice about the sales of Etuhu, Safri and Earnshaw but he certainly chose to spunk the money on their replacements. The best part of 1m and a 4 year contract for Cureton tied the hands of every subsequent manager including Lambert. And if Brellier can''t even pass a football I find it difficult to work out why the board should hang their heads in shame. Whilst I agree that the board should be held responsible for Grants appointment, should they really have blocked him signing Brellier? That is a slippery slope on which to embark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Perhaps I didn''t clarify this enough - the board should have hung their heads in shame for the long list calamatous events and failures that led to us sitting at the bottom of League One. Part of the road to that point (the bottom of League One) can be highlighted perfectly by taking Brellier as an example leaving us in a position where our better players were allowed to leave without so much as a whimper and we ended up with a player (Brellier) that couldn''t play and a manager (Grant) who couldn''t manage.

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Can''t wait for the book.

I remember totally defending Hux when he came out, at the time, to say that he was disappointed with our squad and that it was the worst squad he had played with.

I totally agreed it was awful, I still agree and love his honesty and his stance. That is why, along with his football in yellow and green, that he is a legend. He told it how it was and I have always liked that, because he was very right in that circumstance.

I still think the best part of the book, which I can''t wait to read, will be the part just before the loan and then permenant move. Then the promotion and actually very interested in his latest work here in Norfolk.

Just hope one day we could have two huckerby''s in the first team and causing problems down the flanks.

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In football folk rarely hang their heads in shame NBS. Has Big Bob ever been back and acknowledged his mistakes since the mid-nineties? Has Doomcaster ever bowed his head at our plight? Did "Granty" ever suffer for stuffing us in the transfer market? Maybe you can now understand why I hold Deals and Wynnie in such high regard. They have at least hung around to put right the wrongs of others as well ast their own. Owners like that are few and far between in today''s football and are the envy of most other club''s fans.

 

 

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[quote user="norfolkbroadslim"]Perhaps I didn''t clarify this enough - the board should have hung their heads in shame for the long list calamatous events and failures that led to us sitting at the bottom of League One. Part of the road to that point (the bottom of League One) can be highlighted perfectly by taking Brellier as an example leaving us in a position where our better players were allowed to leave without so much as a whimper and we ended up with a player (Brellier) that couldn''t play and a manager (Grant) who couldn''t manage.[/quote]

 

Slim, I''m not clear what you''re saying. Are you saying that having chosen Grant as manager the board should then have started vetoing some of his would-be purchases on footballing as opposed to financial grounds? That the board should have got involved in purely footballing decisions like that?

 

As to allowing players to leave without a whimper, my understanding - certainly as far as Earnshaw was concerned - is that if we hadn''t agreed to that release clause allowing him to go to a Premier League club  he simply wouldn''t have signed in the first place. We had no choice. It was that or no Earnshaw.

 

And I would be amazed if some of the contracts we agreed this summer with the likes of Morison, Vaughan. Johnson etc don''t include a similar clause.

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[quote user="smooth"]Can''t wait for the book. I remember totally defending Hux when he came out.[/quote]

 

Which chapter is this covered in [;)]

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[quote user="Shack Attack"]

[quote user="smooth"] I remember totally defending Hux when he came out.[/quote]

 

Which chapter is this covered in [;)]

[/quote]

 

[:)][:)]

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"]

[quote user="norfolkbroadslim"]Perhaps I didn''t clarify this enough - the board should have hung their heads in shame for the long list calamatous events and failures that led to us sitting at the bottom of League One. Part of the road to that point (the bottom of League One) can be highlighted perfectly by taking Brellier as an example leaving us in a position where our better players were allowed to leave without so much as a whimper and we ended up with a player (Brellier) that couldn''t play and a manager (Grant) who couldn''t manage.[/quote]

 

Slim, I''m not clear what you''re saying. Are you saying that having chosen Grant as manager the board should then have started vetoing some of his would-be purchases on footballing as opposed to financial grounds? That the board should have got involved in purely footballing decisions like that?

 

As to allowing players to leave without a whimper, my understanding - certainly as far as Earnshaw was concerned - is that if we hadn''t agreed to that release clause allowing him to go to a Premier League club  he simply wouldn''t have signed in the first place. We had no choice. It was that or no Earnshaw.

 

And I would be amazed if some of the contracts we agreed this summer with the likes of Morison, Vaughan. Johnson etc don''t include a similar clause.

[/quote]I tend to agree.  My understanding is that they''re quite common with players who want the opportunity to further their careers.  

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]

In football folk rarely hang their heads in shame NBS. Has Big Bob ever been back and acknowledged his mistakes since the mid-nineties? Has Doomcaster ever bowed his head at our plight? Did "Granty" ever suffer for stuffing us in the transfer market? Maybe you can now understand why I hold Deals and Wynnie in such high regard. They have at least hung around to put right the wrongs of others as well ast their own. Owners like that are few and far between in today''s football and are the envy of most other club''s fans.

 

 

[/quote]

 

I know that it would not happen, but such were the frequency of mistakes, poor judgements and bad business decisions being made the current board setup could be in place for 100 years and probably not make as many.

