Paddy Davitt: Brinkmanship is not a winning formula in Wes Hoolahan’s Norwich City exit strategy

Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan is at the centre of a transfer stand-off. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan is at the centre of a transfer stand-off. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Thursday, January 23, 2014
3:18 PM

Wes Hoolahan’s Norwich City career deserves so much more than a sour epitaph.

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Norwich City chief executive David McNally and the Canaries' board rejected Wes Hoolahan's transfer request on Tuesday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdNorwich City chief executive David McNally and the Canaries' board rejected Wes Hoolahan's transfer request on Tuesday. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Canaries’ longest-serving player has been a talismanic figure who has done more than most to salvage the wreck of a football club heading into the abyss not all that long ago. Promotion to the Premier League and the massive uplift to the club’s finances helped fuel a record transfer outlay during last summer which in effect served to stunt Hoolahan’s own Norwich career path.

The wonderfully-gifted midfielder made 28 Premier League starts during Chris Hughton’s first campaign in these parts. This time around he has made five. That is the kernel of truth at the heart of a troubling stand-off dragged firmly into the public consciousness with this week’s latest developments after you strip away the toxic presence of Paul Lambert and Aston Villa in a plot which will inevitably be resolved by the end of next week’s deadline.

Hoolahan is notoriously reticent when it comes to dealing with the media so the simple fact he, or more pertinently his advisors, felt compelled to air the Irishman’s grievances in a statement and then conduct a national newspaper interview following the rejection of his transfer request serves to underline the scale of his desperation.

David McNally and Hughton will do what is best for Norwich City, not for Hoolahan, and that is definitely not to let the Dubliner depart for Villa or any of their other potential Premier League rivals.

We asked you - what should Norwich do with Wes Hoolahan?

• 34% said sell him

• 56% said play him more often

• 10 % said leave him on the bench

The Canaries already face the unpalatable prospect of seeing Grant Holt inflict potential damage on the club where he was crowned triple player-of-the-year when they head to the West Midlands on March 1. Imagine the enormity of that scenario if it was his old Norwich sidekick Hoolahan supplying the ammunition.

That would be an illogical business decision from the club’s top brass which could cause irreparable damage to their chances of a fourth consecutive season of Premier League football. Even in the unlikely event City did back-track on their entrenched position and sanction Hoolahan’s exit, with the caveat he did not face his former employers, there is still sufficiently long enough left in the season for him to exert a positive bearing on Villa’s own bid for Premer League survival.

City dismissed Villa’s opening gambit as ‘derisory’ when it blew up in the aftermath of an FA Cup draw at home to Fulham dominated by Hoolahan’s absence from the matchday squad with an unspecified injury. As Hughton tellingly alluded at the time, one ‘reported’ by the player on the eve of battle.

Hoolahan’s latest course of action this week served to raise the stakes once more, but the balance of power still resides in the Carrow Road boardroom and without suitors making an enquiry based on a realistic assessment of the Irishman’s market value the Canaries will rightly feel under no obligation to entertain the prospect of his departure. Hoolahan’s frustrations are understandable and the majority of supporters would surely be sympathetic at watching their former leading man consigned to the stalls.

Hughton has elected to ration his unique brand of magic this season in a concerted attempt to harness a greater overall productivity. City’s enduring struggles indicate that remains an elusive target. Hughton has so far failed to embellish last season’s defensive resolution with a genuine cutting edge by sacrificing Hoolahan’s ability to pick holes in top flight defences.

A man who turns 32 barely a fortnight after the end of the current season needs to be playing at this advanced stage of his career. Hoolahan is also rapidly approaching the final year of his current Carrow Road deal. To earn another one or a contract elsewhere requires he cash in whilst his personal stock remains high and his reputation largely intact. The lure of an extra year on his existing Norwich contract reportedly on offer in the Midlands allied to the prospect of regular football on the big stages must be an enticing proposition for Hoolahan.

