No hidden agenda behind Seb Bassong’s Norwich City Premier League snub

Sebastien Bassong consoles Nathan Redmond after Norwich City's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Fulham. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Sebastien Bassong consoles Nathan Redmond after Norwich City's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Fulham. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, April 14, 2014
6:45 AM

Neil Adams insists Seb Bassong will play his part in Norwich’s Premier League run-in after embarking on a new era at Craven Cottage without the Canaries’ team captain.

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Bassong was the highest profile casualty of the new manager’s major revamp to the City line-up. Michael Turner and Russell Martin were preferred in central defence as part of six changes to the side that lost against West Brom. Johan Elmander, Jonas Gutierrez and Luciano Becchio were also left out of the matchday squad as Adams looked to put his stamp on the side.

“I just felt from what I had seen and Fulham’s set-up Russ and Michael would be better suited. There is no agenda there,” he said. “Seb is a fantastic player and I have told him we will need him and he is the team captain. He hasn’t been stripped of the captaincy or anything like that. When he plays, he is the captain. Obviously he didn’t play here so Russell was captain.

“Seb is a big part of this team. I don’t think any player would be happy not to be playing so, of course, I would imagine he is not happy. You have a huge pool of players and Seb was in the changing room wishing the lads all the best and he wants it as much as the others. That is the spirit we have and are going to need.

“Seb is fit. He is fine. He had a bit of a problem after West Brom but he trained most of the week and he was just not selected. We need every player. We will need them all for these games.”

Adams did elect to fast-track Leroy Fer back into his starting plans after a hamstring injury, with the Dutchman inevitably tiring after the break.

“That was a massive boost because he is a fantastic player. He was running on empty and he had given anything,” said Adams. “I thought he looked good, he was strong, he was giving us a good presence in midfield and he had not played for six weeks or so. It was a huge boost and he did himself justice with his inclusion.

“Any changes we made were tactical. You look at the opposition and you have to come up with a plan to hurt them. I felt we did that. We passed it well, there was good movement, we got into the final third countless times, we progressed our play through the thirds and it just would not go in.

“It is about organisation. You have to try and hurt the opposition and then pick the players to fit the game plan. We worked on it all week and I asked them to give everything and they did.”

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38 comments

  • Well spotted jops. I also made the comment to friends with me in attendance at the cottage. They kept taking short corners that we were often slow to react to then they did that and all the central based players (Turner & RVW off memory + others) went towards the ball but it ended up in the area they all vacated. Shame as tactically we restricted them superbly. Its was player error that let Neil Adams down sadly.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

  • The loan boys are on the beach. Having a holiday with Chris Rea, maybe. The last manager to entrust our salvation to these loan sharks was Roeder. A little bit of history repeating.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • On saturday we got caught out by Fulham's initial series of short corners... the one they scored form was almost the first one they fired in... Turner (who played really well apart from this one mistake) did not anticipate the ball coming in or the flick and got drawn forward... leaving 3 of our men marking no-one... also the two men who allowed the flick on did not get tight because they were waiting for another short corner... it was very smart set piece play from Fulham that undid us... but not general bad defending.... I think it was good to drop Bassong for one match to sharpen him up... he is great when he is on form but sometimes looks too complacent... for me Yobo is our best CB consistently so I would pick him and Turner

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    jops

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I have been looking into the rules and unfortunately we can't get any loan players in now... I thought Man City might willingly gift us someone like Jovetic to help us beat their rivals.... so we need to find a target striker from somewhere else... we were the best team on Saturday but Rodallega was the best player and he was the difference...How about playing Fer as target striker with Snodgrass behind him in the hole... Fer is the only big strong player with touch that we have in the squad.. and with Redmond (Right) and Olsson (left) wide we might get consistent decent supply into the box again. We need a defensive set up for the last 4 matches against quality opposition so what about Ruddy: Martin, Yobo, Turner, Ollson; Tettey, Johnson: Redmond, Snodgrass, HowsonGuttierez: Fer

