Gone Fishing – NUFC v Norwich City FC (23/9/12)

Thanks to the members from pinkun.com for participating (thread here)


A few clubs find themselves with new managers this season, what are your thoughts on the old guard and new?

  • Jimmy Smith: Lambert and co did an unbelieveable job that we should forever feel thankful for. He has gone to his next stepping stone now though and if he is anywhere near as good at Villa, he will end up at a big club as he aspires to do. What we have to remember is that he is not a Norwich fan, he owes us nothing. As for Hughton, he has a great track record. Seems that he isn’t a very demending manager and will be easy for the board to give a low budget to, i just hope this isn’t his downfall
  • Aggy: I’ll answer primarily from an NCFC point of view here. Lambert was to most of us a messiah. He achieved absolute miracles here and it was a sad day when he left. Hughton is a completely different style, which might take some getting used to for fans and players alike. But I think he’ll do us a good job. As for the other sides – Laudrup at Swansea I was very impressed with, but there were a few strange choices as well – Rodgers at Liverpool being one, in my opinion. I’d be surprised if he’s there very long.
  • Jacko: Obviously it was bitterly disappointing that Lambert choose to leave. Particularly to a team which I don’t think will allow him to scale the heights he is capable of whilst presenting great risk to the reputation he has built, but I am delighted to have got Hughton on board. He was the outstanding candidate for me. The other choices being mooted at the time looked pretty mediocre by comparison.
  • technika: lambert was a don, hughton is scared to take a risk from what ive seen so far which means its tighter at the back and unimaginative going forward
  • lake district canary: Looking for an improvement from Lambert.  He was great to see us safe in our first season in the prem, but development was required and he wasn’t up for it.   Its good he went and we have a better experienced manager for this level.  Signs are promising, despite a freak result in the first game. We are unbeaten since then, just need our strikers to get going now.
  • Mister Chops: Losing He Who Must Not Be Named was a wrench, but it was always a bit like dating a supermodel.  You hoped she’d stay but knew she was a bit out of your league.  Anyway, she met us when we had a terraced house and left us in a mansion so it’s not all bad.  Is Hughton the man to take us forward?  Time will tell.  His record is okay, though I worry when people talk about managers being “really nice men”.  What reception will your fans give him?
  • sgncfc: We have a much stronger squad than last season and under Hughton will be tighter but less fun to watch. I’m less sure about Calderwood’s influence – his record suggests he is a very negative coach who doesn’t rate Holt.
  • QHcanary: I’m happy with CH, but never felt like there were other outstanding candidates for the job. I don’t really blame Paul Lambert for leaving. By refusing him permission to talk to Villa we effectively forced him to resign. I get the feeling he’s a man of principle. Had we allowed him to talk to Villa he might have stayed when they turned out to not be the promised land he was hoping for, but our refusal compelled him to leave of his own volition. Nobody wants to see their old boss succeed when they bugger off though, do they?

Swansea got huge amounts of praise last season and yet you finished level on points, is there any resentment or are you glad of flying under the radar a little?

  • technika: no one cares about swansea
  • Jimmy Smith: Let them have their pretty football, we’ll see who fares better this time out…
  • Mister Chops: Ah, Swansalona.  If I wanted to see players pass it backwards and sideways all day long, I’d make them my second team.  Good luck to them, any “small” club that can make the Match of the Day team orgasm are obviously doing something right.
  • Aggy: Not really. I think we got a reasonable amount of recognition, but we’re not really here to please Lawrenson and Shearer (although apparently that’s all some posters on here seem to care about!) We’re here to stay up and eventually establish ourselves as a prem side. Did it last year, couldn’t care what Swansea did, how much praise they got, or where they end up this season.
  • Jacko: I don’t hold any resentment about it at all. Swansea have their passing style and we were slightly more functional trying to get the ball forward quickly turning the opposition around. Both teams have enjoyed incredible success with their respective systems. At the moment the more patient passing style is in vogue because of the success of Barcelona and Spain. So it is no surprise Swansea get more attention.
  • Yorkshire Canary: Swansea played the better football last season imo and despite their loss of manager and players have come out of the traps far better than Norwich in the first few games.I thought they may struggel, the early signs are that they will not
  • QHcanary: No resentment at all. I’d like to see us get a bit more of the praise we deserved last season, but Swansea deserve theirs. It’s good to watch, if a little inconsistent.

Delia; Is she bat crap crazy?

