Let’s not set our sights too high

FIRST things first: I am utterly convinced Peter Grant and Jim Duffy will be busting a gut this season to try to make Norwich City successful. Grant - as well as the Turners - will be setting the club ambitious targets for 2007/8.

FIRST things first: I am utterly convinced Peter Grant and Jim Duffy will be busting a gut this season to try to make Norwich City successful.

Grant - as well as the Turners - will be setting the club ambitious targets for 2007/8. Our manager, with a straight face, will even talk about going for automatic promotion.

Good luck to them. The Man, along with thousands of others, will be supporting them every step of the way.

But let's be honest about our current predicament.


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This summer has seen Earnie, Safri and Etuhu leave the club. Despite the latter two's distinct lack of consistency, fitness or motivation, most fans would agree those three players represented some of the more talented aspects of our squad.

I look at our team without Hux and I wonder where on earth the spark is going to come from now. Sadly we missed out on Eastwood - so we'll all be left praying that DH can stay fit for another year.

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Lots of new players have come in and they need to be given time - along with our rookie manager - to settle in.

A few fans voiced their surprise at pundits tipping us to finish around the 16th spot this season; but The Man thinks it's bang on the money.

Of course, we should aim higher. Again we'll be pretty much the best-supported team in the league this year, but Newcastle do the same in the Premiership - it doesn't guarantee you any points. If we finish in the top half The Man will be delighted: anything more will be a fantastic achievement.

t THE Man expects a decent showing from Chris Brown this season.

I really wouldn't be surprised if Browny ends up starting games ahead of Dave Striker, as the Czech finds his feet. CB has looked very handy in pre-season, and seems up for it.

One thing is for sure - following the departure of the increasingly Useless Safri - Chris Brown is now the proud owner of The Man's favourite chant. For the uninitiated, Brown's homage is to the theme tune of hit comedy show Beadle's About.

Watch out, Browny's about!

t HUX earned muchos kudos from fans for his Etuhu sale tirade in the summer.

But The Man has heard an interesting rumour about the background to the jet-heeled one's rant.

So the rumour goes...apparently Etuhu rang up Hux to tell him the club had flogged his 6ft 2in of Nigerian muscle to Sunderland behind his back. Etuhu pretended to be shocked at the club's tactics, and bemoaned the situation to his pal Hux.

Cue Hux ranting to the press about the club's lack of ambition.

Little did DH know Dickson was winding him up - and that he had in fact turned down a new deal at the Carra and was keen to join the Black Cats.

Just a rumour of course, and it does not change the fact Hux is a legend. As for Etuhu, a £1m profit on a chronically inconsistent performer is great business in my book. Good luck to the fella, but The Man won't miss him.

t HUGHES NEVER TRIED TO DODGE RESPONSIBILITY

GOODBYE Andy Hughes.

If ever a move didn't work out - for both parties - this was it.

He'd be chasing Europe with Reading now if it wasn't for Worthy and his £500K cheque.

Instead he's now contemplating life at League One Leeds with a 15 point handicap.

The Man - along with many others - must admit that he gave Hughes a hard time - at one stage I even branded him Andy Clap.

That was out of order - but it was born out of post-Premiership frustration.

One thing I will say, is that rarely have I ever seen a player have such a big set of, well, balls.

Despite the tsunami of abuse he was facing at times, he would NEVER hide, and never bottle trying to pick a pass (even if it invariably went to the opposition).

That, along with his workrate, means he can leave this club with his head held high.

And that's a lot more than you can say of a more highly-regarded midfield departure this summer.

Good luck Hughesy.

t MAKE YOUR DERBY START TIME STAND

AT THE dawn of a new campaign, The Man feels it's time for us to relaunch one of our own.

At a recent fans' event Jolly Roger sympathised with ultras over the ludicrous derby day kick-off times - and urged us to write to police about the issue.

Silver-tongued Munby said relatively new chief constables are at the helm in Norfolk and Suffolk, and might be open to persuasion.

The police, of course, will not have a problem with such a dialogue - as they constantly talk of community engagement.

Therefore, The Man urges Norwich fans - and even followers of Those We Don't Speak Of - to pen a quick email to the thick blue line.

Simply mark it for the attention of Ian McPherson (Norfolk) and Simon Ash (Suffolk); and write three lines calling for a 3pm kick-off on a Saturday to be considered.

We are not asking for Friday Fight Nights to return - just a humane start time.

Chief Con Mr Ash describes himself as a “keen football supporter”; so hopefully he will see our point.

Norfolk Police email: enquiries@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

Suffolk Police email: headquarters@suffolk.pnn.police.uk

t REDS FANS BRANDED 'THE WORST'

THE esteem with which Liverpool fans regard and protect their club - as opposed to the reality of their behaviour - is a particular hobby horse of The Man.

I try to avoid mentioning it every week for fear of being exposed as having some sort of autism, but a UEFA report released this summer is too pertinent to ignore.

UEFA branded Liverpool fans “the worst in Europe” - quite an achievement given the competition.

The report found that Liverpool fans had rushed turnstiles, used forged tickets and stolen tickets on their travels.

UEFA spokesman William Gaillard, who as yet has not been forced to stand in Liverpool town centre and apologise, said: “The incidents involving Liverpool fans have been well known to us before the trouble at the Champions League final which involved Liverpool fans.

“That was just the latest example. What other set of fans steal tickets from their fellow supporters or out of the hands of children?”

Lessons have clearly not been learned...still, it's everyone else's fault - right?

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