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    jops

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • There should be no blame attached to the way Neil Adams set up for that game. Hughton`s limp,defeatist and negative approach got us into this mess. I suspect, if he had still been in charge at Fulham, there could have been another embarrassing scoreline. As it was, it was failure to score that let us down, not lack of desire. As for suggesting that NA is out for glory, to be an instant `here` (hero?), I very much doubt it. Hughton had to go. He had strangled the spirit out of this team, aided and abetted by his lacklustre assistants. Goodbye. As far as I`m concerned, he will be remembered as the one responsible for our relegation. If, somehow, we are dealt a `get out of jail free card` and survive, then it`ll be under Neil Adams` tenure. All those overly optimistic and manager-centric fans are culpable. They shouldn`t be nailing their flag to the mast of a mediocre midshipman, they should be looking at the bigger picture - the well-being of the Club. So should the Directors. Canterbury Tales, the death of the British automotive industry is testament to the failure of complacent, cushy cliques. The Carrow boardroom is more akin to a private club for prime-time polymaths and other glitterati. I exempt Machianalli from that observation.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • DJF : 5 points is a decent gap with 5 games to go. That is all but gone now. All I am saying is that Adams showed naivity by going there and attacking Fulham. I know he had to get the fans on his side right away but protecting our premier league status should have come first. In my opinion he went out there looking to become an instant here. its like a gambler. They look for easy money but invariably they often lose

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    GPL

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Hughton 101 that. Game plan is to shut up shop away from home in the first minute and instead we usually let a goal in within a minute and go on to lose heavily. How many times did Hughton set us up away from home like that and how many times did it work? If you believe Hughton would have got a 0-0 at Craven Cottage you need to look at his track record with us. Consistently away from home for us he set up for a 0-0 and we got rolled over. Regardless if it was a big boy or our rival at the bottom, we'd gift them their easiest 3 points of the season. Adams went with a game plan to exploit Fulhams weaker areas while restricting them which to be fair he did. Proof in the clear chances we created in front of goal and how we restricted Fulham from creating virtually anything all afternoon. The goal came from player error rather than tactical blunder. Zero points from the game is soul destroying because we were the better team for a change in an away game thats my only negative and its sad that thats such a big negative. Ill take saturday over any Hughton away display because I lost count the number of times I went away with NCFC and we totally no showed trying to get a point and failed in horrific fashion. If WBA hadnt happened Hughton would've remained in charge but as anyone at the WBA game will testify it turned nasty. You could literally hear the camels back break. It wasn't just fans booing a loss, people around me were fighting with each other, throwing things at the manager, fans arguing with players. It had finally snow balled totally out of control. Something had to be done and while the board have to be help accountable, at least they've acted in the clubs best interests now. Im likely wasting my breathe (effort should I say) but all I care about is EVERYONE in attendance getting behind the lads & Adams to try push us over the line. Being negative and complaining for the sake of complaining is sending us one place for certain and thats the championship. We still have a chance. At Carrow Road you just never know what could happen when 27,000 fans raise the roof like we've done in the past.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • GPL I guess we all have an opinion but I couldn't see us getting anything other than a spanking at Fulham with CH. Glad he's gone. For an 'experienced' manager, seemed to show remarkably little know-how in the job. Once behind, virtually game over every time. Getting the replacement right is tough - we're not the only club to have failed in that respect over the years. Decision needed quickly though as rebuilding will take time. I've seen us beat each of the final 4 teams multiple times over the years but in my heart I feel we won't make it this season. OTBC

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • meant to say take a chance in the 2 matches left at Carrow Road

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    GPL

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • What is Stephen Fry's role on the Board? Does he have any experience of football? Would he have been consulted about keeping firing CH? The history of business failure in Britain is written on the backs of the good and the great who are asked for their opinion about things they know nothing about!

