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Fleck@Millwall

How Important is Stoke?

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As Norwich fans we are acutely aware of the cylical nature of football for a club like ours and ride those high waves with such passion knowing that a Fernando Derverld, Roedder or Hamilton and horror shows at small Lancashire towns in the league lurk, waiting to spring us sometime soon.

I am an advocate of change as I am desperate for us to maintain our place in the Prem and all the exposure etc this brings, it represents happy days. I am also very aware of Bolton, Blackburn, Wolves, Birmingham and many more now struggling in the depths after been ''stable competitive clubs'' for a few years in the Prem. What I have witnessed thus far suggests we will really struggle to stay in this league.

Given we have two of the Big Four in the next three matches and the Capital One Cup is not maybe the best barometer - how much now rests on our game at Stoke for the manager? Has this become life and death for him or is this wayward thinking in the extreme and how does it change peoples perceptions? I think a win and he''s safe till Xmas at the earliest but I think a poor, tepid cautious performance could be the end as realistically we would then be looking at 5 defeats on the bounce.

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Since the UK''s manufacturing industry collapsed under Thatcher, I''d say hardly at all.  Once the home of the UK''s Pottery industry, it is now another largely faceless town of service industries and distribution centres.

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It''s his best remaining chance of getting that win he needs.

If we are on less than 7 points after the next 5 games, he''ll be gone i think.

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I expect that the board will now stick with Hughton until the end of November unless we take a hiding tonight. If we do he could be gone by the weekend- but it would have to be a real pasting.

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Its no more important than the 43 games he''s already had as manager in his own opinion i would imagine. As far as the board goes looks like we''ve got another Worthy situation on our hands. So much for McNally being a man of action.

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I''m desperate to see Hughton sacked, I''m also desperate for a City away win..................its a difficult scenario. [:|]

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But Wiz, if we win the two games this week (big if i know) would you be so desparate to see Hughton go then? We''d be in the last 16 of the cup and about 10th in the league. Hardly doing bad really!

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[quote user="First Wizard"]I''m desperate to see Hughton sacked, I''m also desperate for a City away win..................its a difficult scenario. [:|][/quote]

 

Come on Wiz, we all want a City win and I would love for Hughton to prove all us duobters wrong, get that win tonight and agaisnt Stoke.

 

In reality it''s a tough ask as Stoke and Hughes appear to be a good match so far.

 

This new Norwich board are as said about action, so a loss tonight and Sunday and I think we will be looking for a new manager.

 

I never understand why Managers never change the backroom staff if things are going bad, I mean I would change my engineering managers if they didn''t push the staff in the right direction, it amazes me that managers stick with rubbish coaches! I''m sure Hughton knows better coaching staff are out there than Trollope and Calderwood.

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[quote user="Jimmy Smith"]But Wiz, if we win the two games this week (big if i know) would you be so desparate to see Hughton go then? We''d be in the last 16 of the cup and about 10th in the league. Hardly doing bad really![/quote]

That''s the margins I suspect. He needs something badly. The media reporting on Norwich and pundits are now sniffing blood as well.

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[quote user="Jimmy Smith"]But Wiz, if we win the two games this week (big if i know) would you be so desparate to see Hughton go then? We''d be in the last 16 of the cup and about 10th in the league. Hardly doing bad really![/quote]

 

I''d still want him gone Jimmy, his negative style of football has no place at Carrow Road.

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[quote user="Mister Chops"]If we lose against Stoke, and then lose our next game, we''ll still have one point more than at the same time last season.


[/quote]

So what you''re saying is the crapness continues and there has been very little improvement.

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I think Watford is important. If we were to lose then that gives Hughton two more games IMO. Lose at Stoke and badly at home to Chelsea then I think he''ll be gone with the international break giving us time to appoint a replacement.

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I just wonder what he''d be replaced with. There''s been a consistent failing in teams trying to get away from the negative football and then getting relagated. Stoke tried it last year and looked in danger before they brought back route 1 towards the end of the season to grind out the dodgy 1-0 wins like they know best.

I''d also say Stoke aren''t as good as their 7 points suggests, 1 win was versus Crystal Palace, who are already showing signs of being the whipping boys this season and another was in the last few minutes against a strikerless West Ham. I think their defence is stubborn but going forward they aren''t all that. They have scored 1 more goal than us so far.

Yes they were pretty stubborn versus Man City but Arsenal turned them over fairly easily and Liverpool made fairly light work of them.

If we can get the first goal, I don''t see Stoke getting back into it. I think it could be 0-0 or 1-0 either way

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Re: Stoke and style of play.

No one really cares if we are winning I assure you, Hoots becomes bomb-proof. And you are right when you talk of clubs changing etc but Norwich has no resemblance to these teams insofar as we are sh*t away from home and still lose. If he won more or we were very hard to beat fair dinkum but we ain''t.

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[quote user="Jimmy Smith"]I just wonder what he''d be replaced with. [/quote]

 

The board are considering ''sacking'' Hughton, but then immediately re-appointing him. 

