Clearly discussions around Chris Hughton’s future did figure heavily in January’s board meetings and Michael confirmed they concluded that even if City had avoided relegation a change would still have been necessary this summer.
The club’s inability to close the deal by the end of the week has clearly irked a few but the odd day, or even a week, over their self-imposed deadline is hardly the end of the world if it means getting the right man.
Ed: ‘The director of football may be the candidate who is already in work, I would suspect, however, releasing him from his current role is more of a procedural formality rather than something which might become a long drawn out process as it was with Paul Lambert.’
The squad needs rebuilding; there little doubt about that. While I’m not expecting a mass exodus there will clearly be those who, for all the right reasons, will want to stay in the Premier League and have earned that right.
In hindsight, those who called for the head of Chris Hughton in December will consider their campaign to have been vindicated, but the decision to retain his services was made in good faith on the basis that a league position that hovered around fourteenth place could be maintained.
With different questions being asked of Messrs Terry and Cahill, the previously impenetrable looking duo found themselves backpeddling and it was at that point it felt almost as if the game were there for the taking.
For those wanting a straw to clutch, at least City cannot be relegated this weekend. Equally, as the official Premier League website politely and factually reminds us, ‘nor they can ensure avoiding the drop’.
To be put forward as cannon fodder at the canonization of St Ryan was always going to be a challenge but to roll over in such limp fashion when the stakes were so high speaks volumes of the current crop.
In the cold light of day we’ve been marooned on 32 points for over a month. Not since the win over Sunderland – the one we thought had taken us to the cusp of safety – has the points total headed in an upward direction.
Rather than being steam-rollered, the Canaries rolled up their metaphorical sleeves up and dug in. The heads stayed high and the chests remained puffed out. And what we witnessed was a City side ‘giving it a go’. Something we have been asking for all season.
With the bookies, pundits and ‘experts’ alike now predicting a return to the Championship, City now find themselves in the realms of ‘nothing to lose’.
Tactically few could have complaints with the new manager’s approach and it was refreshing to see a more fluid look to City as they pressed forward. The narrow midfield certainly plays to the strengths of Martin Olsson.
Clearly the task of getting the message across to a bunch of impressionable 17 and 18 year-olds is different to instructing a dressing room full of established Premier League players, but Adams has passion and belief.
Those who follow City home and away will have been thinking ‘what’s the fuss about… we see this every other week’, but for 25,000 to witness such a listless, lacklustre and abject performance in a game that just had to be won was hard to take.
Of course there have been plenty of away-days that were as bad – worse even – than Swansea, but following this week’s no-show it’s clear Russell Martin and co decided, on reflection, it was one let-down too many for the travelling support
Against the Swans ball retention is king. If you let them have it they will keep it all day if they feel like it. That’s how they play – their schtick. To go four v five from the word go was, even without the benefit of hindsight, suicidal. Wes found himself having to play as a traditional left-sided midfielder and Olsson’s forays forward were limited in the extreme.
The supporting roles played by Messrs Snodgrass, Howson and Tettey meant the midfield functioned probably better than it has done at any time this season. First to every loose ball, victorious in every 50/50 and in complete control
In terms of a starting XI is virtually impossible to second-guess Hughton’s thoughts. If a 1-1 draw with Stoke was sufficient to prompt five changes one can only imagine his thinking following the debacle at St Mary’s
A midfield that includes Bradley Johnson and Alex Tettey is designed to be be strong, to not take a backward step and to win the 50/50s. It was was therefore worrying that it failed on every count. Ditto the quality of passing from central midfield which has long been questioned. Today did nothing to allay those fears.
The Premier League fixtures computer has long since deemed March to be the month when City’s short-term future is decided but with one point from a possible six on the board so far, even the optimists among us – and I’ve really tried – must be wavering slightly.