Chant Hux’s name, but only at right time

PUBLISHED: 14:24 23 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 10 September 2010

The Man In The Stands

YOU know if a Norwich fan stares into a mirror and says Darren Huckerby five times without blinking he appears? The Man has not been brave enough to try it yet, but Glenn Roeder would be forgiven for thinking the old wives' tale about his own personal bogey man is true.

YOU know if a Norwich fan stares into a mirror and says Darren Huckerby five times without blinking he appears?

The Man has not been brave enough to try it yet, but Glenn Roeder would be forgiven for thinking the old wives' tale about his own personal bogey man is true.

Even in GR's darkest musings during the summer it is unlikely that he envisaged being subjected to Huckerby chants in the first home game of the season - that the spectre of Hux would return so soon.

His name may have just been sung by the fundamentalist minority, but it was audible none the less.

On this score The Man has sympathy with both the fans that sung Hux's name, and Roeder.

From the fans' point of view, they are sat there on the eve of another season of mediocrity (at best), having seen the only player that got them off their seats in the past few years kicked into the long grass.

Anger and frustration makes people do things that are irrational, and seeing your team go 0-1 at home to Blackpool again does not necessarily put you in the best frame of mind to be objective.

The Man will admit it, I even - for a brief moment - found myself joining in with the Huckerby chants at MK Dons the week before.

I'm not proud of that, I know it was the last thing the players and management needed to hear, but I was just p****d off; in an intangible, Daily Mail sort of way.

I've promised myself I won't sing his name again when we are losing, but I really don't know if - in the heat of another defeat - I will be able to stick to it.

I apologise in advance.

As for Roeder, we all know his refusal to allow Hux a send off was a PR disaster, but we have to view his overall decision in financial terms.

The Man assumes, at least I hope it's the case, that we have been able to get two or three players in on the wages that Huckerby was being paid.

Roeder, as he admitted during a Talksport interview, has had to work within a “small” budget, and Hux's departure freed up cash to allow him to bring in the extra bodies that we desperately needed, even if they are just loans.

I'm not saying it was the right decision, but The Man can see where GR was coming from.

For my money Roeder has got one of the toughest jobs in football at the moment, with 25,000 people wanting to see a team win, not a lot of money, and yet a board saying they have significantly backed him.

It is something of a rock and a hard place. So let's have some class, and only sing Huckerby's name, as a homage, when we are winning. Let's just hope we don't have to wait too long.

t CULLEN'S EXIT IS A SAD DAY

THE MAN greeted the news of Andy Cullen's departure this week with some dismay.

It's not often I'm disappointed by the departure of one of the club's off-pitch staff - it's normally the opposite - but Cullen is different.

Not for one moment do I begrudge Andy his move, but it is a significant blow to the club.

Without Cullen's initiatives there is absolutely no way we would be playing to 25,000 crowds as a lower-table Championship side.

He is Norfolk's own incarnation of Ray Kinsella, the character Kevin Costner played in the baseball film Field of Dreams: “Build it and they will come.”

Cullen has nurtured an incredible fan base, the fact we get 9,000 more fans now then when we were in Europe is astonishing.

Some have interpreted Cullen's exit as another rat leaving a sinking ship, but The Man has no insight into whether that is true.

What will be interesting is to see how MK Dons' crowds match up to ours in about five years' time…we have a 17,000-18,000 head start, but I wouldn't bet against Cullen overhauling that. Good luck Andy, top fella. OTBC.

t CYCLING - THE NEW FOOTBALL

AMIDST our 'indifferent' start to the season, Britain's success at the Olympics has emerged as something of a joyous and unexpected relief.

Cycling almost turned into a blood sport this week as all comers were crushed under the pummelling weight of the British pedal, as we wheeled out a series of seemingly oak-thighed athletes.

On a couple of occasions UK viewers were greeted with the almost incomprehensible reality of having two British riders in the same final. That's two BRITISH people in a FINAL. “What's the catch?” many of us thought.

There wasn't one. It was gold and silver, and not a “brave” last ditch defeat in sight. The Aussies must have been scratching their heads in disbelief.

We may still be c**p at our first loves of football and cricket, but when it comes to our new found passion - cycling - we rule the world.

Needless to say The Man is now a massive, massive cycling fan.

t A POOR PICTURE

EAGLE-EYED TV viewers of the Blackpool highlights from last week will have noticed slightly watered down coverage.

Due to cost-cutting by the club, the chap who used to sit in front of the Jarrold Stand to film pitch-side close ups of the action - which were subsequently used by the BBC, ITV and Sky - has been axed.

Times are, indeed, very tight: the club's penny-pinchers opted to have two fixed cameras instead of the traditional three this season to save cash.

Rumours that the club's PR office pushed for a complete blackout of TV coverage to prevent negative publicity have been strongly denied.

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