Leadership is key for Norwich City boss Chris Hughton

Norwich City captain Sebastien Bassong leads the inquest after Luis Suarez's second in a 5-1 win for Liverpool. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City captain Sebastien Bassong leads the inquest after Luis Suarez's second in a 5-1 win for Liverpool. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Friday, December 6, 2013
7:15 AM

Chris Hughton wants his leaders to guide Norwich City out of their Premier League away rut.

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Norwich’s miserable run outside Norfolk continued with a 5-1 top flight defeat at Liverpool that inflicted another major dent on their goal difference.

Luis Suarez’s four-goal salvo grabbed the headlines but fresh hesitancy on set pieces irked Hughton even more than his side’s failure to deal with the Uruguayan hitman.

“You want big characters in the squad and the team,” he said. “That is important on the training pitch and around the training ground and on the pitch itself during matches. If you are in a bad run or have a bad defeat you want a positive reaction from all the team and certainly on the set plays it is very much about trusting your players to mark their men. In those key moments they have to be able to do that. You could say that is partly about leadership but mostly it should be down to the individual. Up until a few games ago I was pleased with how we had defended corners, but when you concede a goal there is a collective responsibility and also the individual responsibility.”

Hughton accepts the self-inflicted blows are undermining Norwich’s bid to move away from bottom three.

“It has hurt us in the last two (away) games and we have to tighten that up,” he said. “I think the statistics speak for themselves. We are on the back of a bad defeat at Manchester City and now a big defeat at Liverpool. We have to, as a team, eliminate the individual errors and we can only do that on the training pitch and by our organisation and making sure we make it tougher for the opposition away from home. A high percentage of goals in the professional game come from set plays. It is normally when someone gets across an opponent or gets a run on them and someone is not doing their job.”

Hughton reiterated on Thursday his side had made life far too easy for Suarez.

“I haven’t changed my initial opinion from what I said after the game,” he said. “We were up against a world class player but if you afford him the time we did that is what he can do. They and he certainly capitalised on that. He is a top, top player. There is no doubt and we have suffered before with his qualities, but if you allow him the time and space we did he can hurt you.”

41 comments

  • The leaders have gone Ch. Ones managing Villa and the others a part time player at Wigan.

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    tunsteadtiger

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Some people are born to lead or manage others are not, right now we do not seem to have that either in the team or in the coaching staff. Perhaps we need to appoint a director of football as the board seem hell bent on keeping thier manager.

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • The leaders have gone Ch. Ones managing Villa and the others a part time player at Wigan.

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    tunsteadtiger

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • The auto-censor has swallowed a response to you, Malaga, on the subject of Newcastle. Doubtless it will pop up later when a human recognises that the name of the current Prem leaders is not a rude word. The essence was that CH picked up a defeated and demoralised squad in 2009 and that season they scored and won, home and away, like there was no tomorrow. And in the 16 Prem games before he was sacked in 2010 they scored 30, including quite a lot of goals in big away fixtures. Fans - and players - were visibly displeased at his treatment. This is all evidence in my view that the problem of our current away performance is not a simple one to explain. If the Board get the diagnosis and the cure wrong we could do a QPR...

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    Pierre

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • There doesn't seem to be any clear leaders on the team. Who exactly fits the mold?

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    NorthCarolinaCanary

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Waclor, respectfully here are 6 of CH's 16 results in 2010 as referred to in my post just now. Beat Man U 3-0 AWAY; Beat Villa 6-0 home; Lost to Chelsea 3-4 AWAY; Beat Man City 2-1 AWAY; beat Bolton 5-1 AWAY; beat Sunderland 5-1 home. CH also beat Wenger's team 4-0 AWAY in the cup. This suggests that CH is untroubled by the prospect of scoring goals and winning matches, home and away...

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    Pierre

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Wivenhoe, you mention the players' pride but how can a player retain any pride playing for a manager for whom the pinnacle of achievement is a nil nil draw? Do you think GH is proud of his achievements last season? Given the tactics, he probably ought to be. How do you think playing under Mr Please-Don't Score-a-Goal-You'll-Make-Them-Angry affects the player's job satisfaction and ambition? It will be interesting to see how many players sign new contracts in the next few months. I think many of them will want to get away from this debacle.

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    waclor

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I would be happy with Russell Martin as Captain. He's done the job before and is far from terrible at it. Snodgrass is good but perhaps a little hot-headed with officials. For me it'd be Russell.

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    Powers1902

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I'll reitirate in that Hughtons problems started when Bassong was appointed as Captain. Whatever strategies and tac-tics are being planned on the training ground are not being implimented properly during the game itself. We need a stronger, more visible Captain, who has the necessary but natural leadership skills. Bassong certainly isn't that man from what I see. Nows the time for the bigger characters in the team to step up and stake their claim.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • This article is dated 6th December which means Hughton is still in a job, coming out with his clichés and excuses. I would have thought by now he would have gone, but such hopes seem to be in vain.

