Opinion: An ode to Norwich City’s wing wizard Wes Hoolahan

Wes Hoolahan - On his way? Or will he stay? Wes Hoolahan - On his way? Or will he stay?

David Powles
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
11:14 AM

By Friday evening Wes Hoolahan may no longer be a Norwich City player. Columnist David Powles pays tribute to his efforts in the yellow and green.

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A quiz teaser for you.

Once Wes Hoolahan leaves (and let’s face it if he doesn’t go by Friday it seems certain he will by the start of next season) there will be just two players left on Norwich’s books who appeared during the club’s season in League One.

One is Russell Martin - but you might find the second harder to guess (answer at the bottom).

For that reason it will be another symbolic moment in the modern day history of Norwich City and the squad transformation into ‘Hughton’s Men’ rather than ‘some of Paul Lambert’s as well’.

With such uncertainty now feels like a good time to pay tribute to his efforts, rather than mull over the rights and wrongs of his eventual departure (it’s wrong in case you can’t guess where I stand).

Canaries supporters have been so privileged to witness a player in the mould of the Irishman during his 200-plus games at the club.

So few clubs are lucky enough to possess someone of his type, one whom can transform a game with one pass, then take your breath away with a piece of skill or stun with his guile and invention.

What has really impressed me about Wes during his time at the club is his ability to not only adapt his play, but resurrect himself when the chips are down.

Arriving at the club under Glenn Roeder he looked like a decent winger, who scored a few goals, but could not be relied upon to help out defensively.

It took just two games for Roeder to turn on him, and then when Lambert arrived he looked to be on his way out, put instantly on the transfer list.

On both occasions he forced his way back in to the team and, especially under Lambert, brought new elements into his game, namely defensive work, tackling and I think he even won the odd header.

I also know from a friend who used to work at the club, he is often regarded as the fittest of all our players, scoring top in the infamous bleep test.

Not that this is the reason why we’ve all enjoyed watching ‘Wessi’ over the last four years - it’s simply another factor that made him so good.

Hoolahan is the type of player who doesn’t come around too often.

The sort of player only a handful of teams can boast they have had the pleasure to call their own.

The sort of player who does something in a game that makes the cost of a ticket worth every penny.

Whatever the circumstances behind his departure, wherever he ends up, I just want to say thank you Wes - the pleasure has been all ours.

 

*It’s Declan Rudd by the way - currently on loan at Preston.

 

THIS IS A PREVIEW PIECE OF DAVID POWLES’ FORTNIGHTLY COLUMN WHICH WILL APPEAR IN THURSDAY’S EDP AND EVENING NEWS.

36 comments

  • To paraphrase Meatloaf, `1 out of 6 aint bad`.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Q. What does this and Hughton have in common? A. Both useless articles

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    AC Canary

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • A spirited panegyric hooley14. Wes deserves a decent last few years to his career. He`ll be gone.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • An ode is a poem and not a piece of rubbish.

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • The treatment of Hoolahan brought me to the edge of elderly tears. Thank you so much for the pleasure you have given those who appreciate good football Wes. It's not Norwich you are leaving but a pale imitation - a reflection of those in power who dish up mostly hesitant rubbish which will inevitably as time goes by reap the reward of decreasing attendace.

