Norwich City new boy Stuart Webber is top drawer, insists Damien Comolli
PUBLISHED: 06:00 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 08:36 12 April 2017
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Respected former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli advised Norwich City to embark on a bold new strategy, which led to the appointment of Stuart Webber as sporting director.
The Frenchman, who worked closely with Webber at Liverpool, revealed he had spoken at length with Canaries’ chairman Ed Balls over the past 12 months to pass on his vast experience of the continental model.
“What’s the average tenure of Championship manager now, maybe 11 or 12 months? Owners are very clever business people and they want stability and continuity – someone who is going to build the right culture,” said Comolli.
“Ed Balls asked me the same question around 12 months ago and I said, ‘Ed, as long as you don’t have a different structure in your football club, you will struggle. You need to have a sporting director who’s going to build your culture and implement values which can be maintained. As long as you don’t have that, you won’t be able to sustain success.’
“More and more clubs are now going in this direction and I’m amazed that people are still surprised by it.”
Comolli is still seen as a trail blazer for the sporting director role in this country, having previously served in key posts at Premier League heavyweights Tottenham and Liverpool. Comolli had overall responsibility for the medical, academy, scouting and club secretarial departments at White Hart Lane before becoming director of football strategy on Merseyside. Webber’s Carrow Road remit is not dissimilar and few people are better placed to assess what Huddersfield’s former head of football operations can bring to his new role.
The 33-year-old worked under Comolli at Anfield and the Frenchman is in no doubt the Canaries have bagged themselves a talented operator.
“Stuart’s very bright and hard-working, he has a good ethos and leadership skills,” he said.
“He’s excellent at bringing people together and is well liked by his staff because they respect the fact that he’s a good person who works hard.
“In terms of recruitment, he’s very proactive and aggressive in pursuing targets. I think he’s got the whole skillset required to do well in the job.”