  • BroadstairsR: I love Delia to bits and am totally appreciative of her financial and passionate contribution to our Club over the years. She is a high profile person and our Club becomes so because of that. Some on here disagree.
  • Aggy: She splits the fan base a bit. Some see her as an embarrassment, some as having done a great job for the club. She perhaps got a bit of ribbing after the Man City half time drunken speech, but I can’t grumble about her to be honest.
  • technika: yes, quite clearly, shes a drunk old mare who needs to hurry up and sell to some billionaire russians/arabs/japanese
  • Jacko: She will be forever be remembered for that incident against Man City. But she has been absolutely fantastic for Norwich City and I honestly don’t know where we would be without her. She cares deeply for the club and have backed the club strongly against sizeable losses despite not being “wealthy” in footballing terms. She hasn’t always made the most shrewd decisions on the football front but deserves credit for delegating that responsible to David McNally our CEO who is a very shrewd and canny operator. We owner need to look down the road at the binners to see a glamorous owner isn’t always the answer.
  • Mister Chops: Is Mike Ashley fat?  She must be crazy to sink a huge proportion of her personal wealth into a football club when you look at some of the vilification and abuse she gets for either (a) not being as rich as the sheiks, or ( b ) getting a little bit tipsy in earshot of a Sky Sports microphone one drunken night at Eastlands a few years ago.  Yes, mistakes have been made in the hiring of senior club executives (Neil Doncaster was given far too much leeway to drive our club onto the rocks) but this has been corrected and the new exec team know what they are doing and look like they are in it for the long haul.
  • QHcanary: Yeah, I think so, but in a good way. Say what you like about her, but her support has helped us survive and get to where we are today. I’d rather have her than become another QPR.

Often clubs that come up have to put up with a fair bit of patronising nonsense from pundits and other fans, have you felt that?

  • Jimmy Smith: Massively, we are still considered relegation fodder and so the likes of Lawro and Shearer give us no hope, I do find it a bit ignorant sometimes, but i suppose we’ll just have to keep proving them wrong.
  • Mister Chops: Absolutely, all the time.  You expect it from other fans, even the ones who think “a small town in Ipswich” is geographically correct.  You expect a little more respect from pundits, but anyone who thinks Mark Lawrenson is worth listening to is probably beyond help.
  • Aggy: I don’t think so really. A pundit’s job is to give his opinion on who is going to struggle etc. They can only do that based on general footballing predictions and assumptions. So when we first came up, we got written off because we didn’t have much money and were a bit unknown. We got more praise at the end of last season when we put in some good performances. new manager, slightly uninspiring transfer window (if you’re looking in from the outside) and an average-at-best start this year, I think it’s fair for pundits to see us struggling a bit at the end of the year.
  • Jacko: Sadly that is par for the course and I think some of the punditry has been appalling. I think the way Alan Shearer completely dismissed us out of hand last week despite a pretty decent showing against West Ham was lazy and ill considered. But you have to take it all with a pinch of salt. If Mark Lawrenson’s predictions transferred into reality Liverpool would have won about 7 titles in the last decade. As it is they are some way short of that!
  • technika: you tell us, wasnt that long back that you came back up ;)
  • sgncfc: Pundits, the media, the England set up are all stupidly biased towards the supposed big clubs. England picking Sterling/Oxlade Chamberlain etc instead of Nathan Dyer from Swansea is all you need to know to show that; and don’t ge me started on Andy Carroll instead of Peter Crouch for the Euro’s.

What do you think of the current Newcastle side?

  • Jacko: I think it’s a fantastic side. Particularly the central midfield. I think virtually any team in the league would be thrilled to have either Tiote or Cabaye when fit and on song. Where they fall down for me is at right back and there also not enough depth in the squad meaning pretty poor players like Williamson are relied upon too often.
  • Jimmy Smith: Very good! Strikers are top notch, as is Ben Arfa and the rest of the engine room, the squad is still very thin though and key injuries really show, like when we beat you 4-2 last season. I’m hoping Coloccini is injured still.
  • Aggy: Tricky one. Last season there were a few players who seemed to come out of nowhere or who you wouldn’t have said were going to have the impact they ended up having, at least from my viewpoint looking in. At this point of the season, it’s perhaps premature to say whether they’ll repeat it or if it was a bit of a one season thing. But I think you should be top 8 fairly easily.
  • Mister Chops: I like them.  Early days but you look a bit fragile away from home. However, you have creativity and muscle going forward, and when you have a player like Demba Ba kicking his heels then you know competition for places is getting the best out of key players.  If you can’t fit him in the side, we’ll swap him for Steve Morison.
  • sgncfc: I also don’t think Newcastle will be up there – distinctly mid table I think. Too dependent on injury prone players and not enough new blood to keep the impetus going. But Demba Ba was one of the best strikers I saw at Carra last season and if you can keep him happy he will always score goals for you (just hope he’s still upset tomorrow!)

Which Norwich player do you predict will have a big season?