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    mardler

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Right this is how it is, last night against Newcastle we got completely outplayed why was that because we couldn't get hold of the ball, and why was that because are best ball playing player was sat in the stands, we all know his name Wes Hoolahan, and why was he sat in the stands because Mr Hughton refuses to play players who can attack, he thought he was being clever last night playing two strikers but funnily enough when are best player who can player clever little balls to them isn't playing how will they get the ball well the answer is simple they wont, this can't go on any longer, that was a great chance to at least show newcastle they were in a game and we didn't, but i can assure you if wes would of played it would of been different, may have drawed yes but we would of looked like scoring and had more chances, two upfront isn't always the best attacking option, when you have a player like wes hoolahan in your squad, and especially when newcastle played 5 in midfield hughton decided to get us outnumbered and play 4 that was clever wasn't it, all he had to do was play wes and we had a chance to win, and does he not realise when wes plays it opens up so much more space for are wingers and striker, happens every single time, and i agree with a comment made on here that he has been poorly treated, with no respect, stuck with us in league 1 and now look, I WANT STEVE CLARKE AS OUR MANGER, PLAYED ATTACKING FOOTBALL AT WEST BROM WAS WRONGLY SACKED, BUILT A GREAT SQUAD, KNEW THE BALANCE BETWEEN ATTACK AND DEFENSE, HAS GOOD CONTACTS, WOULD BE A PERFECT FIT FOR OUR CLUB, last night we were lucky like against hull not to lose, one player would of changed both games Wes Hoolahan, that's a credit to the player that every fan at Norwich knows this, it's a shame the fans won't get to see him play in the yellow and Green again or to say thank you because he deserves it, SACK HUGHTON NOW,

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    hooley14

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • I don't buy the fact that Wes's defensive abilities are all that bad - in fact I believe he has always done his fair share and one thing is for certain, his defending is far better than Redmond's! Further, I've not seen any evidence that his form has dipped or is on the wane - who exactly has done better than Wes when called upon? Err, no-one is the answer. Wes has been poorl treated imho and this whole episode reminds me very much of the RoederHuckerby relationship, where Roeder knew the fans worshipped Hucks and the stubborness of the then manager did not want that... Wes is being VERY poorly treated. CH also mentioned the other day that one reason Wes was not to be included last night was "dealing with the reaction of the crowd". Is CH trying to indicate the crowd would have turned on Wes because he has handed in a transfer request? I feel like the manager is trying to force something here, yet has underestimated the crowd reaction here.

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    Adams is God

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Or Dave Clark, CanaryWest? Then I`d be Glad all Over.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Sorry Stew I know you are a Wes fan but I really meant footballers in general. Like you say I doubt the others are better players but he does want to leave. I think a move to a top six Championship side would be ideal for all concerned.

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    Steely Dan

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Lets not feel sorry for him as he will earn more in a week than most earn in a year. I always thought that he played his best football at Blackpool and was always slightly disappointing here. Hoof the Hout.

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    Steely Dan

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • The problem is we cant pass and move without him. I,m sure he would have made a difference last night. People here want two up front. Sadly it wont work in the prem. IMO

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    sharky

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • The wing wizard obviously cast a spell on the article author - his best role for NCFC has never been on the wing...

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    Surrey Canary

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Wes would have made a difference last night. Pass and move, pass and move. We cant do it without him. By the way thats the best mid-field performance I have seen by any visiting team this season.

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    sharky

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Boot the Hoot!

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    la barbe

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Ethered. ROI didn`t qualify for Brazil did they, paddyc? You`ve got me wondering.....

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • What utter carp, he's not a winger!

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    kevin

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • …..Steely....it's not about money....that's a weak reason!...It's about the ability to play football at a higher standard than anyone else wearing a yellow shirt, and the manager not prepared to tolerate any one in his team who is more popular than himself...He really does have a massive ego!.....Please don't try to make a case for Snodgrass or Pilkington or Fer or RvWW being better players...they along with Bassong are miles behind in the quality stakes!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • It's a shame we are not discussing Hughton's departure. His continuing employment means that the directors of our club have settled for relegation.

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    Mel Lacey

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Stew, your posting referring to `massive ego` hits the spot. Hoots really does not like players, or anybody else, stealing hi slimelight. Though brilliant at disguising that he is indeed. The serpent below the innocent flower. The smiling villain sans a smile. That`s why `personalities` like Holt, Vaughan and, maybe, Wes have to go to pastures cleaner. Lambert was transparent: "Since I`ve been at this club" etc. He wanted his recognition, but he generally said what he meant - even if we didn`t understand it.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Wes has given fantastic service to the club. I'd say he still has ambitions to play for the dear old emerald isle in Brazil. That's why he does not need to be sitting on the bench.

