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‘Vitriol after Norwich City’s Aston Villa defeat is a depressing sign of the times for modern football’

15:00 10 February 2016

Dieumerci Mbokani didnt get the service he needs at Villa Park. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Dieumerci Mbokani didnt get the service he needs at Villa Park. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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

The scale of the mourning for the loss of those three Premier League points for Norwich City at Aston Villa has been staggering.

Losing to a club 10 points adrift of Norwich City at kick-off was the final insult for many after a wretched January punctured all that festive optimism.

The depth of the fallout, the vitriol aimed in the direction of Alex Neil and his players is a modern phenomenon fanned by social media.

Everyone has a say, everyone can express it. The man who dragged Norwich out of the Championship on a breathless ascent that culminated in the most sublime day at Wembley is now out of his depth, unable to lead and tactically floundering - depending on who you listen to. No light or shade, just black and white. Messiah to misguided in the space of a month.

When Norwich beat Southampton 1-0 at Carrow Road on January 2 Neil could do no wrong. Now he can do no right. Neil is a sharp operator, an intelligent man with a hard, ruthless edge. He knows he is in a precarious profession and he knows what the fates have in store if he fails to halt the tailspin. His former Barnsley team mate, Garry Monk, was dismissed half a season after guiding Swansea City to their highest-ever top tier finish. That is the job people like Monk and Neil willingly sign up to. They do not need our sympathy or our pity when results turn and fans turn even quicker.

Neil is not a tactical genius, nor is he tactically inept. The Scot unveiled a bold template at Manchester City in late October, with three centre backs operating for the first time in his Norwich reign, flanked by two wing-backs. Had John Ruddy not spilled a cross to unleash a chain of events that culminated in Yaya Toure’s 89th minute penalty winner, Neil would have been feted for his innovation.

City counter-attacked their way to victory at home to Aston Villa in December and Neil opted for the same approach last weekend. It was wrecked by a failure to track a man on a free-kick and a rash decision to vacate his goal by a young keeper now operating in a hazardous environment at the wrong end of the table. As Neil himself said in the aftermath, the seeds of City’s painful defeat at Villa Park were not in his selections or formation.

That is not to say Neil is immune from criticism or scrutiny. The buck stops with him and five league defeats and a deluge of goals conceded raise serious questions over his selection policy, his methods and his instructions. The Scot’s desire to constantly evolve, the thirst for re-invention, appear to be constricting Norwich’s quest for upward mobility.

Neil reiterated prior to the weekend he will stand and fall by his own judgements as we approach the defining end-game; there will be no sounding boards or experienced counsel sought.

That single-mindedness was a coveted trait when Norwich were thrashing about on the periphery of the Championship play-offs. Now some portray it as weakness, a stubborn refusal to accept guidance.

Those who castigate him were no doubt the ones hailing him as a managerial visionary. Credit drains brutally quickly at the elite level. There is still much to savour about our national game, even in an era of inflated admission prices and rampant commercialism, but a culture of short-termism fuelled by technology amplifying the critic’s voice is a poisonous by-product.

City may fall short in the final reckoning. Expect the recriminations to top those of recent weeks if they do, but jettisoning the man who got them there in the first place is the easy answer. Should Norwich crash out of the Premier League they will need leadership to stand any chance of a swift return.

54 comments

  • It's not just the defeat to Aston Villa and losing just 3 points though is it? It's the 5 pathetic performances before that and the stupid attitude towards the FA Cup match which set a precedent. But this situation is not Akex Neil's fault , it's the board of directors who miserably failed to back him in the summer transfer window which has now cost us, and Alex Neil has lost his way. Here we go again I'm afraid , back to the chump - but of course I hope a miracle happens and I'm wrong.

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    Beachfarmpark

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Bru, you're a neutral surely when it comes to all things NCFC. You just buzz around these boards to pass time whilst we're all grafting away earning a crust to afford the next away game. Where's the Mortein gone? Swansea TEN pounds. Brilli-ant ! Zap !

