Norwich City were right to remain calm amid deadline chaos
14:09 08 February 2013
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The transfer window came and went last Thursday without too much activity at Carrow Road, but in all fairness to David McNally and Chris Hughton, it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
There were all sorts of names being connected with Norwich City, but come 11pm Thursday night only two new faces were brought into the club. I spoke about Kei Kamara in last week’s column, but only mentioned Luciano Becchio as a possible target.
It is always a gamble when you bring in a player from a lower league to play in the Premier League, as people will always ask the question “He’s scored for Leeds in League One and the Championship, but can he do it at the highest level”?
He was a big hit with The Elland Road fans scoring 87 goals in 221 games, and believe you me they are a hard bunch to please! At 29 he’s probably in his prime right now so it’s a good time to bring him to the club, and when I’ve seen him play he’s always put himself about and worked hard, which I know you supporters always appreciate.
Big Steve Morison left the club as part of the Becchio deal and I think it will do him good to get a fresh start with another club.
He hasn’t enjoyed the happiest of times at the club since joining from Millwall and I don’t think the fans ever really took to him and I can understand why. His body language wasn’t always great, and sometimes people thought he wasn’t putting a shift in for the team, especially when you compare his work ethic to that of Grant Holt’s.
However, I’ve always liked Steve and I hope he goes on and does really well for Neil Warnock’s side. Whatever you thought of Big Steve, his nine league goals last season were vital to help keep the club in the top flight.
I think some fans were disappointed that the club were not able to agree a price with Celtic for Gary Hooper. You hear different figures being bandied about as to what the club offered to bring the striker in.
I think Hooper would have been a good signing, but not at any price. He’s at a very good age (25) with plenty of football to come, and yes he’s scored plenty of goals in the SPL, but is he worth breaking the bank for and maybe paying £2-3m over what he’s essentially worth? No, and that’s why I’m pleased the club stood its ground over what they were willing to pay, refusing to be held to ransom over the player.
I’m sure that many of you, like me, were gobsmacked at the events that occurred on Thursday evening at Loftus Road. Without being given permission by his club West Bromwich Albion, Peter Odemwingie decided to take matters into his own hands by driving down to West London with his agent in order to try and force a move before the deadline.
I’ve never seen anything like it; he said his goodbyes to his team-mates as if his move was a done deal. I was delighted to see West Brom hold their ground as it’s far too easy these days for players to engineer favourable moves.
He must have looked a complete fool when he returned to training on Monday morning with his tail firmly between his legs. I know one thing, had I been a player in the dressing room when he walked in I would have hammered him!
He’s been slaughtered for what he did and rightly so.
Let’s hope more clubs take the same stance as WBA did in the future.
• MOMENTUM IS WITH CANARIES FOR VISIT OF COTTAGERS
Tomorrow is one of the biggest games of the season – if not the biggest.
Having taken two points from their last two games the Canaries have stopped the rot to a degree, but what everyone would give for the club’s first win in the league in nine games against Fulham.
Last Saturday’s game against QPR was a game the lads couldn’t afford to lose. It would have had a huge psychological effect on everyone had they lost the game. Yes, people might think that Norwich were a bit too defensive against Harry Redknapp’s men, and had they been a bit more adventurous they could have gone on to win the game.
However, football doesn’t work like that I’m afraid. Some fans thought that all the players had to do was just turn up at Loftus Road and that would be enough for them to beat the Premier League’s bottom side.
It’s never quite that simple. Norwich faced a side that had drawn with Manchester City in the last two weeks and beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last month. In fact Rangers had lost only once in their last eight games, and that was against MK Dons in the FA Cup.
So it was never a matter of just turning up and the points would be City’s.
I thought Mark Bunn’s penalty save from Adel Taarabt was outstanding and could be a key turning point for the Canaries, not just in this game but for the reminder of the season. It could also have quite the reverse effect on the QPR players.
Mentally they would have been distraught after the game as they would have expected Taarabt to score.
To pick those players up for their long trip to Swansea tomorrow will take all of Harry’s managerial skill.
On the other hand, Chris Hughton and the lads would have had a good positive week’s training, and I’m sure they will be champing at the bit to get out there at 3pm tomorrow.
I’m going to stick my neck out for once and say I’m confident of three points tomorrow against Martin Jol’s side, given the Cottagers’ below-par away form. Please don’t let me down, lads!