It’s still a long way back for Norwich City boss to win back the fans
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Who on earth would want to be a football manager?
OK, while that was rhetorical, whispers of Alan Pardew will inevitably crop up – another dismissal, another healthy pay off and his media reputation still intact… it's not often an employee will receive a multi-million pound pay off and have the time to sit at a football game in a cravat without the worry of their next role hanging over their head.
Anyway, in the situation of Alex Neil, his situation appears much gloomier. Signed to Norwich after a successful stint at Hamilton, Neil was unknown to us in the county and his bullish, confident and no-nonsense approach endeared him to both fans and pundits alike.
It was in the latter stages of last season however, where his confidence appeared to falter somewhat. We went from an attacking style of play to the drab, defensive and rigid style we suffered under Chris Hughton, a style of play which he has unfortunately maintained for the majority of this season.
The football that took us to the Premier League was incisive, exciting and enjoyable to watch. Players that had fallen short of expectations under Neil Adams became expressive on the pitch and appeared to have renewed cohesion as a team.
The past 12 months however have been a complete contrast. As a spectator I don't see the same spark, the players' confidence has diminished and their connection with the fans seems to be at an absolute low.
Despite all this, he has the chance to save himself. In Alex Neil's position, there aren't many clubs like Norwich that would continue to give him the time he's had to put things right.
- 1 The school where boys can wear skirts - but not shorts
- 2 Woman in her 20s dies in A47 crash
- 3 Cyclist in her 50s dies in A11 crash
- 4 Redundancy leads to Norfolk mum earning up to £3,000 a month
- 5 Man jealous of ex-wife's new relationship burnt down house
- 6 How much will Great Yarmouth's new Marina Centre cost?
- 7 Breckland builder dumped toilet cisterns and bathroom items in front garden
- 8 Car seen driving on the wrong side of the A47
- 9 Michael Bublé concert bans chairs and blankets from gig
- 10 Roadworks and closures to be aware of in Norfolk this week
Whether that faith will pay off we are yet to see, a convincing win against Derby will need to be backed up by a run of successive victories before there's any chance of the fans feeling appeased.
For me, I felt Neil's time was up when videos surfaced of him walking past the City fans after another away defeat without acknowledging their support.
Whether player or manager, once the relationship with the fans seems irreparable then however it happens it's always time to go…
Football fans are as fickle as they come but it's much easier for a player to rebuild a reputation than a manager.
Alex Neil may be given until the end of the season by the board to push for promotion but if you've lost the crowd then I'm afraid it's curtains.
On the plus side I'm sure Delia is much politer than Alan Sugar when delivering the bad news...