  • Aggy: Snodgrass. At least I hope so, we’re going to need someone like him from the midfield to have a big season if we’re going to score the goals to stay up.
  • Jacko: At the moment I think Seb Bassong could be really important for us. He seems to have stamped his influence on the back four. He is always talking and organising which was very noticeable against Spurs. It is a big year for him as he could well become damaged goods if he gets a 3rd relegation on the CV.
  • lake district canary: Ruddy will be fantastic and one of the reasons we will stay up.   Jackson too has started well and has something to prove.
  • Mister Chops: John Ruddy will be busy and I think he might get the England jersey if Joe Hart continues to flap about.
  • QHcanary : Snoddy a nd Bassong are the obvious choices at the moment. They’ve made the biggest impact in their respective positions IMO. Garrido also looks like a great signing, combining calmness on the ball with defensive nous. I’m hopeful that Jacob Butterfield will come good too. We’ll end up playing 4-5-1 at some point this season, and he looks like he could slot in well behind the lone man, with Tettey and Fox behind him, hopefully.

Which Norwich player do you predict will have a disappointing season?

  • Jimmy Smith:  Hate to say it, but i’m still waiting for Holt to get up and running this year, other than that, i just hope at least one of our strikers can get some goals, we appear a bit thin there.
  • Mister Chops: Grant Holt held out for a three year deal, got it, and has played well below expectations so far.  He will always be a club hero for the past three seasons but his summer tantrum over money has soured things a little and the longer he goes without a goal, the harder it’ll be to forget.
  • Yorkshire Canary I fear many of the Norwich squad will not be as effective as last season. On a bright front i think bassong and Snodgrass will stand out in a desperate relegation fight
  • sgncfc: I suspect this season might prove to be one too far for Hoolahan.
  • QHcanary: I’m confident that all of the squad who make more than a couple of appearances will make some sort of telling contribution, but looking back at last season, and then the summer, Holt has the furthest to fall. He’s started poorly, but has that convenient habit of making you eat your words.

What’s a realistic aim for Norwich this season? Where have you strengthened to achieve this?

  • Jimmy Smith: I would be delighted with anything 17th and above again. Defence, massively improved, Bassong will be a massive player for us, as he showed in geordieland.
  • Jacko:  Survival has to be the main aim. It’s a big year for us. We have a modest budget in relation to other Premiership teams because we are in the final year of paying off all our external debt to creditors. If we can ride this year out we will have increased financial muscle and are hopefully set for a decent stay in the top flight. At the moment our Achilles heal has been our inability to take chances. But we simply can’t afford £8 million for someone like Jordan Rhodes and that is the end of it really.
  • lake district canary: To match 12th place where we finished last season. Midfield and defence.  We are simply going to be a strong outfit from back to front.
  • Mister Chops: It’s dangerous to say this on a rival fan’s website before we play you, but our defence (in the general sense) is much better organised than under He Who Must Not Be Named.  We have sacrificed some attacking intent to achieve this and people are convinced the goals will come; I’m less optimistic and see us finishing 16th with too many draws which we should have converted into victories (already QPR, West Ham and Spurs fit this category).
  • sgncfc: Realistically, staying up will be good, but as the season pans out I expect us to be comfortable, around 14th.

Who will win the Premier League this year and why?

  • Aggy:   I’m going to go United. Hurting after how last season finished. And Fergie is the sort of animal you fear when wounded.
  • Jacko   : Man U td for me. I think Van Persie’s goals will prove to be absolutely priceless this season
  • technika: manure – because man city cant defend for toffee and look like a bunch of over paid satisfied smug wankers this year
  • lake district canary:  Don’t know why but I think the Arse will have a good season.
  • Mister C hops: Manchest er United. Ferguson always bounces back and Mancini’s like a spoiled kid who can’t decide what his favourite toys are.
  • QHcanary: I’ll buck the trend here and say Chelsea, with the caveat that Torres needs to start scoring regularly. Their midfield is amazing, but they can’t rely on them for all the goals. I’d actually be pleased for RDM if he could pull it off.

How do you see the top 6 panning out? and why?

  • Jimmy Smith: Man U, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Newcastle
  • Aggy: Man Utd, City, Chelsea, Arsenal – because that’s pretty standard. 5th and 6th more tricky. I’ll stick my neck out and say Spurs and Everton – you maybe sneaking in above Everton.
  • Jacko: Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Newcastle. I have omitted Liverpool because they are very ordinary and Spurs I have also omitted because I simply don’t understand AVBs footballing philosophy.
  • technika: utd, man city, chelsea, arsenal, spurs, sunderland
  • lake district canary: Would love to see some different teams up there, but money probably the usual suspects
  • Mister Chops: Man U/Man City/Arsenal/Chelsea/Everton/Spurs.  My crystal ball never lies.
  • sgncfc: Manure will win the title. Chelsea and City will push them close, followed by Arsenal, Everton and Spurs. I don’t see Liverpool featuring in the top 6 this year.
  • QHcanary: Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Everton, Toon. Everton take Spurs’  place as they’ve added the goals and creativity to their defensive solidity. Spurs look a little confused under AVB.

