Gary Hooper owes a debt to Johan Elmander insists Norwich City boss Chris Hughton

Norwich City striker Johan Elmander has the full support of Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City striker Johan Elmander has the full support of Chris Hughton. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, December 16, 2013
7:30 AM

Gary Hooper would be the first to hail the selfless contribution of Johan Elmander, insists Norwich City boss Chris Hughton.

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The Swedish international has yet to open his Premier League goal account since returning to England but was instrumental in Hooper’s instinctive equaliser against Swansea. Elmander was eventually replaced by Luciano Becchio after another workaholic shift for very little personal reward.

“It is certainly worth a mention for me because Johan is that type of player,” said Hughton. “He covers real good distances in a game and it allows us to play two up front with someone working as hard as that. I know Gary appreciates the work-rate of Johan around him. Most of the goals Gary will score are the ones where he is reliant on service and I thought the ball was set up very nicely for him.”

Hooper’s instinctive strike proved something out of the ordinary in a game Swansea had largely established a measure of control.

“It was a fantastic goal,” said Hughton. “I think with all strikers they look back at their goals come the end of the season and the majority are classic centre forward goals, good penalty box action and tap ins, but they also look back at the special goals and I thought it was a very special one. They are the goals you don’t bank on from your strikers.

“Whether it is Ricky (van Wolfswinkel) or Luciano or Johan you expect them to score the ones inside the box. He showed great technique and quality. He is a finisher and he is a technically good striker of a ball so that will always give him a chance to score goals.

“He is looking fitter and stronger with each game and there is no doubt what goals mean to him and us, but I’m almost as delighted about his general game and his work for the team.”

Hughton opted not to draft van Wolfswinkel back into his plans.

“He would in all probability have been on the bench but he only had three days training with the team,” said Hughton.

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14 comments

  • Disagree Jim. A manager is the boss not a colleague and needs a little bit of distance from his players. They're his team, but he's not one of them.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • No one owes a 'debt' to a team member - should lthey not play as a 'team'. Shame the manager does not count himself as one of the team. I read a quote in a newspaper yesterday from Hughton "that should give them at Carrow Road the encouragement to fo for it" Who is "them at Carrow Road" ? Why is it not "my team" and why is he not providing the encouragement to fo for it. He is a disgrace. If he would like me to send him the newspaper so that he can sue if it is not true, I will gladly post him the paper.

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    Jim

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Little Yellow Birdie - I see your point about not being one of them but to refer to them as @them at Carrow Road' is very disrespectful. He could have refered to the as @my team he didnt even have to add the Carrow Road bit.

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    Jim

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • To be fair, I thought it was his best game so far. He did actually head balls as opposed to pretending to jump (into his man) and then go down as though he'd been clobbered. A different player I thought.

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    Lobbo

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • I think its unlikely he played Fer out of position because he wants him to leave. I imagine its related to all the injuries we currently have to midfield players.

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    mike_dyke

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • What a fickle lot we are at Norwich City. Every opportunity with anything we perceive to be negative at the door of CH. I totally ''Exempt'' little yellow birdie from that be cause like myself he seems to be able to see what a good job CH is doing at our club. The point made about leroy Fer playing on the left is two fold. With Snodgrass and pilkington out, we have lost wide men who can actually defend a bit too. Fer is playing a bit wider because his power and strngth stops opposing teams a little bit offensively, although i do admit we lose some of fers attacking qualities, although he still gets himself forward. i have no doubt he will go back into central midfield when Snodgrass is fit again.my major concern as a fan of Norwich City would be if Spurs came calling for Mr Hughton's services and this isnt as ludicrous as it sounds. i know some would be glad to see the back of him at Norwich but i fear if we lost him we could end up going down but with him I think we will end up 10th or 11th

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    GPL

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Elmander got taken off because he had run out of steam,whether becchio was the right choice to replace him we will never now,but he won a couple of free kicks and some headers so not all bad.just wonder if CH put LB on to remind other clubs hes still playing!CH to spurs?i think they have set their sights higher than that so no need to worry!

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    tonyb

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • I totally agree with Trevor. Fer is such a talented central player it's a waste to put him out wide. If anything I think its time to give Howson a rest and to let Fer push on behind the strikers and see what he can do. What I find strange is the CH actually made some subs at decent times (rather than the last 2 mins!) but he took off two attacking players who were finally having a good spell in the game after a slow start? Overall I think we played well and we may finally see some consistency come to the team over the next three games.

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    MellowYellow

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • I thought Elmander was doing a good job, as was Redmond in the second half and am baffled as to why they were both taken off. Until that point we looked capable of winning the game. Becchio looks overweight, is obviously not match fit and cannot play the target man roll, so why bring him on. The introduction of Hoolahan would have at least given us another player who can make telling passes and creat chances out of nothing. He could have been put on the left wing or in place of Elmander, either option would have been good. Fer must be returned to the centre of midfield as he has no real pace and cannot cross the ball, he is however a good ball winner and a excellent passer so why move him out of his natural position. Is CH trying to hide his talents to deflect bids or is he trying to encourage him to want away by playing him out of position I wonder.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • You can drive yourself mad trying to analyse what the manager may have said. Did he say exactly "them at Carrow Road" or is it simply some journalist's interpretation of what he actually said? Either way I don't really care, another point and one more step away from the drop are the important points here.

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    PaulWho

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Of course, if you are actively looking for reasons to have a go at Hughton I'm sure that there are opportunities in every interview he gives.He gets accused of "bigging up the opposition", "lack of respect", "wearing Saville Row suits" etc. etc. I wonder what the next outrage is going to be about?

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    PaulWho

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Jim, I really do think by "them" he means "the players" - the spoken word doesn't always translate well into the written word, and commas don't work when we are speaking. How about… "that should give them (the players), at Carrow Road, the encouragement to go for it? So often you can hear an interview that looks quite different written down, even word for word.

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    Fylde Canary

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Pierre, Fylde: totally agree. Hughton get the Spurs job? More chance of Davitt getting a sportswriting gig with a National.

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    el dingo

    Monday, December 16, 2013

  • Jim, CH does not seem to have said or even implied anything about debts. Once again it is the reporter. Where CH is quoted “There is no doubt what goals mean to him and us" seems inclusive enough to me? I do not think CH could possibly have said the words you read as his quote in a paper. He just doesn't talk or think like that.

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    Pierre

    Monday, December 16, 2013

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