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    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • @malaga; shame indeed that Samuelsen had to be one of the missers. Yes he is on a month's loan from WHU. I'm sure last night's commentator said Chelsea, but I probably wasn't paying attention. That was a super Cup-tie. Even as a neutral, I got very involved in it. Gripping stuff. By contrast, I actually fell asleep while listening to the Norwich game at Villa, on Radio Partridge. Despite all Chris Goretex's shrieking. That said, he has a good face for Radio. Ole Butler has a good voice for deep-sea diving.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Brew: I felt for Samuelsen when he missed his penalty because he had played very well. He has composure and class and looks a player to watch. Isn't he on loan from West Ham incidentally? We could do with a Bostwick type in our back four. He's a player who leads by example and was rock solid last night. Refreshing to watch Posh. No sterile passing, just eleven players doing their best to get the ball forward and creating chances. They looked like a team allowed to play to their strengths while I feel many of ours appear to be labouring in strategic straightjackets.

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    malaga flier

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • @Swiss Canary; agree 100% on that Big Beast Bostwick. He was so superb I even forgave him his burgeoning Brian Blessed beard! Some of the young players looked good too, though some are loanees. The baby-faced Samuelson looks classy - he's just 18. Btw; Borthwick is but 27 years old.... Beards can be SO aging, can't they? Young Michael Bailey take note... ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • @ncfc: "Detractors, dissenters and those on the periphery". From "The Most Excellent Thoughts of President Paddy" Volume II. (Aka The Little Blue Book Series). Available from Ladybird Books.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Hear! Hear! ncfcyellowman. Want a load of cant from D'Vott. Self appointed expert and top contender for Jánus of the Season.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Spot on Swiss. That kind of enthusiasm for the game, commitment and effort is infectious. Some of Posh's young players also look very talented although still learning. I liked their way of playing. As with Leicester they don't play the ball backwards but always want to be on the front foot. If we showed these qualities we would probably have at least half a dozen more points in the bag.

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    malaga flier

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I agree with malaga and Two Pips, what a pleasure watching East Anglia's second team playing so well against WBA, they deserved the win though finally lost out on penalties. Michael Bostwick had the game of his life, was immense in defence, always in the right place. We need to have that belief, if Posh can have it, so can we.

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    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I really do not understand what all the fuss is about regarding football fans opinions. This was very much part of the game when I started following the game sixty years ago. It was always thus and helps make it make the vibrant and, yes, often controversial, game it is. All that has changed is the venue: when I was a boy the arguments raged at school. Later in the pub. Now we have social media so is it surprising fans are using this media? After all people do it to debate, complain and moan about just about everything from dogs fouling footpaths to Donald Trump! It is a natural outlet for frustrations and long may it continue. I would suggest that, having supported numerous clubs in my years, there is no reason to believe Norwich fans are any more less vociferous or negative than those from any other clubs. Look at the fan reaction at Liverpool at the weekend to the price increases. My hometown clubs fans have been bombarding their newspaper on line with some pretty vicious blogs about an alleged financial scandal. Bet you'd find Villa fans aren't exactly lying down and accepting their poor team performances without comment either! So let's keep this in perspective and see it for what it is: an outlet for our comments and frustrations.

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    malaga flier

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • West Ham is a winnable game. Their away form is poor, the team played a hard cup tie during the week and picked up some injuries, they have another cup game the following week which could take them closer to Wembley. So it is not vitriolic to say if we lose our sixth game in a row the manager's tenure has to be considered. If we win he gains a reprieve. That is the parlous nature of being a football manager.

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    Lincs Canary

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • This article by Paddy Davitt comes under the sub heading of "Opinion". And there you have it . We are all entitled to our opinion and we are all entitled to express our opinion. Paddy Davits appears to think that this is wrong. The fact that modern media allows the free and instant flow of our ' "opinion" seems to rankle with him. It should. As contributors to the debate our "opinion" is just as valid as his own and probably better informed. I will not stop expressing my own opinion whether Paddy thinks it unfair to offer "vitriol" or caustic criticism after such a poor performance. It was all throughly justified....in my opinion.

