Iwan Roberts: Long, hard season ahead for Norwich City

PUBLISHED: 17:51 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:51 06 September 2018

Gwion Edwards' deflected strike put Norwich City on the back foot at Portman Road
 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Gwion Edwards' deflected strike put Norwich City on the back foot at Portman Road Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

As the East Anglian derby goes, Sunday’s game at Portman Road was a bit uneventful and after all the build-up during the last couple of weeks there wasn’t too much to shout home about for either set of supporters.

In my opinion it was a fair result as neither side did enough to win the game and neither side deserved to lose the game.

I thought Norwich controlled the first half with Ipswich shading the second – just.

Both teams lacked any real quality going forward; in fact, the only real bit of quality in the game was Moritz Leitner’s 71st-minute equaliser – not a bad time to score your first goal for the club.

After just one win between them in 12 games it looks as if it’s going to be one long season and a bottom-half finish looks on the cards for both clubs, with a long winter ahead.

On a brighter note, young Max Aarons can be more than satisfied with his league debut for City.

After a very good performance and a goal at Cardiff a few days earlier he switched from left-back to his more accustomed right-back position and once again performed solidly.

MORE: Have your say on our Pinkun forum

• I’m off to Denmark this weekend to watch Wales face the Danes in the Nations League – a competition that can win you a place at the European Championships in 2020.

Iwan Roberts with the FA Cup and the Carling Premier League Cup - neither competition brought in much in the way of bonus payments Picture: ArchantIwan Roberts with the FA Cup and the Carling Premier League Cup - neither competition brought in much in the way of bonus payments Picture: Archant

The Danes have been forced to pick a squad full of players from their lower league and some players from their Danish International Futsal team because all their main stars are in dispute with the Danish FA about payments for image rights.

And because they have not reached an agreement they’ve decided to go on strike.

We had something similar a couple of times when I was at Norwich, but it was about match bonuses and not players’ image rights.

However, never did we think of going on strike.

As a squad, before the start of the season, we sat down and discussed win and draw bonuses, plus bonuses for every round in the two cup competitions we got through – not that it was a major issue as we never really had a good cup run in my seven years there!

What would happen was the manager would give the club captain the paper work with all the figures on it, and the players would then sit down and discuss it to see if they were happy or not.

If we weren’t we would go back and negotiate with the club and come to an agreement that both parties were happy with and all the players would then sign the bonus contracts.

However, on a couple of occasions the club didn’t give us the bonus sheets until the Friday before the first game of the season, which obviously meant that we, as a squad, had no time to digest what they were offering and gave us no time to sit down with the powers that be and come to an agreement.

As a squad of players we thought it was poor from the club to give us the paperwork the day before the opening game of the season when they’d had all of pre-season to sort this out and, yes, we made our feelings known that we weren’t happy.

But not for one second did it cross our minds to go on strike – after all, we were still getting paid our wages.

We all sort of knew why the club handed us the bonus sheets so late as they would know that we wouldn’t sign them before the start of the season and it would take a few weeks to sort the bonuses out and with this delay it would mean we would go back to the previous season’s bonuses which would mean the club would save quite a bit of money.

Mind you, if we weren’t performing and picking up points it didn’t really matter what bonuses we were on!

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