One can also reasonably surmise club considerations may not be the only factor at play here along with greater financial security for Hoolahan and his family. New Republic of Ireland international boss Martin O’Neill is a confirmed admirer of the Belvedere youth product. Hoolahan starred in O’Neill’s first game in charge against Latvia and would justifiably be considered one of his country’s most technically accomplished operators capable of forming the core of the Republic’s quest to qualify for the 2016 European Championships.

O’Neill was at Carrow Road for Norwich’s 1-1 Premier League draw against Swansea in December to watch the midfielder in action. What he got was the occasional glimpse of Hoolahan gently limbering up on the touchline. When pressed on the subject at a later date O’Neill insisted such relative inactivity would not count against Hoolahan, but it seems inconceivable how he could feature prominently for his country with limited chances to impress for his club.

Hoolahan’s insistence in his statement that his future lies elsewhere has echoes of Holt’s transfer saga at the end of the Canaries’ first successful season back in the Premier League. The Cumbrian took City’s unwillingness to commence fresh contract talks as a sign of their waning interest. Lambert’s departure brought a new deal for the striker before he eventually departed on the club’s terms, not his own.

That is a moral that should not be lost on Hoolahan or his advisors. City’s longest-serving player inspires devotion on the terraces because of his beautiful artistry. Norwich’s recruitment drive during the past summer was part of a refreshing commitment to evolve by equipping the manager with the tools to strive for more than another season of incremental toil.

But the 31-year-old is still unrivalled within Hughton’s current squad for his natural ability to knit back to front, to take the ball in the tightest of situations and to retain possession. His best days at Norwich may be behind him but Hoolahan remains too valuable a commodity to trade in this current transfer window.

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74 comments

  • Whist I can understand Wes's position, you have to say the board are playing this the right way. Until someone comes in with a genuine offer, there's nothing to see here. Whilst our 'history' with Villa is not such an issue for me, the fact that he could impact on their fight for survival perhaps is.

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Dont see to pattern with Wes & Howson. Yes Howson can play more advanced than a basic Centre mid, but what they actually bring to the table are totally different things. Personally I feel Howson is more effective in a 3 man midfield with him and Fer centrally and Tettey doing the DMC work. Obviously playing that though means no Hoolahan in the side. Tricky one. Always has been with Wes though. Great player but finding the right way to fit him in and balance him is hard. Easy for clubs like Chelsea & co to fit there high quality versions of Hoolahan in and there emphasis is on them to be dominating and attack. If Hughton is in this for the long run now we have to accept he has his methods and they are defensive and Wes simply dont fit into that equation....sadly :(

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • We'll take the first offer & I'm sure you know what you can do with the second ;-)) although if you were prepared to take CH & co then maybe we could strike a deal for Hutton ?

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • off topic i know but norwich are rumored to be after stokes glenn whelan.A 30 yr old midfielder who hardly ever scores.whats the point?

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Nice one, Paddy Davitt. Great article. Long live King Wes.

    Report this comment

    Denzil

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Exactly Smudger. Were not a charity, and certainly not in the game of helping our rivals in the relegation battle, if we can help it. If Someone makes a big offer im sure he will move on. Do I agree? No. But Hughton has his methods and nobody is going to change how he wants to play, no different to West Ham fans moaning at Big Sams style. They have a way of thinking and there going to do it no matter what. I still think Wes will be a NCFC player come Feb 1st. Cant see anyone, even Villa offering £2 million or more.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Spot on Dingo, Wes is a great entertainer but clearly our manager prefers to play a different way. That being the case, perhaps the best for all concerned is to replace him with someone who fits the managers role model. If AV offer the best price then take their money, if we really think our two then explayers would be capable of sinking us later in the season, why did we let them go rather than play them in the first place.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • If we're after Whelan then make it a double and get the man mountain that is Ryan Shawcross , he would at least chip in with a few goals . Would also make a great partner for Bennett , even allowing us to play a back three .