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    paddycanary

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Hooley....whilst I agree with a lot of what you say about Wes I don't think we have seen the last of him at Carrow Road. The club has turned down his transfer request and rejected AV offer for him so it will take a bit of a turn around to sell him unless things change dramatically. Re Steve Clarke a neighbour of mine is an avid West Brom supporter who travels all over the country to their matches and he says that SC is very much like CH in character and tactical nouse. So we would wind up swapping one manager for a cloned version which will not take us very far in the long run. This could be why the board are holding off from dealing with the CH situation.

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    NICEONE

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Tried to reply, CW. This particular board has been most difficult to access.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • SACK CHRIS HUGHTON NOW!!!!!

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    Powers1902

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Stew, most would agree with us. Most talked about was the time Hughton spends on the training ground. More than any other manager. I have witnessed this myself. The only thing I could get last night was that something seemed to work at half-time. We were very lucky, but hey! we nearly won it at the end.

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    sharky

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • 3rd time trying to answer. Yes it was talked about. The main point was about Hughton spending more time on the training ground than any other manager here. I,ve witnessed this myself. We were so lucky last might ,but hey! we nearly won it at the end.

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    sharky

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • .....sharky!.... I don't know what you discussed with Delia when you joined her for that meal, but I do hope you made your opinions about Wes Hoolahan known to her.....she in turn could ask Mr McNally ' “what the devil is going on between our manager and our most popular player”....If she served a meal in her restaurants that is continually deteriorating, she would experience wholesale complaints.... Football fans in Norwich are completely restricted for choice (unlike eating places), and want the best attainable at Carrow Road ...This present situation is NOT good enough!....Our present squad are unable to play as a Brotherhood....playing entirely as individuals......What ever are they told on the training ground?.....Little or NO movement is apparent off the ball, and I would say that they are playing and hoping they get substituted!....What a sad state of affairs!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Maybe you are right Stew, but the man is a workaholic. Re the W of course Wes would be the point of it with two attacking wingers with the ball. Without the ball its a mid five behind one up front. We have to get people supporting the front much quicker as Newcastle did last night. People last night were saying Redmond could do the same if Wes goes. I quite liked the idea. Football is all about opinions after all.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Wes in Houghton out! Simple

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    elmboy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • I tried to say that, Lamb is good, but the compoo`er said "No". Like you, I felt the clammy hand of Roederism in this Wessi business.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • …...You may have stumbled upon the answer Sharky!....Perhaps if he spent LESS time at the training ground things could improve....He could be hampering the efforts of others in his determination to dominate!....Arrangements could be made for a comfortable office to be set aside at Carrow Road where he could watch his videos..... and Steely if both Hoolahan and Howson could be deployed side by side behind a Central Striker and 2 wing men, it could be a potent strike force....every effort should be made to bring this about!....How does that go down with your 'W' formation Sharky?.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • For El Dingo: 'Ode to a piece of rubbish'. Er..Ipswich. There you go, short, sweet, and very Zen.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Paddy - Ireland are out of the World Cup so nothing to do with going to Brazil!

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    Adams is God

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Wes should stay. He has a lot to offer this team and the only thing stopping him is CH who is caught up in a shedload of indecision about how to solve the teams current problems. Wes was, deservedly, man of the match against Man U so he should not be in any doubt about his own abilities. I think that the speculation re his future has reduced his opportunities lately but I am sure we will see him in a NCFC shirt again soon.

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    NICEONE

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Enough. This systematic blocking of contributions is a severe irritant.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Sack Chris Hughton Now!

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    Powers1902

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • hooley14 I love what you write. Thats an epic posting...... and for what its worth, you speak more sense than most of the 'grown ups' on here. Did you ever learn to use a full stop. Surely you can fit one in? I would also welcome Steve Clark to replace Hughton. To be honest I would welcome Petula Clark to replace him......

    Report this comment

    CanaryWest

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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