Earnie sale may spark a relegation nosedive

PUBLISHED: 16:36 16 December 2006 | UPDATED: 09:54 14 September 2010

Losing to Sheffield Wednesday at home is a seminal moment for any club. For most teams it marks a watershed from which the only way is up - sadly we have now done it two years in a row.

Losing to Sheffield Wednesday at home is a seminal moment for any club.

For most teams it marks a watershed from which the only way is up - sadly we have now done it two years in a row.

Because - perhaps aside from the Nottingham Forest side of recent years - SWFC are the world heavyweight champions of losing.

Lest we forget, they lost two cup finals in a season to get us into Europe…

Under Laws that era now looks set to end, but still, losing to them at home should be alarm bells time.

The truth is, for any Norwich fan, the alarm bells are now ringing loud and clear.

The team we put out against Wednesday was quite clearly the worst line-up we have had for a league game for a number of years.

If Tamworth had a scout at the game he would have been licking his lips. There is no point in The Man victimising the players who are not good enough in this column.

We all know who they are by now - and if our rookie manager has got any sort of ability he knows them too.

It's not the players' fault, we signed them, they just ain't good enough.

When we lost 4-1 at home to Burnley a lot was made of the squad hanging Worthington out to dry.

To a certain extent I agreed with that theory, which combined with a poisonous atmosphere at the Carra, served to create such an embarrassing result.

However, The Man had a nagging feeling that there was another reason for the performance - that the vast majority of the players were just not much good.

So, the rebuilding job starts here.

We should all hope we hang on to Earnie in January, because if we don't - and Leeds spend a bit of cash to get out of trouble - then we could go down.

I honestly don't think The Man is being overly-dramatic by claiming that.

The Man truly hopes our board “who will not gamble with the future of the club” are aware of this looming threat if we ponder any such bids for RE.

But I don't wish to sound overly morose, there is hope.

If Peter the Pointer (PTP) can get a couple of the duds out, and can get a couple of new players in, then the renaissance can begin.

But let's not kid ourselves, there is no quick fix here. The money has gone, the quality has all but gone, and PTP is starting from scratch.

A shambolic waste of Premiership dosh? You bet, but what's done is done.

The rebuilding job is going to take time - I'm guessing two to three years.

We have to back PTP and collectively pray he gets it right.

You can fill as many restaurants as you like, the success of a football club will always come down to finding a good manager and sticking with him.

It was easy to turn on PTP as we went 2-1 down to Wednesday, but really, it is not his fault.

The mistakes have been made elsewhere: but Doomcaster and Co are not fond of admitting they got something wrong, so don't expect to hear it anytime soon.

Football is a funny business - nothing is guaranteed.

The Man is a reasonable man. Following relegation, and the trauma with which it is accompanied, I was not expecting a surge back to the top.

However, I did expect at least one pop at the play-offs - of the teams relegated with us, Palace managed it last year, and Southampton will do it this season.

The fact we have not got anywhere near doing the same is very sad, particularly given our fans have been more loyal than either of those clubs. Maybe such loyalty breeds boardroom complacency, who knows?

Birmingham's Karren Brady spoke this week about how she felt the club had to “win back” fans following their relegation. She said the club had to admit its mistakes - particularly in signing players - and move on.

You would hope our lot will have learned their lesson, even if they won't admit it.

The Man still loves the Stowmarket Two, and I know as chief executives go Doomcaster is a stand-up guy, but, oh, that matters on the pitch should have decayed so quickly…

Last Saturday our attendance was bigger than five crowds on the same day in the Premiership; whether those crowds remain during this rebuilding phase remains to be seen.

But if crowds counted for anything Wigan would be in the conference, not the Premiership.

It's on the pitch that matters - may the repair job commence!

OTBC.

GIVE A MAN A CHANCE

As reported this week, a wannabe footballer turned up at Colney and demanded a trial - quite why he thought they were interested in footballers there I don't know…

After his request was refused the agitated fellow had to be led away by police.

Quite frankly, given the size of the squad, I can't believe he was not given a chance.

As Worthy would have said: “It's another body.”

He might have been the striker we desperately need…

Certainly, his desire to play puts a certain member of our midfield to shame. The Man understands a similar thing happened in the summer - when an ageing Norfolk man said he wanted to join the club. He was quickly turned away too.

I believe he was last spotted trying to get Aston Villa into the Champions League…ho hum.

WHAT PERSONALITY?

The Man has never been a big fan of the BBC's sports personality of the year programme.

I am always amazed at how the Beeb can somehow conspire to make a two-hour sports highlights package dull.

But they do.

However, there was one moment of entertainment - Theo Walcott being given the young sports personality of the year.

Clearly, personality and Theo Walcott do not belong in the same sentence.

Just remind me what exactly is it he has achieved in the past 12 months, apart from going out with that skinny bird?

If he really is our top sporting youngster for the year it's no wonder our football/cricket/rugby teams are struggling…

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