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    kenfoggo

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Vitriol after the AV game . . . What are people now to be banned for having their opinions? It's bad enough having comments deleted on here for no reason. . . Right, my view, for what it is worth. The team selected each week seems unable to play as a team. People are welcome to fairly criticise individuals, but when the team as a whole just doesn't turn up, I hold my judgement on individuals. . . No team, no spirit, no apparent commitment, well that has to be laid firmly on the manager, nothing vitriolic about it, just a fact. In this, like any sport, you are only as good as your last match, which is what 5 loses in a row. The fact that AN won promotion last season is history - that guy from Chelsea won the PL last season, but he lost his job. . . So where does it leave NC? Well on the pick your result board, I couldn't see NC getting more than 2 points from their remaining games in other words last place beckons. . . Keep AN and his poor coaching staff and Championship football is a certainty next season. Of course it will mean season ticket holders will get a few extra games to watch, and I doubt promotion will be on the cards either. . . Still, why should the paying supporters or the paying readers have a say when staff writers know it all?

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    manbythesea

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • West Ham now play Blackburn for a place in the last 8. If you openly dismiss the Cup which AN did what message does that send to the team and the fans who are paying. You then juggle with your players..bringing in so called weaker players essentially tell them either 1 you will lose or 2 take it easy we have relegation to think about. Norwich need to start behaving as a club...and that means every game ...resting players provides a prima donna mindset to those elite enough not to have to play football that day...

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    Robin Sydney

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I truly believe we have some of the most negative fans in English football. I'm pretty sure we could be in Leicester's position right now and a number of regular posters here would still find a number of things to moan about. Or they'd just stop posting (just see the difference between the number of posts after a win vs after a loss). Here's a question: if Leciester had our fans, would they even be in the EPL this year to now be title favourites? Pretty sure their position was worse than ours this time last year. To me, it's not enough to say "I pays my money, so I can say what I want or boo when I want". Whatever. I can't think of too many teams in history who have done well in spite of supporter discontent (maybe only Man U under Fergie when there was such discontent with the Glazers - but even then, they weren't all over the players and the boss). I remember writing in our last relegation season about the theory of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Well, if we get relegated, at least the same "supporters" who didn't actually "support" will continue to have something to moan about. Bravo.

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    PutneyCanary

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • One aspect of football that fans love is raw passion and commitment. That was on show in spades tonight from Peterborough. No surprise the team got the fans excited and noisy. It demonstrates how a committed and organised team from a lower league can go toe to toe with one from much higher up the food chain. Peterborough have a very positive philosophy towards the game which I am sure the players have bought into and relish.

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    malaga flier

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Good comments on here about the cup. A winning team that did well over Christmas weakened to get that irritating cup game out of the way "to concentrate on the league" and AN has failed to put out his strongest team ever since. We could have given Man City a half decent game and kept a settled side before the welcome addition of Naismith.

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    NorwichAbs

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Lot of sense , Robin Sydney. I recall Hooper saying he was looking forward to getting fit to play football at Wednesday and he was sitting on the City bench!!

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    Melbourne

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Suffering from fan envy, POSH playing for their lives, that's all I want to see us do. Give it our all, work hard and keep pressing that ball. The workforce is a reflection of the management and when performance is poor the vitriol will flow. AN should make the team watch POSH's first 90 minutes, plenty of heart that's what we need. OTBC

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    twopips

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • The 'vitriol' is presumably stemming from the effort and commitment of supporters paying to attend matches; travelling the country; and expecting similar effort and commitment from extremely highly paid players.

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    Surrey Canary

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Putting out a weak team against a top Premiership club in the FA Cup rather epitomised the strange thinking that is going on behind the scenes here. Doing so only undermines the importance of playing a settled team and giving them regular competitive football to keep them sharp and hone their understanding with each other. Also if there isn't a settled, set pattern of play how on earth can players just come in and be expected to slot into the game seamlessly? The problems we have start on the training ground and are then reflected on the pitch during match days. I also fail to understand how fit professionals cannot manage 180 minutes work in a week. Maybe one or two are getting on a bit and have knee problems and so on. But the majority should at least be fit enough to turn out twice a week - and that doesn't happen very often in the PL anyway. Do I want to see AN replaced? No. But the problem is that he is a rookie in a big league learning his trade and that is asking a lot, as it was when the Board appointed Neil Adams. What is missing is a mentor, probably a director of football, an experienced old hand who knows the game at this level. Who does AN have to turn to?

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    malaga flier

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Alex won't go, nor should he. But you can understand the vitriol spat in his direction. When blood-letting is required, the Manager is the easiest person to sick knives into. To that extent, Paddy, you're right. But, p-leeese, spare us the vomit inducing Archie-Alex bromance. Or at least, "get a room."

