Yes, it’s true, Norwich City miss you know who ....

Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert - Credit: PA

Now that we have had the week of the long white envelope (containing healthy compensation packages no doubt) the inevitable follows – the theft of managers from other clubs to fill vacancies.

Seven managers left clubs, some by mutual consent (a phrase which always seems to me to cover a multitude of options), leaving seven chairmen searching for replacements and almost as many being annoyed as hell at being the subject of football poaching.

Crawley's decision to recruit John Gregory, pictured, eased the pain a little, but all over the country there will be agents beavering away trying to put their client's case.

And if that client's name should be accidentally leaked, then you never know, some good may come of it – in the shape of a new contract. Funny things happen when managers are unwanted/wanted.

Crawley's curious choice – Gregory hasn't worked in England since 2007 and admits he knows little of League One football – but it sort of sums up the dilemma facing clubs who require a change of manager.


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I can't pull the wool over anyone's eyes on what comes next... what about Norwich City?

I originally thought Chris Hughton was one game away from the sack, but given that the temptation to issue the 'mutual consent' statement has been resisted despite some big away defeats and some dull home performances, perhaps that should be two, or three games.

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The consensus appears to be that there aren't many suitable replacements out there. Mention a name and he's inexperienced, hasn't managed a big club or hasn't had to drag a club up from the lower reaches of a division. Blimey – without even trying I have come up with Paul Lambert, and I genuinely didn't mean to, although while we are here I best mention that he is what we are all missing. Really.

But before you write off Roberto Di Matteo or Mike Phelan or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer because they lack the qualifications, do we not have to consider not what they have done, but what they could do with the resources Chris Hughton has at his disposal?

Lambert would do better: he wouldn't say the opposition are a good team without adding 'but so are my team'; he wouldn't allow anyone to think his team didn't stand a chance and he was highly motivated by the prospect of beating a big club, not avoiding a heavy defeat by a big club.

That's the sort of manager a club with a vacancy needs.

Dereham Town chairman Simon Barnes is hoping that with Norwich City away this afternoon, a few more local fans will take the opportunity to go along to Aldiss Park to watch Matt Henman's excellent young team.

The timing (of the games, not Barnes' comments) is a bit unfortunate given Norwich United have a big FA Vase game at home to Erith Town, but I would recommend anyone who has been dulled with Canary inflicted pain to give either match a try.

Dereham are performing cartwheels after their promotion to Ryman North football, against my personal expectations I have to say. What impresses me is the attitude of the players – they give an awful lot, and when that happens, supporters feel they have got value for money. Good luck to Dereham, Norwich United and any other local teams playing today.

You may remember John McCririck, the horse racing pundit sacked by Channel 4 before losing the resulting age discrimination case after being branded 'unpalatable to a wider audience'.

Ever wondered why?

This is McCririck on women in tennis:

'For example at Wimbledon in the tennis, women get paid the same as the men but women play three sets and the men play five. It's absolutely indefensible. If they want to be paid more, go with five sets.'

And golf:

'Yes they have men-only golf clubs but can women compete with men at golf? No they can't. If you get a woman who can go on the circuit and take on Tiger Woods, then it's a different story.'

And poker:

'I love poker, and when Victoria Coren Mitchell plays, she's brilliant but if there were men-only poker tournaments there would be riots.'

Just in case you ever wondered why he was sacked.

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