Who can fill City hot seat?

As the hunt for Worthy's successor kicks off, IAN CLARKE ponders what difference a new boss will make for the ailing Canaries - and asks: Can the board find the worthy man? So will it be Alan Curbishley or Mark Bowen or Martin Hunter or Iwan Roberts or Ian Crook or Bryan Robson or Colin Calderwood?

As the hunt for Worthy's successor kicks off, IAN CLARKE ponders what difference a new boss will make for the ailing Canaries - and asks: Can the board find the worthy man?

So will it be Alan Curbishley or Mark Bowen or Martin Hunter or Iwan Roberts or Ian Crook or Bryan Robson or Colin Calderwood?

Or what about Dave Penney or Gary Megson or Tony Mowbray or Steve Cotterill or Doug Livermore or Martin Allen or Steve Tilson or Mike Newell?

Or course, it could be Sven? (sorry, forgive that last quip - but we need to keep a sense of humour).


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As reality dawns that the 280-game Nigel Worthington era has reached its inevitable end, the list of contenders for the Carrow Road hot seat grows by the minute.

Each of the best football supporters in the world - as Delia describes the yellow and green army - has his/her own choice.

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Curbishley seems to be the dream ticket for many - and in 15 years at Charlton he was primarily responsible for the footballing model which the City top brass have so often extolled.

Others argue Curbs is pie in the sky and prefer a former City legend along the lines of bookies' favourite and current Blackburn No2 Bowen, Crook or even Iwan.

Hunter has to be in the frame as he is taking charge for now and has made it clear he would like the job.

The debates will intensify in the pubs and the buzzing chatrooms over whether it is one of those or a young-ish thruster who has done well at a smaller club such as Luton's Newell or Southend's Tilson - or the very impressive Calderwood who could be threatening to bring back the glory days at Nottingham Forest.

Throw in the Robson-esque types who have been there and done it and you've got a shopping list to rival one for the ingredients for a whole Delia cook book.

But two questions are as key to City fans as the candidates' names themselves.

One is what difference will a new boss be able to make? And secondly, to what extent can they rely on the board's judgement in the light of the departure of Worthington?

Most fans see spending power as the crucial issue.

Only the inner sanctum at Carrow Road knows what resources the new gaffer will have.

Assuming the estimated £750,000 pay off to Worthy is broadly right, that would take a big chunk out of any kitty still there for loans and/or buys in the January transfer window.

There are no indications that all of a sudden a huge windfall will flutter down from on high and in many ways things will only become much tighter as the Premiership payments run out at the end of this season.

So Mr X will probably have to continue to balance prudence with ambition to push for promotion and more tellingly at the moment prevent City becoming a “has been” club such as Leicester or Leeds.

With a financial corset around him, the key way a new boss can free up funds is to shake up the playing squad.

The unpalatable option would be to cash in on a star such as Earnshaw - but shrewdness is a credential which could make the difference with a clear out and clever buying.

Surely the most potential for a new boss to ensure smiles are put back on faces in the Snake Pit is to inject the magical I-word - inspiration.

I strongly agree with the argument that professionals on up to £15,000 a week or so should not need inspiring and ought to be proud to pull on the Canary shirt.

But like it or not, a soccer boss must provide that spark and sadly Worthington could not instill that in his latter days. Was sitting in the dug out during the capitulation at Plymouth the right message to send out?

Look at the job Martin O'Neill has done at Villa or Roy Keane at Sunderland and you'll see so clearly the difference that inspiration makes.

Both have basically the same squads as when they took over but are both working wonders.

Keane is also showing that without managerial experience it is possible to achieve success.

Young Sunderland player Grant Leadbitter - who secured three more points for the Black Cats at the weekend - said Keane has “transformed the whole place”.

Moving on, can City fans feel confident that Delia, Michael and Co will make the right decision about their new man?

The message coming out of Carrow Road yesterday was there would be no quick fix and the new manager would be a “high calibre appointment”.

There are very few supporters who don't love Delia to bits and appreciate her unrivalled passion, especially after her “Let's Be 'Avin You” routine.

But last week's “two games to improve” ultimatum by the board showed a lack of firm leadership and poor judgement and it came after a 12-month period when they could have turned a new leaf on many occasions.

I'm sure the Carrow Road spin machine could talk up any candidate's credentials and certainly signings which have proved massively under-whelming among the faithful on the terraces have been talked up in the past.

But City's thousands of loyal fans are not daft and will see beneath any gloss.

The coming days and weeks are a huge test for those at the helm.

The appointment will show what intent there is to reverse the slump and ensure the Canaries get back to the Premiership - and stay there.

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