Video: Norwich City’s chief executive David McNally on transfers and the Wes Hoolahan saga

David McNally at Carrow Road today. Photo: Bill Smith David McNally at Carrow Road today. Photo: Bill Smith

Saturday, February 15, 2014
3:03 PM

Norwich City’s hopes of bringing in an attacking midfielder from a ‘huge’ club were dashed in the January transfer window.

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The Canaries recruited Jonas Gutierrez and Joseph Yobo on short term loan deals but David McNally has revealed they had also targeted a creative midfielder on loan in a bid to address City’s chronic goal output.

“We were very close to bringing in a creative midfielder,” he said.

“We were in the market for a number 10 or someone to play just off a striker and we were very close to taking someone on loan from a huge club. What it needed was for one of their targets to come in and then it would have happened, until the end of the season. It would have made a huge difference in that area but the good news is Jon (Howson) is close to being back with us after injury and he is someone we have missed who has played in that part of the pitch and we have missed him. Of course Wes (Hoolahan) is also back in the fold so we have two players now available that were not at the start of January, although Jonny might take a while fitness-wise to get fully up to speed.”

Hughton believes both Gutierrez and Yobo’s experience will prove vital over.

“Those two were crucial reinforcements,” he said. “Joseph has played 95 times for Nigeria and Jonas 22 times for Argentina and bringing them in on a short term basis, knowing the character of these men is first class, was better for us that investing on a four year contract on someone of less quality. That was the judgement we made.

“Having been in the game many years now January is about short-term measures to ensure the squad is complimented rather than a wholesale re-shaping of the staff.”

Wes Hoolahan’s publicity campaign was never going to engineer a January transfer window move away from Norwich City.

David McNally revealed there was ‘less than one percent chance’ of the Irishman leaving despite a saga triggered by Aston Villa’s initial enquiry and a rejected transfer request from the club’s longest-serving player all played out in the media spotlight.

The Canaries’ chief executive admitted none of the three criteria set by the club were met.

“Things happen in football, we all know that, and players have their heads turned. That was my reading of that particular situation,” he said.

“We made it clear to Wes that he was in our plans for this year and the future. Ironically he had played in three of the previous four games. That said, in football you can be given an offer you cannot refuse and if that is the case then you don’t refuse it. That would have been the second element of the matter we would have had to consider and the final element would have been trying to get a replacement because he is a unique footballer in that number 10 position and they are difficult to find. They were huge hurdles to overcome and I always felt there was less than one percent chance of him leaving.”

McNally understood Hoolahan’s frustrations at his relative lack of first team action this season.

“Of course because a footballer has a relatively short career,” he said.

“He was entitled to make a request, just as we were entitled to reject it. I have no issues whatsoever with Wes. I understand his position. I believe he understands Norwich’s position as well.

“I think there was a change in advisor and that is Wes’ prerogative but as we both know in football agents normally only earn money if a transaction takes place and you get your player to leave. That is not a complaint just the reality of the game so I don’t think either Wes or the football club were helped by the new advisor and his PR tactics. It did unsettle Wes but his response since has been terrific.”

City also engaged with Villa’s hierarchy directly over their pursuit of the player.

“We felt there were some things said in the media that were unnecessary, but we would have done the deal if we were happy. It is business, it is not personal,” said McNally.

“If we had decided we were comfortable in selling Wes then we would have sold him to the highest bidder. We have no issues in dealing with Aston Villa. We have dealt with that with them directly and we move on now.”

26 comments

  • Whether we agree or disagree, the board in the form of McNally have spoken, and they will do what they think is necessary managerially over the remainder of the season. If we want to see EPL football at Carrow Road next season, everyone needs to get behind the team and give them as much confidence as the cheering and written word can - especially the strikers. I guess if at least one of them can come good, based on recent chances, we should score a good few goals, which is a big part of ensuring we stay in the EPL.

    Report this comment

    MichiganCanary

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • '...we were in for a BIG name ...' What a pointless statement to make. Why not 'many big names?' There are and were many players capable of scoring goals STILL available AT THE RIGHT PRICE!

    Report this comment

    ThassaRummunInnit?

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • I don't what you lot have been on this evening, but this has nothing to do with Italy. Macnally said nothing about fresh basil, succulent vine tomatoes or 22 year old parmesan from Reggio Emilia. He did not say anything about Umbria or Roberto Baggio. Having said that, when he put his tongue up to his teeth and made several thup, thup, thup, noises, it was undeniable that he was trying to impersonate Hannibal Lecteur, and for obvious reasons he didn't mention chianti, because everyone would have mistakenly assumed he was referring to the Italian connection. Really, how on earth do I tolerate you!

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • So just how many letters were there in the surname of this big player. At least 17. anyone could say that, why not say we tried to get 'NAME' onloan but couldnt do it.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Is that burning I smell? Quickly, pass this fiddle to Mr McNally!

    Report this comment

    la barbe

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • A lot of responsibility has got to be down to Trollope, I lived in Bristol when he was Rovers manager and it was the same story there.

