Opinion: It may have taken a while, but this is the right decision for Norwich City

Norwich Manager Chris Hughton gets animated during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
05/04/2014 Norwich Manager Chris Hughton gets animated during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/04/2014

Monday, April 7, 2014
3:29 PM

It took Norwich City a long while to come to their senses, but they have made the right decision.

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Liam Ridgewell of West Brom and Johan Elmander of Norwich in action during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
05/04/2014Liam Ridgewell of West Brom and Johan Elmander of Norwich in action during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/04/2014

Until 8pm yesterday I could not believe that the management team had been able to survive the weekend intact.

We have five games left, we need to win one of them, and if Saturday’s clueless performance was the best we could come up under the previous regime it was hard to see where one is going to come from now.

Fulham – despite all the historical baggage that goes with a trip to Craven Cottage – remain our best bet, but were Team Hughton really going to improve upon the dismal sequence of results seen there from 2005 onwards? No, and that’s why I am delighted that Neil Adams has been put in charge. It was the original draft of this column

I know what the contractual and compensation issues involved might have been with Team Hughton, but it was worth the gamble. Such a pay-out is covered if you stay up for at least another season. Go down and the chances are it might take us another six seasons to get back again.

The mere presence of someone new, with some different thinking, might just make all the difference.

At the very least you’d like to think that anyone else would have a Plan B in place for when things go wrong, and not make a series of like-for-like substitutions.

It was staggering that in a must-win game that we made no half-time changes against West Brom. There seemed to be no change in approach for the second half.

It’s been said before and it’ll continue to be said – that Chris Hughton is a thoroughly decent, nice person, but it was hard to imagine him ruffling too many Canaries feathers at half-time in matches such as Saturday’s.

West Brom was the day when the standard of our away performances was brought to Carrow Road with too many players putting in displays that would see them outclassed in the Championship.

Now, the trouble with going for someone like Adams is that all too many people will think that it is going to be a re-run of the Bryan Gunn appointment.

He got the one necessary win in his first game in charge – but it was what happened after beating Barnsley 4-0 that was the problem.

Adams is a differenmt kettle of fish to Gunn by dint of last season’s FA Youth Cup success – by far and away the best most recent game seen at Carrow Road was the final against Chelsea.

Even the “Stupid” Barrys of this world must be happy with this change. Let’s hope nobody will have to ring up Canary Call to ask: “What do they do in training Neil?”

We might get a Barnsley-like result at Fulham, but even if not we will at least start with a lot more optimism in the away end.

It will certainly be an improvement on the mood on Saturday, which was all too reminiscent of Nigel Worthington’s last game in charge in 2006 against Burnley for many, many reasons.

Once a crowd turns, that’s it, there’s no way back from that. It took some time – away fans’ party apart I could well imagine the annoucement having been made on Saturday at 8.05pm, not last night to try to rescue us from the display of omni-shambles football tactics seen on Saturday.

Because of a complete lack of movement, Joseph Yobo, Sebastien Bassong and Alexander Tettey appeared to spend a lot time simply knocking the ball around between them because the lack of options through no-one ever moving to make space. You almost felt at times that people were trying to hide from the ball. There was all too little invention and creativity on show.

At least we know we will have a completely different approach at Fulham on Saturday.

I don’t think we will be able to go there and play for a draw now.

Had Fulham lost at Aston Villa that might have been the case, but we have to go for it.

And it’s that result at Villa Park that has probably done for us rather than our own failings against West Brom.

If we were going to Craven Cottage eight points ahead of Fulham I’d be a lot more confident about our chances of survival.

But now they’ve got a chance of cutting the gap on us to two points with far more potential wins in their run-in than ours… you just know what is likely to happen. Even a draw would keep us in Fulham’s sights – home wins against Hull and Crystal Palace would be enough to keep them up and send us down.

If we get turned over at Craven Cottage with Adams in charge I cannot think for one moment that anyone will blame him for the position we now find ourtselves in.

With the likes of Neil Lennon or Malky Mackay perhaps being lined up as a permanent replacement for Hughton for next season, depending upon our status, it’s a gamble that was worth taking.