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Mad, Will Hughes is earning rave reviews at Derby at the minute. They said recently there desperate to hang onto him, especially with there impressive form. Very talented and talked of as the next big thing. Obviously whether he will be is another question. But hes one of the few thats caught my attention bellow the Premier League level. More mobile than Hoolahan but just as visionary and only 18 (maybe 19, cant remember without checking). Sure plenty of clubs are tracking him though.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Mattias, that "lightweight" comment is interesting. Yet people have commented on RvW`s relatively lissom frame and our lack of a powerful `target man`. Generally, CH`s recruits have not been lightweight, though the team isn`t yet of the `Old Stoke` ilk, or Ron Saunders` "muscle-bound turkeys" of yesteryear. Where does Will Hughes currently ply his trade?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Good point GossVolley! Bit like Redmond in a way. Plenty of clubs were meant to be sniffing around him yet he opted for NCFC as we were the only ones who showed solid interest. Clearly never going to be NCFC lifer but lets just enjoy the ride with him as no doubt eventually a bigger club will come calling for Redmond. Will Hughes is touted to have plenty of suitors looking at him but I wonder how many would seriously go for him, over the countless overseas players there likely also looking at. All pie in the sky of course as doubt we'd ever seriously look at him. I see young toby alderweireld who turned us down in the summer has gone public with his unhappiness at Ath Madrid! Not for a second saying we should go for him especially after he turned us down once but its a option if we really are looking for a centre back.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Mellow_Yellow is correct. At first Wes was just as much out the picture as he was under Roeder. I dont think any manager (hughton included) has ever doubted Wes Hoolahans ability. I mean you can see watching him in training hes talented. Its just figuring how to fit him in. Luckily Lambert figured out a way to play including Wes and he was key to our success. Obviously playing in the Premier League is a different story but like I keep saying in certain games, under the right management he can be very effective still.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Wes is a subtle midfield stiletto labouring under an instinctively defensive manager who seems locked into playing wingers on their wrong footed sides. It's an old strategy to unsettle targeted players, or ones who are looking for enhanced contracts as Holt was and Hoolahan now seems to be The answer is simple. Transfer list him at a realistic price, say £2m, or extend his contract. I suspect that an incoming new attack minded manager would use Wes.

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • what a rubbish article.if wes is so good why hasnt he got more caps?why hasnt he played more games for us?and why are not other clubs lining up to sign him?

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • NCFC seem to struggle with selling players with goodwill when there is a difference of opinion - very sad.

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I live in the Midlands and from what I've read and heard Villa fans don't want Hoolahan , they also don't really see why Lambert got Holt in . There is one idea about swapping Hoolahan for Hutton ( dear god no ) , but from what I can tell there doesn't seem to be a great deal of money available at Villa Park for Lambo to use .

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I know McNally has no reason to smile at the moment, but I was just wondering if he is actually capable of smiling. He looks like he has just received a reminder to renew his Sky subscription. If I didn't know better, I'd think that Archant had lifted a picture from the mug shots on last night's CrimeWatch and then photoshopped a club tie and the mandatory identity card round his neck. And that's another thing.....why does he need an identity card? If he turned up at Craggy Island without it, would the bouncers turn him away? He'd have to go to the ticket office and queue up up for a match day ticket in the back row of the upper Barclay next to the ex players. But assuming he wears his identity card with the same regularity that he wears his frown, what does it actually say? "If found, please return to the Championship?" And what would Delia's card say? "Once defrosted, do not re-freeze. Bring to the boil, add seasoning and simmer gently until a Russian oligarch or a Middle Eastern oil magnate makes me an offer I can't refuse" ?......This is typical of the January transfer window. B**ger all happens, so the fans have to speculate about total bo***cks.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Thanks, Mattias. I shall keep an eye on the performances of Will Hughes. Though I`m not going to lose any sleep over the plight of an obscenely well paid professional football player, the Wes situation is dire. I suppose he might accept being left out of a successful team, in a club aswarm with talent. But in this Calderhoot Graveyard of Creativity, it must be bewildering.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • This question would never have arrived had we not Hired the Hoof, he spent untold millions on three forwards who have not scored 10 between them... it proves one thing he aint got a clue, it's the same with Wes, he don't know a good thing when it's in front of him, and of course he did no buy him so he aint going to play him, only when he's forced to, he don't want him to go because he's to valuable as a squad member, because we are so thin on the ground, IF we do survive this term... and that is a big IF, Carra Rood better get there cheque book ready because we have to spend BIG, to replace Wes would cost 10-15 million, I would sell him now get what you can, because he's 32 in summer, cotract nearing end, then he may decide to hang it out and go on a FREE.... all the Great Managers say, if they are not happy let them go... so where does that put Hughton, half a rung above Rodent, hanging onto Grants laces, I love Wes, but I recon we've seen the last of him, apart from sulking on the bench, dreaming of playing at Villa Park and being Happy, like Paddy says he deserves more.

