‘Some of his methods were questionable, to say the least’ - Spillane on Roeder and the Tweedledee tag

Michael Spillane during his Norwich City playing days Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images Ltd

Michael Spillane during his Norwich City playing days Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Focus Images

Labelling two of your own players Tweedledee and Tweedledum was one of the more infamous moments of Glenn Roeder’s controversial spell as Norwich City manager – but one of the ‘victims’ says it was no laughing matter.

Michael Spillane and Chris Martin felt the sharp end of Roeder’s tongue as he sent them off on loan to Luton Town at the beginning of the 2089-09 season.

The Hatters were 30 points adrift in League Two thanks to the imposition of penalties for financial misdemeanours.

Spillane and Martin had the last laugh – they were in Luton’s successful Johnstones Paint Trophy final team at Wembley and by the time they returned to Carrow Road, Roeder was long gone, sacked with City fourth bottom of the Championship.

Spillane hasn’t forgotten – nor, it seems, forgiven, his former boss.

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“I personally didn’t get on with Glenn Roeder at all,” said Spillane.

“I think a lot of the players didn’t get on with him and I thought some of his methods were questionable, to say the least. But that is looking at it is as a player. Even now, a bit older and bit mature and know how football works a bit more and I would still question that whereas other times I think other managers you question at the time and think ‘this is unfair’ but when you get older you realise they were probably right.

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“In terms of Glenn Roeder, I wouldn’t say I would take many leaves out of his book now it has come to me going over to the coaching side.

“But yes, he had his own thoughts and processes and it was hard for me as a young lad. He came out in the paper and called me and Chris Martin Tweedledee and Tweedledum. At that age that name stuck a little bit, but it is what it is now and you move on.”

Spillane, 31, now a player-coach at Chelmsford City, said his time at Luton was one of the best spells of his playing career, before he returned to City for the start of the 2009-10 season, which started with Bryan Gunn as manager, but quickly moved on to Paul Lambert. After starting 10 League One games that season, City accepted an offer from Brentford.

“I went to see Paul Lambert and he was good as gold,” said Spillane, speaking to The ClaretArmy Podcast. “He said, ‘look, it is not a case of us wanting you to leave, we have accepted the offer, you are not going to be first choice, you are going to be fighting for your place. To carry on working under Paul Lambert, who was a brilliant manager, probably would have been a better choice, but when you are young you just want to play and you don’t have a lot of patience in terms of waiting around.”

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