Roeder played Hucks departure all wrong

IT WAS never going to be an easy separation.Norwich City's fans and Darren Huckerby have a special connection.A cherished bond, it appears, the current management underestimated.

IT WAS never going to be an easy separation.

Norwich City's fans and Darren Huckerby have a special connection.

A cherished bond, it appears, the current management underestimated.

Quite why Hucks wasn't allowed a proper farewell 'ceremony' at Sheffield Wednesday (or even better at the QPR game) is a mystery to most right-minded people.

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Clearly Roeder did not make his final decision on Hucks based on his performance at Hillsborough, so why not let the fans know that it was his last game beforehand?

Curious, curious behaviour.

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And let's be honest, a cruel way to end Hucks' time in a yellow shirt.

The Man is very grateful to Dion for his efforts over the past two seasons, and there's no doubt he is a class act.

But when it comes to overall contributions to Norwich City Football Club, there are very few players - especially in the modern era - that can match Darren Huckerby.

Let's be clear, had he not have joined us, we would not have won the league in 2003/4.

So if we want to talk in cold facts, that's over £20m he brought into the club for a start, leaving aside the excitement and inspiration he provided on the pitch.

Dion Dublin - who scored 12 goals for us in 70 games - featured in two of Norwich's worst seasons in the past 30 years.

Yet the latter was afforded a hero's farewell, while Darren Huckerby was kicked out with a bunch of youth team players who should never have been given professional contracts in the first place.

In this context, Hucks has every right to feel “cheated”.

Hucks loves the limelight, and he deserved it.

Again, The Man is not criticising Roeder for his footballing choices, but announcing this decision on Tuesday seemed completely unnecessary.

The Man has never set great value by the views of West Ham fans, as I consider them to be among the most deluded and obnoxious supporters on the planet.

In fact, I remember Hucks having a go at one of them for being foul-mouthed outside Carrow Road at the FA Cup game a few years ago…top man.

The whole “we won the World Cup” routine - right through to the Tevez affair - really gets on my nerves.

But every one of them that I speak to, and The Man tries to do it as little as possible, will dribble on about supposed flaws in Roeder's personality.

In particular, they say he falls out with fans' favourites on some sort of perverse ego trip. The Man really hopes Huckerby has not been sacrificed on a similar altar.

Roeder has got brass balls, that's for sure.

Joe Proton and Doncaster will have warned him that fans would react badly to the timing of this announcement, yet he still did it, for whatever dubious reason.

The Man just hopes that come next season, it does not come back to haunt him.

IN PROBABLY the most stark admission of a prolonged lack of success by any club ever, Ipswich Town this week held an open top bus ride to celebrate their 1978 FA Cup triumph.

Never mind that the current holders are Chelsea, the little old **** were just going to overlook that bit and have themselves a party…pathetic.

Highlights of the match were also shown on a big screen in the town centre on Monday as residents were introduced to the concept of TV for the first time, while Bobby Robson was handed the prestigious Freedom of Ipswich.

Being handed the Freedom of Ipswich is supposedly an honour, although I'm pretty sure it's also a new Government initiative to try and combat prison over-crowding.

The award allows Robson the constitutional right to graze sheep in the Toys R Us car park and shoot a foreigner with a crossbow - although as far as I know such practices have never died out in the Suffolk town.

The glorious parade allowed the **** to ignore the fact they had missed out on the play offs, in a season when they had £12m to spend in January, and there was barely a decent side in the division.

Most **** fans have resolved that going up and missing out on a £60m pay day is a good thing, because they'll go up automatically next year.

No doubt they'll be up there, but with a host of big teams in the division next season, it might not be as easy as Ipswich - one of the longest-serving Championship sides - are expecting it to be.

The relative difficulty of the division next year - simply because so many well-supported teams will be in it, let alone little ones like QPR with cash - raises its own problems for us.

The Man doesn't think we can get away with being useless for half a season again.

As it stands, if Roeder can get us into the top half next season it will be a miraculous achievement. That is not being negative, it is the truth.

The Man thinks it is the season after next that we can really hope to begin to make real progress.

This is the biggest rebuilding project we've had in decades, and it's not straightforward.

If you plot a graph of our final league positions over the past few seasons there is only one direction we are headed - and bigger teams than us have already plunged into League One.

There are definitely signs of hope under Roeder, but we need to remain realistic about what he can achieve in just one summer. OTBC.

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