    Report this comment

    OLDYELLA

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Good to have your sensible comments on here, MonkeyNuts. Did you really mean "rumours about Holt\WH not getting on with Hughton"? It says "Lambert" which I don`t understand?! Or have I missed the point? It does happen! PL does not seem to have a lot of dosh available but he`s got Villa at the top of "Prem II", albeit, like Norwich, not that far from the bottom either. It`s a tight battle in the bottom half. I agree, there is no need for that "Aston Vile" stuff. I confess to using "Aston Vanilla" once, but it was an attempted joke about "licking" you in a game of football! Cornet joke! For some reason I looked up Bodymoor Heath on Wiki. Seems there was a lot of prevarication about funding by Lerner, as a result of Villa not finishing as high as budgetted one season. Apparently there had to be some downsizing? Randy`s not too handy when it comes to spending, so Lambert is really punching above his weight there, and deserves credit for it. And he got Bent off the payroll! Personally, I think Hoolahan would be better joining a Champ club with real aspirations for promotion. `Arry`s QPR might be a good fit, or Derby, where he could link up again with the, now prolific scorer, Chris Martin? Or Hughton could exercise his leetle grey cells by working out how this talented player, Hoolahan, could contribute to OUR success. No doubt there`ll be more dialogue around the time of the next Villa\Norwich game! Keep the posts coming - we can be rivals without being tribal.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • A time to stand back, and take a pragmatic view of things? This is a cut-throat business, the only emotion is on the terraces. Lambert & Holt chose to 'divorce' NCFC, so their wishes and opinions should be of no consequence. If CH - or the board - says Hoolahan is not for sale (for whatever reason), that should be the end of it, he's under contract. Said contract would have been signed by both parties, it being mutually beneficial, and in both interests?

    Report this comment

    Dissaster

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Hugo ruined holts career at NCFCso he went to wigan as a detour to get back to Lambert now Hugo is trying to do the same with hoolahan he will do a detour and get to Mr Lambert and this wolfswinkle will never make a premier striker we also need a good centre half a no nonsence man

    Report this comment

    canary kid 44

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Ps. Would make more sense if you went instead CH.

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    norwichcanary

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Hugo ruined holts career at NCFCso he went to wigan as a detour to get back to Lambert now Hugo is trying to do the same with hoolahan he will do a detour and get to Mr Lambert and this wolfswinkle will never make a premier striker we also need a good centre half a no nonsence man

