Loan star debate has another angle

The Man In The Stands SOME candour this week from Glenn Roeder in his weekly column in the Evening News. Aside from mentioning how many points we had when he took over, the boss again launched a defence of the loan system.

The Man In The Stands

SOME candour this week from Glenn Roeder in his weekly column in the Evening News.

Aside from mentioning how many points we had when he took over, the boss again launched a defence of the loan system. He said: “We would have been in serious trouble without the loan system but there have been people suggesting these players don't give their all for the club, and to me they are classless people.”

In Roederspeak, “classless people” are the opposite to “first-rate human beings” such as Dion Dublin.


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The on-going argument about loan players is interesting because in a sense it sums up how differently football fans, and football professionals, view the game. People in the game such as Roeder immediately assume that any criticism of loan signings must be regarding their commitment.

They also assume that we'll be happy if there are XI half-decent players on the pitch, regardless of where they came from.

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I may have missed one, but The Man has yet to read any comment piece which actually questions the loan players' desire to do well here.

In fact, I think the majority of fans would agree, the attitude shown by the players that have been drafted in has put certain home-grown products to shame.

Ironically, their punishment was a loan move to football's own version of hell (Luton).

Yet as football fans, it is not what the loan players do that disheartens us, it is what they represent.

They are the incarnation of our own failings as a club, of our loss of stature. As supporters we want to be proud of our club - to sing our hearts out - but when you are begging players off Reading to stay out of the bottom three it doesn't half make you sad.

Sad because we know that Reading, in their poxy plastic stadium, are not a patch on us as a football club. Nor Wigan. Yet it is their off-cuts that we are supposed to get excited about, during their brief stays in Norfolk.

So please Glenn do not eschew this into a debate about commitment, it goes much deeper than that.

There may be the odd idiot who rings Canary Call complaining about how much effort the loan players are putting in. But they are just the odd idiot.

I think amongst the majority of fans the dissatisfaction goes much deeper, but for different reasons.

In the same column Roeder admitted that loan players were being used “until we get through this difficult cycle” so at least we know it's not something he is truly happy with either, despite previous protestations.

As The Man has said before, given the pittance he's had to spend, Roeder has done wonders getting a squad together. But please do not get upset with us for not liking how you've had to do it Glenn.

t LOOKS LIKE THE END OF THE 'MATCH FIX' AFFAIR

LAST week Neil Doncaster confirmed that the FA had finally contacted the club regarding the match-fixing claims.

He revealed: “We can confirm that we have been contacted by the FA and asked whether we have any information about the allegations or any concerns about the conduct of the game or the behaviour of the players and officials.

“We have written back to confirm that we do not have any such information and nor do we have any such concerns.”

And that, you would imagine, is about as far as the FA probe will go; confirming its reputation as one of the most useless organisations in the country.

The Man has said before that he believes our players are completely innocent of any wrong-doing, but I would suggest if any player was up to this sort of thing they'd struggle to find a softer adversary than the FA.

Of course, the FA is stymied by its lack of proper investigatory powers, but that does beg the question of how this sort of thing - if it ever did happen - could be combatted? Maybe I'll write to my local MP about it…

t TRAVELLING FANS WORTH MUCH MORE

WELL done to the 1,200 fans who made the trip to a freezing Pride Park during the week.

It was approximately 400 more than league leaders Wolves brought to our place the week before.

If you were Newcastle supporters the media would be raving about how passionate you are.

I don't care what anyone says; you deserve better than continual away defeats. As simple as that. OTBC.

t MAKE KISSING THE BADGE AN OFFENCE

BADGE kissing has been in the news in the past week, as two Scousers took to snogging the emblem of their adopted clubs.

The Man has never been a big fan of this sort of activity; as I simply don't believe 99 per cent of the players that do it.

One of The Man's pals once referred to one of our previous signings as “a real badge kisser - you know the sort”.

I had to agree with the sentiment.

Badge-kissing footballers are amongst the most promiscuous in the game.

I distinctly recall seeing Joey Barton kiss the Man City badge shortly before leaving, while Wayne Rooney even went so far as to wear a “once a blue, forever a blue” t-shirt before quitting Everton for Man U.

In the cold light of day football is just a job for a lot of footballers, so kissing the badge is rather silly.

I bet you don't see people at Norwich Union kissing the cathedral logo after they've closed down a big insurance claim.

Maybe I'm just being a cynic, but if one of our players kissed the badge now I would just laugh. Perhaps that is more of a reflection of me than them, who knows?

But The Man would like to see badge-kissing elevated to a yellow card offence for any player that hasn't been at his host club for three years or more.

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