Looks like an ab Fab appointment

The Man In The Stands The Man was delighted with the appointment of Fabio Capello this week. In managerial terms, he is the closest thing to a sure bet that you can get. Just as Sven was - and is proving to be at Man City.

The Man In The Stands

The Man was delighted with the appointment of Fabio Capello this week. In managerial terms, he is the closest thing to a sure bet that you can get. Just as Sven was - and is proving to be at Man City.

The Man genuinely hopes that England are able to win something under Capello, but given the players he has at his disposal I find that highly unlikely.

We will lose in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Africa - again to a technically superior team in a hot climate - and Capello will be blamed for being too negative and not 'passionate' enough.

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Just to be clear, that's 'passionate' in the Kevin Keegan or Stuart Pearce sense of the word.

On that subject, don't be surprised to see the bulldog Pearce given the top job after Capello's departure, as enough time will have elapsed for people to forget how useless he was as a boss at Man City and Nottingham Forest.

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As Capello was unveiled last week, the FA's chief executive Brian Barwick said the Italian's £6m salary needed to be put in the context of the FA's predicted £1bn income.

TV contract expert (guess why he got the job…) Barwick has also promised a “root and branch” review of football in this country, which will probably involve dusting off the same garbage they trotted out after we failed to get to the '94 World Cup.

As The Man has suggested before, one way in which the FA's £1bn could be of great help to grass roots football is if it was used to provide more finance for the academies it demanded were set up.

It is utterly ridiculous that while the FA has £1bn sitting in the bank, clubs such as Norwich - who provide a huge community service and source of hope for aspiring footballers in the region - have to scrimp and save to keep their academies in business. We literally have to hold raffles to help pay for some of our academy costs.

There's a fair chance Robert Green will be Capello's goalkeeper - and without our youth system he simply would not be around.

Never mind building some poxy football centre in Burton, it's time for the FA to start spreading its wealth to the clubs that deserve - and need - it.



It seems there was more riding on last week's Milk Cup quarter-final at Blackburn than most Norwich fans first thought.

More than a couple of sources have suggested that had Arsene Wenger's Arsenal been knocked out, we may well have benefited from a couple of North London loan deals in January.

It is very early days in Roeder's reign, and ahead of today's fixtures there was still a fair chance we could be bottom at Christmas, but it is such a relief to have a manager with friends in high places.

We have endured a good few years of managers with contacts books about as thick as Stephen Hawking.

And it has hurt us; really hurt us.

Roeder doesn't tire of telling reporters how he's just got off the phone to Sven, but it is good to hear. As a footnote, The Man noted that Blackburn got a whopping 16,000 crowd for their cup showdown with Arsenal.

That included a very sizeable away support. Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.


Glenn Roeder this week voiced his concerns at the vile abuse players and managers are getting from the stands.

As has already been detailed in the press, things came to a head after the game at Layer Road when Glenn was being interviewed for TV on the pitch.

An idiot popped up in one of the stands and hurled some abuse at GR while he was answering the post-match questions.

According to a Col Who employee pal of mine Roeder stopped the interview, and then went off on one, ranting: “It's like Harry Redknapp says, all these ******* ******* who think they can have a pop at you.

“Who was it? Someone who should be ******* locked up, that's who.”

The Man absolutely agrees that some of the abuse footballers get these days is completely over the top.

And doubtless Roeder in particular has been scarred by having to work with those wonderfully balanced and patient fans at both Newcastle and West Ham.

But as supporters, it's very difficult to know where precisely to draw the line.

For example, at present we at Norwich want to do everything to help our team - and that includes trying to intimidate and wind-up opposing players.

Danny Mills on Boxing Day will be a case in point.

It's obvious there are some things that are just plain morally wrong to shout, but it's not quite black and white, there is a grey area.

Perhaps, from a professional point of view, players and managers should just take solace in the fact we never bother getting on the back of opposition players that are rubbish.

Unless, of course, it is Fabian Wilnis.

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