Gunn's hotshot heroes hit four for the 59-ers

Last updated : 19 January 2009 By John Maiden
Has anyone missed Canary Talk? No, don't all shout at once! Well, I haven't been sulking because Jonathan Ross is back at the BBC; I have simply been too angry and frustrated to put my mind to writing. This had nothing to do with City's poor run of form, but everything to do with the wanton killing and maiming of thousands of innocent Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza, while so-called world statesmen looked on and mumbled meaningless platitudes about a war on terror...

There are times when football scores pale into insignificance alongside an unequal body count brought about by an overwhelming and disproportionate use of military force.

Having said that, I have to admit to feeling even worse when a Norwich City team disgraced the 59-ers' replica shirts, worn for the fiftieth anniversary celebrations, by going out of the FA Cup to struggling Charlton Athletic at Carrow Road.

After observing Glenn Roeder at every post-match, Carrow Road press conference since he became manager, his sacking came as no great surprise to me; because I firmly believe he sowed the seeds of his downfall when he failed to sign up Darren Huckerby for another year with the Canaries at the end of last season.

He then compounded his mistake by not making the most of Hucks' offer to turn out for Norwich during his break from playing in America. Add to that Roeder's obvious shortcomings in the man-management department - and his apparent contempt for the views of Canary fans - and it is a wonder he lasted as long as he did!

With Bryan Gunn's varied experience at the football club and in the wider community, as an ambassador for the Canaries, it was a master stroke by the directors to put him in charge of team selection for the Barnsley game, because the players turned in a brilliant team performance to break down the determined and, at times, rather rugged Tykes.

The unity of the City squad was epitomised by the contribution of the three late substitutes, because each one of them played a supporting role in taking the score from 2-0 to 4-0 in the closing stages of a highly competitive match; whereas in recent weeks the team would have given the fans a nervous last few minutes as the players made a meal of hanging on to whatever lead they had.

This must have impressed those members of the 1959 cup-run team who were at the Barnsley game as part of their reunion celebration.

The smart money may by on Aidy Boothroyd and Malky Mackay to take over the vacant managerial roles before the home game with Southampton on 27th January; but few fans would complain if Gunny was given another chance at 'team selection' and player motivation.

It was undoubtedly due to Gunny that Jamie Cureton was back, scoring for Norwich against the side he had helped to edge away from the relegation zone; after Glenn Roeder had been unwise enough to put him out on loan to a team, which, like Norwich, was in the bottom half of the Championship table!