Who will survive Roeder's revolution?
PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 10 September 2010
'Rome wasn't built in a day' declared Glenn Roeder after Norwich's latest hard earned Championship draw at title challenging Watford. The Canaries' boss revealed he is preparing to wave goodbye to up to 15 members of his current squad in the summer. Paddy Davitt assesses the impact of Roeder's revolution.
'Rome wasn't built in a day' declared Glenn Roeder after Norwich's latest hard earned Championship draw at title challenging Watford. The Canaries' boss revealed he is preparing to wave goodbye to up to 15 members of his current squad in the summer. Paddy Davitt assesses the potential impact of Roeder's revolution.
Norwich City's club shop looks set for a roaring trade this close season. Just wait for the long queues getting those new shirt names printed if Roeder delivers on his extreme makeover. Just think of all the half price bargain buckets designed to shift the last few lines from the recently departed.
Roeder has now pledged his own slashing cuts to a playing staff of 33 professionals. Plenty of clues exist but the mystery will only be solved when Roeder's starting line-up emerges into bright sunshine at Carrow Road or some other Championship outpost next August.
Forget short, sharp shock treatment. The blood letting is set to last throughout the lazy summer months as Roeder hits the phones, thumbs through his Premier League contacts' book or taps up those foreign contacts to unearth a continental or two.
Roeder is clearly not averse to dipping a toe in warmer waters - witness the likes of Valentin Iliev and Juan Velasco.
For now, we can only deal in facts. Fact one. Five of Roeder's six current Premier League recruits will return to their respective clubs. The 'for sale' signs will not be hanging out either for some of the best young talent in the country. The only prospect of seeing Ryan Bertrand, Kieran Gibbs, Ched Evans, James Henry or Alex Pearce at Carrow Road again is if Roeder can twist their respective managers' arms for another Norfolk loan tour of duty. Or they return with their parent clubs.
Derby's Mo Camara will head back to the East Midlands but Paul Jewell appears to have already decided the Guinea-born defender is surplus to his Championship battle plan to put the Pride back into Pride Park.
Camara has proved a solid citizen, but limited opportunities in recent weeks suggest City's manager will look elsewhere. Roeder has a ready made replacement with Adam Drury's expected return from long term injury.
Fact Two. Roeder has offered new deals to Gary Doherty and Mark Fotheringham. Both have hinted they want to be part of Roeder's 'Operation Premiership'.
Dot the 'I's, cross the 'T's on those contracts and two lieutenants are back on board. The spine of a team with David Marshall behind and Jamie Cureton in front begins to take shape.
Fact Three. Dion Dublin is not about to launch into another encore. One more Indian summer in a stellar career that has taken in England, Man United and a host of other clubs. Norwich 2008 will be his final playing epitaph.
Then the waters start to muddy. Colonel Mustard in the sitting room with a poker? Perhaps.
Both Roeder and Darren Huckerby have been reluctant participants in the 'will he, won't he' jig doing the rounds since Christmas. Huckerby's agent touted his man for hire. The man himself admitted he had not been playing well enough to earn a new deal. Roeder appeared to have cut him adrift but the effervescent Hucks has now been brought back in from the cold.
The smart money suggests Huckerby will head off into the sunset with his ex-Coventry strike partner Dublin.
Simon Lappin and Ryan Jarvis also look set to clear out their Colney lockers. Lappin was an ever present in Roeder's first three line-ups. The abject 3-0 defeat at Plymouth in early November appeared to be a defining watershed. Julien Brellier, David Strihavka, Ian Murray and Chris Brown - all allies in that Home Park horror show - have gone. Uefa Cup-chasing Motherwell may offer a more attractive proposition.
Fakenham-born Jarvis is currently into his fourth different loan stint at League Two strugglers Notts County. The academy graduate has already admitted he is planning for life away from his boyhood club. A grand total of 91 minutes in Roeder's first team indicate Jarvis is wise to seek alternative employment.
Which brings you to many of Jarvis' former academy colleagues. Roeder's reliance on Premiership young guns places big, black question marks against a clutch of City's homegrown variety.
Matthew Halliday, Patrick Bexfield, Robert Eagle, Rossi Jarvis, Bally Smart, Andrew Cave-Brown. All desperate to impress. All with little or no chance to impress as Roeder's hand was tied plotting City's route to Championship safety.
Time will tell whether they figure in Roeder's long term thinking. Places will be limited in Roeder's streamlined fighting machine. Kris Renton's long term injury setback has, for now, put his blossoming career on hold. Chris Martin and Michael Spillane have the security of contracts that run beyond this summer - but the jury very definitely remains out. The verdict may even be in.
Roeder's close season wheeling and dealing depends on his summer war chest. City's board has already made the right noises.
Actions will speak louder than words. Whether it's a used motor, a sporty little number or one with a few miles on the clock. In reality, it's likely to be all three. But for City fans life will certainly not be dull.