As neutrals get used to a club of the size of Newcastle United having to spend the next season (at least) in the Championship, a look at League One shows that there are big clubs there too. Fresh into the third tier this term is Norwich City, and before kick off yesterday they were being talked of as potential promotion material. After the final whistle, views were different.
Because Norwich shipped seven goals on Saturday afternoon – the first four in a ten minute period before the break – and former goalie Brian Gunn was confronted by angry fans after the game. It was shockingly bad. And when Newcastle are talked about in terms of not having a long term vision, playing regular “sack the manager” and having increasingly unpopular owners, the same can be said of Norwich.
The Canaries were not doing well in the Championship a couple of seasons ago: they had dropped into the relegation zone. So they sacked the manager, and installed former West Ham and Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder, who got them well clear of the drop. However, the following season, while still clear of the trap door, they sacked Roeder in favour of Gunn, with the result that they got relegated. No vision, just sack the manager.
Norwich’s major shareholders, husband and wife team Michael Wynn Jones and Delia Smith, are apparently open to genuine offers for their interest in the club, but note the presence of the G-word: this Smith and Jones are fans themselves, but with the club heading downhill, they won’t be standing with the masses come the next home game – not unlike Mike Ashley at Newcastle. What they need right now is to sit themselves down, figure out where they want the club to go, how they’re going to get there, and if it means a change of personnel, do it this once and then leave it well alone.
Otherwise, Delia’s going to find herself in one very hot kitchen.