Management 'too stressful' for Tettey as retirement approaches for City legend
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Retirement is looming for Alex Tettey but the Norwich City midfielder has no regrets, as he looks forward to moving into youth coaching.
The Canaries legend is preparing for the final games of his career with Rosenborg having three matches remaining of the Norwegian top flight season.
Having announced earlier this month that he will retire in December, the 35-year-old has been speaking to the Along Come Norwich supporters' group to reflect on his nine seasons with City.
After 263 appearances since joining from Rennes in 2012, the defensive midfielder returned to his first club after helping the Canaries to seal the Championship title and an immediate return to the Premier League.
Asked if there had been any chance of staying for a tenth season, Tettey said: “No, it wasn’t for me. It was always about my knees and my health. I’m fit. If I had a right-knee replacement then I could have carried on but I knew my knees couldn’t handle it.
“I knew that if I was there, I would be there and just doing what I did in my last season, just being around the place, sometimes you get a game, and you really don’t want to do that for too many seasons.
“The only time it could have happened is when I signed my contract (in 2020) I signed for one year but the boss was trying to get me to sign for two.
“So if I did sign that contract for two years then I would have had 10 seasons, but I’m not the sort of guy who was really after 10 seasons. It’s important to know your limit and when it is time to say stop.
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“I was quite happy with the decision to not be there for a tenth season because you need to be there for a reason.”
Tettey is preparing for a tough game on Sunday, as leaders Bodo-Glimt head to Trondheim knowing that victory will confirm their successful title defence.
The Bodo manager, Kjetil Knutsen, was linked with the vacancy at Norwich recently after Daniel Farke’s dismissal.
City chose Dean Smith but had also spoken to Frank Lampard and other candidates, with Knutsen among the favourites with the bookies but being in the midst of a title defence and a Europa Conference League campaign.
“It was very difficult to believe how much truth was in the rumours but I can understand why the rumours were there, because there has been a very good build at Bodo-Glimt and he is good with the young players and building a team,” Tettey said.
“So I totally understand why he would fit the Norwich model.
“It’s tough because he has done well at Bodo but before that he was in another team (Asane) in a lower division, doing well there but to compare the Eliteserien with the Premier League, there is a big gap there.
“The same as a player, I think you always want to have experience somewhere else before you end up in the Premier League, where everything is a bit harsh and chaotic, and the demands are very hard.
“But I could definitely have seen him being Norwich manager, in terms of what Norwich want and what Norwich is about.
“Also my current club is interested in him, so it would also be nice to have him at the club next season, because Rosenborg hasn’t won (the league) for a couple of years now, so we want to get back to winning ways and get back to being the best club - that we know we can be - in Norway.
“I’m still hoping that maybe they can get him because he has proven himself in Norway now and hopefully Rosenborg can attract him for next season.”
The former Norway international has made 12 appearances for Rosenborg since re-joining them in June but has been on the bench in recent weeks.
RBK are managed by former Norwich defender Aage Hareide, who is retiring at the end of this season, but Tettey doesn’t expect to be going into management.
“I’ve said for many years now that I don’t see myself as a manager because it is too stressful,” he continued, speaking to the Along Come Norwich podcast.
“But sometimes, and former players will say this, even though you have said you will not but in certain situations you will feel like you can do it.
“Then you switch back to, no, it is too stressful and short-lived. When you are at that level it is just result-based, you can be winning but then have a dip in form, lose a couple and you’re out.
“It’s kind of stressful but I think for me it is more about working with academy players and trying to take them through to the senior team.
“I will have more joy in doing that than being a manager, when it is similar to playing but you are not playing.”
Tettey is likely to come back as a special guest at Carrow Road at some point in the future, having not been able to say a goodbye to fans last season due to games still being behind closed doors.
After tearful farewells and emotional exit interviews before leaving Norfolk, he isn’t expecting to return to City permanently in the future, having been keen to return home to Norway.
“That is a big, big question,” he added with a chuckle. “That would mean I would have to move my wife and kids, which I don’t think after her being with me abroad for 12 years, that she will want to go back!
“But I am taking my coaching badges now and that is the first part of it, so hopefully when I get to the second part and the third part then hopefully I can come back to Norwich and learn a couple of things, which I should have done in my nine years there, to learn how they do things.”
- You can listen to the full podcast, as Tettey looks back on his Canaries career, on the Along Come Norwich website