    Report this comment

    canary kid 44

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • No MonkeyNuts, my apology - you DID mean Lambert and I DID miss your point! Though I thought it was Holty that once appeared with a `shiner` and rumours were then rife about a bust-up with Lambo. When PL first arrived at Norwich, he allegedly wanted rid of Wes, along with a few others like Doherty. He was quoted as describing Wes as `Easter egg shaped` or similar! But he did make Holt his skipper and Wes was brulliant for him, really brulliant.... He even wrung a decent season out of The Doc, and Chris Martin looked like he`d made the breakthrough. (Still doing OK at Derby). Lambo kept Tweedledee and got rid of Tweedledum (Michael Spillane). He rejuvenated Lappin and brought in the likes of Andrew Crofts and David Fox. His loan signing of Fraser Forster was a master-stroke at the time. I think he`s doing OK at Villa in their circumstances. Btw, if rumours that he wanted rid of Holt & Wessi about 2 years ago are true, then he is indeed a ruthless and crafty guy! Mc Eovelli? These days it seems rival fans are allowed to have rational discussions without risking abuse from the lunatic fringe. Long may it continue!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Will Hughes is a good shout, exactly the sort of player I was thinking about. However we may have to cast the net a bit further if reports about Liverpool wanting him are true.. maybe though a player like that would see Norwich as a good stepping stone for experience rather than going straight to a top club?

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • That's true Mattias, nail on the head mate. Fingers crossed that while we enjoy our pie in the sky talk that NCFC scouts are working on bringing us something (anything!) to get excited about....

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Complete side note, but just watch Hoolahan score or be involved in the winner against Newcastle. Can see this coming a mile off lol!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Or even tortoise. Or perhaps crab if he's feeling particularly adventurous.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Discarding the family silver is never going to be a popular move. Very unwise. This whole situation is beginning to ring very similar to a Roeder vs Huckerby situation, where the manager perceived the player to be bigger and more respected than the manager. Roeder was stubborn.....

    Report this comment

    Adams is God

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • MB - sorry - i did mean Lambert. Apologies.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Hoots`s personal Countdown, tonyb?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • how about Holt for RVW

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    leslie cater

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • Just seen that French bloke who manages that North London club ( of which we can't type either name because they contain " bad " words ) moaning that Mata going to Utd " isn't fair " ? What is the world coming to when managers bleat about other clubs selling players during a transfer window .

    Report this comment

    mjc75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • We do not need a replacement in that position. Eventually redmond will play there. Not yet because he doesnt have the expereince or awareness yet but that will come. We need Wes for cover in that position so for me our board are right to keep whim. We gave him and increased salary on the proviso that he stayed for an extra 2 years. he banks that extra salary each month and probably spends it as well. Now it is time for him to honour his side of the agreementcontract. Maybe in the summer we can look at his request again but not now. It is not right for Norwich now and that should be the end of it, coz thats all that matters

    Report this comment

    GPL

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Desperately needed a change of sport for a while. So I tuned into Countdown, where I witnessed a 70-something lady thrash the geeky teenage President of the Bournemouth University Dr. Who Society by about 95-25. Such fun. Also memorable was Carol Vodaphone`s replacement, the radiant Rachel Riley. I risked over-excitement, so tuned in to the World Indoor Bowls Championships, staged at Naarfolk`s answer to Aya Napa - Potter`s. Pure eroticism. Short bowls, length, Jacks, Jack lengths, ends, rink stitching, draws, 4" gaps. Then there were dropping sets, presumably to enhance the Dentu-cream adverts sitting alongside the retirement home and funeral service posters. Adding to that the old guys pottering about in elastic-waisted cricket whites, I realised there could be a place in the World for me after all.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • If Wes doesnt get a look in against Newcastle god help houghton who is begining to look like stubborn donkey Presumambly his on loan siging from tyneside is not eligible in this match? Hope Johnny H is back in the fold soon its crucial now

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    johnty

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Come in Hughton, let's here you excuses for not playing Wes ( the little genius ) play him or let him move to greener pastures with canary fans best wishes.

    Report this comment

    norwichcanary

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • How about Holt for Hoolahan.

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    Lobbo

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • True goss. One things Hughtons always had is a decent scouting network. Newcastle he had the legendary Graham Carr & at Birmingham he managed to get Ewan Chester who has followed him to NCFC. Fingers crossed there is plenty of irons in the fire as most managers seem to be saying this window lol! Were in a tricky place as really I wouldnt know where to sign players at the minute depending if I had my fan head on or my 'what hughton would do' head on. To make his tactics work like they did to some success at Newcastle and Brum he needs a real, traditional target man. Yet were linked with Midfielders and centre backs. Ill be trilled with who ever we get regardless of position as long as there of decent pedigree and better than what we have.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Lambo is god.......its about time you changed your name isnt it? Could I perhaps suggest 'Lambo isn't very clever'?...or 'Lambo is too obvious in his attempt at skullduggery that McNally saw it coming a mile off'?

