We’ve turned into a stroppy old bunch…. me included.
And, in fairness, we’ve had good reason over the last eighteen months: poor quality football, lack of goals, lack of entertainment, poor decision making etc. The list is a fairly long one. Those who love a good moan have had plenty of ammunition.
Yet, for all the derision and scorn that’s bubbled on or around the surface over the last couple of seasons, the decision to offer Neil Adams a three-year contract had been the one that’s provoked the most anger. I say anger… apoplectic rage is probably more apt.
And it shows little sign of abating. Only this morning I ‘approved’ a comment on one of the recent MFW articles that described it an ‘awful appointment’.
My own journey of acceptance has led me to conclude that, while I was initially underwhelmed and a little bit angry (probably because of the other names that were being bandied around), the decision was made with the best interests of the club at heart.
While Delia and Michael have, in the past, been accused of the proverbial ‘little Norwich’ mentality, it is not a charge that can be laid at the door of Alan Bowkett and David McNally. Not a chance. Both are ruthlessly ambitious men who would balk at the prospect of decision-making based on sentimentality.
They have made mistakes in the past – they admitted as much – and will no doubt continue the human trait of getting things wrong, but not with the intention of winding up the supporters. As the saying goes, it is indeed ‘tough at the top’ and often decisions have to be made in the knowledge that the fans will be unhappy.
The Adams decision undoubtedly falls into that one. Mick Dennis confirmed that in his post-appointment article.
And questions still remain over the whole process. Why, for example, was Neil Lennon not in the frame? Also if, as we are led to believe, Malky was offered the gig, how did that fit with the ‘attacking and entertaining’ ethos? And if, as McNally told us, they had attracted ‘best in class’ candidates for the job, how does that square with appointing a manager with a zero per cent win record?
I suspect at some point – in the spirit of openness – the chief executive will provide answers in his usual persuasive and unequivocal way.
The outcry over Adams’ appointment was many-fold and borne of a planet alignment that would spell disaster for the board. We were fed names (admittedly by the media and bookmakers) that led us down some intriguing paths, we had an eleven day wait for news and – for good measure – a final twist of Lennon quitting Celtic to apparently head south.
One assumes the Lennon move was what prompted the board to make the announcement when they did, but it equally served to tantalise the Canary Nation.
But, Neil Adams it is, and with the moaning and groaning soon to be out of our systems it will be time to throw our full weight behind Canary Call’s finest in his attempt to take us back to the Promised (but not quite as much fun as it seems) Land.
Yesterday’s Championship Play-Off Final – while irksome for the fact that QPR’s billions somehow triumphed over Derby’s cultured and traditional approach – was ample to whet the appetite. A Play-Off Final at the Millenium Stadium was spine tingling enough, but just the thought of those massive swathes of yellow and green at Wembley was sufficient to make the pulse race.
The Champions League Final was obviously of a different ilk in terms of Norwich City, but was another reminder of what can be achieved when organisation and technique combine to make a team greater than the sum of its parts. Alas, as at Wembley, opulence triumphed over the common man – but only just.
So, the hard work starts now. Adams’ first task – which is already underway – is to filter the current crop for those suited to a Championship challenge and those who are not up for the fight. Those who are not will be on their way. Equally, Martin Olsson won’t be the first to be in the sights of the West Hams, West Broms and co. We have an interesting few months ahead.
With regard to players coming in, for many the biggest concern remains Adams’ apparent lack of clout in the transfer market and which is where a shrewd appointment to the role of technical director may well be key.
For all his coaching and tactical nous, our former Under-18s manager will struggle to compete with the likes of Steve McLaren and, dare I say it, Mick McCarthy when it comes to waving his CV at a prospective signing. But throw a technical director with gravitas into the equation and things may look a little different.
Similarly the appointment of Adams’ coaching team is critical. The mention of Steve Foley – him of Needham Market fame – was a concern but seems to have been successfully airbrushed away. If that were truly the new manager’s view of the future I would be a little concerned… but I’m sure something must have been lost in translation!
Instead, a coach or two who have proven experience, and who haven’t been previously sacked by Norwich City, will be a good start.
So, while we are all currently at different stages of acceptance, I’m sure that by 9th August the whole Yellow Army will be 100% united behind Neil Adams, his new coaching team and the new class of 2014/15.
It has to be that way and I’m sure it will.
Let’s just get this bloody World Cup out of the way and then bring on the Ipswich.
On the Ball City…