12 facts of Christmas which show why Norwich City need a change
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas – and beginning to look like change simply has to happen at the top at Carrow Road.
Wins over Brentford and Villa were certainly false dawns and it's been a long while since I've sensed such collective negativity among City fans.
Downward momentum has been building during a very, very poor 2016 and for my last column of the year I've listed 12 facts which I believe prove the board needs to act before it's too late.
1 City can't beat decent teams – this season we haven't got a single victory over any top half side.
2 And it's been coming all year – if you add in the Premier League games during 2016, only four wins came in 41 games against top flight or top half Championship clubs.
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3 Expensive squad not performing – on paper our players were worth five times more than Huddersfield's. They taught us a footballing lesson.
4 Current form is so awful – City have lost seven out of nine games and we're second from bottom in the form table.
- 1 Two city businesses on the move as mystery new tenant hovers
- 2 Vision for multi-million pound new Norwich venue revealed
- 3 Norfolk cliffs fall man arrested on suspicion of murder released on bail
- 4 Norfolk-based Rick Wakeman 'stunned and proud' after being made a CBE
- 5 'People didn't know I existed' - Shopkeeper thrilled with new store
- 6 Scams in Norfolk this week: Hermes texts and electricity boxes
- 7 Be lord of the manor: Site of forgotten mansion for sale for £2.3m
- 8 Woman sexually assaulted in Norwich
- 9 Ask the Expert: How much income will my £350,000 pension generate?
- 10 Volunteer hit with £100 parking fee while collecting food for needy
5 Leaky defence – Norwich have leaked 34 league goals, which is the fifth worst in the Championship.
6 Poor travellers – six defeats and two draws from 11 away games just isn't good enough.
7 A career of two halves for Alex Neil – he has been in charge for 92 games since January 2015, with 40 wins – but just 14 of those have been in 2016.
8 So far off the pace – as we near half-time, Norwich are 15 points off the automatic promotion spots (in effect 16 if you factor in goal difference).
9 We're closer to the bottom three than the top two – who predicted that in August?
10 Only 10 days until the transfer window opens – January is a crucial time for all clubs and the trend of poor trading has to change.
11 There's a widening gulf between the manager and the supporters – the Oliveira substitution on Friday was a tipping point and I can't see it being repaired. At a club like Norwich, the relationship is crucial.
12 The parachute payment clock is ticking – getting promotion this season is important and to do it by next year is crucial. If that isn't achieved, Championship obscurity beckons.
Deck the halls with plenty of bad puns
Ok, that's enough gloom – so let's try to lift our mood and try to have a chuckle.
Thanks to Chris Goreham and Rob Butler for allowing me some air time to share my festive-themed football team on The Scrimmage on BBC Radio Norfolk.
If you don't like awful puns, you may want to stop reading. Otherwise, hopefully this may put a smile on your face (and yes we are using the Christmas tree formation).
Chairman – Ed Jingle Balls
Manager – Gian-frankincense Zola
Coaches – Elf Ramsey and Good King Wenger-ceslas
Goalkeeper – Darren Randolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Defenders – All I Want For Christmas Is Younes Kaboul, We Three Ledley Kings, John Sherry
Midfielders – Philip Mulled Wine, Holly Gunnar Solksjaer, Carol Paborsky, Jacob Myrrh-phy, Karl Heinz Rumandginger
Strikers – Hark The Herald Juan Pablo Angel Sings, Once In Royal David Speedie
Subs – Edwin Van Der Star, Elves Hammond, Jason Yule-Tide
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