Roeder out? Get a life

Last updated : 07 January 2009 By Rick Lamb
The annual angst of a proportion of the Carrow Road faithful, which deems it necessary to give a manager two transfer windows to turn an average Championship side into world-beaters, has again seen calls for Glenn Roeder's head.

Roeder, whose side have struggled for form in recent weeks, has seen his transfer market activity questioned, his commitment to loan players ridiculed and his rejection of Darren Huckerby become a millstone around his neck.

The same fans who brought a premature end to the reign of current Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington's reign, before lacking any patience with the hapless Peter Grant, have turned on former Watford, West Ham and Newcastle boss Roeder, even launching a Roeder Out Website.

The treatment of a man who worked wonders last season to save the club from relegation and start to turn around a squad that was small on numbers and quality is unnecessary.

Roeder has had to contend with the loss of Dion Dublin to retirement and the end of Huckerby's association with the club that saved his career. Huckerby showed loyalty to Norwich by refusing to join an of their rivals, but had hinted he would leave at the end of his contract long before Roeder's decision to fade him out.

Roeder was involved at Newcastle when Alan Shearer stretched out his ailing career to the detriment of potential successors and, ultimately, the club. Craig Bellamy, currently being coveted by half the Premier League, and the likes of Patrick Kluivert had been primed to take over from Shearer, whose ego clashes forced the former out of the club and limited the impact of the latter. Ask Geordies having to watch Shola Ameobi and Andy Carroll toil up front if they'd have been glad to have a brave manager make Shearer's decision for him.

Similarly Roeder's adherence to loans from the Premier League has been brought into question, as has his 'cosying up' to top flight managers. How does having good relationships with managers hurt things? It seems fine when Leroy Lita is in the side and cracking four against Wolves, but ridiculed when a James Henry fails to impress.

Also among the criticisms has been the sale of Joe Lewis and the loaning out of Chris Martin and Michael Spillane. Lewis was well behind David Marshall and £400,000 for an untried goalkeeper was good business. It allowed the club to invest in some talented players over the summer who are currently underperforming. Martin made the mistake of believing his own hype and will learn a lot at Luton, where he has impressed only sporadically. Is that Roeder's fault or Martin's? Spillane is getting invaluable experience and learning responsibility he wouldn't yet have had the chance to at Carrow Road, where there isn't presently the luxury available to bring on kids in the glare of the Championship.

Sammy Clingan, David Bell and Wes Hoolahan, three permanent summer signings, and Matty Pattison, Roeder's first capture, are good players and good investments. Martin Taylor, Leroy Lita and John Kennedy in particular are loan players of a quality Norwich cannot afford to buy, which is why the loan system is worth exploiting.

Nobody is happy with Norwich scraping wins either side of a couple of draws and defeats, but sacking Roeder is not the answer. Personally, the only way I would countenance getting rid of Roeder at any point soon would be if Aidy Boothroyd was guaranteed as his successor.

Roeder, unlike Grant before him, and more so than Worthington, is capable of turning around the whole club IF he is given tme to turn around the team. There are a limited number of managers around who could be said to have this ability (Boothroyd is one, Paul Jewell is not), and they should be given the time to do so. Short termism will produce short term results and continue to drag the club down. Every time a new manager comes in, players are sold for less than their worth to bring in replacements of varying quality at great expense. This can't continue.

I'm not saying Glenn Roeder is the messiah, and can see plenty of faults in him as I'm sure can he, but he needs to be given a chance. Leicester City messed around last season and suffered, and things will improve given the chance.