In hindsight, there was a certain inevitability about Wes Hoolahan’s transfer request.

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He’s 31, he isn’t playing regular first team football and he knows that there were will other managers out there who hold him in much higher regard than Chris Hughton does.

If that sort of logic isn’t going to trouble Sherlock Holmes, then neither is City’s response, which was to reject the request.

You can see where both sides are coming from and, I suspect, understand them both.

Hoolahan may believe he has one decent contract left in his career but playing guess the crowd from the subs’ bench is not doing his stock any good whatsoever. He might also be looking and thinking, ‘how the hell can’t I get a place in a team that desperately needs what I can offer?’

The Irishman has started just five Premier League games this season which, depending on your viewpoint, is either a criminally low number, or a reflection of what City need to survive in the blood and thunder of top-flight football.

Hoolahan is the longest serving member of the squad, having been bought for a couple of hundred grand by Glenn Roeder in June, 2008. At one stage or another all his managers have consigned him to a watching brief, the conclusion being that he is “a bit of a luxury”. Hoolahan is all left foot but he is no left winger. His best position is either at the tip of a diamond, where he was used so effectively by Paul Lambert, or just off a lone front man.

Hughton’s reluctance to use Hoolahan is more noticeable than that of Roeder, Lambert or Bryan Gunn. You sense Hoolahan has nowhere to go.

So why reject his transfer request?

Despite not using him, Hughton wants him there just in case he needs him. One look at the list of players who have been injured this season is enough to convince anyone that you do not want to reduce your stocks.

Besides, he may not be able to replace him.

Lambert was rebuffed recently when he tried to take Hoolahan to Villa Park. First of all, the price wasn’t good enough – £750,000 cash, or a bit more in instalments.

Then there is the Lambert effect - apart from the fact that it isn’t the done thing to sell an asset to one of your closest rivals, it is unlikely City would want to sell to their former manager, given the nature of his departure for Villa.

Whether Hoolahan’s request was designed to force City’s hand or alert other clubs to his dissatisfaction is unknown; you doubt anyone will be granted a pre-match press interview with the man himself anytime soon.

The unfortunate thing is that City now have a clearly unsettled player on their hands, and that isn’t a good thing, whether he is playing or not.

Play him and he may decide to stay. Don’t play him and it’s hard to see him changing his mind.

So, should they let Hoolahan go or make him stay?

24 comments

  • Sorry to all the Hoolahan fans but IMO he is overated by some fans when he looked good in the Championship. He is only worth a try as a sub. on occasions and I find it hard to believe he will do more than move his ar*e from warming one bench to another if he chooses to go to AV with Lambert. He has done nothing of any note except look pretty twirling round and round when given the opportunity. Let him go if he is unhappy.

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    goldie

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Play him or sell him.Simples!

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    santa

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Could be described as a stale mate situation - player wants away but the club won't let him go. I can see Wes' point as he clearly wants to be a key part of a managers plans. Lambchops has stirred things up good and proper hasn't he? Mind you didn't he have a similar problem when Benteke put in a transfer request during last summer? Think he was 'rewarded' for throwing his toys out the pram with an improved deal, although this appears to have done little to motivate him this season. Its a difficult one for the club to deal with. There is a lot to lose by keeping Wes if he's in this frame of mind, as the negativity around the club is something we could do without; however it would be a major gaff to allow him to leave and join a rival. The question that comes out of this is if the club feels it would be a mistake to allow him to go to someone like Villa then they must rate him as a player. Therefore if thats the case then why don't they play him?

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    Mellow_Yellow

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Many of us are in disbelief that Wes is not one of the first names on the team sheet. We have been crying out for his creativity since the Man U game, where he was excellent. Not playing him is arguable one of Hughton's biggest mistakes. Can blame the man for wanting to leave. Not Villa though, please!

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    canarydownunder

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • He has to go. Will his heart be in it if he stays? Handled ...well ??

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Sorry, but you really need to take off the yellow tinted glass off, fact is Wes was great for large parts of the League 1 and championship seasons. In the prem he shown glimspes of being a great player, but far too infrequently. The fast paced and nature and strength required for the Prem isn't his game, his build lack of speed and goals count against him. The best position for him is behind 2 strikers, however at this level we can't afford to play the diamond most weeks and get away with it. Our best form pre injuries was with 5 man midfield where Wes doesn't fit. His game time next season in the Prem will be extremely limited, best solution is keep him until the Summer and move him on then. OTBC

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    NorthCity

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • oh poor poor Wes. he was happy to take the increased wages when he signed his new contract. He can't be guaranteed a start at norwich bcause his form is inconsistent at best and is now a squad player like everyone else at the club. He is taking his wages every month, so he works for us. If paul Lamber claims he is such a wonderful player then why is he offering peanusts for his services. Lambert and his agent are obviously talking to the lad, they both want him at Villa then offer us a fee that we cant turn down and you can have him. Stop messing about in the press. offer us £3 million or so and we will take your money and he is yours, instead of the silly £750,000 drisory offer. As for Wes himself well you play for Norwich City mate until someone comes along in the proper channels and offers what we value you at. The level of your current salary should give you an indication about what we should expect to get for you. That was the reason we put you on an increased salary and extented your contract simply so that this scenario did not come up where you could walk away or be prised by another club for next to nothing

