Nigel's Sutton snub 'utterly criminal'

PUBLISHED: 15:25 05 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:33 14 September 2010

THERE is no doubt which subject has kept The Man and his chums busy chatting during the past week: Chris Sutton. Super Chris has returned to Norfolk to raise his family in Roughton (near Cromer), and thus tongues have started wagging.

THERE is no doubt which subject has kept The Man and his chums busy chatting during the past week: Chris Sutton.

Super Chris has returned to Norfolk to raise his family in Roughton (near Cromer), and thus tongues have started wagging.

But what started off as wishful thinking soon became reality; it is clear Mr Sutton would like to finish his career with us.

'Gee whizz' thought The Man, 'our prayers have been answered'; but not so according to Mr Worthington.

The Man has heard the critics say Sutton is injury prone, too old, worse still too expensive, and that 'second comings' (see Fleck or Walker) don't work, but…

Worthington has said he wants a big target man (box 1 ticked).

He has also always said he likes players that can play in more than one position (box 2 ticked).

And wouldn't Ryan Jarvis and his buddies benefit from having someone like Sutton around in training? (box 3 ticked). It is utterly criminal Worthington has not sat down with Sutton to find out if a deal could be done.

If Sutton is not up for a modest pay-as-you-play deal then fine, at least we have tried.

For Worthington to have dismissed the option out of hand is unbelievably shortsighted. At the time of writing Sutton is being linked to Ipswich.

I still don't believe he will go there: but if they end up signing him then we could easily have afforded a similar deal. Maybe he'll be a flop wherever he ends up this season: but the lack of imagination on Worthington's part is incredible.

I say Worthington's part because I don't believe other members of the Carrow Road set-up would be averse to Sutton returning.

Would Mr Doomcaster - shrewd operator that he is - not see an instant commercial benefit from resigning one of the club's most famous sons, even if he fails to do the business on the pitch?

Of course ND would, but sadly, he does not pick the team.

Instead, Worthy has resorted to chasing one-dimensional targets like Steve Howard, while a class player lives within a stone's throw of his own North Norfolk home.

The Man says again, it is utterly criminal.

There is a school of thought that it is not Sutton's age or injury record that has scared Worthy off, it is the rumours that he was a dressing-room trouble-maker at Birmingham. In fact, it has been suggested Steve Bruce might even have warned NW off directly.

Now, why would one of our main promotion rivals not want us to sign Chris Sutton…? Does he have similar negative employer references from Norwich, Blackburn, Chelsea and Celtic? No.

Another theory is that Worthy does not fancy having a big name around the place, an argument I'm less inclined to believe.

Whatever his ill thought out reasoning, snubbing super Chris could well be the final nail in Worthy's coffin.

The irony is that if he had signed Sutton he would have bought himself more time - and affection - with the angry sections of our support.

Because let's face it, on what planet is Earnshaw and Sutton not a decent front pairing, even if it is only for 20 games in a season?

When we're sat at Carrow Road in September watching Leon and Thorne conspire to miss chance after chance perhaps Mr Sutton wouldn't have seemed such a bad idea after all, Mr Worthington - if you are still around then.

The Man does not like to start the season with such an aggressive rant, but this one really wound me up. For all this angst I will still have been at Leeds today hoping (and supporting the team) towards a rare away victory.

It's just that so often the geography of this club works against us, and yet in the one instance where a good player turns up on our doorstep - we don't even talk to him!

Best of luck Mr Worthington, you are either a very brave man, or very stupid. OTBC.

t NEW SHIRTS AS RARE AS A PETER THORNE GOAL

FOR the past couple of years we have been told to look on the bright side by the club.

Never mind the fact we are losing again: at least the Carrow Road restaurants are full!

Mid-table and going nowhere - not to worry - we've built up a season-ticket base half the teams in the Premiership would kill for.

However, it appears in the all-important off-the-field department the club has finally matched its on-the-field counterparts, albeit in just one instance.

As the first game of the season passes, a new home (or away) shirt has seemingly become as rare as a Peter Thorne goal.

The Man understands the first meagre batch did not go on sale until August 4th. What a joke, it is commercial suicide.

And The Man doubts executives from Flybe are going to be too happy at seeing thousands of Norwich fans sporting Proton logos throughout August…

t The Sunday papers made for good reading last weekend.

From the selection The Man read, not many pundits fancied our chances - play-offs at best seemed to be the general tone. Certainly, the tag of promotion favourites did not inspire us to success last year: so let's hope it's a good sign we've been overlooked this time.

There is further cause for optimism too. While most of the pundits tipped a variation of the three relegated to return to the top flight - we know better.

Jolly Roger was telling anyone that would listen last season that relegated clubs very rarely recover from the trauma of dropping a division to bounce straight back. And last season, he was proved right. So if at any point the club - or manager - tries to tell us this season that we can't compete with the relegated clubs: we merely have to remind them of Mr Munby's wise words.

The Man's tip? Birmingham and West Brom. And on a separate note, Stuart Pearce not to last the season.

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