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Everyone is a critic but Neil Adams’ verdict is final at Norwich City

11:45 13 November 2014

Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond was left out for the 2-1 Championship defeat at Nottingham Forest. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond was left out for the 2-1 Championship defeat at Nottingham Forest. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Neil Adams will have rapidly discovered with each fresh instalment of Championship frustration there are thousands of managers in the making across Norfolk.

"Neil Adams is judged, the rest of us are not. If he gets more wrong than right he is out of a job. The rest of us just roll on to scrutinise the next in line and the cycle starts all over again."

Paddy Davitt

Painful late defeats, heavy hammerings, draws contrived from winning positions, all sate a thirst for answers among fans and media.

Adams’ selections and team shapes are now forensically dissected, more often than not through the prism of hindsight.

Nathan Redmond’s omission at the City Ground made it inevitable Norwich were on a loser when the teams were announced an hour before kick-off in the East Midlands. Twitter had already delivered its damning verdict. No wingers equalled no width and no hope.

The late implosion which unfolded in such dramatic fashion merely fuelled the belief that Adams had got it wrong; conveniently overlooking Russell Martin’s productive shift offering width down the right flank in contrast to Steven Whittaker’s overall productivity in recent weeks. Or the presence of three defensively-minded midfielders which afforded Jonny Howson the freedom to not only score a fine first-half goal but run the show until Forest stirred after the interval.

Most outside the camp would have been surprised to see Redmond omitted but Adams is paid to make those decisions. The rest of us offer opinions.

Adams is judged, the rest of us are not. If he gets more wrong than right he is out of a job. The rest of us just roll on to scrutinise the next in line and the cycle starts all over again.

Whether you agreed or disagreed with Adams’ ‘wingless wonders’ experiment in Nottingham, if City had defended properly for the final moments there would have been no such scrutiny of perceived selection failings.

Yet until Norwich get back to winning ways it is an inevitable consequence of the current downturn.

Wes Hoolahan was the answer at the outset, the key to unlocking the door, until Championship opponents decided it was time to deny him space to wreak havoc and his influence waned and he became part of the problem, prior to his injury at Fulham.

Bradley Johnson and Alex Tettey were the answer as Norwich surged to the top of the standings but Gary O’Neil or Vadis Ofoe were increasingly viewed as part of the solution when momentum stalled.

Strip this debate right down and it is less about systems and personnel and everything about the fluctuating currents of form and confidence.

Lewis Grabban was a prolific striker in the good times, now he plays with a growing frustration and a sense of desperation as he spurns each fresh goalscoring chance.

To this point Adams has shown a greater reluctance to shuffle his options at the top end of the pitch. The manager’s glowing eulogy towards Cameron Jerome after his recent Bolton salvo demonstrate the former Stoke striker is viewed as indispensable. Kyle Lafferty has had limited chance to impress centrally as a potential partner, but Gary Hooper’s continued omission seems increasingly harder to justify.

Hooper’s Norwich career so far has been blighted by injury and periods of forced inactivity, but his goalscoring record is the equal of any within this City first team squad.

Given the dearth of goals, a player with his penalty box instincts warrants a chance. But that is just an opinion. One of many in circulation and its only Adams’ that counts.

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6 comments

  • It's really not about team selection Mr.Davitt, or even really about team formation. This Norwich City team is beginning to play in the same way as under the awful CH. The tempo is so slow and the passing and movement is predictable. Since the good early season results, opponents have worked out that if they put the effort in, play with pace and close us down there is a very good chance that we will cough up one or two goals. Football management is a high risk job but nobody forced Neil Adams to take it on and results are really all that he can be measured by.

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    Bellboy

    Friday, November 14, 2014

  • It sounds so easy...all we have to do is win the next two games and we are back in contention. Trouble is most of the team that couldn't pull out of a tail spin last season are still here and I worry that, once things start to go wrong, there might not be the strength of character to prevent a similar fall? Yes, we are a league lower but it is still very competitive and no team is going to lie down for us. Psychology and motivation might be a key to reversing this but the big question is where could this come from?

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

  • Twice ethered !!

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    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

  • Ethered, again WHY ???

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    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

  • I think that puts the NA situation into perspective. Deliver two home wins and Six Points in the next two fixtures on 22 & 29 Nov and NA's stock rises again. Fail to deliver and the knives will be well and truly out. DMcN and the board will be under enormous pressure to act and to admit that, once again, they got their key appointment and decision making wrong. I want to see City win this league and move onwards and upwards, and for the first 10 games it looked like we were doing this. Then we went into unexplained free-fall so expectations are high and now many are concerned with this sudden loss of form. It's a results business so lets hope that we start getting the results back, whatever it takes to do that is what is needed ! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

  • .....Paddy!.... If Wes Hoolahan had not been crowded out by his OWN TEAM mates ,all trying to score themselves instead of developing a co-ordinated attack across the width of the pitch, a different story might now be being told!...Last Season his problem was Snodgrass!....This year, it has been Redmond- Whitaker and Martin ,and to a certain extent Tettey!, all trying to do someone else's job!.. and neglecting their own!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Thursday, November 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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