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Neil Adams knew his time was up at Norwich City

08:35 06 January 2015

Neil Adams has called time on his stint as Norwich City boss. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Neil Adams has called time on his stint as Norwich City boss. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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

The timing was the only element of surprise in Neil Adams’ managerial departure from Norwich City.

"Now there are no excuses. The manager who was supposedly too inexperienced, too nice, too raw has vacated the seat. Whether it is Mike Phelan or a fresh alternative the focus is firmly on those who carry the club’s colours into battle."

Paddy Davitt

In a cut-throat business the long-serving Canaries’ stalwart made a dignified exit. It was an honourable gesture befitting a man who genuinely cares for the club he has served for more than two decades and will potentially do so again, once he has a period to recover from the stress and strain that comes with the top job at Carrow Road.

Adams was still defiant in the darkness at Deepdale after the lights had dimmed on Norwich’s brief FA Cup sojourn. He was busy protecting his players to the last, not that they deserved it for a woefully anaemic display that merely confirmed the suspicion they would rather be anywhere than a footballing backwater in Lancashire.

Norwich’s former manager dismissed any suggestion there was a rotten attitude from many of those under his command as the League One hosts serenely brushed aside the Canaries.

He was at pains to share the collective responsibility, while acknowledging the buck stopped firmly with him. Now he has departed the scene, perhaps realising he was simply not the man for the herculean task of extracting a consistent seam of results from a squad which is routinely trumpeted as one of the best in the Championship.

Now there are no excuses. The manager who was supposedly too inexperienced, too nice, too raw has vacated the seat. Whether it is Mike Phelan or a fresh alternative the focus is firmly on those who carry the club’s colours into battle.

City, barring a pre-festive spurt, have been a fading force since storming to the top of those early standings. Ipswich’s stellar rise merely compounds the sense of drift and that will have cut Adams as deep as any supporter.

His reign was light and shade. The tumult of smash and grab raids at home for the likes of unheralded Charlton and Reading interspersed with that glorious visit to Portman Road and the joyous scenes on the final whistle in Suffolk.

Adams was forced to apologise for failing to observe the customary post-match ritual of shaking Mick McCarthy’s hand as he headed across the turf to celebrate with his players and a delighted travelling support. That was not a slight but a symptom of his passion for the Canaries and it was what endeared him to many before he opted to succumb to the gruelling nature of Championship combat.

His demeanour was markedly different when he trooped wearily into the media room at the City Ground to make sense of the late carnage that saw Norwich toss away a league win in the closing minutes through their own shortcomings. Adams looked like a man who had suffered a debilitating blow. Mark Robson paid the price in the aftermath before Phelan’s arrival triggered a revival which came to a jarring halt over the past 10 days.

It is no sign of weakness to admit you have failed. It is a strength to concede defeat and leave the way clear for another manager to salvage a season which had spiralled into a prolonged descent. Few, if any, placed in the same situation as Adams last summer would have bypassed the opportunity to lead his football club. The 49-year-old should not be castigated if the early promise dissolved into a pit of under-achievement.

City’s board now move centre stage again. Adams was seen as the antidote to the experienced, cautious Chris Hughton but neither policy delivered sustainable success.

It is imperative they make the right call this time around. Expect no long drawn out recruitment drive with the transfer clock ticking and the incoming boss needing time to tweak a squad which looks vulnerable from back to front. Nor do they have the luxury of a period of grace where results are secondary to positive signs of revival. Norwich are off the pace and it will take a sustained burst from whoever is at the helm to justify all the hype and the blue chip billing that accompanied Adams and his players on their return to the second tier.

It is now up to others to finish the job he started and would dearly have loved to complete.

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23 comments

  • Still love you Neil

    Report this comment

    Denzil

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • It's pretty obvious that Phelan will be give he job - well at least 99% sure. Poor old Mick McCarthy (get me out of here) must be waiting for a call that will probably never come. DMcN & the board will no doubt take the 'lower cost' option and if Phelan does not get us up this season they will call for his head in May. The club is going to the dogs and the board again will be shown wanting............ Great big problems in store !!

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Demotivated, without decent tactical guidance and sensible selection, we will never know if this squad could have got promoted.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Tuscanydavid... What's Noddy n BigEars doing tomorrow? Ridiculous comment.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Good point Essex Yellow.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • At the start of the season it was easily possible for our current squad to have won this league. Now a top 3 finish is about the best we can hope for. I've only seen one good side at Carrow road all season and they're going to win it. The rest have been dross. The fact that we haven't beaten them is down to poor management and picking what has been to me the wrong players most weeks. Martin at centre half? Hoolahan is a liability. I said enough about Grabban already. No wingers on the pitch far too often. Subs made far too late in games. The players don't look motivated because of these strange picks and turn up looking already beaten. A good manager can turn this team around. IPWT

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • How right you are TK that this squad is not good enough for the PL,I would also say that theyre not even good enough for the championship the way they have been underperforming lately!Maybe as from Saturday they might start earning their huge salaries!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Re Lambert , sure the board did not give him what he wanted here but also dont forget he had a wife and four kids living in Glasgow still , so the Villa job became attractive for the personal reason that they were only a 5 hour trip away up the M6 , from here it's a day's marathon . - - - And I think the Chef at Sprowston Hall didn't understand his request for 'neaps'n'tatties .

