As Norwich City’s unbelievably loyal travelling fans trooped away from Craven Cottage under a heavy west London sky, those of us who chose to watch the latest Canaries submission to Fulham on TV were treated to the most curious of post-match analysis comments.

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“Norwich City - are they flattering to deceive?” asked the presenter.

The evidence of the previous 90 minutes at Craven Cottage did little to suggest any sort of flattery. Flat, yes. Flattery, no. Deceiving to flatter more like.

But one curiosity of another appalling trip to Fulham was the reaction towards the players from the travelling fans. The players applauded them for their support; the fans responded in kind.

Is it time for Norwich City boss Chris Hughton to go?

Norwich City chief executive David McNally would ‘prefer death’ over relegation

There are some who will lay the blame for City’s current malaise at the feet of the players; others who will apportion blame on manager Chris Hughton; others who will look to the very top and ask what the board of directors are doing about it.

But there is a growing sense that the “blame graph” is showing a steep rise under the name of Hughton. And it is hard to argue.

He is the man who selects the team, he is the man who decides tactics, he is the man who is responsible for the decisions that help win games. Therefore, he is the man responsible for the defeats.

And he, effectively, stands alone. You can’t sack all the players and ask a new bunch to go out and win. And you can’t sack the executive; they own the club, they make the decisions. And the decision they face is black and white: stick or twist.

Both are risky.

Stick and you have to hope that things improve under a management that just isn’t getting results. And that could lead to relegation.

Twist and you have to hope that a new man can improve the team. And of that there is no guarantee.

You also have to consider who replaces Hughton. There are a hundred names being bandied about, pros and cons with them all.

Behind it all there are the supporters, the ones who pay for the currently dubious privilege of watching Norwich City play. And you don’t have to be a statistical analyst to work out their feelings on the matter, even taking into account the historical fact that it is usually the objectors, the demonstrators, the revolutionists who raise their voices the loudest.

Sometimes they win – and if Norwich don’t beat Hull on Saturday, you have a feeling that the metaphorical storming of the ramparts will be successful.

16 comments

  • We will beat Hull. Just watch. Papers over the cracks again and for the 100th time people will say we've turned a corner. Hughton has lost the support of the fans, the media, the players, the board and from the sounds of it im not even convinced he believes in himself anymore. We cannot sit around any longer hoping other sides are worse than us.

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    Mattias333

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Mikey B, when you get down to it, the money available for premier league survival is the only thing that matters if the club is to have any hope of long term progression.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Exactly our feelings. I reached the same point under Worthy. We'd been Away season ticket holders years (before the first Prem seasons etc) but after relegation we took time off work and went to Luton away on a tuesday night, in well bellow freezing weather and watched on as we were 4-0 down at HT. We gave it up until Worthy was removed after that game. Similar now. The spurs away game was our last except for extreme cases where it will be based around the night out. We will do Villa away as usual as one of our lots boss puts us up and hes a villa fan and its normally a good bantered day. With Hughton in charge still I really do fear it will be our worst trip to Villa park yet....nowhere in the away end sells beer and grant holt is sure to score the winner. Made worse by the fact we will be vastly over charged as well! lol. Why do we do it!

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    Mattias333

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Stuff all the pros, cons and arguments...it all comes down to this. I DREAD MATCH DAY (regardless of the opposition)!

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    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I just like football. Or did.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Funnily enough (or not) Spurs was the last away day we did, and we vowed that it would probably be the last for the foreseable. We were planning a trip to Villa, but just can't justify it on the back of our current performances. Don't get me wrong, we don't only go to away games we expect to win, but when you know you are going to get little more than a vain attempt at conceeding as few goals as possible, it kind of loses it's appeal really.

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    Smudger75

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • When you're on the downside you feel you'll never get out. Similarly, when you're winning you believe you'll never lose.Well two draws in the last 6 games is the low ebb and the immediate need now is for major surgery. Picture ManU's Evra leaving the pitch last Saturday - exhausted, bloodied, a man who had given his all. Now picture Wolfswinkel leaving the field at the end of the Everton game - uniform clean, bemused look on face, confusion at having had say 5 touches of the ball while on the pitch. He's bemused, I'm bemused. - Because Hooper has scored 8 goals is he excused from tackling the opposition. Was Garrido on the left wing because he needed a run out or was he there as a result of creative thinking. When so few goals are being scored why constantly leave Hoolahan (your most positive attacking influence) out of the team. Why did we buy Becchio. Why does the whole time form a static line in front of the goalie, trying to prevent goals against. How come we haven't beaten Fulham for 20 odd years. FULHAM you say - let's capitulate to SUNDERLAND. Enough - something must be done to kick start this team. First, send Wolfswinkel on loan to the 1st Division and give him orientation time then decide it was money wasted. Second, decide on your best team and stick with it. Thirdly fire CH, nice guy, perhaps too nice, Fourth, hire a Manager who can motivate and understands the principals of hustle, team and attack as the best form of defense. Do something now before death surely becomes the preferred sport at Carrow Rd.