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • We must be crazy to think of letting Hoolahan go. We are crying out for somebody to supply our strikers he's the best we have Hughton needs to play him Take the Hull game why didn't he bring him on as a sub at 65mins better Hughton goes than Wes

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    TonyfromThailand

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • 'Monkey nuts' any feedback from a Villa perspective.

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    Lobbo

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Here, here. Opposing views is what makes forums interesting. At one stage, i was convinced he'd be leaving, regardless of the paper talk. Now, it seems to me the club values Wes at X amount, you said no, we've the followed up that bid with a packet of ginger nut biscuits and some wasabi peanuts (my favourite and Wes's too) and another 500k, still the answer is no. Wes feels let down, hands in transfer request, that's also a no. We, at this stage have run out of things to give you, so we're looking else where. In all seriousness, the whole saga should have been done quietly, WH hasn't played as much as I'm sure anyone of us would have liked in his situation. People come and go. This smacks alot like when Liverpool came knocking for Gareth Barry. We all know how that ended. I expect to see Wes in a Stoke jersey this time next week!!

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    MonkeyNuts

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • I think Holt`s eventual arrival on the Forbidden Planet that is Villa Park was a master class in strategy worthy of Field Marshall Montgomery. I wonder if Barra `Arry at QPR might be interested in getting Wessi on board to help their final push for promotion? Sort of fit the gap left by Taraabt? I wonder what Pilks thinks of it all? Come on, Anthony, lost your voice?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I think if Howson were fit we'd sell. End of. Hughton doesn't like Wes because he sees him as too risky to play. The fact he's often worth the price of admission on his own means nothing to Hughton, who values only the ortoise mentality. Like most of us I love Wes, but I don't want to keep him if he's this unhappy.

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    el dingo

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • we would have more points and more goals for if he had played all season.hughton doesnt know real talent when its there under his nose.what a drip!

    Report this comment

    harry mcardle

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • el dingo

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • If the NCFC top brass are so concerned about Wes significantly impacting the relegation battle by playing for one of our rivals, as the article suggests, then would it also be true that they believe he could significantly impact NCFC's performances? If so it suggests a lack of confidence in the team selection policy. Perhaps it's just paper talk, but if not it suggests some dangerous splits in the core of our club that need to be resolved quickly.

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    Double D

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • So he didnt speak to Paul Lambert and didnt know that he was wanted by Paul Lambert - what a load of rubbish. He is covering up for the fact that he has been tapped up. Call his bluff Hughton keep him and let him play a few games - he is no worse than anyone else we have at the moment.

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    Jim

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • "Clever" tapping up of our player by Villa. They knew we wouldnt sell, so put in a pathetic offer, they could have offered anything and the player knows they are interested. Then the manager talks of his admiration of the player, further intising the player. Next move is to sign a former teammate and get him to talk to his old buddy about how great it is here and you'd get more time. Bingo, player is unsettled, wants to join up with his old boss and chum. Now he'll sulk and unsettle the rest of the club until he gets his transfer. Sell him for £2-3m, if he's not playing.

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    Piranha24

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Don`t know what Paddy Davit`s background is , but it certainly is not Senior Manager quality. His reports are third division at best. When you sign on in football, it costs the club both in transfer fees and wages, so many times to not play. If he wants to move OK but when the club see fit to do so. If Villa want him, do it properly, put in a well thought out offer in the right way, to the management, not to a reporter. Not by back door methods at silly prices, designed to unsettle the player and cause as much headlines and chaos as you can. Don`t see much coming from Lambert ??

    Report this comment

    willb

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Sometimes I wish there was a 'like' button i could hit. MonkeyNuts I applaud you.