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    Barking Wise

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • I for one would like my Norwich City to want to compete in competitions such as the FA Cup. If we lose and go out so be it. However we are so worried about relegation after winning 3 in a row at Christmas and sitting in 15th that we undermine such competitions now. I respect other teams who do not.

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    Robin Sydney

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Interesting - West Ham FC have just played 120 minutes in the FA Cup. Their Manager who I respect played a full strength team as he wants to win for the fans. 3 days later they play us, how many will be rested. I bet none unless injured. There lies the difference. AN rests players - remember Man City, Hoolahan for Villa etc. If West Ham play us off the park this weekend some serious questions will be raisede. One Fitness Two Desire. Therefore we will see the massive difference between a fit motivated team and an unfit unmotivated team which comes down to the Manager and Training Staff. This game is bigger than most of us realise for AN and the Management Team.

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    Robin Sydney

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • PS. Losing or being relegated isn't the problem here. Giving the most pathetic teams in the league hope by walking all over us is the root of the frustration. Some of the results against poor sides is beyond embarrassing.

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    JimBob

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • "Neil can do no right"...what utter drivel. I've not met a fan who thinks like that. He just needs to stop being so stubborn and give certain players a shot who are desperate to play when others don't care and play players in the right position. You are the one fanning the flames with that statement, not social media.

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    JimBob

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Dim NMTD, Tom not nice but Tim ..... jajajaj!

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    nevermindthedanger

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Interesting perspective from David Blurton

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Jorobit, I don't think the majority of fans really care who manages the club whether it's noddy and big ears or even Donald Trump(although he does have a lot of cash),I think what they care about is the clubs success, for years I watched Norwich build a decent team only to flog all the best players, while similar sized clubs like forest, derby, Ipswich, Blackburn won the league or went off in search of euro glory, they didn't sell their best players they bought more, Norwich will never be up with man city or United, arsenal and a few others, but it would be nice to see them hold their own in the premier, hang around mid table maybe, after all Stoke, west brom, west ham are not really big clubs but they seem willing to spend on the odd decent player and don't always seem in a hurry to offload the decent ones, Norwich it seems always look bargain basement.

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    trev57

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Didn't I make that point a few days ago el dingo. DS, MWJ, new Ed, new young Tim holding the majority in the boardroom. You've plagiarized my work and taken credit for it ;-) I'm of the same opinion though. Alex I believe will be here until the end of the season regardless. Sorry to hear you have no politics e.d. I'm sure you have, in a small dose at least. You seem pretty driven when it come to all things NCFC. Good news on the Liverpool U-turn on ticket prices!

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    nevermindthedanger

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Here's a point or two for discussion. One, does anybody think the tactical problems have occurred since An was forced to undergo the proper coaching course? Two, team for Saturday: Ruddy, Wisdom, Bennett, Klose, Olsson, Bassong, O'Neil, Howson, Naismith, Brady, Jerome. Not thinking of a back five. Presuming Andy carroll plays, need biggest two defenders, play Bassong in the Tettey role?

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    ToxicGasWarningSystem

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • I don't think the majority of fans want to see Alex sacked, but his perceived stubbornness in his positional choices are leaving many puzzled and frustrated! If, on Saturday all the players are played correctly, and any off form players are rested, then not only would the fans be satiated, but I feel the players would be lifted, knowing that the proper choices are being made. I feel that is what lies at the bottom of any disharmony in the dressing room.

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    JOROBIT

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • norwich i felt gave us more problems than any other team in our recent games its true it was not a great game but villa are not the team they were when we last met we have sorted the midfield and defence and they now perform like a mid table team and we have stopped leicester, west brom, palace, and now norwich from playing against us and we were dominating west ham until ayew was sent off so from a opposition point of view you were better than all the recent teams we have played and caused us much more problems, and naismith is such a good buy and i can honestly say i am so envious about how your club is run

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    David Blurton

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Gracias el Dingo. Y muy respeto para ti tambien. OTBC.

