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Norwich City unveil new head coach blueprint

PUBLISHED: 06:00 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 21 March 2017

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls wants to be bold in the search for a new head coach. 
Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City chairman Ed Balls wants to be bold in the search for a new head coach. Picture: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City will consider an overseas appointment to recruit the right head coach.

The Canaries’ board aim to install a sporting director next before stepping up their mission to find Alex Neil’s long term replacement at Carrow Road.

Huddersfield Town’s head of football operations Stuart Webber has emerged as a strong candidate for that post, after playing a leading role in an impressive Championship season for the Terriers under German head coach David Wagner.

Norwich chairman Ed Balls insisted the club’s top brass have an ‘open mind’ over who to target to succeed Neil, but the prospective head coach must buy into the new model, which has seen Steve Stone take over as managing director.

“We don’t want someone who comes in saying I see you have an ambition to go the sporting director route and the vision for the academy and tells us they want to do it a different way,” he said. “An old-fashioned way of doing it, if you like. If they say they don’t want to play football how Norwich City want to or a sporting director is nothing to do with me that is not the sort of person we want to hire.

“The sporting director will be part of that decision. In terms of whether we favour young or old, British or international we have a very open mind on that. We have a lot of players from overseas and there is no reason we could not have an overseas manager. I don’t think age should be a factor. It is about being flexible and willing to embrace state-of-the-art ideas. If they are not willing to embrace sports science, nutrition, a willingness to play young players then they are not for us. We want a head coach who is going to be excited to be a part of this.”

City opted not to pursue the likes of Gary Rowett or Mark Warburton following Neil’s dismissal.

“We wouldn’t be professional if we didn’t have knowledge of who is out there,” said Balls. “What the strengths and weaknesses are of not just of the people who have been speculated about on social media but the people we have been thinking about.

“We brought in Alex Neil because he had been on our radar for months before that hire occurred. We have a capacity to do that work now but it is the sporting director appointment we have moved more quickly on in the past couple of months.”

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17 comments

  • ríkki rikki from Billericay? 'Ingraved' in my memory cell. I have all of 2 synapses, buh.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  • Good to see you back, Matt333, though your moniker has recently been parodied\ripped off\ abused by a\ the little troll . You've always come across to me as a positive, intelligent and courteous contributor. I know I've teased you about the length of your contribution. (No innuendo or metaphor intended, honest Injun)... Infamy, infamy... Oooh beehaaaiive... Gotta have a giraaarfe, int ya, buh. Such fun. ;-) .. Gek Brouwer .. Off topic; @rikki; luv ya. Or is it somebody else I'm thinking of? I actively campaigned for Brexit and I don't regret it. We Brits are fine folk, even if the Scots are trying to scupper The Union. Should that country become independent, it will simultaneously become a Dictatorship. A bit like NCFC is already, already. The Troll Patrol is vigilant, little laddie.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  • Don't bother you are what you ah.........

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    rikki nadir

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  • rikki nadir

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  • I have not seen the full text of Balls interview but I remain a bit bemused and sceptical. Having been a MD and CEO for some 20 years i thought this mediocre. One positive is that Ed Balls is finally paying some attention to his role. What is needed is a clear Mission Staement from the Board along the lines of Our Mission is to establish NCFC as apermanent member of the English Premier League ( to date a number of us query this). Then with all this talk of MDs, Sporting Director, Head Coach put up a chart showing who reports to who. I want to see evidence that the Head Coach (Spurs style) gets the players he wants not what a a person who is not responsible for the team on the pitch wants. We had a good model with Lambert and McNally. I also see a need to get the is it Head Coach now ? in place soon enough to see who he wants to retain next season and have a say in who comes in. In my time the Share holders would have voted this Board out but then the Board are the major shareholders!!!! th

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    Robbie in thailand

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • The ideas seem reasonable. The proof will come when the first appointment is made.

