Next Norwich City chief must try and work with our loyal fanbase
PUBLISHED: 10:30 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 06 February 2017
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A departing chief executive, the completion of transfers on deadline day and a win away from home. Even by Norwich City’s standards this season that’s a lot to digest in the space of five days.
For City fans, the final day of the transfer window has often been tinged with disappointment and regret as opposed to cause for excitement. To see some of the money acquired from the sale of Robbie Brady being reinvested the same day though left most fans satisfied with a productive 24 hours.
Frustratingly, Norwich rarely got to see the same Brady who had Irish fans singing his name at the European Championships last summer and several clubs chasing his signature thereafter.
Replacing a player who had clearly had his head turned with one that wants to fight for the cause, while making a healthy profit, is shrewd business as long as the recruitment is right.
That ‘r’ word has been the cause of much frustration and concern over the past few seasons.
But Mitchell Dijks’ impressive debut performance at Cardiff is a promising sign, and while Yanic Wildschut had a quieter afternoon, the injection of pace and directness into this Norwich team is a welcome addition.
Talking of which, the recruitment of a chief executive is now paramount after Jez Moxey’s surprising exit from the corridors of Carrow Road. While it’s of course unfair and unjust to pin all of Norwich’s off the field problems on a man who had only been in the job for six months, his was an appointment that never quite felt like it fitted.
Moxey did little to endear himself to supporters, the FA Cup ticket pricing debacle and embarrassing backdown highlighting just how out of touch those on the board had become with fans.
The workings at board level will always for the most part be kept behind closed doors, but the way the club has communicated with fans since the summer, for which Moxey was often the mouthpiece, has left a lot to be desired.
Whatever caused the breakdown in relationship between Moxey and the owners, it is now the job of Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones to appoint the right person to take the club forward.
Promising ‘a fresh approach to how we do business’ in the club statement suggests they are acutely aware of how crucial it is for the next chief executive to not only achieve success but work with supporters to make the much-peddled label of City being ‘a community club’ feel more than just empty rhetoric.
It’s somewhat ironic that Moxey’s departure preceded a first away win since October, and his infamous ‘promotion, promotion, promotion’ statement, while not in the automatic sense it was intended, feels more realistic in terms of our play-off ambitions than it has done in months.
Saturday’s victory at Cardiff showed the kind of gritty characteristics that have eluded this City team in so many other away fixtures.
The centre back pairing of Timm Klose and Russell Martin at least now feels like a settled unit after securing only a second Championship away clean sheet of the season.
Cameron Jerome’s second goal in as many games makes it hard for Alex Neil to drop him at Wigan on Tuesday despite Nelson Oliveira’s return from suspension. With the in-form Steven Naismith expected to be fit for tomorrow too it at last feels like there is real competition for places.
With a third straight Championship victory for the first time since September, and two opponents in the bottom six to come next, Norwich have the chance now to maintain a great run of form right on cue for a Valentine’s date with Newcastle.
A consecutive away win at Wigan would go a long way in well and truly banishing City’s hoodoo outside of Norfolk. But for the first time in a long time in these parts, there seems to be genuine optimism in the air.