Michael Bailey: A good club can go a long way to making a good manager – just ask Uwe Rosler – and that’s how we will judge Norwich City and their new-look structure
Regardless what happens now or who it proves to be, Norwich City’s new head coach will be their headline appointment.
Managerial changes always drum up the most interest. Everyone has a name they want to come in and a few reasons why – and they will almost certainly diametrically oppose the other half’s suggestions.
That’s why, new structure or old, it remains the trickiest name to get right.
The list of potential candidates discussed by supporters, journalists and pundits has been as wide-reaching as ever.
Fresh from turning down Nottingham Forest, Nigel Clough was on some people’s radar for a Carrow Road switch – even though his spells at Derby and Sheffield United were lukewarm. Likewise Jimmy Hasselbaink, despite his difficult time at QPR. And Gary Rowett’s record spoke for itself.
The common denominator – the only reason all three were even mentioned – was Burton Albion.
It leaves you wondering what a manager can take credit for, and where those blurry lines end?
Tottenham and Everton no doubt both consider themselves fortunate to have Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman in charge at the moment. Two managers that have done extremely well in the Premier League.
Yet both needed success at St Mary’s to move their journey along. Claude Puel is arguably their least convincing appointment in some time, yet he has been far from a failure.
Likewise Swansea and Watford, who have made almost all their recent managerial appointments work for them.
Sure, Bob Bradley may disagree. But Quique Flores and Slavisa Jokanovic both got to bolster their credentials with genuine progress at Vicarage Road.
Meanwhile the list of good coaches who have flung themselves into futile, terrible jobs is far greater.
Football managers can find it hard to resist a job wherever it is, given there is no guarantee another one will ever come along. That’s why the rest of the world laughed as Massimo Cellino plucked what they felt was another gullible sucker to manage the circus at Elland Road – at least until Garry Monk proved exactly how good a manager he is.
Monk may be the exception that proves the rule, but the rule does exist: the club environment is key to managerial success.
Mark Warburton was another name some supporters – including yours truly – wanted to see given a go at Carrow Road, primarily based around his record at Brentford. There lies another club who have shown if you get the general set-up right, several head coaches can prosper.
“The stats show that every club I’ve been at apart from Leeds, I’ve won more than 40pc of my games. All the clubs I’ve taken over – Lillestrom, Viking and Molde in Norway, Brentford, Wigan and Fleetwood in England…I can help clubs achieve what they want to achieve. But I’m not taking any job on any more. Without football I’m not the same person. I need to be involved…But not to an extent where I go and take another suicide mission.”
The words of Fleetwood Town manager Uwe Rosler in a recent interview with The Guardian. For the record, that’s Fleetwood Town – who spent £8m on their new training complex.
Rosler has done a remarkable job at Fleetwood, as he did at Brentford. Both are clubs where other managers have also prospered. He is currently the bookmakers’ favourite to take over as head coach at Carrow Road, although anything stronger than speculation has been fashionably labelled “fake news” by the man himself – which some would argue means it’s actually true. And of course, Huddersfield Town still need to accept reality and let Stuart Webber officially start work as City’s new sporting director first.
Rosler would tick a lot of boxes for Norwich. Even given things went wrong for him at Wigan, he did plenty right during his first six months in charge – and yes, that does sound familiar.
“I still rate him as a very good manager and he’ll get another job very quickly,” so said Wigan chairman Dave Whelan.
Plenty of big decisions await and Rosler may well not be the man City want, but what the Canaries do need is a catalyst.
A first name to kick-off a period where regardless of the initials on the head coach tracksuit, everyone feels it is Norwich City Football Club lifting them and their successors to reach new levels in their career.
Then the Canaries will really be able to call their restructuring a success.
• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey and Facebook @mbjourno