Canary chief executive David McNally this morning duly stuck firmly to his Celtic and Fulham roots as City unveiled Paul Lambert as their new full-time manager – the man whose 7-1 triumph at Carrow Road on the opening day of the season set Bryan Gunn's demise in motion.
Speaking to reporters last night McNally dropped some big, big clues as to who his 'No1 target' was.
He was 'in employment'; with an 'English club'; had thrived in a 'big club' environment; was a proven 'winner'…
Tick, tick, tick as far as the 40-year-old Lambert was concerned. “Paul was our No1 target and we're delighted to have landed our No1 target,” said McNally as he sat down with his man this morning.
Lambert officially takes charge tomorrow; having signed 'a rolling contract', he will be in the stands at Griffin Park this evening as Ian Butterworth and Ian Crook take charge of affairs for one, last time.
Go back to those clues and everything fits into place.
In employment with the Us since last October; arguably, you don't got more English than Essex.
But it was McNally's emphasis on 'big club'; that Norwich was a 'big football community' that demanded a 'big club' boss which gave the game away – or at least pointed the finger of suspicion away from Scunthorpe's Nigel Adkins.
Throw in that Champions League winners medal with Borussia Dortmund and the former Celtic skipper and Scottish Player of the Year was clearly firmly in McNally's sights. He knew last night that his man was all but in the bag.
Not that his arrival would have been that straight-forward. It is likely to have gone down like the proverbial lead balloon with the Us after their perfect start to the new League One season. Top of the table and due to entertain Gillingham at the Community Stadium tonight, they too are now going to find themselves leaderless just hours before a league clash.
Money will have talked; a deal must have been done last week to enable McNally to court Lambert so openly.
It is likely to add a little 'spice' to the return fixture later in the season as City – and Lambert – seek to put the record straight after that 7-1 dismissal which set so many wheels in motion.
The logic had been overwhelming from the moment that Gunn was despatched with little or no ceremony on Friday afternoon – less than 24 hours before City's 1-1 draw with Exeter City.
That football being the funny old game that it was, that Lambert might 'fit' – as MyFootballWriter suggested as early as Saturday lunchtime .
Opportunity to 'sound out' Lambert could have happened an hour after the final whistle blew the other Saturday; McNally would have worked closely with the Celtic Park favourite… he would have sold him replica shirts by the thousands as the Bhoys faithful enjoyed the time of their lives with Lambert bossing events on the pitch and Martin O'Neill conducting affairs off it.
O'Neill's role in this week's remarkable turn of events should not be under-played either.
For one would suspect that if the club's principal shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones wanted any re-assurance that this time they were getting the real deal, then McNally probably had to do no more than point them in the direction of 'Marvellous Martin'; he would have waxed lyrical about Lambert.
The fact that his one-time skipper and on-field general cut his own managerial teeth at Wycombe Wanderers is probably no more than a happy coincidence; it was, of course, at Adams Park where O'Neill started to make his mark on the managerial scene.
But with seasoned observers likening Lambert to 'another Martin' in the way that he conducts himself on and off the pitch, the two former Celtic Park heroes clearly have a deep respect going on – one that McNally and the Smiths this morning chose to draw upon for their own League One salvation.
The links do not end there. One suspects that tghis morning's news will have brought a smile to the face of Roughton's most famous resident.
Ex-Celtic striker Chris Sutton has been itching to get his first proper break in coaching since being forced to retire from the game with an eye injury.
He could yet be a surprise addition to 'Team Paul'.
As might former City UEFA Cup hero Ian Culverhouse; Lambert's No2 at the Community Stadium. And there's another big irony to add to this morning's events; that as one clutch of UEFA Cup heroes departs through one door, so another clutch arrive by the other.
And all with a Champions League winner at the fore.
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