Roeder casts eyes over defenders
Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder is running the rule over two foreign players at City's Colney training centre. Swiss international defender Bruno Berner and French right-back Patrick Barul have joined the rest of the City squad for pre-season training this week.
By CHRIS LAKEY
Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder is running the rule over two foreign players at City's Colney training centre.
Swiss international defender Bruno Berner and French right-back Patrick Barul have joined the rest of the City squad for pre-season training this week.
Roeder is short of defensive options, especially now that Ryan Bertrand, Mo Camara and Alex Pearce have left following the end of their loans spells and Spanish right-back Juan Velasco and youngster Andrew Cave-Brown were released at the end of last season.
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It leaves just four recognised defenders - Jon Otsemobor, Gary Doherty, Jason Shackell, and Adam Drury, who hasn't played since last October because of injury.
The need for defensive reinforcements is clear - and both Berner and Barul would be free of charge if they impress Roeder.
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Berner was released by Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season, having failed to make the jump from the Swiss League to the Premier League.
The 30-year-old played for Grasshoppers Zurich, German side Freiburg and FC Basel before moving to Ewood Park for a trial in January, 2007.
He signed an initial 18-month deal, with the option of a further year, and made two appearances before the end of the season.
But he made just four more appearances in league and cup last season and Rovers decided not to take up the option of a further year, releasing him, along with fellow Swiss Stephane Henchoz and goalkeeper Peter Enckelman.
Berner's first league appearance last season was in December against Manchester City -the match in which Norwich assistant referee Darren Cann earned praised from then Rovers boss Mark Hughes after changing his mind and allowing the visitors a late equaliser.
However, Berner is experienced at international level with 16 caps, although he was an unused member of the Swiss Euro 2004 squad in Portugal.
Roeder may well be attracted by Berner's versatility: he can play left-back, central defence, wide left and left midfield.
Barul, 30, is more of an unknown quantity, having played all his football in France. He began his career with Cannes in 1996, before moving to Lens, Nice, back to Lens and then, last season, back to Nice, where he made eight appearances last season.