Norwich City comment: Jonny Howson departure a sign of changing times at Carrow Road

Jonny Howson - part of the changes. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jonny Howson - part of the changes. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Sometimes you have to let go.

For some City fans it’s been a bit of a traumatic week: firstly, Graham Dorrans headed north to join Rangers, a club hardly bursting at the seams with cash, beaten in the Supreme Court over the “big tax case”, beaten in the Europa League at the hands of Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg and with a new manager facing a petition calling for him to be sacked.

Then, yesterday, Championship rivals Middlesbrough, with undue haste perhaps, were flashing pictures of Jonny Howson at their training HQ as he underwent a medical ahead of a move.

Two experienced midfielders gone in the space of a few days – but for those who are bemoaning the state of affairs, it’s only fair to make a couple of points.

There is another common thread: both men wanted to move closer to their roots. Howson made that much clear and indicated he would not sign a new deal – from then on he could not be part of the squad. The expression of desire to move left a doubt over his commitment, and Daniel Farke can have no doubts about the commitment of his players. Ditto Dorrans, who also wanted to return home.


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Footballers are human. When they play for our club we naively expect unconditional love, but it can’t always be that way. They and their families have a right to enjoy their lives. If they can enjoy them more by moving, then so be it. Thank them, and move on.

Last season was one of upheaval at City: fans were very vocal in expressing their frustrations and many wanted change. It came with a major restructuring. Losing Howson and Dorrans and putting a few million in the coffers; bringing in younger players, hoping to develop them and sell them on at a profit; using the loan market properly; loosening the shackles of high-earning players who contributed little because of a wayward recruitment policy – it’s all part of the change.

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It’s why Daryl Murphy will never sign for Norwich: not because he is ex-Ipswich but because he is 34 years old: City will only buy players they can sell at a profit. That is the philosophy that came with the changes: buy for under a million, develop, sell for three or four.

Norwich City has changed. It’s time to move on.

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