Date:Thursday December 7 2006
Vital Norwich City Editor Richard answers our questions about his side this week. We ask him about Peter Grant, Nigel Worthington, Delia Smith and more...
1. How has Peter Grant settled in at the club and is he the right choice?
He is a total turnaround from Nigel Worthington. He is very passionate and speaks from the heart, even if his choice of words can leave much to be desired. He has, in the past, labelled Birmingham fans as well as Norwich fans a 'disgrace': Brummy fans for booing Steve Bruce ans us for not being loud enough when we played Hull at home. When he played for us he earned the nickname Peter the Pointer; you will see why when you watch his antics in the technical area.
2. What were your opinions on Nigel Worthington's sacking?
I am one that called for his dismissal, so his going was only a good thing so far as I was concerned. It took the board two seasons to see what the fans could, declaring that, because he had got us up once, he could do it again. When the rumours started about a possible interest at Wednesday, I really feared for you. He not only reached his own limits, he was insulting the fans almost every other week when he declared that he was in charge and that it didn't matter what we thought!
3. What's it like having Delia as chairperson?
This is two-edged sword. Whilst it is a good thing to have a celebrity at the helm, there are quite a few drawbacks. She isn't really a football-minded person. For example, she swore by Nigel Worthington and his predecessor, Bryan Hamilton. Now she swears that Peter Grant will take us back to the Premiership, but she doesn't see that good players cost money. She was swayed by West Ham's £7.5m bid for Dean Ashton, whilst we were (and are) desperate for strong, front men. And we can never forget her half-time sound-bite against Man City. 'Let's be 'avein' you' is now a local war cry, and it cannot be long before a new road in Norwich gets called Letsby Avenue!
4. What were your expectations at the start of the season and what are they now?
Without intending to sound arrogant, we truly expected to be in the top three or four; after all, on paper our squad is the envy of many a manager. Unfortunately, the players are inconsistent; we are slowly realising that Worthington was made to suffer because of the players. Our hopes are pinned on some activity in the January transfer window as Peter Grant gets in the players he wants to play his way. As things stand, we still hope for a play-off place.
5. Who are your danger men?
Robert Earnshaw and Darren Huckerby are most likely to cause problems, although it depends on whether or not Earnshaw gets the right service and Huckerby can bother to turn up!. Again, depending on which Norwich side turn up on the day, Etuhu, Safri and young Robert Eagle can get good balls in to Earnie, and Etuhu and Safri like scoring from a long way out.
6. What are your weaknesses?
As you might have gathered, on some days the whole team is our weakness. The fans can get extremely edgy, which unsettles the players apparently. I don't really want to single out any player, but our midfield can occasionally blend in with the background, leaving Earnie to go too deep to be effective.
7. What's your most memorable Norwich v Wednesday match?
I would have to say the game at Hillsborough in February, 2003. We started very brightly, in the typical Norwich fashion of neat, passing play. The second half saw the wheels fall off and Wednesday not only got back into the game, but managed to finish with a a 2-2 draw. It might not be a fanatic's idea of a good game, but I found it taught our side a lesson that, no matter how sweetly you play, if you lift your foot off the pedal, you let others in. And Hillsborough is a nice place to visit.
8. If you could take one Wednesday player to Norwich who would it be and why?
I would have to say Kenny Lunt. He was a target when Worthington was here, and we have only ever found that Dario Grady graduates have a great deal to offer. Something Norwich is missing is another midfielder who is prepared to get stuck in, along with Safri.
9. If you could send one Norwich player to Wednesday who would it be and why?
That's a cruel question. who do we need to get rid of? Well, there are two contenders at the moment. Both Worthington follies. Andy Hughes, although he is improving at last, runs around like there is no tomorrow, but seems to forget that the idea of football is to score goals and pass the ball in the direction of the intended target. Carl Robinson is another that some say is improving, but I can't see it. Worthington played a zone defence and Robinson seems to be stuck in that mode. He seems to be frightened of getting stuck in. He has had nine different clubs in his career, and Worthington is the only manager to ever pay money for him!
10. Who are your tips for promotion?
Another tricky one. At the moment, the league is wide open. Although Birmingham is two points clear at the top, even we are only eleven points behind them, and the Christmas period could change everything around. Preston could be in with a shout with Birmingham. I think Cardiff will fall away as with Wolves, who seem to fail miserably after the New Year. I see a battle amongst Southampton, Palace, Wednesday and Norwich, along with Birmingham and Preston fighting it out for the top six places.
11. What do you think the score will be?
Oh, gawd. We are so inconsistent it is difficult to say. The players are under no delusions that they will lose the crowd if they lack any fight, and Wednesday always gives us a good encounter. With home advantage, I would have to plump for 2-1 to Norwich.
Cheers Richard! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and good luck for the rest of the season...
Why not check out the Vital Norwich City site now to see all the news and views from the Canaries side in the run up to Saturday's match? Vital Norwich City
NEXT UP - BIRMINGHAM CITY...
Date:Thursday December 7 2006
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