Friday, December 2, 2022

Why Alex Neil’s Departure Came At A Very Wrong Time For Norwich City

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Norwich City were undoubtedly one of Championship sides who were very hopeful of a promotion back to Premier League. Alex Neil did chalk out the right results for a major chunk of games brought them in the contention to earn a playoff ticket but a five-game winless run (which eventually proved to be his last five games in charge of the club) saw him getting fired by the board. With the Canaries looking for a permanent replacement for Neil in the summer, Alan Irvine has been handed the responsibilities of managing the club for the time being.

Nonetheless, the sacking of the 35-year-old might have arrived at a very inappropriate time. Neil was the manager to guide the Yellows to the Premier League, via playoffs, but were eventually demoted once again to the Championship after the end of last season. Norwich City did emerge once again but their sporadic run of form of late has left them ninth in the league table (after their draw against Blackburn last weekend under Irvine) with an eight-point gap from sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.

The Scot was the architect of Norwich City and the way they have played and they appeared to be capable of getting back to the promised land of the Premier League before they started to wither away. Neil had always implemented the right tactics, picked the right men to replicate his mindset on the pitch, never refrained from making tough calls and always tried to get the best out of what he had at his disposal without making a fuss.

Moreover, he is a likeable figure and knows the Carrow Road based outfit thoroughly. At this stage of the season where off-field dilemma could hinder a club’s prospects, it should be highlighted that Norwich City were a little too quick to fire the former Hamilton Academical manager.

The scenario that has been developing is that the football fraternity tend to believe that managerial changes can yield instant success, which isn’t the case really. The timing of the termination of association which blossomed so well for a couple of seasons between Neil and Norwich City is arguably an absurd one. Speaking in an unabashed manner, the demand which rose to remove him might not make much sense in the long run. Norwich City are looking for a quality manager to take the command in the summer, but then, it would be unfair to underline that Neil wasn’t one.

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