Two diseases in football show very similar symptoms – so similar that it’s easy to get the diagnosis wrong. One is lack of commitment (also known as “not playing for the manager”, “lost the dressing room” etc). The other is lack of confidence.
Stewart left his native Norfolk for university in Cambridge, then worked in London. He was a director of opinion research firm MORI for 20 years. Despite being away for most of his life, Norfolk will always be home – and Carrow Road the spiritual home. Life highlights: singing with Pavarotti, watching Norwich in the San Siro, playing with Mick Dennis. But not necessarily in that order.
In the five weeks since the AGM (a very long time in a crisis), we’ve heard nothing from the board. I can imagine and understand their unwillingness to get embroiled in unsatisfactory debate – but silence is even more unsatisfactory. But what won’t do are platitudes.
“You’ve been under intense pressure for the past twelve months. The way you’ve conducted yourself has been, in my view, admirable. But being the proud man you are, you may be the last to recognise that a break would benefit you.”
A flawed team selection at Barnsley and therefore time to roll the dice? Or is essence of the old Alex still there?December 12th, 2016 by Stewart Lewis | 17 Comments »
To my mind nothing before this season raised serious questions over Alex Neil’s ability, or the desirability of our keeping him. I was with the majority of Carrow Road in acclaiming him at the end of the Watford game in May.
Alex Pritchard is a quality playmaker, the rightful heir to Wes. His Ozil-like through ball to Robbie Brady for our third was an absolute joy; nice to think we have on our books the two best Number 10s outside the Premier League.
Question: should ‘opinion’ be binding? Maybe owners (and politicians) should just do what they think is rightNovember 28th, 2016 by Stewart Lewis | 23 Comments »
Closer to home, while David McNally was in post I wrote a number of pieces here in praise, or defence, of him. The great bulk of readers’ comments were negative, often vehement in their attack on me, McNally or both.
I’d still wait through at least the Derby game, to see if the spirited last 20 minutes at QPR can be carried into a full match. Another insipid performance, though, and it would be tough to argue against change.
I missed the Leeds game but have seen the goals we conceded. Even on just those three clips, our players conspicuously failed to challenge and put their bodies on the line as we’d expect. However reasonable or unreasonable other expectations are, that one is non-negotiable.
Pretty sure I know the questions. I just seem to have more trouble than other people with the answersNovember 9th, 2016 by Stewart Lewis | 14 Comments »
Delia and Michael gradually handed McNally a deciding say in issues – the replacement of Neil Adams by Alex Neil perhaps the most striking example. They recognise the sentimental element of their attachment to the club, and why it sometimes needs to be overridden by tough judgement.
Fulham and Cardiff illustrated the psychological difficulty of bouncing back after relegation. It explains why three out of four clubs don’t, and it’s graphically described by Adam Drury in his excellent chapter of Tales from the City Volume 2.