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    Canterbury Tales

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Lincs canary. my reason for hughton staying was different to yours. I think Hughton would have kept us up. I would almost certainly have sacked him at the end of the season. When it comes to the business end of the season you need experience. not someone who is cavalier with nothing to lose. Adams had a 5 point cushion before the Fulham game. he should have been shutting up shop from the first minute at Craven Cottage and protecting that 5 point cushion. And again defending in the last 2 away matches as well and taking a chance in the matches left at Craven Cottage. Thats not a criticism of Adams but it did highlight his inexperience. Now Fulham have cut the gap to 2 points, they are thinking ''game on ''

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    GPL

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Agree with GPL that CH should have been allowed to see the season out. Whether he would have delivered survival is conjecture but for me the issue is that having been allowed to stay in his job until he had used up all the "winnable" games (except Fulham away) it was only right CH should see out the season against the four formidable opponents still left. Adams has already presided over defeat against Fulham and now faces mission impossible. I hope he succeeds. If he fails however he will have the relegation on his CV while Hughton is portrayed the victim. And if relegated do we stick with Adams? Or start next season with him on trial? There are many questions but they are different ones to if the board had toughed it out with Hoots. There are also questions to be answered about the boards performance in respect of communicating with fans and also whether they should bring in a football director who can advise on management appointments and player acquisition.

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Hi again Mad Brewer on reflection perhaps we should develop 11 canaries the size of Foulger's turkeys then perhaps we would be a bit fiercer and get somewhere.

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    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • G`day\2 Adelaide. Yes chicken\turkey stuff hums something rotten. Worse than pigs, cattle, sheep etc. Pals at school used to get holiday jobs at Bernard Matthews. I couldn`t bear the thought (I had\have an over-acute set of olfactory sensors). I managed to get into the Coca Cola factory or Colman`s at Carrow, where nothing was particularly malodorous. Though unloading trailers of horseradish with a fork brought tears to your eyes! The dust inhaled\ingested in the senna mill had a certain effect too.... Elfin Safety? In them days, boi .... ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I think Mattias should feed Bradders a steak tartare breakfast & lunch, and Neil should then let him loose on Luis long before the little gymnast can get into our penalty area. It could be the reverse of Bradders` confrontation with Joey `Halitosis` Barton..... If in any doubt, the refs won`t send off a Liverpool player, specially against a `little` team. I assume you`re still in charge of Becchio`s Broth and Snoddy`s Scots Salad (chips), etc, down at your caterer`s kiosk in Colney, Matt?

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I've learnt that its best never to question anything when its Clattenberg. Always the centre of attention. To be fair I forget the chaps name, but the best referee we've had this season was the one we got from the championship for one week. There isnt many fully fledged PL refs id be happy with but one who always goes against LFC would be handy....if only we knew one who gets alot of stick for that ;)

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Hi Mad Brewer agree about smearing Cara Rud with Foulger's foul chook muck. It was top stinking stuff, as I boy living just short way from their lime Kiln Farm in Banham their turkeys use to go red in the head and gobble at us in Fen lane and put the fear of Christ up us. Their droppings really stank.

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    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • It is doubtful that any manager could make this present bunch of players into a winning side. They are woefully short of skill for the Premiership. Bassong included. Redmond being the exception and it is is doubtful if he will be at City next year ,no matter what division City are playing in. No doubt be will be sold to a Premiership club. To expect City to gain points from their last games is not realistic. The season was lost many games ago. The board allowed the slide to continue when it was obvious that action needed to be taken months ago. Is it possible that Adams can get our " strikers to score goals? Or defenders stop the opposition. All in four games ? I so certainly hope so but Fulham have the much easier, on paper, run in. It was essential to have taken points on Saturday. MacNally and the board see City as a small club. Think small,stay small.

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    norman hall

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Suarez seems to have a charmed life with referees this season. There`s no doubting Liverpool`s potency, so did they need four refereeing gifts from Clattenburg? In that crucial game vs ManC, too. Seems too good to be true. Then, Clatts has `previous`. Better to put it down to incompetence rather than malice. It beats me how that exhibitionist is rated so highly by the hierarchy of the FA`s Blazerboy clique. We`ll need an extraordinary performance to get anything from this game. I can`t help feeling that `Pool will get at least one penalty, and Suarez will get away with some felony or other. Not that they should need any help against us. You have to make sure though, don`t you, chaps? Specially this season.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • If the worlds best struggle with Suarez its asking alot for any 2 of Martin, Bassong, Yobo, Turner, Bennett etc...to cope with him. But as a team we have to make it as hard as possible for them. Standing off like we would under hughton dropping deeper and deeper isn't going to work as our visit to anfield and last seasons encounters proved. Every player ideally has to have the drive Snodgrass showed on saturday and literally run himself into the ground. In their face and nasty to be exact. They have weak areas as well like any team so we need to exploit them. Like I previously said, first 20-25mins are most vital. Longer the game goes on the more frustrated they'll get. We must be more switched on from set plays though! Free kicks, short corners, the lot!

