Maybe Norwich City manager Neil Adams needs Lady Luck
It never rains but it pours, eh?
Having made a such a bright start as Norwich City manager, it’s starting to go wrong for Neil Adams. The natives are more than restless, although it would be unfair to jump on any sort of bandwagon without making a couple of points which I think are relevant.
First off, a certain radio phone-in had a call from someone moaning that City appointed someone who had won just one point in five Premier League games. Behave! Adams was thrown in at the deep end, managing someone else’s hugely under-performing squad, with little or no preparation. To suggest he should have done better is ludicrous.
When he was subsequently appointed, opinion was split: he started almost on the back foot. Even Chris Hughton and Glenn Roeder had more local support. Maybe that was because of their previous experience, who knows, but Adams certainly didn’t have as much support as he would have liked.
The season started well, but two wins in the last 10 games have seen City slip to 10th – eight days after they were joint top.
Adams’ lack of experience is being cited as an issue, but here’s where the luck took a bit of a kicking. First there was that curious link with Steve Foley, a former City coach with bags of experience, a knowledge of the club and a knowledge of the manager. He was always popular with the players – but whether or not he was a genuine candidate to come back into the fold is unclear. If he had, he would have been a good aide to Adams.
Then there was another old head, Joe Royle who, having been appointed football consultant, left after six weeks to join Everton.
Adams and Royle (pictured) go back a long way – again, good experience lost, and not Adams’ fault.
Then there are the little things: Jacob Murphy goes out on loan at Blackpool and 26 minutes into his debut scores a goal. Elliott Bennett looks the business on loan at Brighton. Harry Toffolo has a cracking debut on loan at Swindon. And in France, Ricky van Wolfswinkel has twice as many goals for his loan club, St Etienne, than he scored all last season for the Canaries.
Okay, a total of three isn’t great and perhaps the mentioned wouldn’t all be starters – but sod’s law comes to mind.
There are injuries to key players, although what is inescapable is that what is, according to many, the best squad in the division isn’t performing.
Luck or not, that simply can’t continue.
Shame on you, football
Sometimes I really, really wish I had a good answer to a problem.
The report by the Sports Person’s Think Tank which found that only 19 out of the 552 senior coaching positions at England’s 92 league clubs are held by black and ethnic minority (BME) coaches, is appalling. Go take a walk around your local city streets, or go to a match and look at the teams.
That will show you something is seriously wrong.
Clubs will say they are not being racist but, as Jason Roberts, the former striker who is one of the founding members of the think tank, says: “The numbers do not add up, so many players from our communities who have achieved so much on the field of play – distinguished careers as senior players in some of the biggest clubs in this country, many with international caps, some who played at major tournaments – yet so few that have been given opportunities to achieve as coaches.”
I wish I knew why that is so: but I am almost afraid of the truth.