A senior colleague once asked me: “How come you’re always so cheerful?”
It made me reflect that a boss probably ought to be cheerful; to try and set a positive tone for the workplace. But in my case it was no act.
I’ve had an extraordinarily fortunate life. It would be terribly wrong if that weren’t reflected in my demeanour; it’s certainly made me the happy and optimistic person that people see.
So let me bring all that to bear on Norwich City. With my instinctive optimism and inclination to see the bright side of everything, let me list valid reasons for the club to now keep Alex Neil as manager:
I think that’s the full list. So on to the next subject.
We have some interesting games coming up, starting with the Cup replay at Southampton. Given our away form since October, I suspect few City fans expect anything other than defeat on Wednesday. However, strange things happen in these situations.
Like City, Southampton are struggling and have higher priorities than the Cup. They’ll make noises about the boost of a cup win, but the mindset may not follow those noises.
The least optimistic I’ve been at kick-off of any Norwich game this season was the EFL Cup game at Everton. If you can remember that far back, we won.
So it’s just possible we’ll have a televised 4th Round game at the end of the month against Arsenal. If so, it may be worth attending (whatever the ticket price) especially if there are fresh faces to see in City shirts. Or indeed in the dugout.
We won’t, of course, have to wait that long to see a familiar face in the Away dugout. With reason, I expect nostalgia will be in full flow next Saturday when Paul Lambert takes his place there.
The Board may feel fate has dealt them a cruel card with that fixture, and the obvious contrast in mood between Lambert’s time at Carrow Road and now. Rather than fate dealing the blow, though, I’m afraid they need to recognise it’s become a self-inflected one.
Apologies for the relative shortness of this piece. But I won’t take more of your time for the sake of it.
Let’s hope we have soon have something to say that’s different – and more cheerful.
Wistful will be the word of the day when Wolves appear in town. Never thought I’d say that.
Gary Gowers says
Respect Jeff. The first person to find an alternative description to ‘toxic’.
Steve Ralph says
I hope every single member of the Board read this and take notice but I would expect them to stop reading after the first paragraph as it is hitting home truths where it hurts.THE TRUTH
martin penney says
Stewart: I wish I’d thought of that concept. Great stuff – it took a few seconds to sink in!
Don Harold says
I think the nostalgia will rise to epidemic levels watching a Paul Lambert team winning comfortably at Carrow Road again.
Hilarious, boss.But what a waste of space.
What is happening now usually happens after relegation, and worse to other clubs, we are above Villa still. In fact one of the few managers who has been able to reverse the rapid drop has been Alex Neil.
Most importantly, he knows the players and has been able to motivate the players to get results.
Perhaps you would be happier with Kenny Jackett and less money for players.
Giles S – So how successful has AN been in motivating the players in the last 13 games (of which 9 have been lost)?
Stewart Lewis says
Thanks for the comments.
Giles S (6): For much of the past, I’d have been with you. But this has gone too far.
City and Villa both have top-six squads. Since appointing Steve Bruce on 12 October, Villa have accumulated 25 points from15 games (top-six form); in the same period under Alex Neil, City have got 14 points from 15 games.
martin penney says
#6 Giles S: If you believe Alex Neil has the ability to motivate players “to get results”, that is your opinion and you are fully entitled to it.
From my point of view, I thoroughly disagree with you.
But – happy days – this is a civilised website!
Neil couldn’t motivate to ave his life. His record since taking over at the club stinks.
Can’t see Newcastle having too many issues after relegation.
Just how has Neil reversed the rapid drop? Nine defeats in the last thirteen? Is that “rapid” enough for you?
As for having money for players, what a novel idea. Why don’t you suggest it to the cook and moxey, now that IS hilarious.
Derek P says
Paul Lambert will cement his already legendary status if he finishes off AN this weekend.
Sorry people, I didn’t realise the season started 15 games ago, and that the Alex Neil that gave us such a wonderful season two years ago must be a different Alex Neil than the one who is in charge now.
Unless of course you believe that managers lose their ability to manage, which we proved with Chris Hughton, didn’t we?
I did not say that we had money, but I would prefer any money that we receive from players sold to go on players rather than paying off a manager
I hope we hammer Wolves,firstly because I support Norwich City and secondly because it will keep the Jackett from the door.
Stewart Lewis says
Giles S (12): I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I like your style! OTBC
Flying High (Not) says
Funny things happen in football. Seems like everyone (well, most people) are predicting some kind of armageddon on Saturday. But isn’t it just like this season that we play some decent football and actually get a big win against Wolves?
“Players behind the manager.. quality in this squad.. turned a corner.. go on a run…”
Then come Birmingham, yet to win under Zola…