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Spot on as usual Matt, Hughton was taking us down so was probably happy to jump ship to avoid the relegation tag. However, he has gone and all real fans need to be behind the new manager and the team. I fear that the south American Rodent will once again have a field day next week and therein lies the problem for NA to sort out. Having watched them play yesterday, it is clear that they play the ball fast on the ground when attacking, so we need central defenders who can stick with their attackers. I am not sure Bassong is the ideal answer to this game either, so he may once again find himself out of the team, however, it is horses for courses and there are still three other games for him to feature in.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • True Mad. Been so many times to Selhurst they all blur into one!

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • We got a point at Crystal Palace, Matt. 1-1. New Year`s Day.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Clattenburg also denied ManC 2 clear penalties - the sort that he certainly would`ve awarded against a `little` team. Pellegrini was remarkably restrained in his post-match comments. There must be a `hidden agenda` in play - `This is to be Liverpool`s season`. I wonder why that might be......

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Big games like WBA at home or Cardiff, Swansea, Palace, Hull, Villa, West Ham away etc....they were the big games in my eyes. The games against your rivals where you have the chance to take points away from them and help secure your survival. They were the big games. Games that keep you in a division. No pointing beating a big boy unless you can take points off your rivals. Under hughton in all those games listed we didnt take even a point. For anyone at the WBA game it was impossible for Hughton to stay after that. It turned nasty, real nasty and that was forgetting the football side of things which in itself was truly horrific. The cloud of doom that hanged over Carrow Road had to be removed and nobody gave him more time than us to get it right. I think anyone who attended the game at Fulham could also see Adams wasnt even close to being "no different to Hughton". Tactically set up vastly different, the players all looked like they believed and heads didnt drop after 1 goal. Biggest point also was we consistently got the ball in the box. Something we never did under hughton. Is Adams the long term fix? I dont know but right now this club needed a small lift and thats what we've got. Its the best chance we've got to survive after the mess left by Hughton. Need everyone behind the boys now. Sitting around moaning and complaining isnt going to do anyone any good. Need Carrow Road rocking sunday. Liverpool score a majority of their goals in the opening 20-25 minutes. Long as we are switched on and prepared who knows. Like I said, history shows NCFC are at their best when everyone writes us off.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I hear what you`re saying, GPL, but I`d take a converse view. The Board was complacent in not sacking Hughton & his assistants months ago. Or perhaps not complacent - catatonic? We don`t know what might`ve happened had Hughton stayed. His own view is that he would have kept us up. As has already been said, `He would say that, wouldn`t he?`. The fans` majority view seems to be that his end came not a second too soon, whatever that means in the final analysis. Btw, I don`t think Neil Adams is under any illusion that there is a quick-fix. Off-topic, our favourite thespian cum referee, Clattenburg, did us no favours by not issuing a second Yellow Card to Liverpool`s very own `Jaws`, Luis Suarez, despite 2 clear reasons for doing so. No doubt, he`ll now get his teeth into us again, chew us up, and spit us out in pieces. But, you never know....

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I was hoping somebody else would say this, but nobody has. So, here goes. That headline is a calumny. If there was `no hidden agenda`, how can Seb`s omission be a `snub` (an act of rebutting, ignoring or spurning disdainfully?). Oxymoronic. Yet another misleading headline above a non sequitur. Prurient and mischievous, to boot. Par-chant for the course for Padster. It pays the bills, I suppose?

