Webber-lution showing little sign of slowing at Norwich City as legend leaves
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
Including Canaries icon Darren Huckerby in a shake up of academy staff is the latest ruthless move by sporting director Stuart Webber, writes DAVID FREEZER.
Stuart Webber promised he would be ruthless in the pursuit of success when he arrived as Norwich City’s first ever sporting director just over six months ago.
The man who laid the foundations of Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League has been true to his word – but has flown rather close to the sun this week.
Unlike the Greek mythological figure of Icarus, the Welshman has survived that flight, when he became the second man to release City legend Darren Huckerby.
Back in 2008 it was unpopular manager Glenn Roeder, whose era was forever be tarnished by the lack of class shown when deciding not to renew the winger’s contract as a player. This time the release is away from the pitch and sees Huckerby removed from his role of assistant to U23s head coach Matt Gill – a role the pair took on earlier this year.
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Webber has enough Canaries credit in the bank to survive this latest, less dramatic, exit though.
He arrived in April with revolution in the air, as a new management structure was put in place and bold changes were promised.
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Webber said at his first press conference: “The point that this club has got to now is probably a result of three or four bad transfer windows – and I think we’ve reached a tipping point and have to turn that around.”
German head coach Daniel Farke and a new backroom team arrived, with Frankie McAvoy and Dean Kiely eventually following manager Alex Neil to Championship rivals Preston, with the experienced Alan Irvine also leaving.
Technical director Ricky Martin, head of sport science Nick Davies, scouting chiefs Lee Darnbrough and Tony Spearing have all been among the staff cut loose as part of City’s revamp.
The playing squad was also completely overhauled, with 14 players signed during the transfer window, 16 leaving permanently – including big names such as John Ruddy and Jonny Howson – and 10 going out on loan.
Academy manager Richard Money also left recently and has been replaced by Webber’s former Huddersfield ally Steve Weaver.
With this week’s exit of Huckerby due to be followed by first-team head physio Stuart Wardle and the academy’s head of recruitment Gregg Broughton and head of coaching Phil Church, the ‘Webber-lution’ shows little sign of slowing.