Norwich City boss Chris Hughton closes the book on Wes Hoolahan goal fallout

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has spoken to Wes Hoolahan about the understated goal celebration against Aston Villa which triggererd widespread debate. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has spoken to Wes Hoolahan about the understated goal celebration against Aston Villa which triggererd widespread debate. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Friday, March 7, 2014
6:24 AM

Wes Hoolahan has Chris Hughton’s firm backing following the recent fallout from the Irishman’s muted goal celebration in the Premier League defeat at Aston Villa.

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Hughton insisted the matter is now closed after accepting Hoolahan’s explanation for his understated reaction to his early close range finish against the club who tried to sign him in January - an incident which had sparked widespread debate among supporters in recent days.

The City chief revealed he had spoken to the midfielder on Thursday yesterday about the issue on his return from international duty with the Republic of Ireland. “Having spoken to him I am very clear and very confident that there was nothing in that or in the way he reacted after scoring,” said Hughton. “This is a lad who has had a tough time this season in terms of the number of games he would like to have played.

“He is an experienced player who is used to playing but he has had to get used to that and maybe when you have not played for a period when you do score you forget how to celebrate.

“I am genuine in what I say that if he has upset anybody or taken that reaction the wrong way Wes would be the first one to apologise or hold his hand up.

“What he did do, and I feel it is important to recognise the fact, is I saw him go over to our support at the end to show his appreciation. I am very clear about what he has told me and I feel it is genuine.”

Hughton expects his squad to respond strongly from their first-half collapse against Paul Lambert’s side, when Villa stormed back after Hoolahan’s opener to score four times in 16 minutes.

“I expect a good reaction, because we have to,” he said. “The disappointment was that on the back of a very good performance, and result against Tottenham, we went to Villa in good spirits and in confident mood and that is how we also started the game.

“It all changed in a 15 minute period and we have to expect and demand a reaction (against Stoke). The confidence had been quite high so, of course, that takes a knock but it is part and parcel of the game and generally when we have had to get a response from the players it has been good.”

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50 comments

  • It has been suggested on this board that anyone who does not support Hughton does not support Norwich. That is clearly rubbish and in the same way, Wes can have respect for the fans whilst having none for Hughton. Why should he have any respect for a man who has torn his team apart or who drops a player who has just been judged to be man of the match? Wes is a player who used to be said: "Gives a manager options". Unfortunately Hughton lacks the intelligence to know what a tactical option is.

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    waclor

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Agree TK. Im concerned Stoke on Saturday may be one of 'those' games NOT to play Wes. Id half be tempted to try him though as hes clearly on Form at the minute with a point to prove. (ill say it till im blue in the face he wasnt disrespecting NCFC fans by no celebrating it was clearly just to say thats why you play me, as he clapped us fans every chance he gets). Stoke will be missing Adam but they still have Nzonzi in the DMC role who will surely kick Wes to death & Whelan can be a dirty so & so at times. But however many signs tell me this isn't a game for Wes i'd be tempted to try it. The other option is we go a bit more defensive and play the trio of Johnson, Tettey & Howson (with Howson being more advanced but obviously not in the free role hole role Wes plays). My concern with that is we will just be inviting a horrible boring 0-0 draw without that creative input Wes brings. Stokes centre backs will surely deal with Hooper on his own for 90mins, unless Wes can find a way to open them up like he did against Villa. Choices.....

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • OKOK dingo you agree ;-) Many of us here have been wanting Wes to be playing. I find it odd that he plays against Villa. Why. From Wes point of view he was MOTM against of all teams MAN U then not played for weeks. Surely if anyone was a player, they would be upset about that.

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    sharky

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • He may have been MOTM against Man Utd but in the next game against Palace my 13 year old son would have given the ball away less. It's the story of his time in the big league. I will never boo any player but he has stuck his fingers up at us fans twice this year so I don't care if he is dropped. I can't see where he is going to end up, probably the championship, villa won't want him, that was a knee jerk offer because of the lack of January options, same as Holt.

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    Jarroldr82

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I care, I pay my season ticket and go to most away matches and I expect him to care. What I don't care about is if I ever see him play for Norwich again.

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    Jarroldr82

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • "When I score, I don't celebrate because I'm only doing my job. When a postman delivers letters, does he celebrate?" Mario Ballotelli

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    pablo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Stew Pydsodd..........You mean I get a choice what to do with Snodgrass!!

