Norwich City’s board have stuck when plenty of rivals have twisted
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The decision to stick or twist is once again on the boardroom table at Carrow Road this week after another disappointing defeat under Alex Neil.
Many Canaries supporters made their feelings clear during and after Friday night's 2-1 loss to Huddersfield. Chants of 'Delia, sort it out' and resounding boos at full-time added to the angry atmosphere.
Once again it had been a case of one step forward, two steps back as Neil was again left frustrated to see his plans fail to bring successive victories.
He now heads to Reading on Boxing Day knowing another defeat would surely bring a close to his reign, with the spotlight on his ability to extract the true talent from his squad once again.
The City board have certainly stuck by their man and demonstrated their belief in the abilities which so superbly led the club back to the Premier League in 2015 – where perhaps other clubs would not have.
Neil's team have now secured seven points from their last 10 matches.
Of the eight sacked Championship managers so far this season, only Alan Stubbs had taken less than that, being dismissed with five points from his last 10 league matches.
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Stephen Caldwell and Paul Trollope matched Neil's record in their last 10 at Wigan and Cardiff respectively before being fired but the other five sacked managers, so far, all had better recent records.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Nigel Pearson and Roberto Di Matteo all achieved nine points in their final 10, at QPR, Derby and Aston Villa respectively.
Walter Zenga picked up 11 points in his at Wolves and Gary Rowett 14 in the last 10 before his controversial sacking by Birmingham.
In other words, Neil has been given more than a fair crack of the whip to turn things around at Carrow Road, when compared to other standards in the Championship.
Here's how those eight sackings have worked out...
Sacked: Oct 1
Team: Aston Villa
Manager: Roberto Di Matteo
Reign: 121 days
Replaced by: Steve Bruce
Won six and drawn three of Bruce's first 11 matches, taking 21 from a possible 33 points to move within six points of the play-off places. That's a vast improvement on the 10 points taken in the 11 games of Di Matteo's reign, a remarkable seven of which came from draws.
Sacked: Oct 4
Team: Cardiff City
Manager: Paul Trollope
Reign: 139 days
Replaced by: Neil Warnock
Won four and drawn three of Warnock's first 11 matches, taking 15 points from a possible 33, although that is an improvement on the eight points taken in the 11 games of Trollope's reign.
Sacked: Oct 8
Team: Derby County
Manager: Nigel Pearson
Reign: 134 days
Replaced by: Steve McClaren
McClaren returned to Derby with the Rams in 20th place and with 10 points from their 11 matches under Pearson. The former England boss has gone on inspire a revival, winning eight and drawing two of his first 11 in charge to claim a superb 26 of the available 33 points. An undoubted success story, with County now just a point outside of the play-offs.
Sacked: Oct 19
Manager: Alan Stubbs
Reign: 140 days
Replaced by: Kenny Jackett
Something of an anomaly as the former Wolves boss lasted just five matches and 39 days before quitting, saying he thought 'a parting of the ways is in the best interests of both parties'. Caretaker manager Paul Warne, a former Diss Town and Wroxham player, has picked up one win in four games since but the South Yorkshire side already looked doomed as they are already 12 points adrift of safety. Difficult to compare a club with such a small budget to the Premier League standards expected at Norwich.
Sacked: Oct 25
Manager: Walter Zenga
Reign: 87 days
Replaced by: Paul Lambert
Former Canaries boss Lambert has picked up eight points from a possible 18 in his first six matches in charge, taking over a Wolves side who were on a run of seven matches without a win under Zenga. An impressive 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday points to the Scot making decent progress, with plenty of money expected to be available to spend in January following a Chinese takeover shortly before the start of this season.
Sacked: Oct 25
Manager: Gary Caldwell
Replaced by: Warren Joyce
Leading the Latics straight back to the Championship by winning the League One title was only enough to buy Caldwell 14 games in charge this season, being sacked with his side second from bottom having won just twice, taking 11 points from a possible 42. The Scot was sacked, perhaps harshly, after a 1-0 home loss to high-flying Brighton. Manchester United Under-21s boss Warren Joyce has arrived but won one and drawn one of his first seven games.
Sacked: Nov 5
Manager: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Replaced by: Ian Holloway
Former Chelsea striker Hasselbaink was sacked with his team 17th and only six points above the relegation zone, despite a creditable 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest. The Dutchman had won two and drawn two of his list six in charge but was replaced by Rs legend Ian Holloway who, after a pumped-up win over Norwich in his first game, has lost five of his first six in charge.
Sacked: Dec 14
Manager: Gary Rowett
Replaced by: Gianfranco Zola
Rowett's sacking his attracted widespread criticism, with the Blues just a point outside of the top six when Hong Kong based owners Trillion Trophy Asia Limited decided to pull the trigger. The surprising appointment of former Watford boss Gianfranco Zola followed and a 2-1 loss to second-placed Brighton followed in the Italian's first game. Too soon to decide if the appointment has been a success but Rowett had won three of his last five games and had won nine and drawn seven of his 21 games in charge, losing just five.