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    Pritch

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I know it easy to look back in hindsight, but I have honestly never been happy with Hughton, there was a brief spell where we went 10 games unbeaten, scraping a couple of 1-0 wins still very good given who they were against. We have been in this rut more or less since that run ended, not counting WBA and Man City last season as neither had anything to really put up a fight for. That is a long long while in football to be in a rut. Personel on the field have changed, but the end product is still the same as we limp from one wallpapering the cracks until the next roll is needed. Surely a decision should have been made back in November early December. Not now with barely 2 weeks left of the transfer window. I am sorry but the Board and CEO must take a fair share of the blame for this sorry state we are in. What was built up over the seasons has been destroyed. Players are not together as once were, they will not run through a tissue wall let alone a brick wall as once. The club is left with a gamble, stick with what is here or take a gamble on fresh blood, fresh ideas. Hughton's record should help make that decision it is a long way from being anywhere good enough. Change is needed either on the field or in the dugout... but it is needed, do we will be fighting for promotion from the championship again...and that is not a easy task.. ask wolves, Bolton, Blackburn and even Notts Forest, 15 years since they last graced the premier...and they won more silverware than most

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    gordon52

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Stuff all the pros, cons and arguments...it all comes down to this. I DREAD MATCH DAY (regardless of the opposition)!

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    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Mattias - You are right. If this goes anything to script we will win Saturday giving CH a stay of execution and he will have another 4 or 5 games to fail. Surely this time it has to be different though?! JimBob - I feel similarly. The day out, the beers before and after, banter with my mates - these are the things that keep me going at the moment, and a sense of duty. The football is an uninspiring interlude in the middle. Gordon - Spot on post. CH has basically lived of that 10 game run which basically included a lot of draws from memory.

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    Smudger75

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Smudger, that 10 game run comprised 6 wins and 4 draws. All the wins were by a single goal margin, though it did include wins over Ar$enal & ManU. In the 4-3 win AT Swansea, we almost snatched Defeat from the jaws of Victory, having led 3-0 at H\T, the referee later disallowing a Swansea `goal` when Bunn was outjumped by Michu. That was very fortunate. What looked like comfortable wins at home vs Sunderland & Wigan became edgy affairs when 2-0 leads were pegged back. Nevertheless, those 10 games yielded exactly HALF our season`s points total. We so need a run now, even of 2 games..... In that game at Swansea we looked a bit like the Lambo version of NCFC for an hour or so. It didn`t last. Just one more win, vs Wigan, in that run, then the near tailspin. 3 points from the subsequent 8 games before our next win, a Kei Kamara inspired Smash & Grab, beating Everton 2-1 at home after trailing 1-0 and being outplayed. KK scored our first and assisted Holty`s injury time winner. Holty, ah, there was an inspiration.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Totally agree Smudger75 !!!! I will be at Carrow Road in the Lower Barclay whether were in the Premier League, Champions League, League 1 or Sunday League. Its our duty. With out my regular group of season ticket holders and the match day beers and laughs it be a truly depressing time at the minute. Non of us are loaded by any means. In fact we barely have money for a season ticket but we simply have to stick together and find a way of affording it. We all use to be away ticket holders also but Hughton has lost us. After the Spurs game earlier this season after yet another no show we decided enough was enough. We all have familys and kids to provide for an couldn't justify being away so much and forking out so much to watch such tross. We decided from that point on any away games we go to from now on as long as Hughtons in charge will be based purely on the night out afterwards. It shouldnt be this way but had to knock away games on the head after so many years.

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    Mattias333

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The most telling comment made by David McNally on Radio Spud this morning was that Houghton was responsible for keeping the side out of the bottom three. Nothing else matters to the board. they care nothing about the style of play or the supporters opinions (season ticket revenue is a drop in the ocean in the Premiership). All they are focused on is the money on offer for staying up. To be fair right at the end of last season when we stayed up most fans would have voted to give CH another go. Had we been relegated playing attractive football there would have been calls for his head. If I were CH I would feel aggrieved to be sacked for doing exactly what I was asked to do by my employers - avoid relegation at all costs.

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    Mikey B

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • For me even if a miracle happens and we beat Hull, CH has shown his lack of tactical nous, not all appointments work out and sadly this one hasnt. Its time for a change, Maybe Steve Clarke until end of season and if he shows enough then a longer term deal. Unless its a lower league younger manager where do you find any proven managers who at some point havent actually failed ?.

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    Jimhow

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Stuff all the pros, cons and arguments...it all comes down to this. I DREAD MATCH DAY (regardless of the opposition)!

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    JimBob

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • So on the radio DMcN said that we were halfway to safety - we need 5 wins and 5 draws to get to the magic 40 mark. We have 9 remaining home games, of which 3 are Man C, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal. Assuming we are still non-clinical and shy away from home, that means that we have to win all 5 of these, and then somehow get 5 away draws (we have 8 games, including Fulham, Man U and Chelsea n.b. these are the last 3 away games of the season). Surely then, if we fail to achieve two home wins in a row against Hull and Newcastle then I fail to see how we will survive - it's a horrible position, but this prognosis is purely based on how poor and uninspired we have been away from home - a new manager could inspire some away form, so I think Hughton should go now - get Mike Phelan in (Malky too defensive), at least for the rest of the season, I wouldn't accept relegation if we go down fighting till the last minute of the last game when it is mathematically possible to be safe.

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    ACrazyChemist

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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