Which teams will be relegated and why?

  • Aggy:  Southampton and Reading, not good enough. Then either QPR or Wigan. If QPR ‘click’ even a little bit, they should pull clear, but they could also implode and end up embarrassing themselves. I’ll say Wigan to go down
  • Jacko:  Reading and Southampton will go for me. Reading remind me of the Norwich team that got promoted in 2004. Very workmanlike and organised but lacking quality in key areas. While Southampton have found themselves in a dogfight from day 1 due to their difficult start rather like Bolton did last year. I am also going to say Wigan. I have no logical explanation to back this up. I am just fed up with them because they offer so little to the Premiership as a club.
  • Mister Chops:  Reading and Southampton look naive, and team spirit only gets you so far.  It’s probably time that Wigan Athletic returned to the Championship without Moses to lead them to the promised land, if you’ll excuse the uncool biblical reference.
  • sgncfc:  Southampton, Reading are most peoples favourites to go down and both have shown how much work they have to do – I can’t see either of them getting 40 points. I also think West Ham and QPR will struggle, as will Wigan and Swansea and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a certain Aston Villa taking part in a relegation battle, though I don’t see them actually going down.
  • QHcanary : Southam pton, Reading and QPR. Hopefully. Southampton look like they’re going to concede far too many to get by. Reading still look like a Championship side. QPR are a horrible club going about billionaire ownership in the worst possible fashion.

Which new Premier League players are you looking forward to seeing?

  • Jimmy Smith:  Eden Hazard has started well, as has Carzorla, also looking forward to Wilshire returning
  • Ag gy: H azard and Snodgrass!
  • technika: michu looks a bargain, kagawa, hazard & marin were way over priced but look quality buys, i would also like to add whoever the quality striker is we sign in january, hopefully he can work his magic before its too late, can we have demba ba please?
  • lake district canary: Butterfield.
  • Mister Chops: Cazorla, Oscar, Kagawa, Hazard, and Granero at QPR looks like he’ll be a handful when he settles in.

Who will be your danger man/men against Newcastle?

  • Jimmy Smith: Kane looked promising vs West Ham, and maybe nerves got the better of him that day, i think he’ll be more ruthless if he gets chances like that again. Holt will also be chomping at the bit to get going.
  • Jacko: Robert Snodgrass will be a big influence again for me. He has been at the centre of most things that have been good about us creatively so far. Simeon Jackson has also been excellent in recent matches offering both a threat in behind and the ability to up hold and protect the ball effectively.
  • technika: john ruddy, we cant score for shit so the only way we wont lose is if he has a blinder
  • lake district canary: All of them. We are overdue a couple of goals – and have plenty of ability in that department, as last season showed.

Which Newcastle players are you worried about?

  • Jimmy Smith: Demba and Demba and Ben Arfa but mainly Coloccini if he plays, massive player for you.
  • Jacko: Ben Arfa. On his day he can win a game in a matter of seconds. Cisse has been ominously quiet
  • technika: all of them, apart from ameobi, hes worse than wilbraham
  • lake district canary: None of them, I am sure they will be able to cope with being beaten by us……………
  • Mister Chops: Cisse, Ben Arfa, Cabaye.  And Ba off the bench.

Finally, what do you reckon the score will be?

  • Jimmy Smith: 1-1
  • Aggy: 2-1 Newcastle seems sensible, but I’ve got a sneaky feeling we might pinch 3 points, so 2-1 City.
  • Jacko: 1-1. Solid point where we cash in on injuries to Krul, Tiote and Coloccini.
  • technika: sadly i suspect its a home win, lots of people on here were saying it would be easier because of your lot having tired legs, what they didnt think about was the fact that no decent sized team in the premier league takes the early tin pot europa *** cup serious and that you would put your reserves out. If city play the solid with no threat tactics we have been it will be no goals for norwich, you might (~probably) will score. If city go for it it might be a different matter
  • lake district canary: Our defence is mean these days and getting better.  Goal scorers itching to get going, but I’ll settle for a sneaky 1-0 to us.
  • Mister Chops: I’m going to say 2-2 on the grounds that our strikers will find some form and Hughton will get a deservedly friendly reception which should keep the crowd off the City players’s backs.
  • sgncfc: Tomorrow I think we will be OK – result could go any way, I think the teams are quite evenly matched to be honest, but I’m thinking Snodgrass and Holt will lead us to a 2-1 win. Howson and Johnson will be important to stop your creative players an will need Ruddy to be on top form. I also expect Fox to start instead of Jackson up front and Pilkington to return in place of Surman.
  • QHcanary: A win either way by the odd goal.


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