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Dear Norwich City board, here’s my 10-point wish list

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 16 March 2017

Canaries chairman Ed Balls in the stands for the visit of Blackburn. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images.

Canaries chairman Ed Balls in the stands for the visit of Blackburn. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images.

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

I’ve worked out that Alan Irvine is the 25th manager Norwich City have had since I started supporting the club back in the 1970s,

Norwich City's majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones watch on against Blackburn. 
Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images LtdNorwich City's majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones watch on against Blackburn. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

I’ll make something clear at the outset. I’m not applying to be the 26th (I couldn’t leave my mates in the Upper tier of the River End to stand in front of that dugout).

We’re now at a crossroads in the history of our club.

Promotion is out of the question this season, which leaves only one more year of parachute money to come.

Patience among devoted supporters is running out as we endure too many poor performances from a massively under-performing squad which cost tens of millions of pounds to assemble and eats millions of pounds a year in bumper pay packets.

Tom Smith, the new director at Norwich City Football Club. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTom Smith, the new director at Norwich City Football Club. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The board is about to unveil a new structure for the club before picking a new football manager.

I’ve drawn up my own 10-point wish list for the club. It comes from the heart of a dyed-in-the-wool fan and fear not, it isn’t a pitch to don the tracksuit.

Here goes:

1 A manager who is in total charge - Speculation is growing about what the new structure will look like, with a director of football being heavily tipped to be a key component. We must have one man that the players, the board and fans know has the final say on signings, tactics and team selection. There must be no room for confusion or potential for the manager to be undermined.

2 A board with vision - The next few days will show us the way the top brass are pushing the club. Get it right and we can look forward to good times ahead. Get it wrong and a prolonged time in the footballing wilderness.

3 Players must see it as a privilege to wear the yellow and green shirt - Well done to Russ Martin for saying this at the weekend. Us supporters care passionately about our club. We forgive mistakes but we expect everyone who crosses that white line to be proud and make us proud.

4 Kick out the dead wood - If the current squad were a plant having its spring chop, there would be a mighty big bag load to take to the tip. Neil was clearly planning a huge clearout and the new incumbent has to be rigorous.

5 Bring in a defensive coach - Only Rotherham and Forest have been more leaky in the Championship this term. Conceding 56 goals in a pretty ordinary league is ridiculous. There are flaws with the personnel. But even more so there’s a major problem with getting the back line set up effectively.

6 Youth development and progression - We love singing “He’s one of our own” but there are far too few opportunities to do so. There are clearly talented lads in the academy and under 23s team. In the Murphys we get glimpses of hope. However, while we see too many ageing players not doing the business, youngsters are being packed out on loan or not getting their chance here.

7 Recruitment - Ask City fans what issues are really frustrating them and this will be close to the top of most lists. There must be gems in the lower leagues, in big clubs’ reserve teams and on the continent. We’re just not finding enough of them.

8 Learn to win away - Why oh why are City so poor on the road? It’s 11 v 11 on a grass pitch. The travelling support is great. And yet the results, attitude and performances continue to be embarrassing. It’s got to be sorted.

9 Improve fitness - City have let in far too many goals late in games this season. This sits alongside the sight of too many players looking shot to bits as matches progress. It has to be down to fitness levels, which must be improved.

10 Fans must be understood and listened to - Supporters are hard to please and are irrational creatures. But the City faithful turn out in their thousands through thick and thin (and there’s certainly been more thin than thick at the moment). Please, City board, understand the supporters, talk to us and listen to us.

OTBC.

Thank you Alex

I spent several months saying Alex Neil should be replaced, so I can’t argue with the board’s decision.

It’s been said so many times since Friday and I do think the timing of the sacking was strange to say the least.

The Scot left us with immediate memories of a dire season, which promised so much yet delivered so little.

He has seemed out of his depth, with a lack of ideas and a disjointed squad.

I do, however, want to say a massive thank you to him for the happy memories he gave us from his earlier days and of course that never to be forgotten day at Wembley.

Only two City bosses have been successful at the home of football.

That precious piece of Canary history can never be taken away from him.

Neil will get a new job and I wish him well for the future.

It’s not about you, Mr Hooper

Simon Hooper got the decision exactly right to send off Mitchell Dijks on Saturday. It was a terrible foul.

But apart from that, the man in the middle from Wiltshire (why are we always bothered about where refs are from?) had an awful game.

He booked six players in a game - which apart from the shocker from City’s full back - didn’t warrant it.

I thought that time after time he got things wrong and seemed to be wanting to be a talking point.

To me refs should want to keep out of the limelight. They should aim to be unnnoticed and hope that fans go home and struggle to remember the part they played.

Sadly too many officials seem to want to make a name for themselves these days.

I know it’s a tough job, but they need to realise they’re not the reason we turn up each week.