 

I don''t recall singling out Delia and MWJ but seeing as you mention them, I do believe they were to blame (being part of the board) whether through woeful decision making, incompetence (at the time), ignorance or just being out of their depth.  Doncaster and less so Munby, were not up to the job.  The board obviously put their faith in them, blind faith perhaps and it is a shame for all that it took so long and for us to delve to such lows for it to come to a head.

 

I was very angry back then and I did criticise Delia and MWJ.  However I can also recognise and give them credit for the fact that they have hung around and things have now vastly improved at the club.  I credit McNally for a lot of it.  I do not know who headhunted him or if indeed he was headhunted or whether his appointment was a bit of a lucky stroke.  The subsequent appointment of Lambert has shown to be an excellent move by McNally.


I honestly don''t know how much credit Delia and MWJ are due for our current fortunes.  Obviously they have stuck with it and thankfully got in a Chief Exec who knows what he is doing.  I would much rather be us, now, with Delia and MWJ than where Blackburn are for example.

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Interesting question Duncan[^o)]

 

Slim, I know you didn''t single Smith & Jones out. I did. I said that I was glad they and Foulger stuck around to sort it out. I shudder to think what would have happened if the summer of 2009 had seen them hounded out. What do you think would have happened?

 

As for the appointment of McNally, well I reckon it was that tea lady who was in charge a few years earlier[C][Y]

 

Go to fullsize image They found his name in the leaves[;)]

 

 

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[quote user="The Jewish Cowboy"][quote user="PurpleCanary"]

[quote user="norfolkbroadslim"]Perhaps I didn''t clarify this enough - the board should have hung their heads in shame for the long list calamatous events and failures that led to us sitting at the bottom of League One. Part of the road to that point (the bottom of League One) can be highlighted perfectly by taking Brellier as an example leaving us in a position where our better players were allowed to leave without so much as a whimper and we ended up with a player (Brellier) that couldn''t play and a manager (Grant) who couldn''t manage.[/quote]

 

Slim, I''m not clear what you''re saying. Are you saying that having chosen Grant as manager the board should then have started vetoing some of his would-be purchases on footballing as opposed to financial grounds? That the board should have got involved in purely footballing decisions like that?

 

As to allowing players to leave without a whimper, my understanding - certainly as far as Earnshaw was concerned - is that if we hadn''t agreed to that release clause allowing him to go to a Premier League club  he simply wouldn''t have signed in the first place. We had no choice. It was that or no Earnshaw.

 

And I would be amazed if some of the contracts we agreed this summer with the likes of Morison, Vaughan. Johnson etc don''t include a similar clause.

[/quote]

I tend to agree.  My understanding is that they''re quite common with players who want the opportunity to further their careers.  
[/quote]

 

The trouble is, it is this and other harsh realities that are missing from Darren Huckerby''s slagging off of the club for the sales of Etuhu and Earnshaw:

 

Dickson would have stayed, as he’s told me on a number of occasions. For that to have happened, all they’d have had to do was take out his release clause and offer him an improved contract. When the offer did come, it was a joke. It seemed that we were making it easy for players to leave, and that really annoyed me. Any time that anyone came in for one of players, we were just rolling over and letting them go. Even now, I can’t get my head round why we’d want to let players of the calibre we let go leave. If a player has a three-year contract and you don’t want him to go, keep him."

 

As far as Etuhu is concerned, even if one accepts that he really was willing to stay in the second tier when a Premier League club was after him (about which I am a bit dubious) all we had to do was offer an improved contract? One that would match what Sunderland, as a PL club (and a wealthier club than Norwich anyway) could offer? Norwich couldn''t hope to compete financially with Sunderland, and in these situation money almost always talks. Huckerby himself was a shining example, I believe, of the exception that proves this rule.

 

And with Earnshaw, as mentioned earlier, we had no choice but to let him go, because of his release clause, without which he wouldn''t have signed for us in the first place.

 

As to holding players (presumably those who don''t have a release clause) to their contract, that sounds fine, and sometimes is, but you end up letting them go for nothing at the end. And that doesn''t go down so well with the club''s bankers, or fans, a lot of the time.

 

 

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It should also be remembered that Huckerby was a great player who was loved by the fans. Where as most of the fans on this board thought Etuhu was crap and we were well rid. Now Hucks has said he''s a good player does that mean those fans were wrong......

 

 

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I''ll hold my hands up, I thought Etuhu was a bit rubbish, brilliant on his day in front of the sky cameras but it seemed that more often than not he went missing and looked lazy in matches.  However, the sale of both Etuhu and Safri, looking back in hindsight, left our midfield obliterated and imho was a large part of the reason for our struggles on the pitch over the following 2 seasons.  Etuhu imho was in hindsight a lot more effective than I or others gave him credit for and in conjunction with Safri was the foundation for a strong midfield.  The 2 were never replaced.  The sale of Etuhu and Safri coupled with the sale of Earnshaw, who definitely wasn''t replaced was the beginning of the end.

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I''d also like to add, that I have thought the above for a while now regarding the sles of Etuhu and Safri and not just because ''the messiah Huckerby'' has spoken! As has been inferred above.