    Report this comment

    Bring on Foggo

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • The idiotic decision to 'dig in' and refuse to even meet Lambert halfway just reminded me of the stance Robert Chase took with Mike Walker .. and look what happened, a team that finished third and gave us great nights in Europe was unceremoniously dismantled and sold off to the highest bidder. I sometimes wonder whether the board actually learns any lessons from teh club's history. Lambo was the best manager we had since Mike and we somehow managed to squeeze him out the door by failing to commit to any squad strengthening. What odds on Lambert getting the boot at Villa soon and coming back to Carra Rud?

    Report this comment

    Lucioperca

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • tuscanydavid - if that's one of Paddy Devitt's 'best pieces' I am eternally grateful i've managed to avoid the vast majority of the others!! No idea who he is but would guess he is extremely young as he certainly doesn't have the slightest grasp of football history.

    Report this comment

    Brundall Bee

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Recalling Neils Saturdays after match comments there was nothing to suggest resignation was on his mind. It is most likely that this came after the meeting with the CEO with a push before the shove ultimatum. I believe that the Adams Phelan partnership was not so harmonious and this was easy to spot listening to Adams low key references to Phelans influence on the teams performances. Also the body language between them to be generous was inert. By stepping down Neil Adams deserves respect from those who like me never ever supported his appointment and I believe that will be so. He was ultimately responsible for taking on that massive responsibility and because of his limited CV minus any experience or achievements at any meaningful level he would always be an aunt sally for his detractors should the results be poor. The business comes first above all or else it would perish and whilst the rewards are obscenely massive if fortune shines upon you the termination axe waits nearby as a consequence of mediocrity and that is the way it should be. I believe it was well meaning naivety and incompetence from the executives to have subjected the club and a manager to this failure for the second time around however their culpability will escape with fleeting public admonishment but unjustly go unpunished. Do not expect a quick turnaround in fortunes that is not the way it works else every team would be promoted every season.

    Report this comment

    Regulador

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Their are plenty of bad apples at the club and some of them are in the boardroom

    Report this comment

    Canaryinslovenia

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Paddy Davitt has written one of his best articles about NCFC. Now the Board have to demonstrate similar commitment to the club as NA did in resigning

    Report this comment

    tuscanydavid

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Judging by media reports and postings on the EDP site, there's quite a lot of sympathy for Neil Adams. Personally, I think the board has a lot to answer for. Everyone knows that the Championship is a hard division from which to gain promotion. Adams lacked the experience required to do get the Canaries promoted. Most managers have had a few seasons learning their trade in the lower divisions and the likes of the Conference League. Brian Clough started his managerial career at Hartlepool, a club so skint that he became the club's coach driver. Derby were in division two and he got them promoted, eventually winning the First Division title. Appointing someone with zero experience of first team management with a brief to get the team promoted asap..... one doesn't need an MBA to work out that was not an inspired decision. I wish Neil Adams well.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Exile

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • I think PNE's supporters would be the first to admit they've become a "footballing backwater". They've done nothing much since the Middle Ages (that's hyperbole BTW). Success years ago do not mean that your club has remained one of the best. Just think of Ipswich (and their success last century was slightly more recent than Preston's).

    Report this comment

    GW

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Neil deserves some credit over his decision, I hope the truth wasn't as cynical as Chris Sutton suggested on TV yesterday.... Brundall Bee - spot on with your comment. Archant are in no position to be so arrogant and condescending in their reporting.

    Report this comment

    JB

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Brundall Bee - how very right you are. You dropped one there, Paddy!

    Report this comment

    Fylde Canary

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • 'A footballing backwater in Lancashire?' what an arrogant piece of journalistic nonsense!! I have no more interest in PNE than I have in Norwich City but I suggest you check your football history and compare that of PNE with City before publishing such nonsense again.

    Report this comment

    Brundall Bee

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • We only got into the Premier League because we had an exceptional manager but the stubborn board could not hang onto him. The writing was then on the wall but none could read it. The current squad is not good enough to a man and only big spending could change that. Given that we do not want our club to return to high debt days, perhaps we should settle for a period in the championship until we can start producing stars of our own once again, hopefully with Adams playing a key role.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • I really don`t understand this... I was suprised when NA got the job in the first place, and even more when he stayed on after relegation. (the Bryan Gunn Saga all over again) I didn`t see the Preston game, but understand from reports that it was crap. But then again, last year we lost at home to Luton !? A very good match against Derby and 6-1 over Millwall before loosing to Reading - I still think it is a very strange time to sack Adams.

    Report this comment

    norwaysbiggesthoolahanfan

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • I still admire the man Neil Adams, he is far better off out it. This board have made so many mistakes in appointment but Neil's was one of the worst decision that any Board of Directors have made in the history of football. He was placed in a no win situation.. for the sake of money and work

    Report this comment

    sixtiesbarclayboy

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Postings are talking of bad apples in the barrel which is nonsense. The real problem is that the players have had to take a salary cut and then watch our main man cream off a massive £360,000 bonus for taking us down. No wonder the players show no motivation. I rest my case.

    Report this comment

    Essex yellow

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

  • Dont worry Paddy.. McNally n Hyacinth are already scouring europe ! expect them to find Ricky Martin is already at the club .. well that was what I dreamt .. hey-ho happy new year everybody.

    Report this comment

    Kristafa

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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

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