We're not as big a club as we believe

TO THE poor deluded souls who actually thought we were going to be competitive this season - The Man hopes the Hull and Cardiff games have adjusted your ambitions accordingly.

TO THE poor deluded souls who actually thought we were going to be competitive this season - The Man hopes the Hull and Cardiff games have adjusted your ambitions accordingly.

If we are going to be involved in any sort of battle this season, it is far more likely to be at the bottom of the league than the top.

I do not blame Peter Grant for this; it takes more than one summer to overhaul a criminally neglected squad - especially when you lose three of your best players.

The simple fact is that we are not even in the second tier of clubs in this division at the moment. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but we have to stomach it.

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Right now The Man would put us alongside the likes of Preston, Plymouth and Barnsley in terms of stature and ambition.

At a fans' event in the summer The Man overheard Andy Turner saying how the club “had really pushed the boat out this summer - we want to have a crack at it.”

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I'm delighted to see Turner is on-board; but I really fail to see how making a considerable profit on transfers this summer constitutes “pushing the boat out.” Please let's not kid ourselves: it's not fair on Grant, and it's not fair on the supporters. We are an average (and small) squad, with a very light smattering of quality.

After the Cardiff game Curo said Grant had given the players a bit of a telling off, PG had told them they were playing for a big club, and should be closing out a game like that at home.

Good: I don't like to hear excuses.

But we are only a big club in so much as the number of people that turn up to watch. There is nothing “big” about anything else we do. Cardiff had Fowler and Hasselbaink up front.

I'm not saying I'd want either of them: but in my book that makes them a bigger club than us. They are trying to make things happen, albeit with the ominous and unwanted hand of Ridsdale at work.

Once again The Man heard how we really deserved more from the game against Cardiff. The Man does not buy that for one second.

After the game Dave Jones said that was by far the worst his side had played so far this season, and it was the first time they had come back from one goal down to win a game for two years!

It is tin hats time people, this is the road we are going down…

It strikes me a board such as ours has two options, (a) they either throw the accountants out of the window and go for broke one season.

Or (b) - as is the current tactic - desperately try and maintain a mid-table squad while avoiding administration.

Each tactic has its perils, but it could be argued that they only really differ in timescales.

With option (a) your club either succeeds or goes down the pan within two seasons, or option (b) the club miraculously gets promoted one season in 10, or it slowly withers and dies.

The Man just got the feeling after the hauntingly familiar defeat to Cardiff that we were witnessing death by a thousand cuts. Whereas last season we'd be angry about a defeat like that, now we are just resigned to it.

I don't blame the board, they are now between a rock and a hard place, but I think we have a right to feel a little disappointed that a club that got the best crowd in the division last Saturday (by 6,000), and better than four Prem games, isn't really able to compete.

It just doesn't feel right, but I guess that's just how football is these days. It's all about the dollar; nothing else counts.

Hopefully over the coming seasons Grant will be able to muster a Coppell-like promotion charge from nowhere; but he's got one hell of a job on.

As one of The Man's pals says - which is probably right - the sad truth is Norwich City won't truly mix it again until football reverts to being unfashionable again.


IT OCCURRED to The Man last week that the architecture surrounding Carrow Road is becoming more and more like Ceaucescu's Romania.

There seems to have been an obsession with building flats and high-density accommodation.

Every time I take the Long March along the famous old road another block of flats seems to have popped up.

But that's not going to be the end of it…

As we all the know the club has a final section of land to sell off for development, which is likely to involve residential development.

As far as The Man understands, the club will be set for a windfall similar to the £6 million it got for the car park next to the Wensum.

What is perhaps more interesting is what is going to happen to that money.

From what The Man hears MWJ is keen on throwing it at the team, whereas Turner reckons it should pay off some of our debt.

It'll be interesting to see where it goes.


MAYBE I imagined it, but I don't think so.

But didn't Grant unearth a cracking young player called Chris Martin last season?

In a team painfully devoid of creativity at the moment The Man thinks it's high time to find a place for CM.

If it means reworking the formation, then so be it.

I simply do not believe that Martin is not one of the ten best outfield players at the club.

Get him in.


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