 

A spokesman from the Club explained "Norwich City Football Club recognises that by far the most successful period in our recent history was under the stewardship of Paul Lambert.  Recent results have been poor and a lot of the fans view Chris Hughton as a boring and negative manager.  We are therefore considering taking the decision to terminate Chris''s employment and that of his backroom team with immediate effect.  We will however then be immediately re-appointing Chris and his backroom team."

 

The spokesman continued.  "We have consulted a facial expert and we have had perfect prosthetic replicas of Paul Lambert''s, Ian Culverhouse''s and Gary Karsa''s faces made.  Chris will dress up as Paul Lambert, wear the mask, speak in an uncomprehensible scottish accent, wear a tracksuit on matchdays, jump up and down on the touchline, pump his fist and shout "don''t get effin beat".  Paul Trollope will dress as Ian Culverhouse, wear the mask and do the vast majority of the work, including all of the coaching and the training.  Colin will dress as Gary Karsa, wear the mask and have his own office from where he will provide vital support to the football operations.  His day will often consist of, looking out of the window, phoning his mam, twiddling his thumbs, eating doughnuts and playing solitaire."

 

"We are certain that by implementing these proposals that the good times will once again return to Carrow Road.  We are also fully aware of the vast amount of displeasure following the sale of Grant Holt.  We have conducted a survey of season ticket holders on the matter and the vast majority of the discontent regarding Grant''s sale comes from supporters in the Barclay end.  We are therefore considering purchasing a large life-like dummy, which will be almost a perfect replica of Grant, dressed in full Norwich kit.  We will wheel the dummy out on matchdays and place it directly behind the goal at the Barclay end at all home games.  At all home games the dummy will firstly be paraded all around the ground while Tina Turner''s ''Simply the Best'' is played over the tannoy."

 

"The Club trusts that these measure will bring both success and happiness back to all of our supporters and to Carrow Road".

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[quote user="Wazzy van Donkeydangler"]

[quote user="Mister Chops"]If we lose against Stoke, and then lose our next game, we''ll still have one point more than at the same time last season.

[/quote]

So what you''re saying is the crapness continues and there has been very little improvement.

[/quote]If you extrapolate from here, which so many are keen to do, then one point more after four games played equals nine or ten points more over the course of a season which would give us around 48 points.

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Stoke City away is a game that Norwich have an eminent chance of winning . The following two games , that is less likely, so yes, Stoke is an important barometer game.

I know this is over-simplification, but basically, a manager can go 4 ways with a team;

1, Play attractive football that is successful. The dream option, examples being Barcelona, Man U over the years, and us under Lambert.

2, Play attractive football that is not terribly successful . eg West Ham over the years, Everton,Blackpool.

3, Play ugly football that is successful ; eg Stoke under Pulis, Wimbledon in the 80''s, Leeds and Arsenal in the 70''s. Most teams managed by Mourinho

4, Play ugly football that is not successful ; eg Most teams managed by Mark Hughes. England under Taylor and Mc Claren. Norwich City currently.

Fans will be prepared to tolerate any of 1 2 or 3, but never number 4

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As the OP states, it''s realistically Hughton''s last chance to get the season back on track before we most likely lose to Arsenal and Chelsea.    Reasons for optimism would be Hooper''s return to the side. Plus the fact that we have several live games on Sky coming up. No-one likes to be humiliated live on TV, and we can only hope this extra media attention focuses a few minds (not that it helped against Villa!).We could be looking at a very low points tally after 10 games, which no-one wants to see, regardless of their view of Hughton. So, erm, yeah, the Stoke game is important!

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Very important - as is tonight''s game at Watford. Wins and the moaning Minnies will be briefly silenced,  defeats and they will become even rampant.

 

Apart from being mildly irritating, the negativity will heap even more burden on the players. Their confidence must already be low. A win tonight would do wonders for player confidence. I think that it will be very difficult, - minus Seb and Ricky and playing the in-form team of the Championship on their ground.

 

So if we lose tonight, which is quite possible, a defeat at Stoke would set us back. That, too, will be a difficult game, even if we have the two players back. A draw would be a good result, a win extremely good.

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I can see us beating Stoke, I really can. The players have something to prove, Stoke will be expecting a comfortable win. Its a massive game for us with the upcoming fixtures and when we''ve really needed it in this league, the players have generally come through.

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We may have one point more than this time last season but the worry is we picked up 11 points last season from Man U, Man C , Arsenal and Spurs , those 11 could easily become 0 this season . Hughtons record against fellow relegation strugglers is very poor to say the least , add Soke to Hull and Villa and surely people will find it hard to see where our other 36 points are coming from. We need a win from Stoke and Cardiff as an absolute minimum imo .

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[quote user="Mister Chops"][quote user="Wazzy van Donkeydangler"]

[quote user="Mister Chops"]If we lose against Stoke, and then lose our next game, we''ll still have one point more than at the same time last season.


[/quote]

So what you''re saying is the crapness continues and there has been very little improvement.

[/quote]

If you extrapolate from here, which so many are keen to do, then one point more after four games played equals nine or ten points more over the course of a season which would give us around 48 points.
[/quote]

If only life (and football) was that simple [;)]

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