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    MBA Marine

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I'd offer you £2m for WH or £2.5m plus Hutton!!

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Just voted for "More than 2,100 votes cast". It's got 2% ya know!

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Good post Mellow_Yellow, agree with that.. If we were to let him go (perhaps with a clause in contract so he cant play against us this year?) I'm thinking there must be someone in the lower leagues with a similar style we could take a punt on for cheap? I'm talking a squad player, not guaranteed starter, that can create in that number 10 role, and maybe even get a few more goals than Wes does. Anybody got any suggestions?

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Btw, I like that Archant have tried to address some of our issues over the format of the poll, but what happens if you vote for the number of votes cast?!

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    Smudger75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I really can't see how this dilemma can be resolved to the best interests of both unless of course Hughton plays him more. To not give Hools regular game time but instead keeping him at CR just to avoid the clutches of rivals like Vanilla will only lead to Hools unhappiness festering into something more serious behind the scenes. But to let him go to any of the teams in the bottom half of the table will be just as bad a mistake.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • What a waste of an article! An EDP reporter feeling the need to write something but doesnt want to put his forehead behind the 8 ball. If the senior people in the club are that worried about what damage could be inflicted by ex players then why are they not playing for us?!

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    JB

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Fabulous post Barks, do get in touch if you're passing thru EC1

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Would he really be that desperate to leave if not for the Villa carrot ? Why don't the press ask him if he would be prepared to consider offers from other clubs apart from villa. It's easy to blame our manager for not playing him but maybe he had good reason not to.

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    spark

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • One thing that isn't getting picked up here is that Wes stated he wanted a transfer AFTER he spoke to McNally a he felt he had 'no alternative'. Our Chief Exec doesn't pick the team so I can only assume that he went to see if Hughton has a future, which is sadly looks like he has, so Wes wants out. Look forward to more negative football and no Wes :(

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    komakino

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Aren't we all getting a bit het up about Holt & HulaHoops, and how this reflects on Hughton? Love 'em both to bits, but I can't imagine the howls of derision on these boards if we had just signed an ageing striker with 2 goals in the Championship, and were in the market for midfielder who has sat on the bench for much of the season?

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    Coldharbour Canary

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • I have a conspiracy theory that I'd like to unwrap. Actually, Lambert, Wes and the Horse love each other very much indeed. They are very skilfully forming a tri partheid alliance, whatever that means. The sole intention of this slinky manoeuvre is to align themselves, so that one day they become a management team. Then while we are distracted by the prospect of the next Haley's comet coming round the corner, they will present themselves at Portman road in preperation for their march up the A140. Mack Nally and the Chamber Crew, will of course have long since departed, but the wise and wheely Delia will still be there in the wings waiting. We will be thrashed seven one, and two days later we will procure the services of our heroes, from another East Anglian club, and thus history will repeat itself as it very often does. Our heroes will return to the tune of Wishbone Ash's 'The King will come, with Wes playing the solos on his Stratocaster. Heck these DF118 are strong.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • An more expensive lower league option would be Will Hughes. Big fan of his. Far from finished article. Likely to lightweight to ever be a Hughton player though.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Evening Lobbo et al. From a Villa fans view, its pretty simple with regards to Holt. We have signed someone - temporarily that is - as cover for Libor Kozak. He was a big 6 ft 6 striker, a target man. Holt fills this requirements. As far as game time, i wouldnt have thought he would start many games, but i expect him to get last 30 mins of a few games. Did i want him? No. Can i see why he has gone in for him? Yes. Better the Devil you know sometimes. Hoolahan. Again, the opinion is divided. Its well known we want a number 10. I dont think hes the man for us. Do i think hes a good player? Yes but ive seen enough of him to know he goes missing. Is he a solution to our problems? Again, temporarily yes. Have we gone about things the right way? I dont know, but Leeds and Wigan always complimented us on how we did business so maybe some of the bad blood does come from McNally as opposed from Faulkner at Villa. I can see why WH is unhappy. From being a regular to only what, 5 starts in whats been an up and down season for you? Heard alot of rumours about HoltWH not getting on with Lambert today. I just think its poor journalism trying to stir up ill feelings which just arent there. Its been another season of discontent at VP. It looks likely that Lerner may be putting a for sale sign up in the near future, hence why although we have money, he is loathed to spend. I wasnt going to comment on this but again some readers insist on pointing the finger, calling names (Aston Vile i saw on another story). I just dont get it? I dont get the animosity, we both need to get behind our own team because at the end of the day thats what it all boils down to surely?

