Peter Grant proved the adage that nothing becomes a man so much as the manner of his leaving. A decent man did the decent thing.
But the team he has left behind is grievously short of decent players and in genuine danger of relegation to football's third tier. Are Norwich too big a club to go down? Ask Nottingham Forest, Leeds or Manchester City.
Is the current team good enough to stay up? Not on recent evidence.
City have gone nine and a quarter hours without scoring. The first Norwich shot at QPR came after 70 minutes and those of us in the School End upper tier greeted it with ironic cheers. It was gallows humour; supporters without hope mocking a hopeless team.
In more than 30 years of reporting and supporting Norwich, I cannot remember a more miserable performance than the abject capitulation at Loftus Road ? and I've seen a few shockers. Wolves away this season was grim enough. Plymouth away in the dying embers of Nigel Worthington's reign was painful. Several listless displays under Brian Hamilton would make any “worst of” list.
But the surrender at QPR was as bad as it gets because of the opposition. The London club were rock bottom, managerless, had not beaten anybody all season and had only scored one goal at home before our lot showed up. And there were three other elements which were uniquely depressing.
Firstly, too many players seemed to be going through the motions. That might be unfair. Sometimes players short of confidence are too dispirited to get their legs going, but the most generous assessment of Chris Martin, for instance, would be that he waited for things to happen rather than strained every sinew to make them happen. Secondly, there was a woeful lack of quality which was epitomised by Rossi Jarvis's slapdash passing. Thirdly, and most worryingly, there was a critical lack of athleticism which was personified by Simon Lappin, who can pass the ball well but simply does not have a good enough “engine”.
Failings one and two can be corrected. A change of manager usually improves attitude in the short term and bags of effort can camouflage a lack of quality. But failing three, the missing athleticism, cannot be remedied without a wholesale change of personnel.
Of the current squad, only Jon Otsemobor and Lee Croft have genuine pace ? the one asset which is essential in the English Football League. Remember how Gary Holt and Damien Francis powered around? So, whereas in the bleakest days of Worthington you felt that there were good players in the side but that their self-belief had been shredded, the class of 2007-08 look like a fundamentally flawed team.
One of my columns on this website, in which I talked about the good players Worthy signed, caused a response on the Wrath of the Barclay site in which someone pointed out that I had forgotten some of the donkeys. He nominated Dickson Etuhu, Andy Hughes and Carl Robinson. Well, that trio would improve our current midfield considerably.
But there is no point in fighting old wars. We are where we are now and the club we all care about has to decide what to do next.
The first essential ingredient ? for the board, the team and the fans ? is some realism. If City can finish fourth from bottom of the Championship this season, we should all regard that as a step forward from the current perilous plight. It would give the club breathing space to start again.
We have to be realistic as well about the sort of players who might join Norwich on loan or sign in December. Andrew Davies, the Middlesbrough defender who, as it turned out, was the last player Grant tried to lure to Norfolk, has gone to Southampton on loan. The deal will cost the Saints a total of ?1 million.
That is an indication of how expensive unexceptional players have become, even if they are only acquired temporarily. Norwich do have money available but we have to understand how the market has changed.
Realism also means no daft talk about “foreign investors”. Leaving aside the question of whether they are desirable, there just aren't any interested in Norwich. It took Liverpool three years of touting themselves around the planet to every billionaire they could find before they actually nabbed someone and there is certainly not a queue of mad Yanks or Arabs forming outside Carrow Road.
We already have some rich backers, of course. Andrew and Sharon Turner are playing an increasing role at Norwich. While Delia Smith has been filming for her new TV series (much of which is set in the kitchens at Carrow Road), the Turners have been making day-to-day executive decisions.
I've met them and they are certainly proper City fans who have put in the years. But they did not strike me as the sort of people who are anxious to give away a significant wedge of the fortune they have worked hard to build up.
In fact, the only folk I have ever met who were ready and willing to seriously deplete their own wealth for “our” club are Delia and her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones. They stepped in when the club was hours away from liquidation, paid the monthly wages bill more than once during the early days of their reign, and have given more time and money than they could really afford to our club.
Whatever happens in the next few months, we should never forget that, nor let our frustration and hurt provoke ingratitude or worse towards good people who are hurting every bit as much as us.
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