Unloved, but Roeder is doing a fair job

The Man In The Stands THE Man thinks it would be fair to say that Glenn Roeder is not exactly the most-loved Norwich manager of all time. A neutral might have thought that after saving us from the abyss that is League One last season he would have been a honorary Norfolk boy by now.

The Man In The Stands

THE Man thinks it would be fair to say that Glenn Roeder is not exactly the most-loved Norwich manager of all time.

A neutral might have thought that after saving us from the abyss that is League One last season he would have been a honorary Norfolk boy by now.

Alas, Mr Roeder has shown himself to be a bit lacking in the PR stakes - and therefore his stock is not as high as it could have been, results aside.


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The Man is not going to defend Roeder for any of his off-field antics, but I would point to one shining example of why he ain't that bad at all: Lee Croft.

Cast your mind back about a year ago and you will recall we had a podgy looking winger who couldn't even last 90 minutes, let alone summon the wit to hit a barn door with a banjo.

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The Man wasn't alone in shouting “don't shoot” whenever Crofty had the ball near the goal. Yet Roeder and his staff have worked on Croft, and I assume he is now what Glenn calls a “proper footballer” as well as a “first rate human being”.

The sad news is of course that because Croft is good now he's very likely to be leaving the club at the end of the season. Ho hum; such is life. The point is that while I understand there is a lot of hostility towards Roeder, I really don't think it's fair to underplay what a tough job he's got on his hands, and that he is actually making a half-decent fist of it. Not since Gary Megson told the players to go home and take their phones off the hook has a Norwich manager had to work under such stringent conditions. And that is not Roeder's fault.

t THEY'LL NEVER GET 'THEIR ROVERS' BACK WARRIORS

BLACKBURN Rovers fans (both of them) angrily chanted “we want our Rovers back” as their side slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Wigan last weekend.

The defeat proved to be the final straw for the powers that be at Ewood Park, and Paul Ince was booted out.

The Man doesn't really have an opinion on Ince, he was a rather odious opponent for us to face over the years, but I don't bear any particular malice in his direction.

Blackburn fans on the other hand are a different story…

When they were chanting “we want our Rovers back” it would have helped if they had explained exactly which version of their tinpot club they “wanted back”.

Presumably it is the bank-rolled, £5m for Chris Sutton, top six, qualifying for Europe version they “want back”. Not the pre-Jack Walker third division make-weights their pitiful support deserves.

Football fans can talk long into the night about how the game has turned sour, but there is no doubt some of the attitudes in the stands have gone awry as well.

If Blackburn fans honestly believe they will ultimately end up anywhere other than League One in the post-Walker era they are very much mistaken. They are not a Premier League club, they are not really a Championship club. They couldn't even fill their ground in the Champions League for heavens sake.

So the good news is Rovers' fans, you will get your Blackburn back, after relegation, and after the Sky money runs out. And it'll be the poxy lower league team you deserve.

t ANORAKS ARE SHOCKED BY A POWER CUT

PROOF that when the football gods have got it in for you, they've really got it in for you.

The Man heard a tale of two Norwich fans who were so depressed by the club's current malaise they decided to go to Dagenham versus Exeter last weekend rather than take in our inevitable defeat at Reading.

The underlying intention of the trip was to tick off another league ground, in the somewhat peculiar pursuit of trying to see a match at every league venue before death. Personally, I'd take such an achievement as something of an indictment, but whatever floats your boat chaps. However, imagine the mirth that erupted from the Dagenham Two's pals at the Madejski Stadium when a text came through to say the game in Essex had been called off due to a power cut. Heated debate has followed as to whether the pair have the right to tick Dagenham's ground off their dirty list, having not seen a completed fixture there. The Man says no, but I would say that as I'm a bit of a rotter.

As a footnote, The Man fully understands why an opposition fan would boycott a trip to Reading. The Royals pretty much sum up everything that is crap about going to football these days.

An inaccessible plastic stadium named after a Big Ego who has helped bankroll undeserved success. A set of fans who expect their team to win as they only started going when Reading got good, and don't know that they are actually punching vastly above their weight.

And a battalion of stewards who think it's their job to ruin the day for proper football fans who've been loyal enough to shell out the best part of £60 and travelled 200 miles to sit (don't stand!) in the godforsaken, sanitised dump. And to think we once gave them a £500,000 cheque for Andy Hughes too!

t DONS GET THE CULLEN FACTOR CULLEN

FORMER Canary ticket guru Andrew Cullen has wasted no time in implanting his ethos at MK Dons.

A quick trawl of Franchise FC's website shows they have now found enough fans to set up “brand new Supporter Consultation Groups” (SCGs). The SCG has been much-maligned by some in these quarters, but if it's alright by Cullen it's alright by me.

While on the subject of MK Dons, it was interesting to also note from their website that they held a fans' forum this month involving sales and marketing director Andy Cullen, and finance director Shaun O'Hara. Remember him folks? He used to be our finance bod before leaving Carrow Road for a career in biofuels. Now he's back in the game at promotion-chasing MK.

So not to worry Mr Doncaster, if you miss out on that much-coveted job at the FA, it seems there'll always be a place for people Norwich can no longer afford to employ at mighty Milton Keynes. Anyone else get the worrying feeling they might come whistling past us in a few years?

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