Show him the money

The Man In The Stands THERE are times when Carrow Road is a special place. I grant you, that time is not when we are losing at home to Blackpool, and the ground is quieter than an ant peeing on cotton, save for a remedial away fan with a drum.

The Man In The Stands

THERE are times when Carrow Road is a special place.

I grant you, that time is not when we are losing at home to Blackpool, and the ground is quieter than an ant peeing on cotton, save for a remedial away fan with a drum.

But on occasions like the QPR game, when the sun is shining and it's a vibrant yellow, it really is a unique and uplifting place.

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When everyone is up for a game like that; few teams in this division can live with us.

Celebrating survival in the Championship is not really the sort of thing we want to be doing, but in the context of the whole season, it is a wonderful achievement.

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The Man is not afraid to admit that in November he thought we were down. No question.

I couldn't write it: but I certainly thought it.

But to the same degree that the board got the appointment of Peter Grant wrong, they got the selection of Roeder right.

I can still recall Jolly Roger telling us, upon his appointment, that Glenn was experienced in “turnaround” situations.

“Turnaround” was a very delicate way of putting it.

Make no mistake, if this club had slipped into League One, it would have been there for a long time.

We'd have been kicked around that division for many years, it is an absolute bear pit.

So thank you Glenn and Co, it has been an absolute pleasure watching a team that actually looks like it gives a monkey's, which is all many of us want.

But as we all know, this miraculous survival is only phase one of the overhaul.

As things stand there is no reason why we will not be in a relegation scrap again next season.

Glenn has got a lot of work to do - and you can bet he will be giving the board a run for its money this summer.

He will push Doncaster to the absolute limit in a bid to get funds.

So while the board will rejoice in staying in the Championship, it has come at a price.

They now have an experienced and wily manager in their employment, and he won't swallow any excuses.

Privately rookie manager Peter Grant has said that he felt his “hands were tied” by the board last summer.

Whether that is a fair assessment or not, there's no way Roeder will stand for similar treatment.

To borrow one of Doncaster's favourite expressions, The Man expects it to be a “robust” relationship.


THINK back to last August, when everyone was saying Premiership reserve players would rather stay in the stiffs than come to Norwich...

As I recall, at one point even Gunny was wheeled out to deliver the sorry verdict on today's top flight players.

“They'd rather stay at home picking up their wages than uproot themselves all the way over here,” was the general line, as the excuses for our lack of quality recruitment mounted.

Ryan Shawcross chose Stoke instead of us because he wanted to continue his “Hollyoaks” lifestyle in the North West, it was implied.

Maybe the real reason was he wanted to join a team with half a chance of promotion instead?

Roeder has dispelled such a myth over Premier League reserves.

While the senior loan players such as Mo and Taylor have been an absolute credit to their profession, it is the youngsters we've brought in that have really impressed the Man.

Good players are good players because they are motivated for a game at any level, and Ched, Berty, Pearce and Gibbs have all emerged as top blokes.

Quite frankly, their attitude has put certain members of our own academy to shame, which is deeply embarrassing for a club such as ours.

For example, look at Ched rowing with the QPR bench in last weekend's game.

There were 89 minutes gone, they were down to ten men, and we were 3-0 up.

Yet he is still going at it. Wonderful, wonderful stuff - and from a loan player to boot!

Roeder has compared Ched, left, to Shearer. I can definitely see that.

The loan system is not ideal, but I would quite happily have any of those loan players back next season - and The Man would love to see Ched and Bertrand return…

t THE fanaticism of Norwich supporters reached new heights this week as the city's Green Party became the first in national politics to become the opposition group on a council.

The Man can imagine that many people got into the booth - and when presented with the choice of going for red, blue or green - instinctively went for the green.

The idea is somewhat undermined by the Lib Dems' poor results, but maybe they used too much orange in their campaign material?

I like the fact the strongest Green Party in the country is in our city - it shows that we like to do things differently.

t A WONDERFUL encapsulation of English football at the recent PFA awards.

Capello reading out the names - in dreadful English - of the top three players nominated for player of the year...

All of them were foreign.

If anything summed up the dearth of English talent, both on and off the pitch, this was it.

The irony of the situation was not lost on Capello, who said, erm…I couldn't actually understand what he said.

But you could tell from his smile he thought it was rather ridiculous.

Good luck to the guy, but if he can summon a winning team out of what he's got to pick then I'm an Ipswich fan.

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