    Report this comment

    NICEONE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • It's obvious to all why he didn't celebrate, so why are we going through this charade and why is |Hughton producing nonsensical statements about 'forgetting how to celebrate'. Yes Wes did insult the travelling support by suggesting Villa are preferred over Norwich but like all other professional footballers he is concerned about his short career and making as much money as he can in the time available. Loyalty to a club as such doesn't happen any more. We, and TV, have fed a beast that is self-serving and overblown. Love football, not so sure about the footballers

    Report this comment

    govshot

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • "When I score, I don't celebrate because I'm only doing my job. When a postman delivers letters, does he celebrate?" Mario Ballotelli

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    pablo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • There`s a lot of truth in what you say, govshot, but I don`t believe it was Wes`s intention to insult the fans. I`m beginning to believe that Hughton may be sly enough to have wanted something like that to happen. After virtually ignoring Wes all season, he brings him back vs Villa - because he had to? Or because he wanted to? If it`s the former, fair enough, though a tad insulting to Wes. If it`s the latter, why? To make a self-serving point, maybe. He does not deserve Wes, and Wes certainly does not deserve Hughton & Co.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I agree with Matt and Mr Acronym. Please don't boo and stuff - it's uncalled for. Plus this is one game I wouldn't start Wes in anyway.

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    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • 1-0 to NCFC! Yobo goal....just had a vison! Not a brilliant game but keeps up the usual inconsistent NCFC pattern and saves the board having to make any tricky choices for another week.

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    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Is Snoddy even fit for Saturday? Glad im not the only one saying what you did about wes lack of celebration NICEONE. Been saying it all week. So many though dont know the full story, or just go off a few pubterrace whispers and slate him. I truly believe we will beat Stoke....or draw 0-0 ;)

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    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I agree with Matt and Mr Acronym. Please don't boo and stuff - it's uncalled for. Plus this is one game I wouldn't start Wes in anyway.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I have said it before and I will repeat myself and say that......Wes actions after scoring at Villa were for CH consumption and were his way of saying "Hey I can still play a bit". On Saturday if we are to beat Stoke we have to overcome our biggest problem this season which is one of inconsistency which means fans, players and manager don't know which NCFC is going to turn up. How do you get to be inconsistent?? By not concentrating on the things that you need to do to put in a performance that is of a similar standard to what went before. Training should be aimed at practicing, repeatedly if necessary, actions required during a game such as shooting, passing, ball control,free kicks and corners until they become second nature and could be done without thinking about them. All of these require a little work at the moment. This then frees the conscious mind to concentrate on tactical and other unforeseen circumstances that arise during a game. I would play Wes and RvW (if fit) as the front 2 on Saturday as I think we lack creation up front and Wes could make all the difference and RvW doesn't waste many passes and would be more likely to score if we attack the centre of Stokes defence on the ground more than we have, any team of late. I would then play NR wide right with a midfield of Johnson,Tettey and Howson. I don't think we should over complicate tactics as if our midfield can counter Stokes and our attack is better than their defense then it is likely we will win. Here's hoping!!!

    Report this comment

    NICEONE

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I would like to think we have cause to debate this issue again before the season ends

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    Lincs Canary

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Just noticed Wes has been interviewed ahead of this weekends game. At least thats what the official NCFC facebook page says. "I was thrilled to score last weekend". Dont make a difference really as the people with half a brain cell already understand he respects the fans and the club. Those who dont will still make a moronic statement of booing for all of 0.2 seconds and then sit on the edge of their seat waiting for a potential through ball to be intercepted and slur abuse at him. Hopefully we come through and win this game. 3 massive must win home games with Stoke, WBA & Sunderland. Gotta stop gifting our rivals!

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    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • My confidence is starting to shake again with the manager's assessment of how he is going to ensure that we don't collapse again. “I expect a good reaction, because we have to,” The trouble is that "we had to" last Sunday, but didn't.

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    Swiss Canary

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Hughton should remember Oscar Wilde's famous observation: "It is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all possible doubt".

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I understand why Archant stirred the pot but we really don't need any booing or catcalling tomorrow. Wes has been immense for us over the years and I just hope any numpt who feels like booing remembers that. Dave123's crystal ball reads the same as mine for what it's worth. Just seen Hughton on BBC Breakfast. As bland as ever...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • 1-0 to NCFC. Joseph Yobo goal. Just had a vison. ;)

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • ….nice one NICEONE....but what would you do with Snodgrass?