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    Alchemist

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • My brain hurts after reading that. So basically Ed has just told us an awful lot without actually telling us much at all. I'm all for a good overhaul but I do feel like we've been down the route 1 or 2 times in just a short 6 year period. Ed Balls, like many before him is doing a terrific job at making this all sound awfully exciting. However I remember the club telling us mere 'fans' it was out with the old and in with the new many times before. We appointed a radical new 'footballing board'. We moved Ricky Martin up from being Head of the Academy (a academy that had failed to produce even a sniff of a player for many years) and even appointed Joe Royle to an advisor type role which he quickly disappeared from leaving us with Egg on our faces. Pardon me for being sceptical when the board expect us to believe they know what their doing this time. Hopefully they do. Football has moved on and little ole Norwich's board live in the past. Like I said, it all 'sounds' positive in my opinion. Just hope the plan is as clear in their heads as they are making out. Many fans problem is they don't understand the difference between teams who have a 'manager' and teams who have a head coach. Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs summed it up well saying "if you are the manager, you decide many things about the club. If you are the Head coach your responsibility is to play better, try improve the players and get positive results. At Southampton I was manager, my responsibility was not only to coach the team. At Spurs I am head coach. My department is to train team". I assume the new NCFC head coach will basically be left to focus on the team etc.

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    Mattias333

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Am not convinced by this new model. All is fine if you know who you are hiring as DOF, but to get the right person is one thing, but for them to then pick a suitable coach is another. Many top managers want complete responsibility and will not be overshadowed by a DOF. Is Alan Irvine in the running as DOF does anyone know?

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    OTFBC

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • This DOF structure sounds pretty good , but now reading between the lines is it all it sounds to be , will it be the board who decide tactics team etc , what will the chief coach responsibilities be , will he put his stamp on things , why have they not looked at a more experienced English manager , why. Change things???. What power will the DOF have ??? Ed Balls is saying things that make me suspicious , will A Irvine still be here, I hope not he seems another version of A Neil . Have to. Wait and see , exciting times or road to nowhere awaits

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    iMac

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Balls can talk a load of.

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    kenfoggo

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Has to be said there is a fresher atmosphere with this restructuring and I ve personally nothing against Ed Balls and I think he has the nous to open some new doors in terms of who can take the club forward in the near future. Alan has coped well with his two fixtures but with lack lustre performances against lesser clubs such as Barnsley there is clearly a need for change.All the remaining fixtures seem to be against the teams above City and I fear the worst could happen here.

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    johnty

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Same old Cobblers. Scour Europe .. The World .. The Universe .. The Cosmos. In the end, all roads lead to Colney, Costessey, Trowse or The Woolpack... Hi, my ol' pal @wiven. You were indeed eminently prematurely pre-emptively pertinent, buh. Good Man! Nunc est bibendum. Early start today.

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    Mad Brewer

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Mr balls when you say open minded about international do you really mean Wales Scotland or Ireland, or do you mean pushing the boat out and going as far as the Isle of Wight?

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    Andy Evans

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • @Suffolkpunch - Whilst I agree re him having NO tactical ability (other than playing 'one up front'), I have been to quite a few of our under 23 games in the PL International Cup and we have some exciting players coming through in Maddison and Middleton (currently in Scotland with the under 17s and getting rave reviews), so I would dispute that we have no dynasty.

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    Mr Ed

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Oh I was a tad premature, on an earlier board, now we have the scouring Europe comment hinted at.

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    wiven

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • Mr Ed, Alex Neil started no dynasty whatsoever. He wasted huge amounts of money and had next to no tactical ability. I hope whoever comes in next is the polar opposite of him.

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    Suffolkpunch

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

  • I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping that the board get both appointments right and we don't revisit the CEO mistake of earlier this season. Whilst I know AN is on record as saying that the team's fitness was not an issue, from what I saw, certain players were certainly struggling towards the end of some games. I'm also optimistic that whoever comes in sees the value some of our under 2321 starlets can add to the squad (as opposed to always playing the 'over 30s!!) and continue the 'dynasty' AN started.

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    Mr Ed

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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