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    ncfcyellowman

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Robin Sydney: in theory you are totally correct. But this is Delia, MWJ, Ed Balls and Young Tom, who can outvote SP, MF and even DMcN until the end of time. Therefore they suddenly have a perpetual collective voting majority. So AN's days are not numbered. Whether that is good or bad, I am undecided. Personally I still have a little faith in him. But it's running out fast. Even if I won a billion quid I would have to change my religion and my politics to join our Board - and I don't even have any religion or politics:-)

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • ncfcyellowman: what a post! Fantastic stuff. You know what - I praised Paddy Davitt for his after match analysis post-Villa because I thought he had the shackles cut from him - but you are still right. NCFC and Archant combine to shoot down any dissention before it begins. And it's all about money and it's not right. Great post fella. Respect.

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • @Egyptian Canary when we got rid of Houghton last time poor Adams had 4 games against Chelsea Man City Arsenal and I think WBA ....look at our last 4 games this year similiar. Adams had no chance especially as Sunderland had games in hand and were resurgent.

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    Robin Sydney

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • There is clear supporter division as to whether AN should stay or go. And that replacing him will not help. I see this quite clearly however. At the moment with him we are losing and losing badly. So if we do change and a new manager comes in and we keep losing what is the difference. I expect we have reached houghton time. By this I mean the Board will be stating West Ham is must win for us. If we lose again and at home his days are numbered.

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    Robin Sydney

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • So Paddy bemoans the fact that supporters now have a voice. No longer are journalists the only ones with the power and privilege to air their words in the public forum. A good thing, if you ask me, (not that anybody was). To read some of the stuff that comes out of Archant, you'd be mistaken for thinking we were pushing for a top four finish, that AN should be in the running for Manager of the Year. You can dress it up and polish it however you want, but the fact remains that we are deep in it. No amount of sycophantic pandering to the board and management will change that. This sentence - "As Neil himself said in the aftermath, the seeds of City’s painful defeat at Villa Park were not in his selections or formation." sums up Paddy's whole approach. Neil 'himself' has spoken. No argument will be brokered. No discussion. Neil himself, (perhaps that should be Himself!) has spoken. Praise be. Paddy bemoans the fact that us mere supporters are unable to see shades of grey, everything is black or white. Then he views the rise of social media, the democratisation of opinion and ideas, through that selfsame prism. Ignore this slightly shabby attempt to gag dissent, this attempt at shaming us all into toeing the line, to know our place. We voice valid concerns because we care about our club. And I, for one, am glad that we are able to do so.

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    ncfcyellowman

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • The manager may be a nice enough chap and may be seen to be failing in his duties, but I personally think the biggest mistake was not keeping mike phelan on as his assistant, this may or may not be Mr Neil's fault but it was a very big mistake not to have an experienced head by his side, Mr Phelan is sat beside Mr Bruce now and they might both give Mr Neil a wave as his team take up hulls old place or Mr Hughton might be the one waving.

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    trev57

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Back to the point I thought we'd be safe with AN this season - I wish I knew what's gone so badly wrong - they've backed him with some money and it's still not working. Maybe beating West Ham will bring some much-needed hope?

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Frankly I feel the blame for our current form has to be shared between AN, the coaches and the players. Whether in equal measure is a hard one to call because we are not privy to the what goes on behind the scenes. But what we fans can see very clearly is that things are not right on the pitch. Players appear uncertain what their exact roles should be. There is confusion where there should be clarity. We are fragile and basic and costly mistakes are committed with unerring regularity. There is often no recognisable pattern to our play, our passing and decisions on the ball often questionable while our defence dithers, fails to mark and isn't helped by lack of support from midfield and the wide men. Some of this may well stem from the weekly changes to tactics, personnel and the positions some are asked to play with which they are obviously not comfortable nor familiar. Finally the team lacks characters and leadership; anyone who will lead by example and set the tone.

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    malaga flier

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • So there it is .Alex Neil believing that his selections of players and positions had no bearing on the villa result. Expect Hoolahan on the left wing again .Howson playing wide right with our wide midfielder Brady at left back. I guess we are all wrong as we do not see the game from pitch level on the halfway line. Its all perspective.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Yes Stew: not many are pleased about recent Board appointments etc but the players couldn't give a colobus monkey's clavicle about that type of thing so It's down to them. With Young Tom on Board we could have another 40 years of this, but I'll be dead about halfway through his tenure - if I'm lucky - so at least the future of the Club we've supported all our lives will continue in a stuttering manner, throwing away every opportunity to develop and "keeping it in the family" until the bitter end. Losers.

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • This article is spot on, good points well made.