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    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Hughton goes, Hoolahan stays, simple.

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    upminstertonorwich

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • The rumour was sorry, that Holt and Hoolahan didnt get along with Lambert (remember PL having a blackeye once?). Allegedly they were going to be sold (by Lambert) but this never materialised and left ill feeling between the 3. It defies all logic surely then that Lambert would even consider going in for GH and WH, wouldnt it? Its just something thats been banded about in various blogs and forums. I dont think i have explained myself very well either to be fair! Off to see our U21's on Monday, I have tickets for your game on Tuesday then off to VP wednesday for WBA, then up to Everton on Saturday. Expensive old do this football malarky, should get airmiles the distance i travel each week!!

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    MonkeyNuts

    Friday, January 24, 2014

  • MonkeyNuts I've never really understood why people harbour bad feelings towards Villa , it makes no sense . Players & managers come and go it's a part of football , I'm also fed up of the clubs stance with regards to doing business with Villa as it's now very , very boring . Money is money and so long as they pay a fair price , then Villa's money is as good as anybody else's . CH seems unwilling to actually play the man , time to act honourably and let him go with our good wishes and gratitude . Oh , but if you send Hutton as part of the deal I'll demolish Villa Park and build BCFC a new training ground ;-))

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    mjc75

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Apparently Hools was on a list of players Lambchops wanted to sell when he joined the club in 2009, and likewise Holt just before Lambchops left for Vanilla. Football 'ey? A playground for the fickle and the mercenary....or is that just Lambchops?

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • If Wes doesnt get a look in against Newcastle god help houghton who is begining to look like stubborn donkey Presumambly his on loan siging from tyneside is not eligible in this match? Hope Johnny H is back in the fold soon its crucial now

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    johnty

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • Exactly Smudger. Were not a charity, and certainly not in the game of helping our rivals in the relegation scrap, if we can help it. Someone offers good money im sure he will move on. Do I agree? No. But Hughton has his methods and nobody is going to change how he wants to play, no different to West Ham fans moaning at Big Sams style. They have a way of thinking and there going to do it no matter what fans think, media pundits think, owners think etc....and certainly isnt as simplistic as appointing an attacking coach. That certainly wouldnt change his mind either. I still think Wes will be a NCFC player come Feb 1st. Cant see anyone, even Villa offering £2 million or more.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • …...Monkey Nuts! ...if Villa do end up with both Holt and Hoolahan...even if their best years are behind them....A very big part of Norwich will arrive with them.....Perhaps then our Board and manager will realise that we don't all wear a funny hat and suck straw!....and Villa's result will be the next scoreline we read!.....If you want to replace Lambert at any time we may have the answer here for you!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

  • The rose tinted nostalgia glasses with which NCFC fans viewed Holt last season are now focussed on Wes. Holt was unfit, disinterested & ineffective from the off - and even Wigan fans (bereft of the pink shades) quickly saw that and were pleased to offload him. Wes is another lower league ball player who is too easily snuffed out at this level, lacking both speed, tackling and physical presence. He's a luxury with his curate's egg performances. Take the £2m, DM, easy money... Meanwhile Lambert, who inherited a far better squad than he bequeathed, is seeking to devalue it further with his old pals. Bent out, Holt in - ha ha! I bet the Villa fans are already dreaming of a top four finish. Truth is Norwich will finish above Villa whatever happens.

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    The Yellow Shark

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

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