    Report this comment

    gerry mitson

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • So just how many letters were there in the surname of this big player. At least 17. anyone could say that, why not say we tried to get 'NAME' onloan but couldnt do it.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • The two defeats against Cardiff and West Ham have resulted in David McNally coming forward and being interviewed by Archant. To my mind Wes Hoolahan was not going to play when there were issues over his future at Carrow Road.

    Report this comment

    Capri

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • kenfoggo. People see what they want to see, maybe you are resigned to going down, but I doubt that the CE is. I am pleased that he came across as being cool and calm.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Having seen so many comments on this website about the lack of anything coming out from McNally and the board, he or Archant seem to have gone into overdrive. I think it is now quite clear where he and the board now stand on our league position and CH. All I hope is that the next game provides a clear direction for NCFC. The worse thing would be another no score draw but somehow I doubt if that will be enough to save CH. Only an emphatic win will do and that from a team that clearly, and understandably, lacks confidence.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Don't believe everything you read in the papers people. The first cut off for season ticket renewals is fast approaching so David McNally starts trying to make out that things are going on behind the scenes. Sorry but behind the scenes is not good enough. We want a change right at the front centre. It's the oldest trick in the book and I'm not falling for it! No one was coming in were they now!

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • So just how many letters were there in the surname of this big player. At least 17. anyone could say that, why not say we tried to get 'NAME' onloan but couldnt do it.

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Hougton needs to get tough and replace his coaching staff mates, before they get him the sack, their defensive coaching is below average their attacking coaching is non existent.

    Report this comment

    donny umbro

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Well, it seems that our leaders have at last woken up to the fact that the natives are restless!! The plot thickens, roll on next Sunday.

    Report this comment

    tom the taxi

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Johnty, not sure what you don't agree with? Players with confidence will score goals and put away the chances that are being created. That is not a criticism of the players concerned but players who have confidence believe they will score usually do. Both RVW and GH have done so in the past. With regard to CH, the only question is - does he (get the players to) deliver? Mystifying substitutions (and team selections) are not helping his cause!

    Report this comment

    andy

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Sadly, Hughton is the new Roeder. Not a single player has blossomed under his stewardship. Most have gone backward, severely so. The next result should be irrelevant. Hopefully the paperwork is all ready for the departure of this trio of troglodytes before then. Please.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Although it seems a lifetime it is only a month since the McNally "we're not in bottom 3 so Ch is meeting brief" statement. The games that followed have changed nothing. CH is still meeting his brief. We could lose the next game and, with luck, he could still be meeting his brief. And now the sudden glut of words from on high meets the fans brief of being kept in the loop. So that leaves CH and his coaching staff, with a break from league action, time to work on how to deliver the goals we badly need. But we know already they dont know how and so the perfect moment to bring in a new boss with new ideas is missed. One final thought, I first went to Carrow Road in 1958 and other than 2 league cup wins it's only ever been about promotions and relegations. My thoughts on returning to the Prem was "Wow, that was fun, wonder where Lambert will end up, and when will we be relegated?" It was not pessimism or cynicism, it was what years of following the Canaries has taught me. It does not mean I have given up on this season but I am hardened to what might occur.

    Report this comment

    Lincs Canary

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Hoolihan is still very much in our plans now and for the future - it would be a good idea if McNally gave his manager a copy of his hymn sheet so they could both sing from the same copy.

    Report this comment

    VictorM

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Peter Watson, perhaps he should rename himself Niccoló Machiavelli. The Prince of cunning schemes....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Cant agree andy ... watching mancityv chelsea makes me confident to say we might well have beaten the title contenders, they were not lacking in confidence and ihope they turn up with same resolve next game wth spurs, Hints have been made that Howson could well be in the mix even if he cant play 90 minutes and i feel he and Wes will have an important part in the run in that decides the teams fate

    Report this comment

    johnty

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • Mc Nally and Hughton obviously went to the same school. " In for " and " Almost " could have come from CH. The one certain thing is that City are in dire trouble and heading for the Championship. CH has proved that he cannot produce a team that plays football ,attractive or otherwise.Obviously he cannot inspire or badger the sub standard players that he has assmbled to raise their game. It has to be questioned as to the boards real intentions. From a footballing point of view relegation is a disaster. However, from a business point of view it would not be so. The past three seasons has seen mega millions poured into the City coffers making it debt free. Even being relegated brings in more millions as compensation. A very successful three year business venture. That would explain why the hapless CH has been left in charge and no further player signings made, only loans. From a business point of view why throw money at a lost cause. McNally said ,not so long ago, that football is a business first and foremost,.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • '...we were in for a BIG name ...' What a pointless statement to make. Why not 'many big names?' There are and were many players capable of scoring goals STILL available AT THE RIGHT PRICE!

    Report this comment

    ThassaRummunInnit?

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • I suppose `van Wolfswinkel` is quite a big name (14 letters) whereas `Holt` is quite small.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, February 17, 2014

  • As about as uninspiring an interview as possible to give. His demeanour , tone, words all give off the air of resignation to going down.That's it then. Relegation.

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

  • Surely a name change to Don Vito Macnalli?... " It ain'ta personal, it's justa business"..." Ar make-a Lambert an offer he canna refuse"...." Ar wanna ya ter calla meetin' of the heads of the 5 famileez"....

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

  • One or 2 good Godfather quotes from Dom McNally.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

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

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