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Let me be one of the first to say it, although I hope i am wrong. The Board pannicked by chanhing manager when they did. What Neil Adams did was no different to CH. Often we have been the better side but just failed to score. I think Adam's came in and thought there was a solution waiting just round the corner. Most teams in this league are difficult to score against unless you have players of Edin hazard and Sergio Aguero in your team We do not. CH pulled big results out when required. We do not know that Adams can. Hughton should have left at the end of the season because he would have kept us up and both could have parted company with reutations and premier league status in tact. i am not so sure that either will be in tact now. I know the stuff under Hughton wasnt great but the end justifies the means

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    GPL

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Not un heard of sadly in the modern game adelaide. Only this morning Neil Warnock was commenting on how they purposely had the grass be left to grow long and be bone dry in preperation for playing AFCwith Sheff Utd. Cant speak for now as I beleive the changing rooms have been upgraded but back during Worthys era in charge I had a very good friend who allowed me to go behind the scenes for the home game against Man Utd (McKenzie and Ashton goals game) and the away changing room condition was on par with most Sunday league council changing rooms + the heating was turned up full blast. Everyone does it. Was it to blame for us losing? It didnt help but it was 1 moment of loss of concentration that cost us saturday sadly. On another day we'd have won that game easily based on the chances we had. Doesn't help us as its still zero points but it was encouraging at least.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • No loan players in the squad, TrevorK. Maybe NA is conscious of the risk that they may be `on the beach` a little earlier than the `permanent` players. Topic for discussion:- Write 500 words on `The Concept of Permanency in a Footballing Context`. Mattias may use a few more words than that.... just try and stop him! ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • There is little doubt that Bassong can be a quality player, getting POTS last year confirms that, however, he has not been quiet at the races for too many games this season, only the club really know why that is. NA selected who he considered to be the best men for the job on Saturday and I for one, hope he continues to do so for the remaining games as it is horses for courses as the saying goes.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Not un heard of sadly in the modern game. Only this morning Neil Warnock was commenting on how they purposely had the grass be left to grow long and be bone dry in preperation for playing Arsenal with Sheff Utd. Cant speak for now as I beleive the changing rooms have been upgraded but back during Worthys era in charge I had a very good friend who allowed me to go behind the scenes for the home game against Man Utd (McKenzie and Ashton goals game) and the away changing room condition was on par with most Sunday league council changing rooms + the heating was turned up full blast. Everyone does it. Was it to blame for us losing? It didnt help but it was 1 moment of loss of concentration that cost us saturday sadly. On another day we'd have won that game easily based on the chances we had.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • G`day, Adelaide. Crafty, conniving City Slickers the lot, those cor-blimeys! We should dress the playing surface at Carra Rud with foetid effluvia from Foulger`s fowl farm. See how them Laaandenahs like that! And dem scousers! OTBC.

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    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I have long since come to the conclusion the Snodgrass looks the most likely player to score and would therefore play him in the hole as the second striker. Who plays up front is the biggest question but Hooper at least seems to put the effort in and has a bit more bodily strength that RVW. All that said, Elmander can do a target man role as well, although he also looks off the pace at this level. Something NA certainly needs to solve over the next couple of weeks.

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    TrevorKeith

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I watched the whole game live on TV. I noticed in the lead up photos enormous amounts of water were being poured onto the pitch. During the game on numerous occasions our players lost their footing and slipped, I did not notice this happening to the Fulham players. Were they wearing a different type of boot knowing the condition of the ground??? It seemed Fulham had an advantage because of this.

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    Adelaide Canary

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • Defeat Saturday was a hammer blow and everybody knows it. All is not yet lost but it will need something super special. Liverpool are the form team and huge favourites next week. Stranger things have happened so don't write this game off yet. NA will have everyone focused and he knows if he is to have a chance of getting the job full-time (and he must surely have aspirations there), getting one or two results plus decent performances from the last games is essential even if we still end up going down.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • I was shocked but very pleased with the changes. Took a while to see Snod & Redmond being pushed on further than RVW but hey at least he came in and put his own stamp on it. My theory is in the longer run (how I can call it a longer run when there is only 4 games left is beyond me) it will be Martin back at Right back with turner & bassong in centre. I like Whittaker but he was caught out far too much saturday.

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    Mattias333

    Monday, April 14, 2014

  • A lot of fans will have agreed with the defensive changes. However, lack of goals is the inherited dilemma NA needs to solve and on Saturday he was no nearer the solution. Curiously, he seems to have no better an opinion of Becchio than CH so we are left praying for some late goals from the same underperforming strikers. Not looking good is it? Still, from another board, new club motto, "Where there are games there is hope".

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    Lincs Canary

    Monday, April 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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