Will the Premier League numbers add up for Norwich City boss Alex Neil?
- Credit: Archant
Gavin Caney takes a look at how Alex Neil's top-flight record compares with former Norwich City managers.
The Canaries' landmark win at Manchester United must already feel like a lifetime ago for Alex Neil.
In less than two months, Norwich City's manager has gone from hero to zero in some quarters with those Christmas cheers being followed by new year jeers. But Neil is far from alone in facing the heat inside the Premier League pressure cooker.
The boss he outwitted at Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal has faced an avalanche of criticism this season as rumours continue to circle that he will be replaced by Jose Mourinho – a man who got sacked at Chelsea as last season's sweet title-winning success quickly turned sour.
Forty managers have already lost their jobs this campaign across the top four tiers of English football as clubs strive for a quick fix to their problems. It appears recent glories – like a promotion-winning campaign perhaps – are quickly consigned to history. What was hot, like Garry Monk at Swansea, is now not.
The desperation for City to avoid relegation this season has no doubt left many reaching for the panic button. Yet the club's hierarchy kept faith with Nigel Worthington, who took City down, and Chris Hughton – who had an identical win percentage ratio after the same number of games as Neil (25) and guided City to their highest top-flight finish, 11th, since Mike Walker – during their first top-flight campaigns at Carrow Road.
The stats suggest there's no reason Neil, who is clearly helping to plan for the future, can't get his career back on track. But if the numbers do not start adding up soon, many will feel the Scot might not deserve a chance to turn things around.