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    Bohnhof

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Leadership on the field is important the problem this season is we sold our only leader to Wigan. This is reminisent of 2004 when worthington got rid of Malky and Iwan and left us with no one to take charge.

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    JohnW

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Just who are the " big " players ? Are they among the eleven who week in week out pussyfoot around the opposition and fail to recognise someone wearing the same colour shirt?

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    norman hall

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I apologise - there is. But you need a magnifying glass to find the feed.

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    el dingo

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I would worry if Snoddie had the Captains arm band too LYB. Look how he thought he was best placed to take the Villa penalty! Can be a little too greedy at times! What a gaff that was! Wouldn't have happened if Bassong had stepped in and handed the ball to RVW.......but he didn't. Howson is perhaps a contender though......but other contenders do not automatically come to mind just now.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Leadership, eh? Shall we start with Hughton?! Fact is you are either a natural leader or you are not. Hughton is not in my opinion. Nor do we have a Holt-type on the pitch. Wish that was our only problem ! Fact is we are poor in every department - tactics, team selection,. substitution decisions as well as determination and motivation.

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    malaga flier

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Didn't watch the Hull video then CH.

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    Sherbert

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I can think of a number of managers that would hopefully do a better job, but only the board at NCFC and McNally can make that descision. One thing is for sure, we have the worst goals against in the league, alone with Sunderland, but at least they have taken steps to resolve their problem. A defensive coach might help, hang on a minute!

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Pierre on re-reading my last post, I think I have been unnecessarily sarcastic for which I apologise. On re-reading yours, I am amazed that any team Hughton managed could get results such as those you mention. What has changed or to be more specific, gone wrong, I wonder. Did he have the same coaching staff at Newcastle as he has now inflicted on Norwich?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Saturday, December 7, 2013

  • Dingo. Nelson Mandela did get a mention on Radio Partridge this morning so we must be grateful for that. By coincidence I came back from SA yesterday to be faced with 100 mph headwinds over France and then the sad news.

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    Steely Dan

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Hughton seems to be asking for his big players to stand up and be counted in away games. Should he have left it so long before asking. Should he even have to ask. I would hope the players have their own pride and do not want to perform in the way they do. So if the players dont want to play that way and the manager wants a positive approach, what is going wrong. Tactics, training etc.. Maybe a new coaching team could help. Good luck against the Baggies tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Hughton does not understand leadership, motivation or passion. I am sure he always tries to do a fair days work and did when he was a player. He never saw the need to get fired up and does not understand the concept. He fears leadership amongst the players as a leader could become the rallying point for dissent against rubbish training, tacics and team selection. That is why Grant had to go and whay he split the captain's job between two of the quieter players.

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    waclor

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • …..What's all this worry about needing a captain and a leader.....Iv'e managed all this season without one!...semi-captain ..Yes!....non-playing captain..Yes!...Decision making Captain ...Sure!.... Heads or tails!...hard one that!....If I gave the job to Snodgrass after New Year, he wouldn't let any one else have a kick of the ball so have to rule that out!... I am a Decision making Manager who doesn't know left from right.........Pullover worn inside out!.... Hands in pockets or Arms folded...sit down or stand up Chew gum..pause..drink from bottle! These are all major decisions!... Player has a decent game so rest him!....Becchio?..Gosh I forgot about him! What position does he play in?...Hoolahan!.. Who's he?...Ruddy ! How can I put a smile on his face...I know I'll get him an appointment at Spec Savers!....Young bloke at Derby banging in the goals ..perhaps I could swap him for sore toe winkle...All decisions a 'with it' manager has to make...Have to wait until after Christmas though when the players make a return from their holidays.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I get why we are rubbish at attacking, but I don't get we are so rubbish at defending this season. That is what this coaching team were good at coaching. As for leadership, who does that start with Chris? Personally, I think that he will get the West Brom game and if we lose that then he will be out.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Holt wanted to move on, lets face it, and his performances at Wigan suggest that his time as a player is coming to an end I'm sorry to say. It's true that he was a massive motivational force as Captain, and I don't think Bassong is up to being Captain. I almost wonder whether the responsibility is too much of a distraction for him regarding maintaining his own game. Give it to Snodgrass or Howson. They've both been Captain's before, both have an excellent work ethic and having a Captain in midfield is the right balance.

    Report this comment

    LittleYellowBirdie

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • It would be very difficult for CH to now change his captain, especially having already named two so to speak. However, it the board decide to install a new manager sometime in the distant future, like next Monday, then perhaps the new boss will consider Howson or even Bradley Johnson who could lead by example.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Mr.Hughton you miss the point completely - you are supposed to be the leader of the Norwich City team - perhaps nobody told you that.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • This guy leads a charmed life, I don't think theres any getting rid of him. I reckon Neil Lennon would do a good job, no challenge for him at Celtic. Any views on that?

