Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Experience? No Problem.

A new era has begun at my beloved Norwich City today. City legend Bryan Gunn has been handed the managerial reigns and he's bringing former City midfielder Ian Crook AND former manager John Deehan along for the ride. Bigus is happy at the decision as Gunny is a top bloke, but I also laid money on at 5-1 Monday evening. Get in!

Norwich needed a manager who understands the club. Period. After the catastrophic misadventures of Peter Grant and Glenn Roeder, it was important that a popular man was handed the keys to the castle. A man who has the fans and players respect.

Gunn's lack of managerial experience is a risk for sure, but it's a risk worth taking. Gunn has been at the club 22 years in many different capacities. He has worked in the marketing department, as a goalkeeping coach, a club liason and scout under Glenn Roeder and as a match day host at the Gunn Club which is housed in the Barclay Stand of Norwich's Carrow Road stadium. While he lacks experience as a manager, he has more than enough passion for Norwich City to compensate. You see, Bryan Gunn is Mr Norwich City. He has even been the Sheriff of Norwich.

If last Saturday's performance is anything to go by then we are in for a treat. Happy players score goals. Norwich spanked Barnsley in Gunny's first game in charge (as caretaker) and the players were lining up to score, literally. The last goal saw David Bell chip a cross into the middle of the box from the right to be greeted by 3 players banging into each other to head home. A sight that has not been witnessed at Carrow Road for a long time. The players obvioulsy like Gunny and want to play for him, something they had not been so keen to do under Roeder. Apart from throwing them under the bus in public, Roeder's players didn't look like a team who played for each other. Anyone who has taken an interest in the club recently will have noticed miserable fans, miserable players, miserable results and a miserable league position. Something dramatic needed to change and that included the 'type' of manager who would eventually replace Roeder.

He's got no hair but we don't care. Bryan, Bryan Gunn.

Well change has come, and much like here in the U.S with President Obama, the new man is very popular. Gunn will be joined in his new job by other popular figures. Ian Crook and John Deehan. Former manager Deehan had recently been scouting for Birmingham City and his new position will see him in the role of Chief Scout at Carrow Road. His vast experience and knowledge of current players will be invaluable. City legend Ian 'Chippy' Crook also joins as a first team coach. Chippy was a fantastic footballer and one of the best passers of the game during his era. He featured (along with Gunn) during a very successful time for the Club in the early 90's. A time when John Deehan was also at the club as assistant to Mike Walker, as City embarked on that amazing UEFA Cup run that saw them beat the mighty Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium. Crook will fly in from Australia where he has been managing and coaching since 99.

Chippy's back after 10 years down under.

The 3 'Norwich men' boast 982 appearances for City between them and truly love the club. They will need to. Norwich are currently flirting with relegation and will need Gunn, Crook and Deehan to guide them away from the drop zone sharpish. It's a tough job that Paul Ince, Aidy Boothroyd and Ian Dowie all wanted. The difference between those candidates and Gunn is that Bryan loves the club enough to give it everything he has. After the last two disasterous years the club needs stability, not the surprises and change that come with a man from outside. When Glenn Roeder arrived, he swept through the club like a tornado, sacking staff and treating players and fans with a lack of respect. He even elbowed the kit man! A fella who every one loved and had been at the club for over a decade. Roeder also did serious damage to the close-knit relationship the club and it's supporters share. To risk that again with Ince or Dowie was not an option.

City have the right man for the job now. He will need help from his experienced coaches, but if Gunny's infectious enthusiasm for Norwich City does not get this team winning, then the efforts of another man certainly wont. Norwich currently has some very good players who are underachieving. Some of them may need some love and others may need a friendly kick in the butt. Either way Gunn has been around the club long enough to know which it is. Gunny played 478 times for Norwich, he screamed at his defence as a keeper and watched the team in front of him play at the highest level. 478 games, yellow and green blood and a deep seated passion to see Norwich City Football Club succeed is experience enough for me.

Good luck Gunny.



Matt said...

Hear, hear. Well said, Bigus me old mucker. I too wish Gunn all the best for the remainder of this this season (thats his official timeframe), and hopefully well beyond.

There is some concern out there that should things continue to spiral downhill, Gunny risks tarnishing the great relationship he has with the Norwich faithful.

I think the risk is there for sure, but I also think deep down, because it's him, and it's Norwich City, he'll actually be given respect for giving it his all in extremely difficult circumstances, and rather than the manager being made the scapegoat, it's the board that won't survive the next round of exits from the club, if it comes to that.

What say you Bigus?

jjf3 said...

Just to be honest, I was actually waiting all day to see this post once I read about Gunn's appointment this morning. And BD didn't disappoint. Nice post!

Best wishes to Gunn and the supporters, and I suspect that this move will pay off this season, with the Canaries successfully climbing away from the drop zone (I'm looking forward to it, actually).

ΓΌ75 said...

Suck it Barclay Stand.

Bigus Dickus said...

Matt, I am very happy at the decision and think Gunn is man enough and 'Norwich' enough to step down should things fail. He won't fail though. Up the City!

U75: That was funny. But the 'Barclay stand' is named as such after Captain Evelyn Barclay and not after Barclays bank.