When you see Leicester celebrating their promotion it makes you remember all the great games of 2010/11 – and consider how all that effort was just being tossed aside as we started slipping out of the top flight without a whimper.

FOR MORE FROM STEVE GEDGE SEE THE EDP EVERY MONDAY.

35 comments

  • Shame the Archant journalists didn't have the cojones to write like this four months ago. Just how shackled were you - and why? I think we should be told.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Spot on EL dingo

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    Canaryinslovenia

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • No, no, Mile High! The Sluice I refer to is the one near Denver, Norfolk. Originally created by our Dutch engineer friends as a part of the drainage system in the fens!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Why doesn't Mad Brewer change the record? One can only assume he is a frustrated would-be journalist with some grudge against Archant reporters. Maybe if he tried to do the job for a week and deal with NCFC's control freaks he might think differently.

    Report this comment

    Outside The Box

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • I am not sure why all the fuss. It is only a game and just like life there are winners and losers. Losers often come back stronger.

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • I have two Fulham supporting friends - they have both independently confirmed with me today that they are far more nervous now we have made this change than they were at 5.30pm on Saturday

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • NCFC founded in 1902, since then no less than 39 managers have been appointed. A sad indictment on a club who have clearly suffered with ideas above their station. CH was a perfectly good enough manager for this club, fans and board alike should have been grateful to have had him. It hasn't been long since the acrimonious departure of Paul Lambert, how badly was he treated by a board who were arrogant enough to expect him to stay at a club like Norwich. Until this board and fans start to have realistic expectations, then this club will always be what it is.

    Report this comment

    NB

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • PLEASE NOT MALKY

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    Denzil

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • I nearly missed it - Mile Cross High?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Our Saviour cried - we agree again, el dingo, en passant.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Barking I don't know the figures but a pretty reliable source frightened the life out of us in the pub a couple of weeks ago when he estimated there were about 14-15 in the Hughton entourage - dieticians, physios, etc. Dunno if it's true - perhaps Archie will investigate on our behalf! Then I woke up:)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Does anyone know what CH's pay off actually is? Is it his salary til the end of his contract or a lesser amount subject to negotiation? I'm curious to know the cost of failure. Matt? Lincs? Anybody?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Does anyone know what CH's pay off actually is? Is it his salary til the end of his contract or a lesser amount subject to negotiation? I'm curious to know the cost of failure. Matt? Lincs? Anybody?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • There's lots of comments going on here, even the Pro CH fans have gone Anti CH, let's face it, all we want is to see NCFC play in the top English Tier of football, wether CH was a nice guy or not if we were sitting on 40pts now, which we really should have had if he had done his job right, and not dished out poor football tactics, instead of open expansive play, and not think 1 1 was a good result and piled on defenders, because, a least we did not lose mentaility... he would still be our Manager and we would think he was God, well he failed, and has paid the price, a bit late in the day, but as they say "not a day to soon", I believe we have a good side with Quality players, (well with one exception) and I believe we can survive, with a couple of surprise results, so good luck all, and thank goodness the board acted when they did.

    Report this comment

    OLDYELLA

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • The best strikers can't score if they don't enough decent chances. Hooper was unluck on Saturday, I think with the right tactics he is prem material, don't know about Wolf, and Becc has never been given a fair run out. But there are other goal scorers in the squad. Keep the faith!

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Outside the Box I respect your opinion. But while MB might not have done, I have walked the walk, believe me. Journalism in East Anglia is monopolisitic and political. Unless you know different? I am not even remotely disgruntled either - I'd have had a much more boring life if I'd ever worked for Archant:)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Mattias, don`t make Saturday arrive too quickly. Give Neil a chance! No training at Colney today?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Well let's hope Sunderland are big losers today...

