Ashton too good for City’s crude play

WHERE do I start? As seven days in the life of a Norwich fan go, the past week has been interesting to say the least. Just 12 months after buying him, we waved goodbye to one of the most talented players our football club has ever had.

WHERE do I start? As seven days in the life of a Norwich fan go, the past week has been interesting to say the least.

Just 12 months after buying him, we waved goodbye to one of the most talented players our football club has ever had.

And all to a club a division below us last season…

The Man's first instinct whenever a player chooses to leave Norwich is to create a voodoo doll replica and stick pins in its legs.

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But the truth is Ashton's transfer is just the way football is now.

He does not suddenly care for West Ham more than Norwich. If Liverpool come in for him in 18 month's time he'll soon be off.

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It's dog eat dog.

The real tragedy is the nature of the past 12 months which made Ashton so desperate to leave.

When the odious Alan Pardew spoke about signing Dean, he made reference to how much the player could learn from Teddy Sheringham.

The Man - albeit begrudgingly - nodded his head at this comment.

This season we've witnessed players lumping the ball to Ashton, as if he was a young Iwan Roberts.

I'm sure it wasn't lost on Dean that the way we were playing was not conducive to his attributes.

Just because he was six foot plus it did not mean every ball to him had to be a hoof. Ask Dennis Bergkamp.

You could see how liberated DA was when we finally decided to play someone alongside him (McVeigh) who would pass him the ball on the deck.

In 2004, Ashton got about 20 goals before Christmas playing for Crewe.

Watch that highlights video and you'll see he's not an all-out back-to-goal striker. It's a shame December's manager of the month didn't take note of that this season.

The Man thinks Ashton was almost too good for the type of crude football December's manager of the month and co try to serve up in the Championship.

Ask yourself. Did DA improve during his year at Carrow Road? The Man thinks the answer is a resounding “no.”

Watching Ashton get paraded at Upton Park on Monday was a heart-breaking moment.

The fact he's gone to a club that is doing what we should have done last year made it all the more sad.

I hope December's manager of the month, Delia, Michael and co were hurt to the core by it.

I don't mean that in a nasty way, but if ever a wake-up call was needed, this was surely it.

As we reach our now traditional free FA Cup weekend, it is fitting to reflect on the fact we have not won a league match (West Brom at home) without Safri for almost a year (stat provided by the Pink 'Un hot-desk).

That's right - a YEAR.

It is simply not good enough to rely on one player so heavily. The organisation and motivation of the team in general should make up for the absence of any one player.

On current form, if Safri broke his leg, we'd go down. Unacceptable.

But never fear, December's manager of the month now has a war chest with which to improve the squad.

To be fair, the players we have been linked to, Halford, Jerome and Earnshaw, would be decent acquisitions.

But if we get more purchases of the ilk of the past six months then we are in real trouble. I'd love to lay my hands on the scouting report that recommended Colin to our football club, if there is one.

The truth is we got him “buy one, get one almost free” with Andy Hughes (they have the same agent.)

I know he gets exposed by December's manager of the month's refusal to have a right-winger, but against Watford he was truly awful.

It is a tricky situation for NW, I think he's got to hold his hands up and admit two or three (at least) of his signings are just not good enough.

The talk in the summer was that he had an A and a B list of transfer targets. I've now got a horrible feeling an Ipswich fan snuck into Colney in the summer and switched it for a Z list.

I'm sure December's manager of the month is desperate to spend a large portion of the Ashton money before the transfer window shuts.

If not, there'll be a huge temptation among fans to ask for a new man to be given the cash instead.


ONE member of the Ashton clan had to wait a little longer for his Christmas present last year - but I am sure he didn't mind.

The Man understands that Deano's uncle, Darren Bossons, pocketed about £300,000 from the West Ham deal.

Add that to the £100,000 he got from the Norwich deal - and renegotiations - and it's a tidy little sum.

It's especially pleasing for the listed Mr Bossons when you consider his client base may not exactly be up there with super agent Zahavi.

In fact, it would be fair to say, the number of non-blood related players on his books is close to the zero mark.

Well done for keeping it in the family Mr Bossons, but The Man is not sure how comfortably that £400,000 gets discussed over an Ashton clan Sunday roast…


POOR Greeno. He really threw his toys out of the pram after the Watford game.

A lot of what he said was spot on. We aren't even getting the “basics” right at the moment.

Ironically enough, when he threw his shirt into the crowd, it more or less hit Doomcaster in the face, as he loitered in the Barclay.

But Mr Green needs to look closer to home.

He really has let his frustration get to him this season. His standards have dropped.

He seems to be making mistakes all the time.

I think he'd be dropped if the club was not so desperate to try to help him get a move.

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