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    GossVolley

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Getting rid of AN at this stage will do no good at all. We did that last time and we all know what happened then. Those players who don't think that they have the stomach for the fight need to come out and say so. Otherwise get your fingers out an back the manager with a blistering display on Saturday, and for the rest of the season for that matter.

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    Egyptian canary

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • ….El dingo!….I have to go along with your thoughts that something is going wrong behind the scenes!….don't know what it is, cos the Tea Lady has not reported in today!…. There seems to be little harmony amongst the players, friendships have been tossed out of the window, and been replaced with mistrust to the point of hatred in some cases!….does the manager recognise that he must bring the warring factions to a better understanding, or is he part of the problem?….The Fanatics-supporters- and armchair followers are not pleased!…..

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Vitriol in the direction of the manager and players is certainly not a a modern phenomenon. Back in the 1960s, several local farmers used to congregate at our house on a Saturday evening to chew over the game with my father. The names might have changed but the tone of the opinions remains the same. Social media has only increased the reach of those comments. I can't see that changing the manager at this stage is going to help. We have some solid performances along with the dire, if anyone really knew where the magic button was that got everything going then this would be easy. I could not have imagined that Claudio Ranieri could have got Leicester into an unstoppable machine after his failures at Inter Milan, Monaco and with an awful Greece. It's a mystery.

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    Swiss Canary

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Yes, Dave@thecrown I for one never thought we would be in this situation. Gary O'Neil the latest to come out and say we must do better. Well guys tell us something we don't know. As an ardent fan for the better part of 50 years and spending lord knows how much to go to away matches as well as my season ticket at the Carrar to witness what unfolded at Villa last Saturday just beggars belief !! I don't know whether we will survive the Prem or not but, for gods sake fellers (players) at least look as though you want to. One thing is for sure if you put in a decent shift and give the fans something to cheer about we will back you all the way. We chose to follow NCFC with all the heartache that that brings rather than one of the big boys because we believe in OUR club, so, don't you think you owe us.

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    Egyptian canary

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • I don't know precisely what's gone wrong in the last six weeks but if I did I would dig it up and incinerate it. There is something toxic at this Club just now and it is NOT the fans. It's just like last time - surrender our hard-fought-for status in early Feb. There ain't no way back from here I'm afraid.

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Xmas not cams.

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    dave@thecrown

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • This despair is at the lack of fight, guile, ability and general spunk being shown by the players! Are we not entitled to express our disappointment? You the media have built our hopes and expectations to fever pitch. You lead us in a chorus of 'On the Ball' in the build up to each match and then ask us not to be too harsh on the players or the manager. You have repeatedly endowed us with the knowledge of how important it is 'financially' that our beloved club stays in the Premiership. I'm sorry but I care, it hurts that my club loses games that it expects to win. I want success but not at any cost. I want a happy financially stable club playing free flowing attractive football winning more that they lose. Is that too much to ask? Success in the EPL or whatever its called today has always been based on a sound defence. Something that has been missing at Carra Rud for some years. In the Spurs game particularly the stats showed the weakness that others see in our back line. What's being done to address this shortcoming?

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    Jandki

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Personally I think we would be foolish to get rid of Alex. We might go down but he is not a inept fool. But that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve criticism to. Lots of mistakes have been made since the glory days of Wembley. The players are the ones who have really let everyone down and so many on here after that cams run were carrying on as if we were safe then. I stated caution then. Just maybe the players believed it to and now don't know how to put it right

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    dave@thecrown

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Paddy, in your sixth paragraph you make the almost throwaway assertion; "Neil said in the Villa Pk aftermath that the seeds were not sown in his selections or formation" . Well, firstly, a cynic might say 'Well he would, wouldn't he ?". And secondly, I do not think such a statement is necessarily credible at all. The tactics employed at Villa Pk have been seriously questioned by both those who actually went, as well as those of us who saw the hideous spectacle unfold via internet TV. And there have been enough debates about selections on this and other message boards already. Adding to them will not help matters. Personally, I do not think that the internet era has had much effect one way or the other re damning indictments of players and managers by fans. Perhaps it carries on through the week a little more than it used to, but I honestly do not think that the invective at matches directed at the team is any worse now than it was long before the internet was invented.

    Report this comment

    Rick

    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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