Opinion: Echoes of the past in this decision, but let’s just hope it is a case of third time lucky

Norwich Manager Chris Hughton before the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
05/04/2014 Norwich Manager Chris Hughton before the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/04/2014

David Powles
Monday, April 7, 2014
8:34 AM

When news of the sacking and Neil Adams’s appointment came through two names sprang quickly to mind – Bryan Gunn and Gary Megson.

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A miserable looking Chief Executive David McNally during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
05/04/2014A miserable looking Chief Executive David McNally during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 05/04/2014

Canary legend Gunn was appointed to replace Glenn Roeder with just a few games left as we battled to stay away from League One football in 2009.

Some 14 years earlier, midfielder Megson was given five games to stop the rot as city battled to avoid a drop out of the top division just one season after that glorious European run.

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Both gambles failed to work and the club was relegated at the end of both seasons. Gunn was swiftly sacked and Megson briefly left before a second unsuccessful spell.

It’s impossible not to be a little fearful this is another appointment made from the heart, not the head, and one which could go the same way.

That said, I’m not against the decision. My position on Hughton remained the same throughout his tenure – I was willing to give the board the benefit of any doubt and trust them to call the shots. It’s the least they deserve for turning around this club.

That remains the same now – and in Adams they have a man with love for the club and at least some background of off-the-field success at it.

And anyone present for Saturday’s turgid performance against West Brom will know that whatever Adams does 
now, things can hardly get any worse.

Bizarrely, performances since Christmas had improved – and the win against Spurs and recent victory against Sunderland suggested players were fighting hard for their manager.

But inept and shameful turnouts against Aston Villa, Swansea and West Brom indicated something was, in fac,t very, very wrong at the heart of the club.

I left Saturday’s game thinking that it was very similar to a 4-1 defeat at home to Burnley in 2006, after 
which Nigel Worthington was sacked.

The honest truth is this has been coming for a long while. Once a large proportion of fans have turned against a manager (as some did at the end of last season) it’s very hard to ever change that opinion.

What has surprised me, however, is the timing – but then again many people were surprised the axe didn’t fall sooner.

Ultimately, the club is bigger than one man (whether that be Hughton, Adams or chief executive David McNally) and whatever my, or other people’s, views on this decision, all that matters is to get behind the players for this Saturday’s game against Fulham.

See Thursday’s paper for the latest Norwich column from David Powles.

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4 comments

  • Third time lucky,have we forgot one off our once great player Dave Stringer who took over the reins,he was a good manager.Neil Adams will follow in his footsteps and bring the club around to a more positive mood and hopefully success in years to come.OTBC

    Report this comment

    canarykid

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Gunn did not replace Roeder "with just a few games left". Gunn took over in mid-January and had 19 Championship games in charge before City were relegated. And they weren't even in the bottom three when Roeder was sacked - just as they aren't in the bottom three now.

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    Outside The Box

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • I understand the sentiment, but there is no way to prove the situation was not a success. We were relegated under Gunn but I believe we gave ourselves a chance. Ironically the sacking of Gunn after one game of the following season made no sense at all. Just proved the new board didn't fancy him, thankfully that worked out.

    Report this comment

    Kurt Fricker

    Monday, April 7, 2014

  • Third time lucky,have we forgot one off our once great player Dave Stringer who took over the reins,he was a good manager.Neil Adams will follow in his footsteps and bring the club around to a more positive mood and hopefully success in years to come.OTBC

    Report this comment

    canarykid

    Monday, April 7, 2014

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

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