In the end, the simplest statement came from Peter Grant's own lips as he mulled over the 1-0 defeat by Queen's Park Rangers.
“I've no doubts in my abilites as a coach,” said the City boss, brutally honest till the last. “But to be in this situation in my first job in management is disappointing because you've got to manage players as well as coach them.”
And therein lies much of the problem. Management of 24-odd individuals under the unforgiving microscope of professional football is, at best, a wholly thankless task. At worst – as Grant and his family would no doubt attest – it is one of the cruellest of spectator sports.
And before everyone starts to throw stones from within their own glasshouses, it might be worth pausing a moment and actually thinking about the art of management – as to what it actually takes to manage at the highest level of football in 2007.
Because as Grant headed for his managerial interview this time last year, there is no doubt that many a box was ticked. His knowledge of each and every Canary player was unsurpassed by any other candidate; he had coaching badges galore; having coached in every division of the English professional game, he knew all four divisions inside out.
Tick, tick, tick.
What was the great imponderable facing the nine-strong Canary selection panel that day was how Grant would cope with being the main man; the one that made the decisions; the one that picked the team; the one on whom the spotlight would wholly fall if your team went nine hours without a goal. Did he have that 'X' factor that lifts good coaches into great managers?
It is a fascinating question – what actually makes a great manager.
And at such a point as this it might just be worth looking round you own place of work this morning and running the rule over a colleague or two.
Because that's one myth that needs to be demolished straight away – there's nothing unusual about professional footballers. Other than the amount of money they get paid for kicking a ball about on a Saturday afternoon.
Otherwise they are just blokes. Nothing more, nothing less. Blokes.
They could work on a building site, in a school staff room, in an accountant's office. Doesn't make any difference – they are a collection of men, from 18 to 38, who need to be motivated to do well; to go that extra yard; to put that extra shift in.
Ask youself this question. If your boss asked you to work late on a Christmas Eve would you do it? Would you do it willingly? And if you did, why would you? What was it about your manager that inspired you to go that little extra mile on a Christmas Eve?
What has he or she 'got' that inspires such commitment, such loyalty, such effort?
Look at the managers at the top of the Premiership tree – an Arsene Wenger or a Sven Goran Eriksson. What seperates them from the boys? What is it, exactly, within their personalities that gets a team to gel, an individual to flourish? It clearly isn't a hair-dryer up the sleeve. Nor is it the force of their physical presence.
These men have something. Something that commands nigh-on instant respect; something that got their players digging that much deeper for victory.
Again, go back to your own workshop, your own office, your own staff room. See how that works as a team. Does it work as a team at all? Is it a collection of ill-suited individuals doing their own thing? When the chips are down and you're in the bottom three live on Sky, it one for all and all for one – or every one for themselves?
And if it's the latter, why is it the latter? What is it in your manager's make-up that makes interest wane and attention dwindle? Is it because his appointments nine times out of ten are flawed and ill-judged? Does he shoulder responsibility himself? Does he give you a simple job of work to do? Or does he endlessly complicate matters by changing this and that round every five minutes?
Is he consistent in what he says in public and in private? Does he bring this huge intensity to bear on proceedings – an almost monastic-like fervour that just doesn't sit well with either you or your work-mates?
For somewhere in the midst of all the above lies the simple act of decent man management on which all succesful clubs are built. People have got to work for you; have got to want to work for you; have got to want to make you successful via their own hard labours. There has got to be something that inspires people to put a performance in for the gaffer…
Without that, you're knackered. No show at Molineux, no show at Loftus Road, half show against Sheffield Wednesday and 12 months into a managerial reign and those with big, big doubts are running amok; the board are in their bunker – flak jackets and tin helmets to the fore – pondering what on earth you do next.
Maybe, somewhere right at the back of Grant's locker, he has that exrta ingredient that takes a half decent coach into the realms of a more than half-decent manager. But without it, you are doomed as bit by bit boys go through the motions and – particularly away from home – leave you very much to your own devices.
Don't click, don't gel, don't get on and they leave you out there – hanging out to dry as the fingers start to point.
Coaching is easy – just ask John Deehan. That way you get to be everyone's friend.
Management is an altogether more lonely business – as Peter Grant is fast discovering.