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • If Wes is selected saturday then when his name is announced the last thing we need is for fans to boo ... if you have an issue with him just be silent and not applaud but for gods sake dont boo him ! .. everybody to their own opinion but mine is that in the scheme of things now is we have bigger things to worry about.

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    Kristafa

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Most decent supporters have no problem with Wes.The problem is CH and his management team.Wes should have been playing long before now and thanks to CH we will lose him at the end of this season to Villa.

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    dave123

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • "when you have not played for a period when you do score you forget how to celebrate" Come on Hughton. You may think that your player is that stupid, but don't think we are in believing such tosh!

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    Sprowstonboy

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Archie has been very obstructive and censorial lately, Stew.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • With this article I find myself laughing at Chris Hughton while also praising him. Lets started with the bit im genuinely laughing at....or laughing my behind off as the kids say. “He is an experienced player who is used to playing but he has had to get used to that and maybe when you have not played for a period when you do score you forget how to celebrate." He forgot how to celebrate??? No Chris he was aiming that expression or lack of one at you! However I must praise Chris and Archant to be fair for reporting the important facts most the pubtalkers miss. “What he did do, and I feel it is important to recognise the fact, is I saw him go over to our support at the end to show his appreciation." Like I tried to report on my own earlier in the week. Before the game, after the game, heck even during the game Wes always applauded the fans and at least looked like he cared etc. Hes done it the whole way through the saga to be fair whether it was warming up against Spurs or via his public announcement. Hopefully we can all move on from it now. A romping performance from him against Stoke (and no idiots booing without having a clue) will go along way to achieving that.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I have no issue with Wes. Still one of my favorite players. I don't think he intended to upset the fans but he was probably a bit daft not to celebrate. I think he'll get a good reception Saturday and this can all be forgotten......until the summer at least.

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • So, to be a "decent" supporter you have to think Wes can do no wrong? If he does go to Villa I hope Lambert treats him better than he has Holtie.

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    PaulWho

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Well said on the most part guys. Wes isn't everyones cup of tea. Thats life, thats football. Full of different opinions. I dont buy into the "wes is 3rd choice behind Howson and Fer" as he is a totally different player and can do things Howson & Fer simply cannot, and visa Versa. In the right games he can still be a lethal weapon. Lets not resort to arguing though guys. Were all fans. Some of us just appreciate the abilities of truly creative players more than others who are happy to conform to the rigid defensive nature are current manager choose to deploy. I Still firmly believe under another manager Wes would be happy (as well as others more attacking minded players) and able to express himself. Im not convinced its a personal problem with Hughton & Wes. We all love a good soap opera drama it appears but I just dont buy it. In my eyes its just a case of Hughton having 1 way of playing in his head and ultimately wes does not fit into that way of playing. Hes never used a Hoolahan type player at Newcastle or Brum. Nothing personal just a shame thats what were stuck with and as a result naturally Wes wants to leave because at his age he wants to play while hes still at the top of his game. While another manager may value Wes its no guarentee even our next manager will want him. Many are calling for Malky Mackay....Based on the extremely defensive set ups I saw him deploy with Cardiff, would he find a place for Wes in our line up? I stand by what ive always said, Wes is frustrating at times but he can do something nobody else can currently in our squad, not Howson, Not even Fer, but he has to be used in the correct games. Not saying for a second he should be a auto first choice starter as some games we rrequire more steel elsewhere or require another player to counter a specific threat. I refuse to cast Hoolahan off.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • .....You are so right sharky....Gone off the Tyneside Tea ?.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • It's strange how. Hoolahan plays an international game and is man of the match and our manager barely has time for him.

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    VictorM

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • The fans have always backed Wes (even if the manager hasn't). It shows a total lack of respect towards people who pay his wages. Very poor behavior.

