Roeder to stick with his loan plan
Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder has defended his liberal use of the loan system as he prepares to beg, steal and borrow again this summer. The Canaries manager signed 10 players during his first six months at Carrow Road - and could start the new season with as many as five more on the books.
Glenn Roeder has defended his liberal use of the loan system as he prepares to beg, steal and borrow again this summer.
The Canaries manager signed 10 players during his first six months at Carrow Road - and could start the new season with as many as five more on the books.
His policy of bringing in “fire fighters” last season raised eyebrows among City followers and with some rival managers, but Roeder was unrepentant.
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“One or two people moaned about us and one or two other clubs exploiting it,” he said. “We weren't exploiting anything.
“We were playing within the rules, which you are allowed to do. It was absolute nonsense talk from other managers that we were exploiting the loan system.”
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However, there were concerns among fans, although fears that loan players will dominate to such an extent again may be offset by the obvious need for Roeder to make a significant number of permanent signings this summer to supplement such a threadbare squad.
For him, it was a case of in an emergency, press the red button, with some of his temporary staff proving more valuable than others.
Manchester City striker Ched Evans scored 10 goals in 20 starts, while Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand established himself at left-back, taking over from another loan player, Mo Camara, who had come in from Derby County.
Birmingham central defender Martin Taylor steadied a back four which was later supplemented by Alex Pearce, from Reading, while Roeder turned Matty Pattison's loan deal from Newcastle into a permanent one in January.
Kieran Gibbs impressed at the end of his stint, but there was disappointment when Matthew Bates, brought in from Middlesbrough, suffered a serious knee injury in only his third appearance, while James Henry managed to start just one match before he returned to Reading. Maceo Rigters was his final loan singing but he suffered a hamstring injury in his second run-out as a sub and went back to Blackburn Rovers before the end of the season .
Roeder also used Chelsea's Jimmy Smith, signed by predecessor Peter Grant, and John Hartson, who was brought in from West Brom by caretaker boss Jim Duffy.
The City manager will undoubtedly turn to his Premiership contacts once again this summer, trying to bring back some of the success stories, like Evans and Bertrand, or new faces, with Chelsea's young defender Jack Cork already said to be on his list.
The downside is that some loan players could miss pre-season and the opening of the new campaign, on August 9.
“You might have to wait until the last week before the window closes before a manager can afford to let a lad go, even just for one window,” he said.
“We need to get in our signings first, our contracted players and leave some room for whether it be three, four, who knows, five loans at the start of the season.”
Roeder was highly impressed by Gibbs, and always denied accusations that he played him simply to keep Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger happy. However, he may struggle to get Gibbs back, with Wenger worried that he was under-employed, just like Gunners' colleague Mark Randall at Burnley.
“They didn't play a lot and that's why it's sometimes disappointing you give them up to Championship teams and they don't play,” said Wenger. “You want to play for Arsenal, you have at least to play in the Championship. When you go somewhere, you are a sub, on the bench, or somewhere, you cannot come back and say 'I have to play for Arsenal', because if you don't play in the Championship team it's difficult. For me it's very important to get them out and to see them play.
“For us it' part of education, to have a period of your life to play in a team and have responsibilities and to be under pressure and show how well you can in the Championship. So it's just you get used to realise that life is not as easy as it looks in the football world.”
Roeder didn't get all his own way with loan players, with Manchester United starlet Febian Brandy revealing he turned down a move to Carrow Road last season to join Swansea City's push for Championship football.
The 19-year-old striker hit three goals during his 21-game loan from Old Trafford, including the winner at Brighton, moments before collecting his League One championship winner's medal.
“I had an offer to go on loan to Norwich, a Dutch club and a few others, but Sir Alex recommended Swansea,” said Brandy. “I'm glad he did because I really enjoyed it there.
“It was a very good experience for me. I didn't know anything about the club before I joined but the more time I spent there I realised what a good club it was, what a good team it was and what good football they played.
“And it was great to win the title with them but to be honest I didn't play as many games as I would have liked.”
Brandy's Manchester United contract expires this summer but is believed to be ready to sign a new long-term deal with the Champions League finalists.
t Ched Evans has been pulled out of the Wales U21s' game with England at Wrexham tomorrow because he is wanted by his club for a tour to Thailand.
Evans could feature in John Toshack's senior squad for the first time for the friendlies against Holland and Iceland.