Alex Neil, it’s the end of an era

Alex Neil, it’s the end of an era
Mar 6, 2016

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I find it amazing how just three weeks ago I sat here writing in defense of Alex Neil, but yesterday’s long Welsh-voyage was a real eye opener for both myself and many!

One point from 27, 54 goals conceded, in the bottom three; if it was any other manager, they would have been sacked with little hesitation by now. So, why is Neil still here? Because he is seen by the board as a future success rather than one of the present.

The players are not playing for Alex Neil. The majority of players dislike the ‘boss’. It’s a case of favoritism and an inability to man-manage big egos – players such as Mulumbu and Lafferty. This is what I have been told by several friends that work close to the club –  giving me every reason to believe it having heard it first hand off of them. But even if I hadn’t had these insights from within the club, the players’ performances certainly reflect this neglect between themselves and the manager through their performances, something even the most positive of fans have picked up on.

It’s worrying because when there are more players in disfavour of the manager than there are in support, something is wrong for sure and there is little way of fixing it.

When Alex Neil joined little over a year ago, we saw him as a manager with great man-management skills – Bassong’s resurrection being the focal point of this statement. But now it seems that his ability to manage single players is a complete polar opposite to that of what we once thought it was, he cannot compete with other egos. The exclusion of Lafferty, Mulumbu, Wisdom and even Olsson are prime examples of his inability to work his way around players who would all like to marry themselves.

When the players don’t play for the manager, the results aren’t churned out. Alike any other job, when you dislike your manager you are not motivated to do well as it well reflect on him/her positively, giving them the success as opposed to you.

The quality is there in the squad to keep us in the Premier League. Timm Klose, Steven Naismith, Nathan Redmond, Robbie Brady – these players can keep us up, but only if they are playing for a boss they believe in and want to work for, unfortunately, it seems Neil is not that.

Chelsea are by all means a great example. Four months ago the players had a strong dislike to manager Jose Mourinho and, in turn, didn’t pick up results, eventually leading to his removal. But funnily enough, as soon as a new manager had come in and Mourinho had gone, they started to pick up points. Unbeaten in 2016. Why? Because they were playing for the manager, which they had not been doing under Jose; the class was always there, but the morale and determination was not. It is exactly the same situation that Norwich finds themselves in today, a squad full of quality who need a man they will all work with and for, pulling in the same direction to achieve the same goal.

It saddens me because Alex Neil was a manager who, up until today, I and many viewed as having a bright future with the club. But when you have a problem as big as this, there is little way of fixing it; you either sack the manager or clear out the players with grudges. Usually, you would look to offload the players with clear anger towards the manager, there’s usually one or two a season at every club. But when there are more with dislike than there are not, it’s almost impossible to take this option. I dislike saying this but the only way out may be for Alex to walk out…

I don’t want to see the back of Neil, as I wrote a few weeks back. It just seems as if there is little choice. Poor team selections, no game plan and no motivation, he just doesn’t seem to be learning. With just a point from the last 27 we have every right to question his position as manager. Any other candidate and they would have gotten the boot by now. It’s the board’s patience with Neil that makes me think that irregardless of how shit things get, he will remain in charge.

If we want to stay in the Premier League Alex Neil has to go. We need to allow the players to perform. If not, we go down with Neil and overhaul half of the squad over the summer – given recent transfer windows, I don’t have full faith in a clear out being carried out to a successful standard, consequently resulting in no promotion if we do go down.

We are in the Premier League. We have a chance of staying here. We’ve got to give ourselves every chance and the only way to do so is to sack Neil, sorry. Let’s just hope they either do it now or never, not with five games to go like they did with Hughton!

Alex Neil done great things for this club, he got us back to the Premier League when it looked so very bleak. But, we cannot rest on past chronicles. He got us here but it means nothing if we instantly lose what he managed to achieve, am I right? Neil can take this club forward as an established Premier League side, but we would have to go down and come back up in a few seasons to do so, with the money involved in staying up this season, we cannot afford to do this.

It is the falling out with the players that for me has swayed me, my trip to Swansea being the final nail in the coffin. Thanks for everything Neil, but for me it’s the end of an era, sadly. If only we could loan out managers, sigh…

Let me know what you think over at my Twitter @dorandoor – do you agree with me on my points about Neil?

 

  1. I totally agree and for sometime I have had the same thoughts . With quality players within the squad I really don’t understand why we haven’t picked up descent results.

  2. Clubs today are way too fast to pull the trigger. The big-ego-players are only playing for themselves- not the manager, not the other players, not even their mothers… To compare Jose and Alex is just weird- Jose is a known bstrd, and he demands to get the job done- AN is a motivator and known to be tough but fair. Sure, the players needs to get to know this type of management, but I am not sure firing him will do us any good. Better to bench the underperformers and let some young blood try not to lose them games. The regular XI’s will also get a wake-up call. Remember the Sir.Alex up the road also had a troublesome beginning…

  3. I agree. Added to this I would also question other areas. Firstly we are far to negative particularly when playing the poorer teams in the league. He also sticks by poor performaning players for to long. Time to go.

  4. Scottier101 says:

    An entire article based on something some people apparently close to the club have said. And full of statements which simply don’t stack up, e.g. do we really have a squad ‘full’ of quality? If so, why is everyone critical of individual attackers or defenders and lack of strengthening? If players like Lafferty, Olsson and Wisdom really are so good, then why are they still at Norwich. Why is the only club reportedly interested in Lafferty Leeds Utd? Perhaps the boss prefers the attacking intent of Brady over Olsson. And the qualities of Tettey over Mulumbu? Maybe the players just aren’t good enough again?

  5. Sad to say, but I agree with quite a lot of this. The problem is, I so wanted Alex Neil to do well.

    My son and I arrived home in the early hours of Sunday morning after driving too fast at times to get home. We had set off on Friday to drive the 650 mile round trip from Middlesbrough to Swansea. Unlike most of the other Norwich fans who got free coach travel (which was a nice touch from the club), it cost us a fair bit in travel, and we stayed overnight at a hotel in Wales. We were sure we would get something out of this game… the run of defeats had to stop at some stage, and I was sure this was the day. Yet we were bitterly disappointed once again at such a dire performance. If I did my job like the majority of the team did theirs at Swansea I’d be sacked. Yes, okay, their performance was much better against Leicester and Chelsea in the second half – but we still got beat, and as you state, one point from 27; 54 goals conceded, and in the bottom three is just not good enough.

    What I am shocked at is how I feel. I don’t normally feel so negative after a game, but Saturday took its toll, and left me thinking “what was all that about?” 50 years of being a Norwich City fan has seen many highs and even more lows, from beating Bayern Munich to getting hammered in the first game of the season in League 1. Beating the team that is just down the road from where we currently live – Middlesbrough – at Wembley was for me one of the greatest occasions in all my years as an NCFC fan… so why do I feel so low? I don’t know to be honest… I guess I just expected so much more from what on paper should be a better team and what I thought was a full blood and guts manager.

    Yes of course we will always support the club, but Saturday at Swansea was simply dire with a team of overpaid lack lustre footballers who simply didn’t turn up for what was a 6 pointer game. I felt sorry for the excellent NCFC supporters who had made the long journey… and I’m guessing many of them, like me, must be questioning our sanity. What is the answer? I’ve got no idea… but this is supposed to be fun isn’t it? And fun this is not. I’m waiting for AN and the team to prove me wrong… Oh how I’d love to be proved wrong… and every one reading this can point at me and laugh and say “yes you were wrong”. I’d be the first to put my hands up and agree… but can I see this happening? Sadly not. So come on Norwich… come on Neil… prove me wrong please!

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