    Report this comment

    Mile High

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • It's spring again and the sap is rising. It's either that or CH going that's reawaken my enthusiasm, OTBC and NA has my full support what ever happens, I do now believe we will survive.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • On the bright side, Mile High, our top (league) scorer has 6 (Snodgrass). Hooper would`ve had a lot more had he not been messed about by the previous manager. Wolfswinkel? He`s a mystery to me. Shows no signs of even being a professional footballer. A possibility for the Guinness Book of Football Scams.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Another columnist\history revisionist flopping firmly on to the right side of the fence. Talk about gedge-ing your bets. Never mind. Good luck to Neil Adams. Good man for rising to the challenge. S*d the `journalists`

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • I`ve never had ambitions to be a journalist. I met many in the course of my career, and was generally impressed by the depth of their shallowness. I don`t think I`ve ever met el dingo, but I`m sure he`s an exception, along with Charles D!ckens, Winston Churchill and Ian Hislop. Btw, el dingo, Dave Watson has remained, so was he not a component of Chrissie`s charismatic caravan? Blaffen Wijs - good to see the Syncretic Society of Serial Sycophants is still extant! Gek.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Btw, how`s the sluice in Denver?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Smudger, NB is a binner who sometimes tries to disguise his sad little agenda. Ignore!

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • PLEASE BE MALKY!

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • However ineffectual Chris Hughton may have been as a manager, the timing of his sacking is questionable and seems a panic reaction responding to the hostility of the crowd. Mob rule rarely results in a lasting achievement. It was left to Chris Hughton to show good human qualities through the dignified and courageous way that he reacted after the match. Surely nobody can doubt that he worked hard and tried his best to serve our club, and he deserves our thanks for that and the fine role model he was of basic human decency.

    Report this comment

    stephens103

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • I was feeling very nervous about my 6th trip to Fulham but now for the first time in over a year & a half im feeling positive. While I fully understand we may still end up coming away with zero points the negativity has been removed from me. I believe in our side again. Come on boys! Fully committed performance what ever the result. OTBC! Hurry up and arrive saturday!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Q. Would we have gone down if CH had stayed? A. Yes (100% certain in my opinion). Q. Do we at least have a chance with a change of manager? A. Yes, at least I think we do. It may be late in the season but it is absolutely right to change. It will cost a bob or two for the pay-off but we'd have paid it anyway at the end of the season.

    Report this comment

    Coleeeey

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • "Until this board and fans start to have realistic expectations, then this club will always be what it is". Talk about a contradictory statement! Is that, "until little ol' Norwich start to have realistic expectations, then this club will always be little ol' Norwich". P**s poor attitude.

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Honest appraisal of a testing season. Would have been nice if this happened at Christmas but one can't live in the past. We must all look towards this weekend and picking up 3 points against Fulham. It We have the opportunity to boost our survival hopes, end the Craven Cottage Curse and collect 3 points. It could be a very big Saturday, OTBC

    Report this comment

    Powers1902

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Ewen Chester and his scouting people around the world are all part of Hughtons team.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

  • Mad Brewer - I presume by 'sluice' you mean the now legal agricultural product; all good! Not only do we have the ability to vote to legalize stuff we like, we also have a very good football team (NFL) who fell at the final hurdle last season but will have an excellent chance at the title this year. We also have a playoff bound ice-hockey team. I have to admit having winning teams - I was in Miami when the Heat won the last two NBA titles - is so much more rewarding than having to pray we don't get the drop every season; fighting just for survival as opposed to winning silverware... Norwich fans deserve better...

    Report this comment

    Mile High

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • You can assume what you like, OTB. I prefer to think he is usually more engaging than the toadies in Ruin Tower whose articles precede his comments. The toadies know this, so they winge to their boss who blocks the "offending" comment, which in turn makes MB question whether Archant know what they're doing......and he's not the only one who questions this, although some go about it in a more "direct" manner.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Old Canary boy now living in Denver. We get five live Premiership games every week-end; but no Championship games. I'm afraid to say that I'm therefore looking to Chelsea next year, as I lived there for a short while 40 years ago... I cannot see us avoiding the drop - we cannot score any goals. With our top scorer only having five goals and our big off season Dutch purchase only one, we don't deserve to be in the Premiership...

    Report this comment

    Mile High

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • One thing Denver Slice is not, and that is a mile high.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Monday, April 7, 2014

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

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