Judging by the fact that three of the names linked with becoming City’s head coach are former Chelsea, Aston Villa and RB Leipzig managers, the club may not be quite as unfashionable as some would have us believe.
That list omits Kjetil Knutsen, a relative hipster’s choice among the big names predictably attracting the most external interest but one of the most sought after and talked about football coaches in Europe at present; a man who recently led Bodo/Glimt, Norway’s representation in the Europa Conference League, to a 6-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s Roma.
The Canaries have been the subject of ridicule over the past few months, and while criticism is rightfully expected of the Premier League’s bottom club, the vociferousness of the national dislike has felt more personal than usual.
City’s sporting director Stuart Webber has also keenly felt this tone, saying: “There has been too much noise and negativity around our club, a lot of which has been unfair.
“Look at a few of the truths. We spent the 11th most money in the last transfer window across Europe. We invested heavily in our coaching team in the summer to give them new contracts and reward them for excellent work. We’ve got a Premier League training ground and facilities.
“I need to put on record that this is a football club who are having a proper go, who believe we are good enough, believe in our work and believe in our players. Some of the scandalous things which have been said about us are wrong.”
Webber continued, “And, yes, the only way to turn that around and prove people wrong is by winning games. We have all been in the industry long enough to know that.
“But to say we have not had a go or to question whether we have accepted relegation already after nine games is a disgrace.”
There’s no doubting the fact that at the time Webber gave that round of interviews he was hoping not to have to part with his head coach, but after the following 2-1 defeat to Leeds United made his mind up. Daniel Farke’s sacking has created an opportunity to hit back at those critics.
The horizon is foggy in NR1 at present, but any Norwich fans totally devoid of excitement are denying themselves anticipation that doesn’t come around very often.
The hole left by Farke has been the subject of rumour en masse since it was created, with almost every unemployed manager having their hat thrown into the ring, voluntarily or otherwise.
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre was briefly floated as a potential name on a list. As was Russell Martin. As was Roy Hodgson. Chris Hughton, Steve Bruce, even Sam Allardyce; the list goes on.
For such a seemingly hate-able club, Norwich have received a surprising amount of interest from ex-Champions League players and coaches, and a curious amount of attention from the outlets who once tarred them with the ‘don’t have a go’ brush.
Frank Lampard, winner of every major accolade he competed for as a player, is clearly a driven man and would not even entertain the idea of managing a club that failed to match his ambition.
Also impressed by the job on offer was Dean Smith, who is said to be very keen on a move to City despite losing his boyhood dream role just days before being interviewed by Webber.
Whether either of that pair are a positive proposition comes down to personal opinion, but there must be reassurance in knowing that men with their CVs would love to work for you.
As the managerial carousel continues to progress with velocity and the property ladder-like movements go on, the Premier League’s previously least trendy club are at the heart of things and will be awarding one lucky candidate the most desirable job in the country. They consistently feature on the online home pages and the printed back pages.
On-pitch matters may not be going as City fans had hoped for, but in the media a Pretty Woman story is forming and Norwich are playing the Julia Roberts role. Webber will just be hoping that he makes the correct appointment because if he doesn’t it could be a big mistake. Huge.