Ever since Mark Fotheringham joined Norwich City in January 2007, the Scottish midfielder has gone on a rather unpredictable journey. It is one that has ended (probably) with some suggesting that he has been the worst Norwich City captain of all time.
With this in mind, I refer you back to the ‘unpredictable journey’ remark. In the last couple of years, no one has been able to predict what Fotheringham’s next step is. One minute he isn’t good enough for the team and the next he is leading us out as captain. What on earth has gone on? Let’s take a look….
Fotheringham joined Norwich in January 2007 when Peter Grant was manager. With videos of him performing marvellous skill circulating the internet, we though we were in for some exciting performances from a flamboyant midfielder….We were wrong.
Normally as part of a midfield that contained himself, Simon Lappin and Andy Hughes, Fozzy played out the rest of the 2006/2007 firmly in Grant’s plans as we managed to stay up. We were hopeful that Fozzy would be a big part of our side as we kicked on the following year….We were wrong.
Sure enough, Fotheringham was part of the squad in the first three games of the 2007/2008 season. However, after coming on against Southampton on 18th August 2007, he wasn’t to play a game for over three months. We thought that could be the end of Fozzy’s short Norwich City career….We were wrong.
As we all know, Peter Grant was sacked as Norwich manager and the board hired Glenn Roeder. With the club facing almost certain relegation according to the football odds, Roeder named his captain – Mark Fotheringham. Fozzy came in against Coventry in November 2007 after three months out as captain of the team. You couldn’t make it up! We now thought that we had ourselves a ‘new hero’…..We were wrong.
In all fairness, during our unbeaten run Fozzy did a job for us. There was always the feeling that to be captain and one of the least convincing players in the team wasn’t the best combination though. Fozzy was in the team for the majority of the season and played his part in keeping us up. Again, we hoped that the following season would be a much better one…We were wrong.
With their being plenty of optimism about the new season, Fotheringham was confirmed as captain again after signing a new deal. This raised a few eyebrows, but who were we to question Roeder at this stage? However, the team’s and Fozzy’s form was awful and Roeder was sacked. Time for a change of manager and a change of captain? One out of two isn’t bad…..We were wrong again.
For me, this is the most bizarre part of Fotheringham’s Norwich career. When Bryan Gunn took over, it was fairly obvious to everyone that Fozzy was one of the weakest players in the team and yet he remained as captain. Surely Clingan or Doherty would have been a better shout? At least they weren’t under pressure for their place in the team. Often I watched on as Fozzy gave the ball away only for Hoolahan or Clingan to look at him in a way that says ‘and this guy is our captain?’ Personally, I felt for Fozzy a little.
Finally, we have Coventry at home in February 2009. It will probably be Fotheringham’s last game for Norwich City. After being constantly jeered by the crowd, he was taken off in the 79th minute only to storm straight down the tunnel. Not the acts of a captain. Gunn then revealed he was disappointed with him just before the club revealed he was in talks with Preston about a loan move. Bye bye to the ‘Fozzy flick’….I hope we aren’t wrong.
So, there you have it. The Mark Fotheringham story. It has been quite eventful hasn’t it? I’ve never been his biggest fan. What sealed his fate for me was when he only signed a one-year deal last summer. Hardly very committed was it? From this moment onwards, it was always going to be the last Norwich City contract he signed.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting