Revolving door can be a roulette wheel for Norwich City recruiters

PUBLISHED: 20:07 20 April 2017

Can City's new sporting director Stuart Webber repeat the trick and recruit well this summer,  as he did at Huddersfield? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Can City's new sporting director Stuart Webber repeat the trick and recruit well this summer, as he did at Huddersfield? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

In his very first interview after being appointed Norwich City sporting director, Stuart Webber was asked what he thought was the main reason for the club’s struggles and failings over the last couple of seasons.

He said, simply, “poor recruiting” and so it was no surprise that at the end of last week the club terminated the contracts of technical director Ricky Martin and recruitment chiefs Lee Darnborough and Tony Spearing.

Stuart will want people he knows and trusts and has possibly worked with in the past to fill these positions. He knows he needs to get the player recruitment spot on in the next couple of transfer windows as there’s going to be quite a few players leaving at the end of the season because their lucrative contracts have come to an end and they are not going to be renewed.

His and David Wagner’s recruitment at Huddersfield has been exceptional, taking the club from Championship strugglers last season to promotion hopefuls this season. The turnover of players at Huddersfield at the beginning of the season was incredible, with more than 10 new faces arriving through the door – and it’s paid off handsomely for the Terriers.

It’s not an easy task – signing any player is a gamble. However, if you put the hours of hard graft in and do your homework on a player, then you can get value for money, something Norwich have struggled to do in recent transfer windows.

There are good players out there which won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but they aren’t just going to land on your doorstep! You need to travel the length and breadth of the country and even look to Europe. It’s not easy as you are competing with every other club, but, as Webber has already proved at his former club, a good knowledge of European football and hard work really does pay off.

It’s that time of year again when the voting for the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy begins and even though it’s been a disappointing season there are three or four candidates, in my opinion. Last year’s winner Jonny Howson has once again been superb, although he hasn’t performed as well as we know he can since that wonder goal against Nottingham Forest.

Jacob Murphy has done very well in his first full season in the team and scored some valuable goals. His pace has caused problems for numerous defences and I wouldn’t be surprised if some Premier League clubs make inquiries about him in the summer.

Wes Hoolahan has had another very good season, his ninth in a yellow shirt – his contribution of some fantastic goals and so many assists for the team has made him once again a pleasure to watch. Wes is 34 now and has never won the award – maybe his time has come to lift the famous old trophy.

Whatever you think of Cameron Jerome as a player he gives you everything and as supporters you can’t ask for more – he leaves nothing out there on the pitch. Granted he misses his fair share, but he also scores his share and 16 goals in 38 appearances isn’t too shabby if you ask me. If my vote wasn’t swaying towards Wes, and not for sentimental reasons, then big Cameron would be getting my vote.

I was delighted for Chris Hughton on Easter Monday as their 2-1 home win against Wigan secured Brighton’s promotion to the Premier League, and I hope they now go on to win and pip Newcastle to the title.

Chris has taken the club from the foot of the Championship to the promised land and deserves all the credit he gets. Brighton are on a great run of seven wins in their last eight games and will be looking to win the league at Carrow Road on Friday night, which would be Chris’ second Championship title after winning it with Newcastle a few years back.

Chris had a tough time in his second season at Norwich and took a lot of stick, but I’m sure that he and his players will get a very warm and deserved round of applause from the Carrow Road faithful when they take to the pitch.

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