14 comments

  • @wiven; I DID tell you that Partridge Wireless had struck a deal\amalgamation with Masturd TV .. Partstard Media Trowse, aka PMT .. Wee Tommy Christmas-Crackers is CEO and Head of Photography. Alan Partridge is the Modern Urban Spaceman. And he really does exist. So much wisdom. Amidst all the furore from the Gloom Merchants, he reminded us that the Titanic had managed over 1,000 miles of tedious, uneventful cruising before it hit the iceberg. A bit like NCFC - in a tangential and peripheral way. Jist a-sayin', buhs.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

  • Saw the article title; thought it would be The Canary Call Sneerer, Lackey or Iwan Interesting Robots. Similar. D'Oh. Populist Truisms and Twaddle. The meat and drink of modern "Journalism".

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 18, 2017

  • Simon Hooper was our biggest enemy on saturday... agreed

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    jops

    Friday, March 17, 2017

  • That photo of Tom Smith , at a quick glance -a young Alan Partridge.!

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    wiven

    Friday, March 17, 2017

  • Talk come cheap but having a board and owner's to meet those requirements is another matter and our owners and board that will be able to make those changes. But sorry this board will never live up to what's wanted at this club.

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    City M

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Very well stated Ian. However, without being too cynical one has to add there are 'one or two' questionable appointments of our NCFC Board and the CEO position has to be addressed too. Logically the Manager takes responsibility for the team and the CEO runs the commercial and administration side of the business. Logically in makes sense that the Manager & the CEO be closely aligned, and ideally BOTH should have a seat on the board. From a business standpoint, the CEO puts up a budget, the Board approve it and the manager Operates within the funds allocated. It all makes perfect sense and if they want to offer me the CEO role I am available at a small price !

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    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Excellent and very true. Although my wish list is 27 points!!!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    WiltsCanary1972

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Couldn't agree more , talking of match fitness or lack of , players always had Wednesday's off , unless there was a Tuesday match , in on a Wednesday to go though their failures on the previous night , however today (Thursday) Rusty and Bennet were at Wroham Barns at 10 am don't tell me there give up already ???

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    Kipper

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • An interesting and thought provoking article. In some ways though it raises the point, why haven't almost all of those things been addressed? I don't just mean by the out going regime either. The league is littered with young and old players who came up through the ranks and never quite made it at NC but are doing alright away. Similarly players bought in and then discarded are doing ok. I won't just point the finger at AN for this, other past managers need to shoulder the blame too. Hopefully the revamp might start to address this loss of talent.

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    manbythesea

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Some very good points. Whether Alan Irvine should be included in the list of manager's considering (a) he's a caretaker manager and (b) he says he doesn't want the job, is a moot point. I hope supporters will have realistic expectations. Unless the new manager gets it right straight away another couple o seasons in the Championship is very likely. If promotion can be achieved and the club can become established in the Premiership, it will be worth it. However, as we have seen at Ipswich it can become very easy to get stuck in the Championship. As for the referee, a good referee is one you forget about after the match because he didn't make any rash or silly decisions.

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    Suffolk Exile

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Glayva, I would hope the board have better things to do that trawl through comments expressed by the fans, certainly on the site. The only reason I read yours was because there were only two comments at the time. Surely you know the answer to the question you pose? Why would they invest their time and effort if the limit of their ambition was just to have us bumbling along in the lower reaches of the Championship a la Ip5w1ch? If you were at the AGM, or just read the report, you would know that Jez's targets for the season were promotion, promotion and promotion, not that he seemed to have contributed in any way to that aim. Although much too late in that day, the board have finally acted and got rid of the deadwood at the top - now for the rest.

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    Mikanary

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Much sense in your article, Ian. There is one point which I think does confuse many of us and that is the role of a Director of Football. That would normally revolve around finding and recruiting players, dealing with contracts, wages and all the essential background work that does not need to be added to a manager's portfolio. Instead of a manager a chief coach would take responsibility for all coaching, tactics, team selections and on field matters. So there would be a clear delineation of responsibilities although there should be overlap on issues such as recruitment. Ian is spot on asking the club to improve communications between fans and the Board which are almost non-existent. And when attempts have been made on odd occasions they have tended to be a appalling. A company that does not listen to or communicate with its customers is asking for trouble.

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    malaga flier

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • Great article, and from my point of view, spot-on. If this is how we go forward, the success should come. Please do a follow-up article when the new master plan and new manager are announced assessing how we did compared to this. The only things missing in my mind is the new dynamic CEO to drive all this. I am very worried, though, that a second (failed?) civil servant will feature heavily in the new master plan.

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    MichiganCanary

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

  • I often wonder whether any of the board read and take notice of the comments expressed by the fans. If so, it would be good to hear exactly what they would like to see as the medium to long term plans are for the Club. Do they want the Club to be a successful Premier League club or are they happy to see the Club hanging around the middle to bottom of the Championship?

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    glayva

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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