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Currently reading it and enjoying it.

He gives a good account of his time at Coventry-dudn''t want to leave there for Leeds-and also waxs lyrical about his early days at Man City and Kevin Keegan.

Has just signed for us, so have been keeping away from EDP serialisation!

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[quote user="norfolkbroadslim"]

I''ll hold my hands up, I thought Etuhu was a bit rubbish, brilliant on his day in front of the sky cameras but it seemed that more often than not he went missing and looked lazy in matches.  However, the sale of both Etuhu and Safri, looking back in hindsight, left our midfield obliterated and imho was a large part of the reason for our struggles on the pitch over the following 2 seasons.  Etuhu imho was in hindsight a lot more effective than I or others gave him credit for and in conjunction with Safri was the foundation for a strong midfield.  The 2 were never replaced.  The sale of Etuhu and Safri coupled with the sale of Earnshaw, who definitely wasn''t replaced was the beginning of the end.

[/quote]

Slim, I don''t think there is any doubt that we didn''t adequately replace Etuhu or Earnshaw, although that raises the question of whether we could, being in debt, as we were. I doubt anything like all the proceeds were made available for new players.

 

My objection to the way Huckerby tells it ("Any time that anyone came in for one of players, we were just rolling over and letting them go. Even now, I can’t get my headround why we’d want to let players of the calibre we let go leave.") is unfair to the club because it makes it looks as if we had a choice. And we didn''t. Legally we had to accept Derby''s offer for Earnshaw. Who wouldn''t have joined us in the first place without the relevant clause.

 

And the fact that since leaving us Etuhu has spent his career in the Premier League suggests very strongly that he wouldn''t (no matter what he might say) have stayed with us down in the second tier, even if we had tried to match Sunderland''s offer. Which quite possibly would have blown our wage structure to pieces and potentially caused disharmony in the dressing room. I understand Huckerby being upset at the time and going public, but now, looking back years later, those realities ought to have been acknowledged.

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The issue for me, and I thought Hucks at the time, was the quality of the players we bought in to replace those that left. Having read Hucks'' comments I was obviously wrong about what he meant (nutty being wrong - no news there!) but I still think the same.

 

Those release clauses really left the club no choice in the sales of Earnie and Etuhu. Once the conditions had been met the transfers were as good as a done deal. I would suggest this is quite common and something our club has been on both sides of.

 

So having lost Etuhu and Earnshaw what of their replacements? As Purple points out all the money was not available to Grant but there was a tidy wedge still there. I wonder what the total cost of the Cureton deal was? £800,000 and a four year deal? Or Darel Russell for a similar fee and three year contract? There really can be no excuse for not knowing the abilities of these two players and whilst they were both commited players for Norwich City they were nowhere near the standard of the two they replaced. Etuhu cost £450,000 when we signed him so I have no doubt the money could have been better spent.

 

 

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I accept that we probably realistically didn''t have much of a choice with the sale of these players and that all the money raised in all likelihood wouldn''t have been available for new players.  Where I do agree with Nutty ([:O] can''t believe I am saying this) is that that is not much of an excuse for the lack of quality of the so called replacements.  As Nutty quite rightly points out Etuhu was bought for £450k and just look at how much we have paid for some quality players since then - Hoolahan, Holt, Crofts, Fox, Tierney to name but a few.

 

Yes, we were probably somewhere between a rock and a hard place regarding the sales of these players and yes we didn''t have millions to spend on replacements, but that is little excuse for signings such as Brellier, all the loans the vast majority of which were woeful - Archibald-Henville, Koroma, Sibierski to name but a few and not mentioning episodes such as the Strihavka debacle where we paid god knows what and didn''t even own him!

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[quote user="norfolkbroadslim"]

I accept that we probably realistically didn''t have much of a choice with the sale of these players and that all the money raised in all likelihood wouldn''t have been available for new players.  Where I do agree with Nutty ([:O] can''t believe I am saying this) is that that is not much of an excuse for the lack of quality of the so called replacements.  As Nutty quite rightly points out Etuhu was bought for £450k and just look at how much we have paid for some quality players since then - Hoolahan, Holt, Crofts, Fox, Tierney to name but a few.

 

Yes, we were probably somewhere between a rock and a hard place regarding the sales of these players and yes we didn''t have millions to spend on replacements, but that is little excuse for signings such as Brellier, all the loans the vast majority of which were woeful - Archibald-Henville, Koroma, Sibierski to name but a few and not mentioning episodes such as the Strihavka debacle where we paid god knows what and didn''t even own him!

[/quote]

 

I don''t think you''ll get an argument that we had some sub-standard players in those years! As for Strihavka, it didn''t work out but I don''t think it was so much of a debacle. It turned out the deal we struck was actually quite cute - we had a one-year get-out clause so despite £1m-plus figures being bandied around he only cost us £240,000 (source: Flown From The Nest). Granted that meant his one goal cost nearly a quarter of a million but for a striker who MIGHT have adapted to English football, not so expensive, and we didn''t get lumbered with him.

 

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