    Report this comment

    b arclay

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Looks like you`re suffering the same problems as many others, el dingo. It`s getting increasingly difficult to get stuff thro`, then it arrives in multiplicate. I really hope nobody boos Wes - but inevitably there will be somebody who feels that strongly, + a few mischief makers. Nice bit of Oscar Wilde there, waclor. I wish I`d said that... ;-) I have a Bet on with Fred that Becchio starts this match..... on the bench.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I agree with Matt and Mr Acronym. Please don't boo and stuff - it's uncalled for. Plus this is one game I wouldn't start Wes in anyway.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Agree TK. Im concerned Stoke on Saturday may be one of 'those' games NOT to play Wes. Id half be tempted to try him though as hes clearly on Form at the minute with a point to prove. (ill say it till im blue in the face he wasnt disrespecting NCFC fans by no celebrating it was clearly just to say thats why you play me, as he clapped us fans every chance he gets). Stoke will be missing Adam but they still have Nzonzi in the DMC role who will surely kick Wes to bits & Whelan can be a naughty so & so at times. But however many signs tell me this isn't a game for Wes i'd be tempted to try it. The other option is we go a bit more defensive and play the trio of Johnson, Tettey & Howson (with Howson being more advanced but obviously not in the free role hole role Wes plays). My concern with that is we will just be inviting a horrible boring 0-0 draw without that creative input Wes brings. Stokes centre backs will surely deal with Hooper on his own for 90mins, unless Wes can find a way to open them up like he did against Villa. Choices.....

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • ….nice one NICEONE....but what would you do with Snodgrass?

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Agree! Well done all! Sure we are all stressed enough regarding NCFC without arguing with each other. :) 1-0 NCFC or 0-0 ill be betting my money on. Just have not decided which yet and dont like splitting my bet.

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    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Totally agree with your assessment as usual Matt, really the big question is can Wes start the game on Saturday. I agree that he is the right man for certain games but fear he will be kicked off the park by Stoke. Perhaps coming off the bench with at least 30 minutes left would be ideal as Stoke would then have been softened up a bit and the quick thinking of Wes could then work wonders.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • It only sparked debate for columists no one else cares.

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    Burglecut

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • but I bet Wes has a book marker in exactly what page it was!

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    Lobbo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Sensible stuff from almost all today. Deep down most of us want the same. .. survival. Then there's some sorting out to do... And yes Sharky, I do agree:)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • .....just checking to see if Archie is open for business today!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • I agree with Matt and Mr Acronym. Please don't boo and stuff - it's uncalled for. Plus this is one game I wouldn't start Wes in anyway.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • The worst aspect of this media-inspired storm in a teacup, is that it has distracted attention away from the real problem at Carrow Road: Chris Hughton & his crew. Plus the opportunity for our `manager` to wheel out a few weasel words in `defence` of Wesley and do a bit of mandatory `insisting`. I wonder if Becchio has forgotten how to celebrate? Or Winkel? I do not believe Hoolahan has shown any `disrespect` to the fans. He may have demonstrated disdain for his tormentor. Perhaps the squad needs a bit more work on celebration in training. Excluding Becchio, of course.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • He may have been MOTM against Man Utd but in the next game against Palace my 13 year old son would have given the ball away less. It's the story of his time in the big league. I will never boo any player but he has stuck his fingers up at us fans twice this year so I don't care if he is dropped. I can't see where he is going to end up, probably the championship, villa won't want him, that was a knee jerk offer because of the lack of January options, same as Holt.

    Report this comment

    Jarroldr82

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Many of us on these boards are told that if we don't support Hughton, we don't support Norwich. That is absolute rubbish in the same way that Wes can love and respect the Norwich fans while having nothing but disgust for Hughton. Let's face it Wes, Luca etc have every reason to hate Hughton and no reason to respect him. the problem is that Wes is the kind of player that used to be said "Gives the manager some options". Unfortunately Hughton lacks the intelligence to know what a tactical option is.

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    waclor

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • .....What on earth do some of you want?....The 'lad' is a footballer, not a reincarnation of Sammy Davis....If the ' boy' Hughton had treated him like a ' man ', we may all have seen a different reaction!... Wes! Just score a couple on Saturday, and 'celebrate ' in the same way!...and this 'old boy ' will lend you two fingers to use as 'you' see fit!!....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I am sure Wes has respect for the fans. But I don't think he has the same affection for Hughton. And who can blame him in a way? He was MotM in an International for goodness sakes. yet Hughton doesn't see fit to include him other than on an occasional basis. It is not as though we are blessed with creative players and Wes has to remain down the pecking order. I do hope fans do not get on his back because I think this goalscoring issue really isn't that significant, surely? Not when compared with the dire position Hughton has got us into!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • I agree with Matt and Mr Acronym. Please don't boo and stuff - it's uncalled for. Plus this is one game I wouldn't start Wes in anyway.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, March 7, 2014

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