    Report this comment

    GPL

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Let's be honest with ourselves. If our hearts would allow us to, we'd put in a transfer request. The football we now play is ugly and upsetting. But we can't leave. Let Wes go Chris, you've let everything else we cherish go. The goal on Saturday was down to pure luck, a last throw of the dice, a hopeful punt into a crowded box. A goalkeeper out of position and a central defender who was able to get his head in before that of an opposition player. How many goals have we scored where team skill was involved? Wes is creative, our tactics are not. We've only managed to beat 2 teams above us (and not by much - one just on goal difference) and a single draw on the opening day! All that money spent last summer for what? Desperate football and a fight for relegation. Let Wes go Chris - you let us supporters go a long time ago.

    Report this comment

    aeleven

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Can we have another poll please ? Should Hughton hand in a transfer request . YES - no - or don't know.

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    norwichcanary

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Why does Hughton insist on keeping Wes in captivity? Release him, set him free, let him fly. His enslavement to the subs bench is not worthy of the manager. Okay, so he's pushing on in years, losing a yard of pace, but he's still the fastest, most skilful player we have - by a country mile.

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    Jonathan_Ray

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • The best attacking play maker we have on the books, so we sit him on the bench, p*** him off and then tell him he is going nowhere. How motivational is that! all i can say is Wes must have done something wrong to be punished in such away at a crucial time in his profession. Hoots sorry buddy no clue how to attack and certainly no clue on how to manage people.

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    JB

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Good idea, norwichcanary. And it is a strong YES from me :)

    Report this comment

    norwaysbiggesthoolahanfan

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • He might be overrated but he is still better than wot we have. To understand football.... You need to create goal scoring opportunities for your strikers! Our results and scores (if any) speak for it self!

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    JB

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Like many fans, I enjoy the type of football Wes plays but few managers seem to have the same oppinnion. I think Wes should be looking for a new club, either in Spain or maybe in the USA, where his skill would be more aphreciated. One thing is for sure, CH is unlikely to give him the games he needs to stay in the Irish team. It will be to the loss of NCFC but them the board have shown they will stick with CH whatever the outcome.

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    TrevorKeith

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Archant please take note, your insistence on making me answer survey questions before I can read the articles is getting tiresome. Refrain from making such ultimatums or I'll happily use other media, which would be a shame since I've used the pinkun ever since I moved to Canada.

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    MontrealYella

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Very big mistake,we need him,need a new manager for sure

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    Michael Hanley

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Maybe McNally thinks the new boss will play him...

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • 'In Norwich's best interest to let me go and play my football elsewhere?' Not sure it is Wes! I guess McNally will decide what is in the best interest of the club.

    Report this comment

    Coldharbour Canary

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • You can't blame him but no way should Wes be allowed to leave in this window especially not to Villa. The landscape will be very different in the summer both at AV (who are now proving how desperate they are by signing ageing stop gaps) and dare i say at NCFC. I expect Mcnally muttered the words 'over my dead body' at some stage last night.

    Report this comment

    DistantCanary

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Too old, Too slow . . . but most of all too small. Sure, Messi is no brick****, but he is stockier. Auf wiedersehen.

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    Dissaster

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I think this might be the final straw - the manager's tactics, selection and attitude are tearing the heart out of the club. I seriously fear the direction in which we are heading.

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    Hackney Canary

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • The reality is we're in a relegation fight with 10 other teams. When you're in the fight Hoolahan won't be a first name on any teams team sheet. If you don't score goals he won't start because there is no guarentee he will create anything. Being in the relegation fight means every manager makes sure they are sound defensively first. Wes leaves the team vulnerable and has been inconsistent when he has played this season. Even if your not in a relegation battle do you build your team around a 31 year old? Wes has done great things but it makes more sense to build a team around a Fer than a Hoolahan. If City can get more cover in then Wes will go for the right price but if thinks he'll be at Villa then there will need to be a big offer even if we get cover in. That may not be enough. I'm still not sure how he would get in the villa first 11. With Agbonlahor, Benteke, Delph and Weimann all starters I don't see who he would replace. He will probably move for a longer contract and just sit on someone else's bench.

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    James Dougall

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • A lot of rubbish to read here, that`s for sure. Wes doesn`t create eanything? Wes is too slow? No clubs would need his qualities? You must be joking. The types of Hucks, Wes, and now Nathan Redmond is the types that creates something in football.Put htem on and things sparkle right away. You don`t stay up in the PL by passing the ball nicely in the midfield from Fer to Johnson and back to Fer again without going forward.

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    norwaysbiggesthoolahanfan

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • agree goldie,wes is overrated,but would be a class act in the chumpionship,not in the prem though.maybe a straight swop with ings from burnley or simular?

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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

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