    Report this comment

    Henry

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I couldn't agree more Powers. Holty has left a huge hole in many ways. His spirit, natural leadership, will to win, and footballing nouse are badly missed. Bassong has been a great CB for us, but he is not a natural leader which is why in my view some of our performances have been the way they are.

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Wivenhoe, you mention the players' pride but how can a player retain any pride playing for a manager for whom the pinnacle of achievement is a nil nil draw? Do you think GH is proud of his achievements last season? Given the tactics, he probably ought to be. How do you think playing under Mr Please-Don't Score-a-Goal-You'll-Make-Them-Angry affects the player's job satisfaction and ambition? It will be interesting to see how many players sign new contracts in the next few months. I think many of them will want to get away from this debacle.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Said it the day we appointed Hoots, that in time fans would turn on him and his style of play. Think I got it spot on even though those same moaning now told me I was clueless at the time. This isnt a Lambert Love in, The bloke did great things for NCFC but he had his faults to. But due to the success he brought in quick fashion, who ever was next in charge was always going to face a uphill challenge. Similar but on a smaller scale to Fergies successor at Utd. whoever comes in next will have it easier. Easy for me to say that but its a fact. We went from extreme highs and believing we could beat anyone on any given day with Lambert, to depression and struggling to believe we will beat bottom of the league at home under Hughton. Who ever follows surely cant do any worse. The good thing is they have an incredibly talented squad to work with. Just require the right motivation and man management. Get the right guy and we can easily achieve the 'safe mid table medioricty' McNally and bowkett said they desire and expect.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • CH has made plenty of bad decisions since taking over as manager here, but for me letting Holt leave when it was clear for everyone to see how much he kept everyone in line and motivated, was a fatal error of judgement. Pair this to the fact that he then gave the Captains armband to Bassong, who once again made ridiculous errors in yet another match by playing the ball in our own half before losing it. Bassong is not a leader. Right now he's barely a player.

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    Powers1902

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Hughton seems to be asking for his big players to stand up and be counted in away games. Should he have left it so long before asking. Should he even have to ask. I would hope the players have their own pride and do not want to perform in the way they do. So if the players dont want to play that way and the manager wants a positive approach, what is going wrong. Tactics, training etc.. Maybe a new coaching team could help. Good luck against the Baggies tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • ....aside from Russell Martin.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • I woke this morning to realise it had all been a dream ... in it Hughton had left club by mutual consent however Bewilderwood had been put in temp charge with six games to state his case for the job on a permanent basis !.. Thank god only a dream.

    Report this comment

    Kristafa

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Have a friend who is a Newcastle fan and he told me Hughton's tactics bored them stiff and stifled the game. He was pleased to see someone get a chance to "enjoy". Pity it had to be us!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Just noticed (0845) there is nothing about Nelson Mandela on this website. Is this a newspaper or what?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Come on Mr McNally, give us all a break. No more carrots, time for a very big stick. Get rid.

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    el dingo

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Sounds like we have learned our lessons on how to handle Suarez! And it only took three beatings for the message to drip feed in! Fourth time lucky perhaps?

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    Smudger75

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Thanks for the information Pierre but respectfully here are some of Hughton's more result offerings: Lost to Hull away 1.0, lost to Liverpool away 5 1, lost to Man City away 7 0, lost to Aston Villa by various scores home and away, lost to Luton at home 0 1. etc etc. Sure his results at Newcastle were better than at Norwich. Lucky old Newcastle. Judge him on the last twelve months in his current job and you must conclude the guy is an abject failure.

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    waclor

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Ruddy needs to look at himself, caught out by a 45 meter shot which the same player had worked on him before, he should have been expecting the shot. I'm afraid Ruddy has gone backwards as a goal keeper since his long layoff. Hughton keeps playing Elmander and Martin although we can see they are not up to the jobs they have. Howson should be Captain as he is a defender and attacker in midfield with a lot of energy.

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    goldie

    Friday, December 6, 2013

  • Malaga, pretty sure your friend is in a minority since all the evidence I have seen is that there was an overhwelming mood of anger and regret at CH's sacking among NUFC fans, with unusually outspoken expressions of dismay from senior players. It is as well to remember, among all the criticisms of tactical failings, lack of leadership etc currently being aired, that CH took over a demoralised and relegated squad in 2009 and they banged in 90 league goals for him in the Championship. In 2010 he began with an AWAY 3-0 win at Man U, and totalled 30 goals in his 16 games, including away tallies of 3 at Chelsea, 2 at Man City and 5 at Bolton, plus a 4-0 away cup win at Arsenal. CH's personality and management may be part of the reason we are currently getting spanked by the big teams away, but there is more to it.

    Report this comment

    Pierre

    Friday, December 6, 2013

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

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