Opinion: Echoes of the past in this decision, but let’s just hope it is a case of third time lucky
08:34 07 April 2014
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When news of the sacking and Neil Adams’s appointment came through two names sprang quickly to mind – Bryan Gunn and Gary Megson.
Canary legend Gunn was appointed to replace Glenn Roeder with just a few games left as we battled to stay away from League One football in 2009.
Some 14 years earlier, midfielder Megson was given five games to stop the rot as city battled to avoid a drop out of the top division just one season after that glorious European run.
Both gambles failed to work and the club was relegated at the end of both seasons. Gunn was swiftly sacked and Megson briefly left before a second unsuccessful spell.
It’s impossible not to be a little fearful this is another appointment made from the heart, not the head, and one which could go the same way.
That said, I’m not against the decision. My position on Hughton remained the same throughout his tenure – I was willing to give the board the benefit of any doubt and trust them to call the shots. It’s the least they deserve for turning around this club.
That remains the same now – and in Adams they have a man with love for the club and at least some background of off-the-field success at it.
And anyone present for Saturday’s turgid performance against West Brom will know that whatever Adams does now, things can hardly get any worse.
Bizarrely, performances since Christmas had improved – and the win against Spurs and recent victory against Sunderland suggested players were fighting hard for their manager.
But inept and shameful turnouts against Aston Villa, Swansea and West Brom indicated something was, in fac,t very, very wrong at the heart of the club.
I left Saturday’s game thinking that it was very similar to a 4-1 defeat at home to Burnley in 2006, after which Nigel Worthington was sacked.
The honest truth is this has been coming for a long while. Once a large proportion of fans have turned against a manager (as some did at the end of last season) it’s very hard to ever change that opinion.
What has surprised me, however, is the timing – but then again many people were surprised the axe didn’t fall sooner.
Ultimately, the club is bigger than one man (whether that be Hughton, Adams or chief executive David McNally) and whatever my, or other people’s, views on this decision, all that matters is to get behind the players for this Saturday’s game against Fulham.
See Thursday’s paper for the latest Norwich column from David Powles.