Patrick Boyle: one to forget

PUBLISHED: 17:16 21 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 14 September 2010

I can say this now because the fella has gone. The Man didn't want to say anything at the time because it was a vulnerable period for the club and I didn't wish to increase the woe.

I CAN say this now because the fella has gone.

The Man didn't want to say anything at the time because it was a vulnerable period for the club and I didn't wish to increase the woe.

But now he's gone - and surely won't be coming back - I'm free to have my say.

Two words: Patrick Boyle.

We've signed some duds over the years, almost too many to mention.

Prior to Boyle's arrival Garry Brady was probably the prime culprit for the Hall of Shame.

Boyle is pushing him closing on that score now...

The Man thinks that Paddy B's debut against Palace was one of the worst he has ever seen, while his performance at Plymouth was something else - it deteriorated to the point where he could not even complete a back pass.

I guess this is a tad ungrateful, the lad came down here from Everton to get us out of a hole.

But he'd never played a senior game before - and if he's better than anything we've got in the reserves or youth team then I'm deeply concerned.

Rossi Jarvis simply cannot be any worse than Boyle, in fact I have high hopes for Fakenham's second great white hope (history repeats itself).

On the subject of loan signings, interesting to see that we have swooped for another keeper.

Maybe Grant watched the Chelsea game last week and had a turn, or maybe - on a more sinister level - he has doubts over Gallacher.

Time will tell. OTBC.

STRINGER KNOWS HIS STUFF

Well done the board. No - The Man has not come over a little queer - I mean it.

I was delighted to hear that Dave Stringer had been brought in as part of the interview process.

The guy is a legend, and clearly knows his stuff.

If Grant is all right by Stringer, then he is all right by me.

Of course, some would take gorgeous Dave's involvement as a tacit acknowledgement by the board that they don't know anything about football…but not The Man.

On a separate issue, I've liked a lot of what Mr Grant has said.

But he keeps calling us Norwich Football Club - leaving out the vital qualification that gives us supremacy over our debt-ridden Suffolk subordinates.

Less of the West Ham loving too...they've nicked two of our best players and recently called their returning ex-manager “tumour boy”.

I don't want to hear it, save it for the Theftford roadshow, PG.

THE GREAT ANDY HUGHES DEBATE RUMBLES ON

Listening to fans after the QPR match it became apparent some people thought he had been poor, while others said he had a decent game.

“Yeah he's getting stuck in - but has he found a yellow shirt yet?” remarked one of The Man's entourage shortly before Dion scored (via an Andy Clap cross).

There was one moment however - aside from our second goal - which raised Hughes' esteem in my eyes.

It happened in the first half, as we were about to “defend” a corner.

AH roared: “Come on, let's ******* win this.”

It was clearly audible to our support, many of whom applauded it.

The fact was that Hughes was the only one rallying the troops, despite all the stick he's taken.

Deep down this guy is an honest footballer who will run himself into the ground for us.

The Man thinks that some of the grace being given to Grant should be spread Andy Clap's way.

In the spirit of Woodstock: “Let's just get along…”

ALL OUT FOR QPR

It appears QPR away has become in vogue with our rarely-seen “element”.

Not since a Friday night game with Ipswich has The Man seen so many Phil Mitchell lookalikes among our ranks.

So much so that The Man found himself being kept in a pub by police in West London last Saturday.

According to plod the “QPR casuals” were circling, and it was safer for us to stay and get drunk.

The Man tried to explain to the Met's finest that he was a lover not a fighter, but given my muscular frame they just weren't buying it.

Still, the police escort back to Liverpool Street was an extra treat, especially given the delightful WPCs we were accompanied by.

WE SHOULD GET A NEW MANAGER EVERY WEEK

Tuesday evening, about 9.45pm: The Man sat almost transfixed in his living room as Sky Sports - poorly assisted by the barely literate Paul Merson - confirmed we had won at Birmingham.

An away win; that most rare of Norwich City beasts, was ours.

I was a bit unsure about what I was supposed to do at this point…as I tried to gauge the magnitude of the result.

“We have won away”, The Man kept repeating to himself.

That's a league game - away from Carrow Road - in which we got three points.

It became apparent that during the past two seasons the part of my brain that could previously comprehend this type of thing had withered and died.

I sat awake in bed still trying to get my head around it.

“So let me get this straight - we didn't sit back and surrender the lead?” The Man mused during those twilight hours.

What made this result all the more overwhelming was the fact that just three days earlier, at QPR, The Man had concluded we would never win away from home again.

As The Hoops equalised from exactly the same spot - in the same minute - to get the same scoreline as Southend, I was convinced winning on the road had now become an impossibility.

But Peter the Pointer - or PTP as The Man has taken to calling him - clearly thought different.

Employing the revolutionary idea of setting out to win an away game throughout an entire 90 minutes, we came out on top.

No doubt we were assisted by Birmingham's own dose of chronic fatigue with the manager syndrome, but the manner of the victory was pleasing.

And a clean sheet as well…we should get a new manager every week.

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